Review: Ultimate Comics Spider-Man #11

Published on June 10th, 2010

The pages of Ultimate Marvel have been rather tumultuous in the recent   past with the events of Ultimatum. While most books have largely moved   on, Ultimate Spider-Man has been keeping the aftermath of Ultimatum a   constant source for storylines by spotlighting the backlash toward   mutants from “normal humans” (would Magneto be offended by that   phrase?). More specifically how “normal humans” are reacting to Kitty   Pryde, a known mutant and former X-Man, going to public school with   their wonderful normal children.

ultimate-spidey11While Kitty Pryde isn’t in issue 11 it does revolve around the fallout   from issues 9 and 10 when armed federal agents came into Kitty’s class   and tried to detain her. Issue 11 starts with Aunt May nicely laying   down the law with Peter, Jonny Storm and Bobby Drake who have been   living with Peter and May for a few issues. May tells them that in light of the events that happened regarding Kitty to put a stop to  costumed hero work for a little while. None of them are very excited   about taking a hero break, except Gwen Stacy who is also living at the   Parker home. Bobby’s response to the new ban on hero work is to get a   job. Peter tells him that they’re always hiring at his job, Burger   Frog, “Because it sucks.” Bobby then becomes Peter’s trainee at Burger   Frog, or as they call them, “Tadpole.” His attitude toward this   situation is best captured when Bobby regretfully says, “I used to be
an X-Man.”

The main plot point of this issue presents itself when Mary Jane shows up telling Peter along with Gwen, who showed up earlier with Jonny, that she has something she needs to talk to them about in private. Mary Jane shows them a video she took of the federal agents showing up in issues 9 and 10 trying to take Kitty away at gunpoint. Being an aspiring journalist and part of the school newscast MJ knows that the video is big time news but she needs advice as to what to do with it since she doesn’t want to further victimize Kitty, so Peter takes her to the Daily Bugle to talk to Ben Urich. Ben agrees that the video is   something news worthy and that they have a fine line to tread to keep from taking advantage of Kitty. He tells Mary Jane that he’ll write a story about the video with Mary Jane as the principal witness to it but not actually show the videtodo as to protect Kitty.

While they’re discussing the story Peter notices J. Jonah Jameson walking by who, to Peter’s surprise, sets off Peter’s spider-sense. Peter follows Jameson  down to the parking garage to investigate. As soon as the elevator  door opens Jameson is standing in front of Peter demanding to know who Peter is and how He knew to follow him. When a confused Peter says  that he used to work for Jameson he lashes out at Peter who quickly
dodges the attack. Jameson wonders how Peter could be so strong, asking if he’s a mutant and then blasting Peter with some type of  electricity from his hand. After checking the unconscious Peter’s ID, Jameson dumps Peter in the trunk of his car and then shape shifts first into a featureless caucasion face (very similar to The Question) then changes to look like Peter. Ladies and gentlemen, may I introduce…Ultimate Chameleon.  The book ends with the imposter joining Mary Jane and Ben Urich back upstairs.

I have been a big fan of Ultimate Comics Spider-Man lately. Brian Michael Bendis just can’t seem to do any wrong in my opinion and David Lafuente’s art, which in the earlier issues didn’t do much for me, has really started to grow on me. I absolutely love Aunt May’s Home For Wayward Superheroes. The whole competing siblings dynamic between Peter, Bobby, Jonny and Gwen (even though Peter and Gwen are dating)   is hilarious. The perfect example was in issue 9 when Jonny tells   Peter (to Peter’s horror) that he was not only making out with, but is
in love with Spider-Woman who is the female clone of Peter.

That said, I feel that this issue was rushed a little. Granted it’s a  setup book for the new story arc about Mary Jane’s news story and what I assume is the Chameleon but the dialogue and the art didn’t feel as   polished as it has in the past few issues.

Overall it was a very enjoyable, funny but appropriately dramatic story. I love what they’re doing with the anti-mutant hysteria. I feel like this is very topical and that this is how people would react to mutants in public school in the real world. Ultimate Chameleon (again,   that’s who I assume he is) is really cool looking and a lot more threatening than the regular Chameleon. Some of the Ultimate villains have been a bit of a let down (Goblins, Venom, Carnage…) but this  looks like it’s going to be really good.

Ian Candish
Ian@ComicImpact.com