Bendis must have been going light on the Gwen mentions to save up for this issue. Here we find out Peter’s studies have been even worse since her death–he’s cutting class to web-sling the grief away. This particularly day he runs into the Ultimates–which is a little odd, especially since Bendis tells most of it in summary–and gets a fresh assignment from Jameson.
The best thing about the issue is how Bendis layers in Jameson being pissed at Urich and saddling him with Peter as a sidekick. It’s the only thing subtle in the entire issue.
There’s an uncanny tone once Peter finds out the assignment–interviewing Dr. Strange (whose Ultimate origin is maybe the most inventive of any Ultimate character and it’s just a rip of DC’s eighties stuff). Bagley handles that tone far better than the Ultimates action scenes.
It’s okay, if thoroughly unrewarding.
Strange, Part One; writer, Brian Michael Bendis; penciller, Mark Bagley; inker, Scott Hanna; colorist, Jonathan D. Smith; letterer, Chris Eliopoulos; editors, Nick Lowe and Ralph Macchio; publisher, Marvel Comics.