Ultimate Spider-Man 18 (April 2002)

And Bendis is back to his old pacing tricks. This issue zooms past, even if there are some good things about it. Well, not Ultimate Sharon Carter; she’s really lame.

But there’s Spidey getting his ass kicked during his first fight with Doctor Octopus just like in the original (though… back when Lee and Ditko did it, Spidey had gone back and won by the end of the issue). Anyway, it’s a nice callback to the original story.

Then there’s an awesome Peter and Mary Jane scene. And the first mention of Peter taking a karate class, something I don’t think Bendis ever follows through on, but it’s such a nice touch. Ultimate Spider-Man is at its best with these Peter and Mary Jane scenes. They’re what make the book so special.

The issue ends with Peter’s narration returning for a couple pages. I’d forgotten it had been omnipresent.


The Cycle; writer, Brian Michael Bendis; penciller, Mark Bagley; inkers, Art Thibert and Erik Benson; colorist, Transparency Digital; letterer, Dave Sharpe; editors, Brian Smith and Ralph Macchio; publisher, Marvel Comics.

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