In which the topic of â€˜going all the wayâ€™ comes up
Ladies and Gentlemen, itâ€™s the moment youâ€™ve been waiting for since the series began!Â The burning question on the lips of every fanboy out there, â€œDoes Spider-Man Love Mary Jane?â€Â And more importantly, do they love each other enough that the issue brings up the topic of doing it for the first time?Â And even more importantly, do they do it?Â If the cover featuring a shot of Qâ€™Sada Soda is any indication, fun times await inside.
Marvel picked a perfect week to release Ultimate Spider-Man Annual #3, because at the heart of the story is the introduction of the headless horseman himself – Mysterio.Â Itâ€™s too bad Mysterio doesnâ€™t look anything like Bruce Campbell, because that would have totally rocked.Â Still, there is a great little Inside Man action going on, that requires the cooperation of Spider-Man, the NYC Police Department, and a little help from Mary Jane.
This annual is full of great moments – important moments – for Spider-Manâ€™s development as a hero..Â This annual will mark the time the police actually thank him for helping, and it looks like the shoot first, ask later attitude is starting to wane.Â This is great for Peter as heâ€™s on his way to becoming a true hero, instead of that masked freak that J. Jonah Jameson professes every chance he gets.
Jessica Jones also offers up moments that could be problematic for everyone at the school, and readers are offered a glimpse of the reporter she could become.Â Although, thankfully she doesnâ€™t try to tell Mary Jane, or anyone else, that they are out of touch with society because Spider-Man doesnâ€™t have a MySpace page.
A Spider-Man issue, even an Ultimate Spider-Man issue, just wouldnâ€™t be a Spider-Man issue if it wasnâ€™t packed with humor.Â And this issue has it in spades.Â Thereâ€™s even a reference to Secret Invasion, with an out of control Spider-Woman screaming for everyone to embrace change.Â Nice touch, Bendis.Â Iâ€™m just glad Marvel didnâ€™t try to put a Secret Invasion banner on the cover to increase sales.Â Seriously though, that Qâ€™Sada Soda still has me giggling.
Unfortunately, Stuart Immonen doesnâ€™t provide the art for the annual. Instead, David Lafuente steps in to offer up a more manga look to the characters.Â If you are a big eyes, small mouth fan, check out Spider-Manâ€™s mask which features eyes that almost envelope the entire face. The change in artist shouldnâ€™t come as a surprise, as a no regular series artist seems to be the norm with the annuals. If Mark Bagley had been available, it would have been a nice â€œHow dâ€™ you do.â€ to long term fans of the series.Â The sudden change in art (the last USM issue arrived just a few weeks ago) is enough to pull one out of the issue for a few moments.
This is the second issue of Ultimate Spider-Man that Bendis has told a complete story in a single issue.Â Itâ€™s both odd, and inspiring.Â His dialog is fast and furious.Â The pacing from panel to panel makes this 33-page issue (not counting ads) read like a regular monthly.Â The humor and snarky Spider-quips are some of the best weâ€™ve seen in a while.Â The action and villains are cranked up that much more.Â Itâ€™s almost as if Bendis has tapped into some Dini-geist, that makes one hope he continues this method of storytelling for a few more issues before hitting the decompression wall again.
Oh, and that whole Peter Parker and Mary Jane getting it on thing?Â It is handled so perfectly.Â With teenage pregnancy, and teen sex on the lips of every conservative out there, Bendis handled the MJ/Parker sex talk so well, and knowing they do the right thing (for now), makes you root for these two star-crossed lovers.Â Hereâ€™s hoping thereâ€™s no Ultimate Mephisto.Â Personally, if they had decided to make with the snoo snoo, I wouldnâ€™t have minded, as Iâ€™m on the opposite end of the prudish spectrum, but it makes the issue so much more interesting with the way Bendis dealt with it.
Iâ€™ve been on a kick of rating comics pretty high these last couple of weeks, and for good reason – there are some great stories being told.Â Ultimate Spider-Man Annual #3 is no exception, earning 4.5 out 5 Stars.