Is this the end of Ultimate Spider-Man?
I donâ€™t want to give the answer away too early in the review, because 1) I want you to click on the More link, and 2) itâ€™s pretty tacky to talk about the end before all the other goodness is covered.
Readers were lead to believe that Peter Parker gave his life saving and defending the citizens of New York City, both normal and supernatural in past issues.Â Over the last 10 years of our time (or about 1 year in Brian Michael Bendisâ€™ decompressed time) Spider-Man has touched a lot of people (in a good way, honest). While his heroics usually got the bad guys all up arms, no one was more worked up, and frothing at the mouth to bring Spider-man down than J. Jonah Jameson – editor of the Daily Bugle.
Having seen his life crash down around him, the guy lost his wife and family in the disaster, his first act after the crisis is to sit down and eulogize Spider-Man and confess to all future readers of the paper how wrong he was to besmirch the heroâ€™s reputation.
And it works incredibly well.
Page after page of Jameson acting like a true editor, putting his hatred aside, admitting he was wrong, and cranking out one heck of an article that will probably earn him a Pulitzer some time down the road (providing the entire committee wasnâ€™t wiped out in the world wide disaster).
Set against those words are great splash pages of art featuring Spidey bringing the fight to the foe, striking dramatic poses as only Stuart Immonen and Mark Bagley could bring.Â Â Â Why two artists on this issue?Â There is a flashback moment – a story that we didnâ€™t see during the Bagley run that is told through Jamesonâ€™s perspective.Â Itâ€™s a nice bonus story to the event, but without J.J.â€™s words narrating this trip down memory lane, the Hulk vs. Spider-Man story kind of takes the reader out of the emotional tribute. That being said, it is still great to see Bagley and Bendis teaming for one final Spider-Man story.
Compared to the Ultimatum title proper, Ultimate Spider-Man reads like a heroic adventure tale, while The Loeb series digs up a lot of unsavory moments and thoughts for the sake of being shocking.
Here, Peter Parker goes out the hero – or he would if he were actually dead.Â Come on do you really think Joe Quesada and Michael Bendis would have killed the cash cow that helped return Marvel to the top of the heap and get a new generation of comic book readers interested in Spider-Man?Â As far as cool moments go, that final panel ranks up there as probably one of the best moments in comics.
Regardless of what you think of the Ultimatum event (more on that later), Bendis worked with what he was given and delivers up a fantastic story that works.Â Ultimatum: Spider-Man: Requiem is a perfect closing chapter to Ultimate Spider-Man in this incarnation. What will happen when Ultimate Comics Spider-Man kicks off?Â I have no idea, but for now, Ultimatum: Spider-Man: Requiem #2 works and earns 4 out of 5 Stars.