I’m sick and tired of reading spoilers for issues online months
before I read them in trade paperbacks, so I’m slowly shifting
everything into the monthly issues. I’m now caught up on this
title, and will be caught up on Ultimate X-Men at the end of July
(when Return of the King ships.) This means that
Bureau 42 will have more frequent and more current comic
reviews.

General Information

Title: Ultimate Spider-Man #40, 41, 42

Author: Brian Michael Bendis

Illustrator(s): Mark Bagley and Art Thiebert

Original Publication Date: May and June 2003

Cover Price: $2.25 US, $3.75 Canada each

Premise

While recovering from his battle with Venom, Spider-Man meets
a
Latverian exchange student who can blow things up with a
thought. The
guy has serious social problems.

These three issues are the first three in a six-part storyline that
continues through July and August.

High Point

The party invitation.

Low Point

Peter didn’t bring the guy back to the cops right away?

The Scores

This is an original villain, and one who really seems
to
belong in Spider-Man’s world. There is no corresponding
character in
the regular Marvel Universe. (At least, not yet.) Add to this
some
new behaviour from Flash Thompson, and it fells bright and new.
I
give it 5 out of 6.

The artwork is the same style from Bagley that we’ve
had all
along, and it’s still worth 5 out of 6.

The story is only the first half of a story, but it’s
coming
along nicely. It’s an interesting character who fits quite easily
into Peter Parker’s life. It’s got me hooked already. I give it 4
out of 6.



The characterization develops a bit for Mary Jane
and Gwen
Stacy. It looks like we’re going to see something new from Flash
Thompson, too. Geldoff, the new character, has more depth to
him than
most Spider-villains, as well. Peter’s the only one who doesn’t
head
into new territory, but he’s a pretty major character. I give it 4
out of 6.

The emotional response this produced was about as
wide and
varied as Bendis wanted it to be. Peter, Gwen and Mary Jane
are three
very different characters, but they’re all easy to identify with. I
give it 4 out of 6.

The flow is smooth and well-paced, picking up the
action when
the story demands it. I give it 5 out of 6.

Overall, it’s a great start to a new story arc in my
current
favourite title. I give it 5 out of 6.

In total, Ultimate Spider-Man issues 40, 41, and 42
receive
32 out of 42.

Additional Notes and Comments

Issue 43 ships on July 2.