Comics : Ultimate Spider-Man #21

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This review was first published on: 2004.

Background...

If you've just joined us, Spider-Man has just rescued the un-deserving Justin Hammer from a vengeful and somewhat crazed Doctor Octopus - all under the watching eye of the Media.

And talking of the TV types, the Australian TV sensation, Kraven The Hunter, has just arrived on the scene, itching for a battle with Spidey to boost his ratings. We join him now as he challenges Spidey to battle, as the cameras keep rolling...

In Detail...

"Hunted"
Ultimate Spider-Man #21
Jun 2002 : SM Title
Summary: Spider-Man vs. Kraven, Peter Gets Grounded
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) #21
 Reprinted In: Spider-Man TPB (Ultimate) #3
 Reprinted In: Ultimate Spider-Man Reprints (Hardcover) #2
 Reprinted In: Ultimate Tales Flip Magazine #11

"Our time has come, insect. Our battle is now." So says Kraven. He's come a long way to track down Spidey, to boost his ratings, and he's itching for a battle. It doesn't seem to bother him that Spidey just trashed a seriously over-powered Doctor Octopus, firstly proving that Spidey is in the big league, and secondly, meaning that our red-n-blue hero is rather exhausted.

Spidey ain't in the mood for another fight. He just wants Kraven to help him rescue Hammer and his secretary from their wrecked limo. But Kraven is pretty one tracked... "We will do battle!" is his witty rejoinder. "No we won't," suggests the Spiderish one.

Well, Kraven wades in, swinging. There's a brief tussle, as Spidey tries to figure out what the heck all this is about. In the end, Spidey get's kind of peeved, and just decks the guy. Turns out that Kraven is mostly hype, and short on substance. Hmmm... Kraven's PR man is looking at Spidey, like he's got a couple of ideas for a new series?

Spidey points out that he really didn't want to fight, and that Kraven started it all, then heads back to carry on the rescue mission as the camera's keep on a-rolling. He rips open the car and hauls out the dame. The crowd applauds. Hey, hey's getting some good press for once! They want an interview, and after a bit of thought, Spidey takes the chance to explain why he wears a mask, and takes some giant steps in the direction of being a bit better understood.

Then Spidey grabs a lift back into town, as SHIELD turns up to clean up the mess. Peter Parkers heads back home in the early hours of the morning. Hey, finally something is going right! Err... of course, his Aunt is sitting up waiting for him. So where's that Spider-Sense when you really need it?

Hoo-boy. Peter's in for it now. Out all night, and no explanation possible. Somebody is seriously grounded. Ouch!

In General...

Bendis brings a bundle of plot lines together with consumate skill, and keeps the underlying characterisations bubbling in the background. There's some action stuff, and some clever stuff. Funny stuff and thoughtful stuff. There's Peter, and Spidey; good things and bad things - all coming together in a convincing fashion, glued together by Bagley's top-rate artwork.

Ultimate Spider-Man is a true pleasure to read, the kind of comic that gives comics a good name.

Overall Rating...

Four great webs.