Wednesday, 18 January 2012

Review: Ultimate Spider-Man #6

Ultimate Spider-Man #6 By Bendis / Samnee

In many respects the hard part is over for Brian Michael Bendis. Following Peter Parker's high profile death and subsequent replacement, expectations were always going to be meteoric for the experienced writer, yet they were generally met with aplomb in the series' impressive opening arc. With the business of establishing Miles as a character largely over and done with, it seems that Bendis can now begin crafting the meaty tales that he is so famous for.

One of the biggest complaints about Ultimate Spider-Man's opening few issues was its slow pace and noticeably decompressed style. Although it didn't particularly bother me, Bendis has amped the pace of his storytelling up a few notches with this issue. Although it is hardly a return to the breakneck pacing of the 1960's, there is a lot of plot packed into this issue without it ever coming across as too cramped. Miles receives a pleasing amount of development, and his increasingly large supporting cast are also utilised well. It is great to see Jonah Jameson and the Daily Bugle returning too - I have always found his Ultimate iteration a  brilliant character and am curious to see how he interacts with the new Spider-Man.

Chris Samnee temporarily takes over art duties from Sara Pichelli and does a solid job. Although his work lacks the definition and finesse of Pichelli's, he boasts a distinctive and quirky style that works well with the tone of the book. Perhaps the most pleasing thing about his artwork was the way that he shifted seamlessly between gritty and light hearted scenes, showcasing an impressive level of artistic versatility.

This issue didn't miss a beat. Action, character development and humour, with the return of some older characters and the introduction of an intruguing new villain. This story may not boast the levels of hype that were attached to the series in its earlier months, but is perhaps all the better for it.


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