Ultimate Spider-Man 39 (June 2003)

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It’s a talking heads book and not a bad one at all. First Peter talks to Nick Fury (either Nick lies to him or Ultimate Origins is a retcon),then he talks to Eddie’s roommate, then he talks to Curt Connors.

Peter’s unhappiness and indecision doesn’t make much sense until you remember he’s just a teenager. Bendis takes the issue to drive home that point.

In the finale, in what shouldn’t be a good moment, Peter is calling out to an unseen figure–presumably Venom–offering to help. The naïveté of Peter’s offer at first seems contrived, but it’s Bendis making it clear how–even with Bagley’s somewhat cartoonish art–Peter’s a real kid.

While the issue drags during some of the dialogue and Bagley doesn’t make it visual enough, the ending really sells it. In fact, Bendis’s ending makes the whole Venom arc seem better and far more cohesive.

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