Thursday, 22 February 2018

Ultimate Spider-Man, Volume 1: Power and Responsibility Review (Brian Michael Bendis, Mark Bagley)


Saddle up, buckaroos - it’s another re-telling of the Petey Parker/Spider-Pants origin story! Brian Bendyman goes through the well-worn checklist: nerdy bully-magnet Peter gets bit by a magic spider, gets superpowers, doesn’t use them to stop crime, loses his Uncle Ben (the non-rice guy), and learns that With Great Blahblah Comes Blah Blahblah. And then decides to punch Norman Osborn who’s transformed himself into the Green Wheelie Bin!

While Bendis’ writing and Mark Bagley’s art are both fine, there’s not a whole lot here to hold the attention of someone like me who saw the first Sam Raimi Spider-Pants movie gawd knows how many times, not to mention read multiple versions of the origin in the comics. 

I didn’t think much of Bagley’s Uncle Ben, who’s got a naff ponytail for some reason, and his Green Goblin is ridonkulously ‘roided out so he looks more like the Hulk villain Abomination. And, while this isn’t really Bendis’ problem, the way everything slots into place, from Peter getting the outfit to the webbing fluid that his dad just happened to be working on before he disappeared, was all too damn eye-rollingly convenient. 

Ultimate Spider-Man, Volume 1: Power and Responsibility isn’t a bad comic by any means, it’s just a book of table-setting that I was already over-familiar with to be too enamoured by. It’s a fine jumping-on point for new readers though or anyone looking for an accessible and fairly entertaining, if by-the-numbers, version of the Spidey origin. I’m glad I finally read this one but I’m a-heading back to Miles Morales/Ultimate Spider-Man whose story I find much more interesting than Peter’s same old, same old.

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