These are the first two issues under the pen of Ultimate
Spider-Man
scribe Brian Michael Bendis.

General Information

Title: Ultimate X-Men #34 and 35

Author: Brian Michael Bendis

Illustrator: David Finch

Original Publication Date: First published in June and July
2003.

Cover Price: Each issue priced $2.25 US, $3.75 Can

Premise

Wolverine is attacked in his offtime from the X-Men, and he goes
for
help in the closest haven available: Peter Parker’s basement.

High Point

“You owe me eighty dollars.”

Low Point

Mary Jane suddenly looks about 12 years old.

The Scores

The Ultimate Universe has had some interesting interactions
between
Wolverine and Spider-Man. As much as I think Wolverine is
overused,
it doesn’t grate when the writer finds something new to do with
him,
and that’s what Bendis is doing. They play off each other very
well,
with Wolverine acting as an effective, if unwilling, straight man to
Spider-Man’s little quips. The basic “hunted man” plot has been
used,
but we’ve already eliminated the major suspects, so the
perpetrators
will likely be some entity not yet seen in the Ultimate Universe.
The
art also lends an atmosphere that I haven’t yet seen in the
Ultimate
Universe, particulary in the Black Widow’s apartment. (This
could be
because I’m following Ultimates in trade paperbacks at the
moment, so
I’m a few issues behind in that title.) I give the
originality 4 out of 6.

The artwork is excellent. Apart from Mary Jane
suddenly
de-aging, I don’t have any complaints, and I have a lot of praise.
This is a creative team that I have high hopes for. I give it 5 out
of 6.

The story is shaping up well, demonstrating the
superhuman
nature of these characters while still making it clear that their
powers aren’t limitless, all in the context of an interesting puzzle.
I give it 5 out of 6.



The characterization is well done. Wolverine is still
the
same old one-dimensional, mean little man he’s always been,
while
Spider-Man tries to cope with stress through humour. Black
Widow is
shown as very capable in her little moment. There aren’t really
any
other characters in the forefront, apart from the top field agent of
the enemy, whose professional manner comes through clearly.
There’s
not a lot of character development going on yet, but there’s some
excellent definition here. I give it 4 out of 6.

The emotional response this produced started with
the “yet
more Wolverine” let-down, but quickly improved when I saw who
Wolverine was playing off of. Spider-Man never fails to make me
laugh
under the pen of the mighty Bendis, and the storyline has my
interest
peaked. I give it 5 out of 6.

The flow is hampered only in the end of issue 34, at
which
point things come across as though they are happening in very
slow
motion, when the events should be rather sudden. I give it 4 out
of
6.

Overall, it’s a solid start to Brian Michael Bendis’ run
on
the title, and I’m definitely interested in seeing this play out. I
give the first two issues of the “Blockbuster” storyline 5 out of 6.

In total, Ultimate X-Men #34 and 35 receive 32 out
of 42.