Now that our DNS has been fixed, we can get back to
delivering content. So, here’s the third review of
an Ultimate Spider-Man trade paperback. The
review of the fourth will, unfortunately, have to
wait until this fall when they finally publish the
thing. Yeah, I know it’ll include the issues that are
coming out now, and I could buy them, but the ads in
the middle of comics bug me. I know they have to put
them there, but they’re worse than commercials on TV.

General Information

Title: Ultimate Spider-Man Vol. 3: Double Trouble

Credited To: Brian Michael Bendis, Mark Bagley, and
Art Thibert

Original Publication Date: June 2002 reprint of
material originally
published in 2001 and 2002.

ISBN: 0-7851-0879-3

Cover Price: $17.95 US, $28.75 Can

Issues Reproduced: Ultimate Spider-Man #14-21

Buy from: Amazon.com or Amazon.ca

Premise

Kraven the Hunter and Doctor Octopus get the Ultimate
Treatment.

High Point

The introduction of Gwen Stacy.

Low Point

Whose brilliant idea was it to only include some of
the cover art, and
to include it out of order? I know some pages need
shuffled for the
sake of the two page layouts, so there may not be
room for all the
cover art in the body, but the least they could do is
make sure the
cover they reproduce matches the issue it’s opening.

The Scores

There are some very original ideas here.
The classic love
triangle is slowly shaping up. Aunt May once again
proves that she is
capable of raising a child. A fight between an
inexperienced but
powerful hero and a showbiz phony goes exactly as it
should go. Doc
Ock is particularly well done. I haven’t seen a
character like this
Gwen Stacy since Speedball had his own title. I give
it 5 out of 6.

The artwork is still improving. Either
that, or I’m getting
used to the thin body and ultra-large head on the
character. Either
way, the art is still very good. 5 out of 6.

The story is excellent. The first three
“Essential
Spider-Man” books have a few instances of Spider-Man
facing multiple
enemies, but none of them seemed as natural as this
one. It’s also
nice to see Spider-Man taking care of random street
crime past his
origin story. I give it 5 out of 6.



The characterization was also excellent, as
it has been in
the first two books. Doc Ock is actually motivated,
and not
completely evil. The use of the Kraven character was
much, much
better than I thought it would be based on his first
page in the
book. As I said above, Aunt May is like an actual
parent, not the
dependant she used to be. Gwen Stacy is the kind of
character that I
haven’t seen in comics before, even if the character
type is common in
other media. I give it 5 out of 6.

The emotional response wasn’t up to par with
the second
volume. It held my interest, but didn’t really
resonate until the
final two issues in the eight issue set. I give it 3
out of 6.

The flow is again slipping into the old
problems with far too
much dialogue in the battle scenes. Fortunately, the
battle scenes
are used sparingly, which means the flow isn’t as
irritating, and the
battles themselves feel more like an event and a
culmination of what’s
come before them. I give it 4 out of 6.

Overall, it’s better than volume one, but
not as good as
volume two. That means that all three volumes so far
have received 6
out of 6 in this category.

In total, I give Ultimate Spider-Man Vol. 3:
Double Trouble
33
out of 42.