Ultimate Spider-Man 34 (March 2003)

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Bendis does really well again this issue. Eddie and Peter’s friendship develops naturally, Gwen makes a fine, believable third. But then everything falls apart towards the end. Not bad enough to drag the issue down, but the narrative simply does not work.

Peter’s watching his dad’s tapes and gets so upset about the Venom Project getting sabotaged, he runs off to try the serum on himself. It’s a mess. Bendis doesn’t handle the anger right (or maybe it’s just altogether unbelievable). It’s such a strange turn of events I thought I’d missed something.

The finale, the Venom suit taking Peter over while Gwen and Eddie dance at a concert, is nice. Bagley’s got some excellent visual pacing this issue. It makes up for his weak illustrating of Eddie.

There’s some nice Mary Jane stuff too, but not enough of it.

Bendis writes a good issue, his one weak scene aside.

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