Brian Michael Bendis and Mark Bagley are continuing to deliver.
Title: Ultimate Spider-Man Vol. 4: Legacy
Author: Brian Michael Bendis
Illustrator(s): Mark Bagley
Original Publication Date: 2002
Cover Price: $14.99US, $24.00 Can
Buy from: Amazon.com
The Issues: The back cover seems to have a typo; this contains issues
22-27 of Ultimate Spider-Man, not just 22-26.
The Green Goblin returns, in a much more articulate form.
The meeting with Dr. Bradley and her guest.
I like the trade paperback format because you get the entire story at
once. In this case, being able to turn the page and keep going
without a month of anticipation after the end of chapter 25 is almost
How original can a collection be when it repeats a story told
20 years ago in Amazing Spider-Man? Well, I see the common
details, but it really doesn’t feel the same as a reader. I give it 4
out of 6. (Volume 7 should do very well here; that one will have the
first villain unique to the Ultimate Spider-Man world.)
The artwork is consistent with the first three volumes; it
looks great, although some faces occasionally go off-model. I give it
5 out of 6.
The story is exceptionally well told. The pacing is there,
the human interaction is there, the country’s responses to these
situations are there, and the plot is interesting on its own.
Everything came together in a way that had my interest locked until
the end of the book. I’ll be buying these volumes for at least as
long as Brian Michael Bendis stays on the title, and he just signed a
contract that guarantees he’ll have 18 issues of it out next year. I
give it 6 out of 6.
The characterization was excellent. We’ve got the cast of
characters, and we can tell them apart based solely on their reactions
to the given situations. Better yet, we can predict their reactions
to the situations, but that does detract from seeing that behaviour
when it happens. Bendis and Bagley have made them incredibly familiar
without making them boring. I give it 6 out of 6.
The emotional response is just what it should be; I’m hooked
on page one, and I want more when I reach the last page. My reactions
everywhere in between are exactly what Bendis wanted, whether that was
laughter, suspense, or intruigue. I give it 6 out of 6.
The flow was excellent in all but the first scene, breaking
up the petty crime. The normal Spider-Man in-battle jibes are there,
and they take more time than the action depicts, as usual. I was
laughing through the whole thing, but the flow on those two pages is
botched. Fortunately, that’s only two pages out of over 150. I give
it 5 out of 6.
Overall, this is another volume of typical quality in my
favourite comic series. I give it 6 out of 6.
In total, Ultimate Spider-Man Vol. 4: Legacy receives 38 out
The next volume, Ultimate Spider-Man Vol. 5: Public Scrutiny,
will be out in February. Volume 6 will have the introduction of
Ultimate Venom, collecting the storyline that started in issue 33 last
month and ends in March. The next storyline will include Ultimate
Spider-Man’s first original villain. Brian Michael Bendis has said
that he’s spent of a lot of time working on the villain, and that he’s
proud of him/her/it, but that’s all he’s said (that I’ve seen; I
haven’t looked very hard, since I don’t like spoilers.)