Ultimate Spider-Man #97 Review

I've written often that I think a poor writing idea is to build a story around a "twist," as you are placing way too much of your story upon that twist being good, and if it isn't, then you're basically screwed.

There is a "big twist" in this issue of Ultimate Spider-Man, and it's one that anyone could see from ten miles away, with one eye closed.

Luckily, though, Brian Michael Bendis does not allow said twist to become the highlight of the issue, and as a result of this, the issue still manages to be a good one.

The addition of John Dell to the comic book has been a big plus, as Dell really makes Mark Bagley's art look nice. However, Dell splits time in this issue with Jon Sibal, whose style I do not think goes well with Bagley's at all (then again, I openly admit that, since he is splitting time, it very well may have been a, "Hey, Jon, could you help us out here? Ink these pages in an hour").

This issue, as with all good issue of Ultimate Spider-Man, manages to find a nice balance between characterization and action. In addition, it was nice to see Peter and Mary Jane have normal conversations again. Bendis does a really job with the dialogue between Peter and Mary Jane in this issue. However, he does an equally good job with the dialogue between Peter and Kitty Pryde. I especially like how well he managed to convey Kitty's suspicions about WHY Peter wanted to become involved with her and why he DIDN'T want to be involved with Mary Jane. You can almost see the gears turning. It is handled quite well. You sympathize with both Peter AND Kitty.

The fight scene is handled well, as Spider-Man fights the Scorpion at the mall, and we can really see how much damage superhero fights do (it almost made me think of Civil War...hehe).

The twist-that-isn't-really-a-twist-especially-if-you-read-the-name-of-the-arc is fine, and the end of the comic has a real out of nowhere cliffhanger that was interesting.

I think this was a good comic with nice dialogue, good art (except the rushed stuff), fine action and interesting character interactions.

I would recommend it without reservations (even WITH the silly "big twist").

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