Ultimate Spider-Man #132

 Posted: 2009


Spider-Man has his hands full in a devastated New York City. Countless demons has escaped Dr. Strange's mystical barriers leaving an exhausted Spidey and a volatile Hulk to defeat them.

Meanwhile, Aunt May is in some trouble of her own, being arrested on suspicion of knowning and aiding the fugitive Spider-Man by the NYPD. Spider-Woman, the clone of Peter Parker, saves Aunt May and the police from certain doom and runs off to look for Peter.

Story Details

Over in Brooklyn Kitty, Mary Jane, Gwen, and Kong overlook the destruction of New York caused by Magneto's quest for vengeance. Kitty hopes that Peter is okay while an angry MJ looks on. Mary Jane punches Kitty across the face, blaming her for sending Peter off to certain danger. Kitty tries to explain that Peter went willingly, as he is a true hero. Mary Jane wants Peter back in the worst way and collapses to the ground as Kitty leaves.

Two months prior, Spider-Man and Dr. Strange converse about the relative safety of holding malevolent demons so close to a major city. Dr. Strange reassures Spider-Man that nothing, short an act of God, could cause his safeguards to fail.

Flashforward to the present and Spider-Man battles on against impossible odds against the escaped demons. The Hulk grows angrier and begins wrecking the surrounding environment. Dr. Strange seemingly appears to Spider-Man and the Hulk. However, Spider-Man suspects it is not the real Dr. Strange.

The faux Dr. Strange casts a magic spell on Hulk causing the gray goliath to see his worst nightmares. Spider-Man tries to intervene but the faux Dr. Strange will have none of it. Spider-Man is engulfed in his own nightmare, images of the Green Goblin, Dr. Octopus, Kraven the Hunter, and Sandman appearing out of thin air.

Spider-Man tries to tel himself that what he is seeing before him is not real. Unfortunately, one of Dr. Octopus's tentacles breaks through and smashes Spider-Man into a nearby building. Meanwhile, the Hulk has his hands full with his own worst fears.

Peter experiences powerful hallucinations but manages to wake up. The faux Dr. Strange boasts about his power over Spider-Man. A new round of nightmarish visions takes hold with Venom, Electro, and the Sandman battering Spider-Man. Spider-Man begins to doubt himself as he gets struck by Daredevil.

Spider-Woman combs the city for Peter and sees the chaos wrought by "Dr. Strange." The Hulk, seemingly beating back the nightmarish visions, attacks Spider-Man's foes. He goes on a rampage and the stunned Spider-Man can only watch. A new explosion rips across the center of the battlefield. The swift arriving Spider-Woman stares in shock. The explosion is also seen by Kitty, Mary Jane, and Aunt May.

General Comments

Was Spider-Man caught in the explosion? I would be severely disappointed if he was for one reason. The Ultimatum event was seen as an attempt to reinvigorate the Ultimate Universe and restire a sense of "anything goes." Several titles in the Ultimate line, most notably Ultimate X-Men and Ultimate Fantastic Four were mired in creative and sales slumps. I commend Marvel for using thisw event to drum up more excitement. However, Ultimate Spider-Man did not need fixing. Peter's apparent death smacks of the worst kind of cheap shock. He wasn't even "killed" by one of his own enemies. That being said, I hope the explosion is a red herring.

I actually enjoyed the issue up until the last few pages. Bendis knows each of the character's voices and uses them to great effect within the chaos of the Ultimatum event. The unnamed (but obvious Dr. Strange antagonist Dormammu) also brought unusual and fresh obstacles for Spider-Man to overcome. Bendis also manages to use Ultimate Hulk in an enjoyable manner minus the issue's cliffhanger.

Bendis and Stuart Immonen have really become a good partnership. Immonen is so good at conveying emotions in panels that Bendis often has to have very little "talky" bits. The action moves along the story without becoming cumbersome or stilted. Special attention should be paid to the MJ-Kitty argument as an example where Bendis and Immonen's strengths compliment each other.

Overall Rating

I was really satisfied with the issue up until the explosion cliffhanger. I'm going into next issue with my hopes up that Peter can survive and smack the Hulk across New York City. However I am not holding my breath so I'll take one web off the final tally.

 Posted: 2009