Ultimate Spider-Man #131

Background

The Ultimatum Wave has hit, Aunt May was arrested, the rest of Spider-Man's supporting cast has their hands full, and Spider-Man himself is face to face with the Incredible Hulk!

Story Details

We begin with a conversation between JJJ and Joe Robertson. Jameson expresses regret for his past negative reporting on Spider-Man. He sees the man he slandered in the press risking his life for ordinary people in danger because of the wave. Jameson begins to write a new editorial...

May has a chat with Spider-Woman away from the NYC police. She gleans a connection between the masked woman and Peter. May commands Spider-Woman to find Peter and protect him from harm.

Meanwhile, Spider-Man is prepared to fight the Hulk but gray behemoth does not want exchange punches. The Hulk (somewhat amusingly) is confused by all the chaos of the Ultimatum Wave. He goes with Spider-Man to help people. Hulk's tremendous strength comes in handy with a destroyed subway car. Spider-Man finds a very dead Daredevil underneath the wreckage and finds out he was the blind lawyer Matt Murdock from a now calmed down Bruce Banner.

Banner wants to die believing that the destuction of New York City was caused by the Hulk. Spider-Man tries to reassure him but Banner's stress causes the meek scientist to "Hulk out" once again. Pure anger overtakes the Hulk and he attacks Spider-Man. The battle is taken near Dr Strange's Sanctum Sanctorum. Both Spider-Man and Hulk stop their battle and stare in awe as escaping demons one by one escape the broken mystical boundaries of the "master of mystic arts."

General Comments

There's some great stuff going on in this issue.

Rather than have the Hulk and Spider-Man battle each other from the beginning, Bendis has them engage in a little team-up. The resultant interactions between the two break up the tension a bit and lighten the dark atmosphere just enough without going overboard. Additionally, we also see the Hulk's heroic side take over, something rare in this "ultimate" incarnation.

I also liked the renewed enphasis on what Spider-Man is doing even though I somewhat appreciated the effort on the supporting cast last issue. We still get a nice mea culpa from JJJ though and a rather interesting exchange between May and Spider-Woman.

Bendis uses the opprtunity of the "anything goes" events going on in Ultimatum to kill off Daredevil, a criminally misused and underused character in the Ultimate Universe. It is nice to see that real damage is being caused in this event. This event matters without going into the quality of storytelling being done on Ultimatum proper (that's for another reviewer to judge).

Overall Rating

I am anxious to see where all this leads even if it carries over into Jeph Loeb's mini-series. Bendis and Immonen really connect on this issue.