Purple explosions in the middle of a watery hell


Even though we haven’t heard much about it lately, all hell is still breaking loose in Marvel’s Ultimate line.  For Spider-Man it’s a never ending trial to try and plug the leaking damn, and the Hulk’s inadvertent smashing of the Sanctum Sanctorum’s great seal doesn’t help matters.

ULTSM132_cov.jpgIt’s been far too long since readers have been able to pick up a copy of Ultimate Spider-Man.  Issue #131 came out way back in February and considering it is now the middle of May, one of two things must have occurred; someone is trying to scramble to find a solution to this series that won’t piss off fans to the point they abandon the Ultimate Universe when it relaunches in August, or someone is really behind in their specific duties.  Brian Michael Bendis is a writing fool, and Stuart Immonen has been doing solid art on the Ultimate Spider-Man series for over a year, so I don’t think the blame falls there.  Regardless, the huge gap in issue release dates have certainly cooled me on the ultimate apocalypse to the point I almost don’t care what happens next.

That being said, this issue features Spider-Man and Ultimate Hulk (who appears almost lucid in this issue) battling the evil forces emerging from Dr. Strange’s Orb of Acmantata.  The ghoulies are not a minor trifle, as they represent the very thing Hulk and Spider-Man fear the most; namely Spidey’s big villains, and all the people the Hulk has killed during his many rampages.  While Peter believes these to be figments created by a demonized/lobotomized/zombified version of Dr. Strange, the smack down they bring is certainly real as it enrages the Hulk to the point he is beats the orb until it explodes.

Since this is the cliffhanger moment of the issue, there is some question as to who lives, and who dies, and makes me wonder why the Hulk is bent on killing every member of the Parker family.  Bendis also throws in a little exchange between Kitty Pryde and Mary Jane, where the two give each other a pounding over who loves Peter more (feel free to insert sophomoric snicker here).

Stuart Immonen’s art once again rocks, as he’s able to bring Hulk rage and Spidey slamming action to an otherwise slow layover on the way to the big denouement that will bring some sort of resolution to the series.  Again, the huge delay has me really not caring what happens next, and that is really sad, as the Ultimate Spider-Man line was my gateway drug into the Marvel U.

Still, any Ultimate Spider-Man is better than no Ultimate Spider-Man, and while Mary Jane and Peter have barely had a chance to get their romance going, at least Ultimate Mephestio didn’t get his hooks into the couple.  Bendis is working with what he has been given, and he does a good job of it.  While there have been much better Ultimate Spider-Man stories, there have also been a few bad Ultimate Spider-Man stories.  Ultimate Spider-Man #132 falls somewhere above meh, but far short of stellar to earn 3 out of 5 Stars.


The Author

Stephen Schleicher

Stephen Schleicher

Stephen Schleicher began his career writing for the Digital Media Online community of sites, including Digital Producer and Creative Mac covering all aspects of the digital content creation industry. He then moved on to consumer technology, and began the Coolness Roundup podcast. A writing fool, Stephen has freelanced for Sci-Fi Channel's Technology Blog, and Gizmodo. Still longing for the good ol' days, Stephen launched Major Spoilers in July 2006, because he is a glutton for punishment.

You can follow him on Twitter @MajorSpoilers and tell him your darkest secrets...

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  1. MaximusRift
    May 19, 2009 at 2:27 pm — Reply

    Anyone who kept buying the regular Spider-Man title after OMD doesn’t deserve to complain now.

    However, if this was your last bastion of Spider-goodness, cry. Cry hard. Then after your cry, blame it all on Joe Quesada.

  2. Wirehead
    May 19, 2009 at 2:35 pm — Reply

    Uh, USM isn’t being canceled.

    • May 19, 2009 at 7:40 pm — Reply

      It is, however, being relaunched. Thus, this volume will end.

  3. Wirehead
    May 19, 2009 at 8:01 pm — Reply

    Yeah thats true but I don’t see the logic in Quesada ruining this book. You could say that for ASM but not USM.

  4. Mike
    May 19, 2009 at 8:26 pm — Reply

    I can’t imagine any other reason that this title is delayed other than Ultimatum. I’m guessing BMB doesn’t want to blow the ending waiting for Loeb and Co. to catch up.

    Either way, sadly not worth the wait.

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