Ultimate Spider-Man #71

 Posted: 2005
 Staff: Peter Kroon (E-Mail)


While on an assignment to interview supposed mystic Dr. Stephen Strange with Daily Bugle reporter Ben Urich, young Peter Parker suddenly finds himself living a nightmare.

Story Details

Dr. Stephen Strange is coming to. The ceiling window is broken and Spider-Man is unconscious on the floor. Strange frees his servant Wong from some webbing and Wong then removes Spider-Man's mask. He asks Stephen what he remembers. It turns out, when he began his meditation, he forgot his astral defense spells. Thus opening the astral plane dimensional doorways. One of the spirits came through and possessed Spider-Man.

While Dr. Strange is looking for his dad's book, Spider-Man is having a very scary nightmare. I'll spare you guys (and girls) the details, but the theme is death. It seems that everybody around Spider-Man dies. And it is implied that it's because of him.

Dr. Strange has found the book and is looking for the right spell. The night mare goes one and we see JJJ, Robbie and Ben betting on who'll die first, Aunt May or Mary Jane. A spiderslayer pops up and then Dr. Strange is there. After using some spells, the demon is send back. Spider-Man wakes up. Stephen casts a memory spell and mentions that he might have a sense of déja vu for a while. Still frightened, Spidey jumps out the window.

Back home, he's all curled up, sitting in the basement. Images of Aunt May, being shot and Mary Jane, trying to kill him dressed as Elektra haunt his mind. MJ knocks on the door, Peter doesn't open the door. MJ says " But tonight was our fancy date..."

General Comments

This issue picks up where the last one ended, Spidey falling through the ceiling window. All makes sense, and the fancy date is real, the fight with the Ultimates (from last issue) was real. All the odd stuff was just " a sense of déja vu" . OK, having said that, what else can I say? Peter is having a hard time. It's his nightmare. It's about his fears, other than that nothing really happens.

Sure, we learn what young Peter Parker is afraid of, but isn't this a wee bit too much? He's only a kid, is it really necessary to put him through that much misery? Please, let him grow up, and get his own place, so he can have rent problems. What he has to go through right now, well.... I believe it would damage the mind of a kid his age. And if it does not do some damage to Peter, well, good for him, but bad for the believability of this story.

Overall Rating

Again, just 2.5 webs. This is a story I can do without. Why? First, I do not like stories that involve mystic arts. Spider-Man is not a character that should be involved in mystic arts. Second, with this story, Bendis destroyed the concept of the " fancy date" . It would have been very cool to have them actually go on a fancy date and have something happen during that date (and I am not talkign about a fly in the soup). Now all we have is about 2 issues worth of flashback, and some of it not even real. If this story really had to be told, why not tell in just 1 issue? Right now, it's just a nightmare (pun intended!).

 Posted: 2005
 Staff: Peter Kroon (E-Mail)