The Ultimate titles are still pretty hot - especially Spider-Man. But are they hot enough to support this crossover title? I'm starting to think not.
Bendis is at least putting a little more effort into this second foray, compared to his previous disaster, Ultimate Marvel Team-Up #1.
Peter is now an intern at Daily Bugle. Intern. Intern. Clinton is gone, but there's still this funny picture in my head. You know, like, the melody is over, but the thong lingers on...
Anyhow, Ben Urich is kicking around in the lunchroom too, when he gets a call. Yup, ol' Greenskin is kicking up a fuss.
Spidey leads the charge, and we get a few pages of big splash shots of a heavy-weight vs. a super-super-jumbo-heavy-as-they-come-weight. Then Spidey get's distracted by a bystander, and Hulk grabs him in a headlock. Well, more of a head-fist.
Hey! Where's the story? Let me count... we have 21 pages of real content, excluding ads. Well, that's not very good, especially since the small format means you lose 10% of page size anyhow.
But that's still enough for a story, yeah? So where is it! Peter overhears a phone call, and fights the hulk. Well, half a fight, since the comic ends in a cliff-hanger.
Maybe I should call up Bendis, and ask him:
Me: Eh, Mr Bendis, sir... this Ultimate MTU thingey I bought, that you wrote, yeah?
Bendis: Yeah, what about it. Those Ultimate titles are very good, you know. People are buying heaps of them, and the price is gone up sky-high. I'm pretty popular these days...
Me: Oh, yeah, I know. Congrats. But there's a little problem with UMTU. I hate to say it, but there's no story - or anything. And I was wondering...
Bendis: Look, kid. The pictures tell the story. I work with the artist, and the graphics tell an overwhelming tale of conflict and resolution. The human condition, you know...
Me: No they don't! It's just a red guy and a green guy slugging it out on glossy paper with computer shading. I paid for a story, and I want one!
Bendis: Well, I'm sorry, but that's not the way I do things.
Me: Yes it is! Ultimate Spider-Man has interesting, re-invented characters, moody sub-plots, intrigue, and gently probes the dichotomies raised when a formerly introverted individual is forced to take on a role for which he is ill-equipped.
Bendis: Did somebody write that somewhere? It's very good.
Me: I said it. And as for your work on DareDevil, that's a dramatic tour-de-force, combining subversive art with introspective, lyrical text in a challenging intellectual endevour which pushes the comic form beyond its classical boundaries, in a manner which few attempt, and even fewer succeed, but which you seem to achieve with a talent bordering on casual genius.
Bendis: Ooooh! Oooh! Quick, wait while I get a pen, I have to write that down! *Clunk*
Me: But where's my frigging story!
Well, at least the art is better than last week, and there's a couple of funny lines. Well, at least one. But overall, it's just a huge disappointment. Bendis can do much, much better than this. Come on dude. Fix it up, or give it up!