Sometimes life just kicks you in the teeth for fun
Even though Peter Parker is the everyman hero that we can all sympathize with, I in no way would ever want to be Peter Parker.Â The kid canâ€™t catch a break.Â If it isnâ€™t some huge international military agency keeping tracks on your every move, itâ€™s the villain of the week trying to wreck your day, and to top it all off, just when you think youâ€™re going to make with the snoo-snoo with that hot red head Mary Jane, your personal stalker shows up.
This is a terrible time to be the web slinger of NYC.Â Not only is Eddie Brock back, threatening to reveal Peterâ€™s secret to the world unless Peter gets the Venom suit back, but Norman Osborn has escaped from SHIELD headquarters (again), and Gwen Stacy, in SHEILDâ€™s care, escaped too.Â Â To make matters worse, Curt Conners is given the royal treatment for helping discover what makes Gwen Stacy/Carnage tick.
If this sounds like the start of a huge arc where more than one villain is going to make Peterâ€™s life hell, then youâ€™re probably right.Â As I read through the pages, I was amazed at how Bendis was able to crank the level of – whatâ€™s the word here? awesomeness? tension? thrills?Â chills?Â suspense?Â Yes, letâ€™s go for that one – suspense as the reader wonders how much worse itâ€™s going to get.Â Short of telling another Sinister Six story, itÂ looks like this arc will really test Peter in making grown up decisions and living with the results.
Spidey canâ€™t even seek help from his friends, as Nick Fury is out of the picture, the Fantastic Four are off galavanting around, and the Ultimates just took off for parts unknown, or at least in this issue, as it takes place before Ultimates 3.
If there was one major distraction for the entire issue, it was how wordy Bendis can be when diving into the thoughts of Spider-Man.Â Granted, if you really were listening in on Peter Parkerâ€™s every thought at this time of crisis, it would probably be overflowing, but there were two pages in particular that everything just became too overwhelming.Â On the other hand, this issue moved along at a very quick pace, and readers arenâ€™t bogged down with Bendisâ€™ famous decompression method of storytelling.
The best part about Spider-Man #127 is the art.Â I love Stuart Immonenâ€™s layouts as action spills across the page, even when that page is one large panel.Â The use of the gutter gives us a break in time as Spidey jumps from lamp post to lamp post as he approaches Ultimate headquarters, or as he swings around the Baxter Building with the city sprawled out around him.Â Even the back and forth between Gwen Stacy and Tony Stark is perfectly timed on the page to make every panel meaningful.
I like Ultimate Spider-Man because it gave me, a non-Marvel reader, a chance to jump into the Spidey mythos fresh and new without being bogged down by 40 years of continuity.Â Unfortunately, while issue #127 is the start of a big new story, it probably isnâ€™t a good place for new readers to jump on, simply because thereâ€™s eight years of continuity to follow.Â If you are a new reader, and have some familiarity with the bad guys in Spider-Manâ€™s life, thereâ€™s nothing wrong with staring here, I just think you wonâ€™t have as much enjoyment as someone who has been reading for a couple of years.
Bendisâ€™ compressed writing style for this issue, combined with Immonenâ€™s great layouts, make for a slam dunk issue that Iâ€™ve already read twice, and will probably dive into one more time before bagging and boarding it.Â Ultimate Spider-Man #127 is a fun read, and earns 4 out of 5 Stars.