Comics : Ultimate Spider-Man #7

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This review was first published on: 2004.

Background...

Issue seven in Marvel's exciting new series featuring a young Peter Parker. Last issue Spider-Man faced off against his first "Super Villain" the Green Goblin! Well, actually the Hulking Goblinesque Creature, but I'm pretty sure this thing is gonna turn out to be the Green Goblin...

In Detail...

"Secret Identity"
Ultimate Spider-Man #7
May 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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 Reprinted In: Komikai Ultimate Spider-Man (Promo Reprint) #7
 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

Continuing on from last month's cliffhanger ending, we pick up the story in midair. Spidey and the Goblin creature are locked in combat as they hurtle through space way, way above the city! The Green Goblin (who's pretty much standard issue "white-guy" coloured except for his green head and neck) flings Spidey straight at the ground from what must be 30 or 40 stories up!

As he's making like a stone, Spidey remembers that he's wearing the web-shooters he developed recently. Firing off some web, he manages to construct a safety net between two buildings. Saved!

Meanwhile, the Goblin is heading back towards the burning school, growling something that sounds suspiciously like "Harry". Watch out Harry Osborn, daddy's coming to kill you! But not if Spidey has anything to do with it. Thinking on his feet, he shoots off a strand of his webbing and swings back into action! "Waah Ha!" Spidey lands an almighty double kick into the Goblin's kidneys (do goblins even HAVE kidneys? It seemed to hurt, so I'm going with yes) and then lays into him with a lightning-fast flurry of punches and kicks.

But the Goblin isn't out of the fight yet! He manages to latch one huge fist onto Spidey's head and slams Spidey straight down into the roof of a building! Ouch! The Police have arrived in choppers, no doubt attracted by the burning school building, and they attempt to engage the Goblin. Some of Spidey's webbing accidentally splats all over the windshield of one of the copters, distracting the pilot enough for the Goblin to take the offensive. Spidey fires a webline at the flying Goblin and is wrenched free of the building he'd been clinging to. He's tailing along!

The Goblin shrugs out of his cloak, escaping Spidey's web and landing on a bridge. The police circle closer, guns pointed. Spidey leaps back into the fray, struggling with the Goblin and trying to get him to see reason. The police open fire, hitting the Goblin several times in the chest, but he's not going down! Making eye contact with Spidey, the Goblin snarls "Parker!" clearly this time. Spidey yells back "How do you know me?", dodging the Goblin's desperate leap. Dazed and bleeding, the Goblin plunges from the top of the bridge into the river below.

Now the police are circling Spidey, instructing him to lie down since he's under arrest. Spidey tries to reason with them, but they open fire on him! Using his amazing agility and spider sense, he dodges the bullets and departs the scene!

Back at Midtown High, the Fire Brigade have things under control. Harry admits that the Goblin creature was his father Norman Osborn. He spills the beans on the whole explosion at the lab that caused Norman to become the Goblin. We leave our hero pondering what the Goblin was really after, and if he became the Goblin in the same way that Peter became Spider-Man...

In General...

The conclusion of the first story arc in Ultimate Spider-Man! Who can guess the Goblin's motive for killing his wife and son? Certainly not me, and it's got me hooked! When will the Goblin return? When will he regain his intellect and be able to control his powers enough to alter his appearance back to that of Norman Osborn? All these questions! Aaaargh! But that's a good aaargh. I'm loving it.

Okay, Peter has well and truly earned a breather after the last two issues! The action has been full on, the pace frantic, the dialog beautiful! Brian Michael Bendis really has a handle on what makes the characters tick, and his scripting for Peter's "in-battle" thoughts is extremely enjoyable!

Bagley is definitely capturing the wonder and "newness" of all the web-swinging action. I feel like it's me decked out in the spandex suit swinging high above the rooftops as I come to grips with the marvellous web-shooters and web fluid I've just invented! Keep up the great work!

Overall Rating...

The only reason I didn't slap a perfect 5 onto this baby was because the focus was purely on the momentous fight between Spider-Man and the Green Goblin, to the exclusion of any supporting character development. Taken in context with the series thus far, that's not a problem; Bendis has not been neglecting supporting characters by any means, but this rating is for the individual comic.

So, 4.5 Webs, for a bash-em-up tale that's about as good as they come!

Footnote...

Expect a big slow-down in pace for issue 8, with enough character development to choke a hippo!