Bendis writes a story arc that seems to be inspired
by and timed to coincide with this summer’s sequel.

General Information

Title: Ultimate Spider-Man: Hollywood (issues
54-59)

Author: Brian Michael Bendis

Illustrator(s): Mark Bagley and Matt Thibert

Original Publication Date: This story arc was
published over the past
few months, and will be released in trade paperback
soon. (Amazon.com
says July, but I don’t see it in the solicitations,
although I might
have missed it.)

ISBN: 0-7851-1402-5

Cover Price: $12.99 US

Buy from: Amazon.com
or Amazon.ca

Premise

Spider-Man is being made into a movie, directed by
Sam Raimi and
starring Tobey Maguire. Dr. Octopus isn’t happy with
his ex-wife
selling the rights to his life story, so he decides
to break out of
jail and intervene.

High Point

The second half of the last issue in the arc. Not
only do we get some
great character interaction in Peter’s bedroom with
Peter, MJ, and
Gwen (get your minds out of the gutters, boys; it’s
not that kind of
interaction), but we get to see a very wise decision
from a character
who spends most of his time in another title.

Low Point

The premise seems very forced, as if some studio head
was trying to
cash in on some other event in the entertainment
industry. (Gee, I
wonder what that could be?)

The Scores

This felt surprisingly original considering
the story’s
likely origin. We got some good banter, and the
fight wasn’t much
different from the fights we’ve seen before, but
there was enough
going on in Peter’s personal life that it felt like
everything was
moving along. I give it 4 out of 6.

The artwork is, well, the artwork we’ve seen
in the first 53
issues. I give it 5 out of 6.

The story is well assembled. I’d love to
know what Otto’s
full plans were, and why the plane was headed where
it was headed.
(This may have something to do with Otto’s use of the
phrase “my first
wife” in Ultimate Six.) I think we’re going
to see something
very interesting come out of this in the future.
Those who have read
it know about the excellent work done with Gwen’s
character, too.
Kong’s scenes were fun, bringing us back to school
with Peter for the
first time in a while. I give it 5 out of 6.



The characterization is strong, as Bendis
usually writes it.
Gwen and Mary Jane shine in particular. I give it 6
out of 6.

The emotional response was excellent. This
is a very
entertaining story, and a good place to pick back up
if you’re one of
the people who left the title during the lackluster
“Cats and Kings”
story arc. I give it 6 out of 6.

The flow was excellent, keeping up an
excellent pace, with
cliffhangers at the end of the issues that feel
natural in placement
when it’s read as a story. This is a tricky piece of
writing, and
it’s done well. I give it 5 out of 6.

Overall, it’s a return to greatness
following “Cats and
Kings” and “Ultimate Six.” It gives me hope for the
“Carnage” arc
that launches this week. I give it 5 out of 6.

In total, Ultimate Spider-Man: Hollywood
receives 36 out of 42.