Comics : BBDO Campbell's Diversity: Ultimate Spider-Man/Ultimate X-Men

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This review was first published on: 2009.

Background...

This comic teams up Ultimate Spider-Man with Ultimate X-Men in a comic brought to us by the folks who bring us Campbell Soup (and Andy Warhol is nowhere in sight). The main thrust of the story is diversity, and the acceptance of others who are not like us, especially when those "others" are in fact mutants.

In Detail...

BBDO Campbell's Diversity: Ultimate Spider-Man/Ultimate X-Men
Year 2009 : SM Title
Summary: Ultimate Spider-Man Ultimate X-Men
Editor:  Nathan Cosby, Nicole Boose
Writer:  Brian Michael Bendis
Pencils:  Mark Bagley
Inker:  Scott Hanna
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Review

It is just another day in the life of the students of Midtown High. The students are discussing diversity; needless to say, diversity in the Marvel Universe (even the Ultimate MU) often includes not those of other races, creeds and national origin, but those who were born with powers and abilities far beyond those of mortal men. As the class progresses we learn that while some of the students (Peter Parker and Mary Jane Watson) seem to understand and accept mutants for who (not what) they are. Still other students (Liz Allan in particular) is creeped out by the very thought that mutants might be nearby.

The discussion turns nasty, and the teacher tables it for the time being. Later on that evening, at a school football game, Peter and MJ meet up with Abby, a friend of MJ, who introduces the pair to her friend, Ororo Munroe. Just prior to the start of the game, Ororo slipped one of the players a note that exposed her true feelings towards that player. Unfortunately, for the young girl, the player is just a macho jock, and instead of being flattered that he has a fan, jokes with his friends about the silly girl who has poured out her heart on paper for all to read.

The intense rejection of her very intense feelings trigger Ororo's mutant powers, and an extremely powerful lightning bolt crackles across the sky and strikes the stadium grounds, quite near the football player. Needless to say this extraordinary event scares the crap out of pretty much everyone in the immediate vicinity. Ororo rises up above the stadium and is spirited away by the wind that she inadvertently has conjured. MMJ tells Peter that he has to do something about it, so Pete dutifully changes into his Spidey togs and takes off after the newly-minted mutant.

He catches up with her a short distance away on the roof of a building where she is surrounded by the Ultimate X-Men. Feeling that his presence might help, he seings down and joins the mutant team. As they chat up Ororo, none-other than Magneto shows up and tries to recruit Ororo to his cause.

Needless to say, the teen mutants simply won't stand for this, and they (along with Spidey) throw down against the master of Magnetism. The resulting mêlée is certainly explosive at everyone starts tossing their powers around as both forces vie for the soul of the new mutant. Even as the mutants begin blasting at each other, Spidey snaps up Ororo and swings her to safety. As the battle rages, Spidey and some to the X-Team try to calm Ororo and tell her that she is better off going with the X-Men and learning how to control her power rather than throwing in with a madman like Magneto.

The once and future Storm uses her weather abilities to seriously zap Magneto, and then goes off with the mutant teens to learn at Xavier's school for gifted children, and Spidey swings home.

In General...

This is a very well-written story that mirrors some of the events of Ultimate Spider-Man, where Liz discovered that she was in fact a Mutant herself. Only this story uses a teen Ororo as the story topic, which also works quite well, even if it works outside the established chronology of both of these Ultimate titles.

Still, this is a minor thing and did nothing to interfere or diminish the power of the story itself or the enjoyment this reader had while drinking it all in. Quite a good tale.

The story is followed up by a back-up feature that talks a bit about the Campbell the company, and the people who work there. It ties into the story, repeating some to the topics touched on in the main story, and relating them back to the real world.

There is a word puzzle as well as a few full-page pin-ups of some Marvel characters.

Overall Rating...

As I've said elsewhere, I've always had a fondness for the non-continuity tales presented in these pro-social, sponsored comics, and there is no disputing that this one counts among one of the better versions of this type of giveaway material.

Footnote...

It should be noted that in spite of the fact that this is not so much the Ultimate Universe, it is an "alternate" Ultimate Universe, as here Storm, is not already one of the X-Men, but a young teen who has never manifested her mutant powers until the events of the story.