Comic Review – “Ultimate Spider-Man Vol. 11: Carnage”

We’ve finally met Ultimate Ben Reilly. He might be a
clone, but not of Peter Parker.

General Information

Title: Ultimate Spider-Man Vol. 11: Carnage

Author: Brian Michael Bendis

Illustrator(s): Mark Bagley

Original Publication Date: Issues 60-65 were
published over the summer
of 2004, with the trade paperback collection of them
released on
Wednesday, November 3, 2004.

ISBN: 0785114033

Cover Price: $12.99 US

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Past comic reviews can be found here.


Peter allows Curt Connors to experiment with his
blood sample, and the
Ultimate version of Carnage is born, complete with a
clone saga to
surround it.

High Point

The ambiguity in the flashback. Who was the male who
really got out in
one piece?

Low Point

It should have been the other female. It’s not that
I have anything
against that character, but if the Ultimate line
really wants to step
out from under the shadow of the main universe,
they’ll have to do
something that means they can’t just retell old
stories anymore. What
could drive the continuities apart more than that?

The Scores

On one hand, the originality suffers from
doing yet another
update of an old story rather than something
completely new. On the
other hand, this takes a handful of old stories,
stirs them up, and
produces something far more distinct than your
average remake. Only
the most vague details are being repeated. I give it
4 out of 6.

The artwork is still Bagley, and still of
the same quality
he’s been giving in the entire run on the title. I
give it 5 out of

The story fits together well, and really
builds off the
existing Ultimate continuity. The Low Point really
gets in the way of
my enjoyment, though. I give it 4 out of 6.

The characterization is still well done,
particularly in the
mall and detention scenes. This is definitely
Bendis’ strongest suit.
My only complaint is that Carnage wasn’t a character
in any sense of
the word. The mindless killing machines are the most
boring villains
out there, because outfighting them is the only way
to beat them.
There’s no other options. Choosing to make it that
type of character
limits the story and any subsequent stories that may
use it. I give
it 4 out of 6.

The emotional response has some high points,
and some boredom
and distaste. I’m starting to wonder if perhaps
Bendis should write
one or two fewer comics each month, and try to focus
on them a little
more. His writing is still better than many (in most
cases; I’ll
review his Avengers stuff in a couple of
weeks) but it’s not
as good as it was. I give it 4 out of 6.

The flow is very smooth. Bendis and Bagley
can still keep it
all together. I give it 5 out of 6.

Overall, it’s a big piece of the picture for
where this title
is going, but other than that Low Point event, it’s
not yet left a
mark. (There could be a follow up, given Ultimate
Ben Reilly’s last
scene.) It shouldn’t need a redeeming follow up,
though. I give it 4
out of 6.

In total, Ultimate Spider-Man Vol. 11:
receives 30
out of 42.