Comics : Ultimate Spider-Man #6

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This review was first published on: 2004.

Background...

Issue six in Marvel's exciting new series featuring a young Peter Parker. Last issue Peter learned a tough lesson the hardest way possible, when his uncle Ben was killed due to Peter's own selfishness. As a direct result of that crushing event, Peter has become a crimefighter, the Amazing Spider-Man!

How high can back issue prices soar on this title? If you're one of the lucky few who has a copy of the white cover #1 variant, it looks like your comic is worth around US$300! Unbelievable!

In Detail...

"Big Time Super Hero"
Ultimate Spider-Man #6
Apr 2001 : SM Title
Editor:  Ralph Macchio
Co-Plot:  Bill Jemas
Writer:  Brian Michael Bendis
Pencils:  Mark Bagley
Inker:  Art Thibert
Cover Art:  Mark Bagley
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Issue
Review
 Reprinted In: Komikai Ultimate Spider-Man (Promo Reprint) #6
 Reprinted In: Ultimate Spider-Man #6 (Niagara Reprint)
 Reprinted In: Spider-Man TPB (Ultimate) #1
 Partially Reprinted In: Ultimate Spider-Man CVS Promo Mini-Comic
 Reprinted In: Ultimate Spider-Man Reprints (Hardcover) #1
 Reprinted In: Ultimate Tales Flip Magazine #4

The scene is the offices of the Daily Bugle newspaper, and Publisher J. Jonah Jameson is blasting the staff for not having a scoop on the new Spider-Man guy spotted around town. He wants to know what Spider-Man is all about, and tasks Ben Urich with getting the story.

Over in Forest Hills, Queens, at the Parker residence, Peter is celebrating the perfection of his father's adhesive formula. Peter has modified it until it can be used for webbing. He's also invented and assembled a pair of web-shooters to make use of the web! Way to go Parker, and they're NOT ORGANIC! (Hear that, Sam Raimi?) Peter stays up late practising and testing his webbing.

Next morning, at Midtown High, Peter is soundly asleep and snoring in class. He is startled awake by the teacher, and destroys his desk. (that's twice!) Turns out Peter has quit the basketball team, what with all that's going on in his life. Just as he starts to get drawn into an argument with Kong, his Spider Sense goes crazy! A huge explosion rocks the school, knocking everyone but Peter to the floor! There's a second boom and the corridors fill with smoke. The fire sprinkers activate, it's a warzone in there!

Peter sneaks out of the building unnoticed and makes a quick change into Spidey, then leaps over the student's heads and back into the smoke filled school building. Walking through the smoke, he encounters... The Green Goblin! This Goblin is huge, he's menacing, evil, and his eyes glow bright yellow. Spider-Man starts up his soon to be trademark witty banter and begins dodging and weaving, managing to plant one haymaker of a punch right on the Goblin's chin, knocking him through a wall!

Peter makes an observation right in the thick of it that his smart-mouth act stops him from peeing in his shorts, he's so scared of this Goblin character. Spidey keeps the pressure on, kicking and shoving, he's way faster than this hulking powerhouse. He heads for the roof, but is tagged by the Goblin and they hurtle through a solid brick wall, and out into the open air three storeys up!

Clasped tightly by the Goblin creature, Spidey is whisked way up into the sky. The Goblin looks down at Spider-Man with pure hate in his eyes and growls "PPPPRRRRRRKKKKKKEERRR" ("Parker" for those of us who don't speak Goblinese) Spidey realises, "This thing knows my name!"

In General...

Spider-Man's first fight with his arch-nemesis, the Green Goblin! As I said last month, this Goblin is very different to the original. I'm tempted to say that the original Goblin was a far more interesting character, but I just know that Brian Michael Bendis has much more in store for the character than the little we've been privy to so far. Nonetheless, I'll be very disappointed if the Goblin has been reduced to a rage-filled Hulkesque monster and we've seen the last of Norman Osborn!

Not a huge lot of ground covered in this comic, but some landmark events all the same. We saw the origin of Spider-Man's essential web fluid and web-shooters, although Spidey forgot to use them in the heat of battle. We also saw Peter thinking about protecting his secret identity, something he's not really given much conscious effort to in the past. And, last but by no means least, we got to watch Spidey dish out a bit of a spanking to this Goblin creature (albiet before being abducted into the stratosphere!)

So, plenty of action and a lot to enjoy about the unfolding development of Peter Parker as the new hero Spider-Man! And did anybody catch the references to Daredevil? What's the bet we're gonna see an Ultimate Daredevil next?

Overall Rating...

Spider-Man has the mechanical web-shooters, and Peter designed them himself. Bravo, you science geek! I gave this comic 4 webs because, while there was plenty to thrill to, simply not enough ground was covered. Bagley's layouts have expanded, he's not giving us as many panels per page. Now, this is deliberate and an attempt to convey the dynamics of the fighting, but all the same, I hope the next issue isn't all fighting!

Nice to see the introduction of the Daily Bugle staff into the supporting cast.