Comics : Ultimate Spider-Man #58

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This story is part of an Arc: "Hollywood"
     Part 1 / Part 2 / Part 3 / Part 4 / Part 5 / Part 6

This review was first published on: 2004.

Background...

Spider-Man's been kidnapped!

Doctor Octopus, that mechanical-armed menace, defeated Spider-Man in battle at the set of the Spider-Man movie (from which neither will see a dime). Ock then abducted Spider-Man and brought him onto a plane. After some torture, Spider-Man managed to escape in mid-flight while Ock's back was turned.

Oh, and Gwen found out Peter is Spider-Man. You'd think this means that Gwen knows Spider-Man didn't kill her father. Well, grief works in mysterious ways, so, instead, Gwen now blames Peter for her father's death.

In Detail...

Ultimate Spider-Man #58
Jul 2004 : SM Title
Arc: Part 5 of "Hollywood"
Editor:  Ralph Macchio
Writer:  Brian Michael Bendis
Pencils:  Mark Bagley
Inker:  Art Thibert
Cover Art:  Mark Bagley
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 Reprinted In: Spider-Man TPB (Ultimate) #10
 Reprinted In: Ultimate Spider-Man Reprints (Hardcover) #5

At the Sao Paulo aiport in Brazil, Doctor Octopus wonders where Peter could be. He wonders, that us, until Spidey leaps out of the plane and kicks Ock in the face. Yep, it seems Spidey opened the emergency exit then hid on the plane, letting Ock assume he escaped. Spidey unleashes quite a beating on Ock until those gnarly mechanical arms fling Spidey across the airport. To his horror, Spidey finds that he's no longer in America.

Spider-Man takes the disoriented Ock by surprise, knocking him out with three punches. Soldiers then surround the area and have our hero at gunpoint. Shouting directions at Spidey in Portuguese, Spidey swears he'll do whatever they want as long as someone says it in English. Finally, a female cop addresses him in English, and Spidey explains the situation as best he can. The pilot confirms Spidey's story, and is willing to fly him back to New York, but the cop insists they both go in for questioning.

Spidey sneaks onto a departing flight and into the cargo hold. While in flight, the intense cold forces Spider-Man to "borrow" some clothes to keep him from freezing to death. The flight lands in Atlanta so Spidey has to sneak into a box heading for Newark, New Jersey. But it seems Aunt May's flight landed in Newark as well, which means Spidey, without his web shooters, has to get home before her. Peter manages to beat Aunt May home. Unfortunately, upon entering from the basement, he finds Gwen waiting for him...and pointing a gun at his head.

In General...

An immensely satisfying read!

After three issues of Ock mopping the floor with him, Spider-Man not only mops the floor with Ock, but has to race across two continents to make it home before his aunt, only to find his unbalanced housemate's discovered his identity and is threatening to kill him.

You won't find this kind of thing in X-Men, folks!

Spider-Man is always best when we see the old "Parker luck" in full force. Plus, now that Spidey's talking again, we get to read the delightful dialogue Bendis cooks up for him. The typical Parker humor ("At least they speak some kind of English in Atlanta") shines through, reminding us that Ultimate is indeed a worthy addition to the Spider-Man canon. Vast improvements in pencils and art as well, now that shadows look like shadows again. Bonus points for a fantastic cover where Spider-Man is tangled up in Doc Ock's mechanical arms.

Overall Rating...

Not a masterpiece, but a fun read, and one heckuva denoument to come! Come back for the next issue, where Gwen may or may not blow Peter's brains out!

Spidey's quote of the issue is: "Ugh! What's that smell? Oh, good, I made it to Jersey!" Remember folks, I don't make up the cheap shots at New Jersey, I just quote them for my reviews!