Writer: Brian Michael Bendis
Artists: Trevor Hairsine (p), Danny Miki (i)
Publisher: Marvel Comics
Iíve driven behind old ladies that couldnít see over their steering wheels that have moved faster than this series is moving. For those who think Iím exaggerating, hereís what has happened in the past two issues: #2 the bad guys break out of jail; #3 the good guys realize this and pull Peter Parker out of school because heís in danger. You know, I bought Bendisí explanation for the extension of the series to 7 issues, but now I think heís just full of crap. Iím thinking the extra-long fight scene that he claims needed two issues probably only really needed one but started in the middle of issue 6 because the rest of the pages were filled with the two sides gabbing at one another. Nu Marvel has often been accused of padding their storylines, and I can think of no better example than this series.
Iíd be angrier about all this if what were given this week wasnít so well written. I donítí feel like weíve ever gotten to see Nick Fury in full crisis management mode yet (despite whatís been happening in The Ultimates, and that may be a product of the sporadic shipping schedule) and the character really shines in this issue. Fury is smart and quick thinking, but doesnít lose his sense of humor, a fact I directly attribute to Bendisí grasp of the character. Fury takes every loss personally, and even though I thought his blow up at Peter Parker was a little overdone I still enjoyed that glimpse below the gruff exterior. You combine that with the quiet helplessness that you can see in Furyís face and in his speech, and youíve got an interesting character study.
One of the things I like about this series is the feeling of intense danger weíve been getting from these villains, and their treatment in these pages continues that. We never get to see them in person, but the way Fury and S.H.I.E.L.D. are handling the situation leads me to believe that theyíre taking this very seriously. I never got the impression that these five villains were all that powerful as a combined force but the tension created by Bendis in this series has changed my mind. I am a little concerned with where the writer is going with the Six, though, as Norman Osbornís use of political clout is extremely questionable. Weíre supposed to believe that the President is going to listen to a man that is a known genetic terrorist? Thatís stretching believability a little too far.
Hairsineís work is once again solid, but I got the impression that heís a bit rushed. There are panels of sheer genius (the picture of the bombed out hull of the prison wing) and there are panels that made me wonder if they were the work of the same artist. Hairsineís Peter Parker looks nothing like the Ultimate version Iíve become accustomed to, and his face changes structure more than once. The artist effort this time out can be best described as inconsistent, and since weíve seen how good he can be thatís just plain maddening.
Iím really hoping the pacing picks up over the next four issues, but in reality Iíll be reading this series until its conclusion so Bendis has me (and most likely the rest of his readers) over a barrel. After all this build up, the huge fight scene weíve been promised better be worth it, or I may think twice before picking up another Ultimate miniseries.
One more thing, Iíd be remiss if I didnít mention Bendisí use of the ďPreviouslyĒ page in this issue. Itís a small thing, but I actually got a nice chuckle out of it.
What did you think of this book?
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