Comics : Ultimate Marvel Team-Up #5

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This review was first published on: 2004.

Background...

Part 2 of Spider-Man meets Iron Man (not the vanilla version, the ultimate version). The previous installment ending with a nice cliffhanger, Iron Man down for the count and Peter Parker being the only one close enough to help out.

In Detail...

Ultimate Marvel Team-Up #5
Aug 2001 : SM Title
Summary: Spider-Man & Iron Man
Editor:  Ralph Macchio
Writer:  Brian Michael Bendis
Pencils:  Mike Allred
Inker:  Mike Allred
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 Reprinted In: Spider-Man TPB (Ultimate MTU) #1

The story opens with a nice splash page and a synopsis of the previous issue. Peter won an essay contest and got to visit a science expo. There, Iron Man is attacked by armored assailants and becomes immobile because of the attack. Peter wants to help his fallen hero.

Cue to Guatemala, 10 years ago. We get a flashback of Tony Stark being kidnapped. Of course we do not get to read this story in full right away, but I will tell it here as if it was told in one piece. In his prison, Tony reveals to Morgan, a close friend and co-worker, that he has a brain tumor. Without help, he'll die, soon. Then, the terrorists reveal the reason for the kidnap. They want the technology that Tony invented. To add pressure, they kill Morgan in front of Tony's eyes. Reluctant, Tony starts working and he creates a suit, which actually is more a pair of powered gloves. When these gloves are to be tested, he uses them to free himself and his other cellmates.

Back to the main story. Peter is on his knees, talking to Tony Stark aka Iron Man. He tells him his name and Tony says he has read his essay and that it was nice. Peter finds this cool and is kinda dreaming away, when Tony asks him to get help. The armored guys let Peter walk away, after all, he's only a kid. They shoot at Iron Man, again, and pick him up, lifting him toward their waiting chopper.

Meanwhile, Peter has switched clothes and is now Spider-Man. Making jokes, he enters the fight. He pulls some plugs from one of the guys suit and replugs them somewhere else. Add some webfluid and the suit starts to malfunction. An explosion follows and since this all happened in mid-air Spidey falls down. Lucky for him, they are above the river. Iron Man also has fallen in the water.

Of course Spidey loses his mask when he hits the water. Protecting his secret identity is more important than saving Iron Man, so he gets his mask back first. Meanwhile, Iron Man is trying like crazy to get his onboard computer to respond like normal. Just as Spidey gets his mask back, all systems are back on-line. With a big energy boost, Iron Man disables the attackers, just like he did ten years ago in Guatemala with the powered gloves.

Spidey then gets lifted from the water by Iron Man who thanks him for helping out. Somehow the first explosion made the statis field, which held Iron Man immobilized, break down. As Iron Man flies off, all Spidey can think about is having lost his mask, and gloves, in front of Tony Stark.

In the epilogue, we see Golog (remember him from the first part?) meeting up with Colonel Fury, of SHIELD. Seems they had a deal, turning a blind eye while Golog's man tried to steal the irontech. Since everything went wrong, the deal is off. Then as Golog has left, the president wants to speak to Fury.

In General...

Well, the recap of issue 4 was nice. Being able to create a recap means there actually was a story. Not a big one, but there was a story. Same with this issue, there is a story (hurray)! And there is dept to the story as well. We get to learn more about Iron Man and where he was a total jerk the previous issue, I can't help feeling sorry for the guy in this issue. And we also have the infamous "Parker luck". Loosing a mask, during a fight, well, I thought it was kinda funny.

Overall Rating...

This is the best Ultimate Marvel Team-Up so far. The story had depth, fun and suspense. Most team-ups are predictable, you always know both heroes fight each other and then team up (hence the title) to defeat the villain. Not here, Spidey is only buying some time and did not help that much after all. In fact it's more an Iron Man story than a Spidey story. Which is good in this case.

The jokes and the Parker luck reminded me of the old days of Spidey. And although this is a new story, I can't shake the feeling I'm reading an old Marvel story. The Ultimate flavor is there, but not in the same way it is in the Ultimate Spider-Man series. Thus not 4 but 3.5 webs.