“What-the-whozee-wha?” — Johnny Storm
Like most everyone I know, I had real doubts about the need to reboot Ultimate Spider-Man after the terrible events of Ultimatum. I didn’t see the need for the comic to restart, or for the Ultimate universe to be turned upside down, or any of these major changes to happen.
But now that we’re nine issues into the reboot of this series, it all seems to be making a lot more sense. This reboot of Spider-Man isn’t just about Spider-Man, it’s about Peter and his amazing friends and their wacky hijinks.
Like this issue. It starts with a profanity-loving mother/daughter crime-fighting team battling a hero who uses webs. But that hero isn’t our old friend Peter Parker. No, that hero is Peter’s clone, Spider-Woman, and quickly enough the clone meets up with the Human Torch. And wacky hijinks ensue. This goes on for the first dozen pages of the comic. Peter doesn’t even show up until page fourteen, and even there he’s involved in some wacky hijinks with his ever-growing group of present and former girlfriends.
Even when Peter puts on the costume, it’s in reaction to some of the crazy romantic antics of the day rather than some immediate threat to the world around him. Though we do get guns pulled in the final few pages, the book still has an extremely light and fun tone to it.
David Lafuente’s art, which seemed a bit weak in previous issues in the action scenes, looks great on this issue. The guy is terrific when depicting exaggerated reactions to bizarre events, and his characters look just gorgeous.
Ultimate Comics Spider-Man has become a really silly team book, a kind of sitcom Marvel comic, filled with fractured romances, odd relationships, and a tiny bit of heroic action.
There’s nothing wrong with humor and Spider-Man. While I was drafting this review, my friend Diana reminded me of the scene in Spider-Man 2 where Hal Sparks and Spider-Man ride an elevator – “Cool Spidey outfit!” – and of course Bendis and many other writers have delivered his share of silly Spidey stories over the years. Who remembers the Rocket Racer or the Spidermobile or the Maximum Carnage storyline? (Okay, that last one wasn’t meant to be funny.)
It’s really very refreshing to read such a fun story, and it made me laugh and smile to see Peter hanging out with all his fun friends. This isn’t the same old brooding Peter Parker that Steve Ditko used to draw, but who cares? It’s David Lafuente’s book now. When reading this comic, I laughed, I had a good time and I really enjoyed the 10 or 15 minutes I spent reading this comic.