I know that Brian Michael Bendis likely does not look at Ultimate Spider-Man #133 as the actual “last” issue of Ultimate Spider-Man, as he does have the two-part “Requiem” mini-series to follow. In addition, since the book is relaunching soon, he might also not see the end of Volume 1 as an ending at all.
But if you’re like most people, you see the last issue of Ultimate Spider-Man Volume 1 as a last issue, and boy, what an awful ending to a good series.
The issue itself really was not a bad issue. It was a silent issue, which does two things – 1. It allowed Bendis to show off that he can write interesting stories without the use of dialogue and 2. It allowed the amazing Stuart Immonen to show off how awesome he is at drawing comic books (in what will be his last regular issue of the title).
I liked it, as far as a quality writer and a quality artist getting together to do a quality work with what they were given to work with.
The travesty, though, was what they were given to work with.
I’m sure I don’t have to tell you that Ultimatum has not exactly been going well, when it comes to people looking at it critically. It has been a commercial success, though, and really, it might very well be just the kick in the pants that the Ultimate line needed – a reason to totally revamp the line and make it a lot more than just “Slightly different versions of the regular Marvel Universe,” which Ultimate Fantastic Four and Ultimate X-Men, in particular, were sure beginning to look like.
But like many, many other stories that were designed just to achieve a new status quo, the actual story itself has been slightly less than sub-optimal.
Which is fair enough, if a series is going to be bad, then fine, it’s bad. Let it go over there in its corner and be bad. It should be no skin off our backs if some random comic is bad. We just don’t have to read it, right?
However, here, rather than just having a bad series, said bad series is also helping to bring down the best series the Ultimate Universe has, Ultimate Spider-Man!
I can’t help but look at Ultimate Spider-Man #133, an issue whose biggest plot point happened not in the pages of Ultimate Spider-Man, but in Ultimatum #4 (the “death” of Peter Parker), and see a book that is practically the antithesis to what Ultimate Spider-Man was created to be a relief from!
What we have here is a final issue that demands that you follow continuity (or else you’d be lost, plot-wise) and where the LAST ISSUE of the series does not even stand on its own, plot-wise.
I won’t even get into the fact that the last couple of issues or so of Ultimate Spider-Man have been delayed for basically the first significant stretch in the book’s history (it’s had short printer delays before, I believe) and not because the book was not ready (as Stuart Immonen is not just an amazing artist, he’s also an amazingly fast artist), but because it had to slow down to wait for Ultimatum to ship (as you can’t ship an issue like Ultimate Spider-Man #133, where people react to Peter Parker’s “death” when the issue where Peter Parker “dies” has not shipped yet).
So the reward for the fans who have followed 133 issues of Ultimate Spider-Man is to get four issues of Bendis and Immonen reacting to the events of some OTHER comic, where the “death” of the MAIN CHARACTER in the title takes place!!
What a ridiculously awful way for this series to finish.
At least it looked pretty…
And I’m sure Ultimate Spider-Man: Requiem will be good, and I’m looking forward to Volume 2!
But boy, this was not a good week for Ultimate Spider-Man fans…
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