Comics : Ultimate Spider-Man #8

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This review was first published on: 2004.

Background...

Issue eight in Marvel's exciting new series featuring a young Peter Parker. Last issue Spider-Man came off best (only just) in a titanic slugfest with the Green Goblin. Now, back to reality as Peter Parker tries to make a buck?

In Detail...

"Working Stiff"
Ultimate Spider-Man #8
Jun 2001 : SM Title
Editor:  Ralph Macchio
Writer:  Brian Michael Bendis
Pencils:  Mark Bagley
Inker:  Art Thibert
Cover Art:  Mark Bagley
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Review
 Reprinted In: Komikai Ultimate Spider-Man (Promo Reprint) #8
 Reprinted In: USM #8 Promo (Mad Engine)
 Reprinted In: USM #8 Promo (Payless)
 Reprinted In: Spider-Man: The Movie (TPB)
 Reprinted In: Spider-Man TPB (Ultimate) #2
 Reprinted In: Ultimate Spider-Man Reprints (Hardcover) #1
 Reprinted In: Ultimate Tales Flip Magazine #5

A low-rent punk with a pair of vibration generating weapons is in the process of holding up an armoured car when Spidey swings into action, quickly taking him down. He's really got the hang of the web-shooters now, using them to clog the vibro-guns and save the day! The security guards are afraid of Spidey, cowering and offering him the money, thinking Spidey planned to steal it.

Over at the Midtown High library, the gang are discussing Spidey's appearance in Brooklyn the day before. Peter is studying nearby and hears that the Daily Bugle is paying for photos of Spider-Man. He thinks he can make some easy money and snaps a few pics of himself in costume down in the basement that evening. Peter heads over to the Bugle to sell them. He's amazed by the buzz of energy in the city room of the Bugle. J Jonah Jameson and Joe Robertson appear and check out the photos, offering 50 bucks for them.

Just then, Betty Brant screams out in frustration, she's been lumped with maintaining the Bugle's web site and is in over her head. Lucky for the Daily Bugle, Peter steps in and gets things working in no time. He is offered and accepts a part time job as web designer for the Bugle!

Cut to a very nicely painted sequence where Spidey is in hyper action swinging among the skyscrapers of Manhattan. He hears a noise, and appears just in time to see the robber gun down Uncle Ben!! Peter wakes in a cold sweat from his terrible nightmare as Aunt May comes running to comfort him.

The next morning, Peter's back in school, and he's thinking hard about Uncle Ben's death. That's one determined look on Peter's face, and you just know he's working out a way to stop something similar from happening again! After school, Peter heads over to the Bugle and logs into their Intranet site, running a search against the driver's license he swiped from the criminal's wallet. The results of the search lead him to a report detailing the organized crime in New York. Peter studies this and finds a name at the top of the pile, Wilson Fisk!!

Peter finds Joe Robertson and asks him why Fisk (aka the Kingpin of Crime) is allowed to go untouched. Robby states that it's just the way it is, and we leave Peter muttering to himself: "Oh yeah? Well, we'll see."

In General...

The pace has slowed down after the last couple of frenetic punch up issues, and is once again concentrating on the development of the character Peter Parker. Peter has tried selling photos of himself as Spidey to the Daily Bugle for money, a venture that wasn't successful at all. Instead, he's found gainful employment in a capacity he's much better suited to ? web design! How naughties!

Bendis is getting the overall pacing of this series spot on! He'll give us a couple of slower character driven stories, then a couple of fast and furious action tales, then right back to the juicy sub-plots. This month he introduced the Kingpin to the Ultimate universe, and made him Peter's enemy number 1. This promises to be an interesting story arc as a very young and inexperienced Spider-Man seeks out the most powerful crime lord in New York!

Overall Rating...

Here I was last month hanging out for a story that gets back to advancing the characters, and it's just what Bendis and Bagley have served up for our consumption! Bagley's double page spread "dream sequence" is alone worth the purchase price of this book. Let's see more work with the paints in the future Mark! Peter got a job, and he found a direction for his fight against crime as well.

The supporting characters of Betty Brant, JJJ, Robby Robertson, Ben Urich etc were brought to prominence, and we the readers feel like we know everybody.

Top stuff, 4 webs well deserved!