Comics : Ultimate Spider-Man #60

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

This review was first published on: 2004.

Background...

The Spider-Man movie made millions at the box office, due in no small park to actual footage of a battle between the real Spider-Man and the real Doctor Octopus which spanned two continents. Needless to say, neither saw any money from this movie, although Peter did lose a tooth, and Octavius lost his arms.

In the bedlam that was the past week of Spider-Man's life, Gwen Stacy, the girl that Aunt May took in, found out that Peter is Spider-Man. At first, there was a confrontation, but the two came to an understanding and now Gwen joins Mary Jane as Peter's confidant.

In Detail...

Ultimate Spider-Man #60
Aug 2004 : SM Title
Arc: Part 1 of "Ultimate Carnage"
Editor:  Ralph Macchio
Writer:  Brian Michael Bendis
Pencils:  Mark Bagley
Inker:  Scott Hanna
Cover Art:  Mark Bagley
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 Reprinted In: Spider-Man TPB (Ultimate) #11
 Reprinted In: Ultimate Spider-Man Reprints (Hardcover) #6

The Lizard lunges at Spider-Man, who tries to talk him down. It seems that Doctor Curt Conners, who knows Peter's secret, has transformed once again. The reptilian monster he appears to be now is the result of Conners' attempt to re-grow his severed arm using lizard DNA. The Lizard finds himself in front of a house. Bursting the door open, he finds Peter asleep in his bed. Conflicted while looking at a photo of Peter and his father, the Lizard strikes Peter!

Doctor Conners screams himself awake in a cold sweat. He calls his estranged wife (Doris?) and asks about his son (Timmy?). Conners finds out his wife has "company" over. His eyes turn to a letter from Stark International with bad news regarding his grant money.

Out in Brooklyn, Spider-Man swings through the rainy skies following police cars to the scene of a hostage situation. Captain DeWolfe is on the speaker, negotiating with the hostage taker. The criminal demands the liberation of "Nurhachi", whoever that is. Spider-Man confronts the man, who turns out to be twice his height!. After a battle that takes out a lot of priceless artifacts, the police surround the scene.

Captain DeWolfe demands the S.W.A.T. guys put their guns down while one of the hostages insists that Spider-Man was the hero here. The Captain offers Spider-Man medical help for his injuries sustained in the battle, but Spider-Man declines her invitation since he's "allergic to jail."

Doctor Conners goes to the lab to get some late-night research in. He finds Spider-Man waiting for him inside. Peter asks if he can cash in a favor Conners owes him. Despite not being a medical doctor, he patches up Spidey as best he can. While he's doing this, Peter asks how the whole Lizard thing is going. Conners says the DNA damage is done, but that the Lizard inside him is dormant for the moment. Peter tries to cheer Conners up, but Conners sours the moment with his bleak view of science.

Peter thanks Conners for his help. Conners offers a ride, but Peter says it'd be faster to web home. Peter does accept a sweatshirt to fight the rain & cold and offers his help with whatever's going on in Conners's life. The good doctor asks for a miracle scientific breakthrough; Peter replies that he IS one.

Doctor Conners looks at a bloody cotton swab from when he was stitching Peter up. He puts the swab under a microscope and...

In General...

...and don't you hate cliffhangers?

I encourage fans to look up the term "Nurhachi" and see what they find. Does Bendis have a plan or was this an isolated incident involving an isolated nut job. In any case, it made for a well-drawn, well-scripted fight full of Spider-Man zingers, and an answer to what Spider-Man does when he gets injured.

The only bad part about including the Ultimate Lizard is that he was introduced in Ultimate Marvel Team-Up, a book that a large part of the Ultimate Spider-Man readership may be unfamiliar with. Here, we get a basic explanation of what happened but also different names for Conners' wife and son. I honestly don't recall what their names were in that issue, but if there's an inconsistency, I'd blame the editing staff more than Bendis, since continuity is their job.

All in all, I look forward to the next issue, and the art team is 2-for-2 in the past 2 issues.

Overall Rating...

I would say this story arc is off to a promising start. What discovery has Conners made?

Spidey's quote of the issue is: "Okay, clearly you are the textbook definition of that noise you make when you strum your finger up and down over your lips!"