The end of the Irresponsible story arc, a few weeks
late due to problems on the supply end.

General Information

Title: Ultimate Spider-Man #45

Author: Brian Michael Bendis

Illustrator: Mark Bagley

Original Publication Date: Mid-August 2003. (There was ann
ordering
error at my local shop, so the review is late.)

Cover Price: $2.25 US, $3.75 Can

Premise

In an epilogue to the Irresponsible story arc, Aunt
May
visits a therapist.

High Point

Bendis proves once again that Aunt May should be more than a
walking
medical condition.

Low Point

The sudden appearance of the Robin Hood book. It
just felt
like too convenient a cop-out to the cliffhanger.

The Scores

I’ve never seen another comic where a character spends an
entire issue
at a therapist. (Spider-Man visited one once, but it was all a
set-up
by Mysterio. This was the real deal.) In this case, the entire issue
is about a secondary character as well. That’s
original
enough for a 5 out of 6.

The artwork is Mark Bagley. He’s doing great work,
particularly given the amount of subtle emotion that had to come
through in this issue. I give it 5 out of 6.

The story references past issues, but it can stand on
its own
well enough. It’s entertaining in its own right, giving us
considerable insight into Aunt May and her motivations. Bendis
knows
his characters and how to use them. There’s very little plot, but
the
pieces revealed have a natural, significant, and entertaining flow.
I
give it 4 out of 6.



This issue is all about characterization. We learn
more
about Aunt May in these pages than Stan Lee gave us in his
entire run
on Amazing Spider-Man. I give it 6 out of 6.

The emotional response this produced was a mixture
of
interest and compassion for her speech, and anticipation for the
day
when her conscious mind realizes what her subconscious mind
seems to
have already figured out. I give it 5 out of 6.

The flow was very well done, but given the nature of
the
issue, that just means that Bendis found natural ways to transition
the various bits of conversation together. This is not an easy
task,
so I’ll award the issue 5 out of 6.

Overall, it’s another good addition to an excellent run
on
the title. I give it 5 out of 6.

In total, Ultimate Spider-Man #45 receives 35 out of
42.

Additional Notes and Comments

Ultimate Spider-Man #46 ships next week, and it’s a
prologue
to the Ultimate Six miniseries that launches the week
after.
Next up: Eternal #4.