Review: Ultimate Spider-Man #155

Published on March 11th, 2011

If you look at the cover of Ultimate Spider-Man #155 you might think that this latest issue would involve Spidey fighting the Sinister Six. Well, you would be wrong, but let’s not focus on a misleading cover. Instead, let’s focus on another great book from Brian Michael Bendis. I can’t help it, I just love his stuff. Even if the book has about as much action as an episode of The Brady Bunch.

ultimatespiderman155This issue opens with Peter Parker getting his butt handed to him by his boss at the burger place. Apparently, if you miss two days of work without calling it’s frowned upon. So, now Parker’s gotta find a new job. On a completely unrelated topic, J. Jonah Jameson calls Peter and requests to meet with him. If you weren’t aware, this universe’s Jameson knows Peter Parker is Spider-Man after they were both kidnapped by the Chameleon. Naturally, Peter is worried about what Jameson wants. For all he knows, Jameson is about to blackmail him or turn him in to the police.

Peter makes his way to the Daily Bugle in a way that only he can and is immediately summoned to Jonah’s office. Peter takes a seat, and even as a reader, the tension makes you uncomfortable. Jameson explains that after their “shared experience,” which left Jameson with a nasty scar on his forehead, he feels that there’s something between the two. He also goes on to say that he owes Spider-Man his life and despite the boatloads of money he could make by outing Peter, he won’t. Keeping the secret isn’t enough though, J.J. wants to give something to Peter. So, he offers him a wish, Peter’s first request is to get his old job at the Daily Bugle back. Jonah doesn’t quite understand why someone with Peter’s superhuman abilities would want to pay his way through college with a cruddy, low paying job. He makes a couple of counter offers and eventually the two settle on Peter giving Jameson exclusive Spider-Man stories in exchange for Peter having some extra flexibility as an employee of the Daily Bugle. The two agree to the terms and Peter leaves for home.

On his way home, Spider-Man witnesses Kitty Pryde wearing her scary hood, taking out some robbers. Spider-Man lends a hand and afterwards pleads with Kitty to talk to him. The two change into their civilian clothes and enjoy a walk to Peter’s house. The two friends are able to put Kitty’s freak-out behind them and catch up on what’s been going on since she disappeared. Peter invites Kitty for dinner and when they open the door, the two are greeted by Peter’s friends and family for a surprise birthday party for him. Everyone is happy to see Kitty again and while they do some catching up with her, Peter and Mary Jane sneak off. M.J. gives Peter a gift from Tony Stark, Peter opens it to find some brand spanking new web-shooters designed by Tony himself. The book ends with Peter confessing that he still loves M.J. right before they kiss.

So, here’s this awesome cover with a bunch of villains and I’m thinking, “Wow! This is gonna be an all-out, action packed, super-villain throw down!” Wrong. Once I started reading the book I got sucked into the story. I think having Jonah in on Peter’s secret is a cool way to go, it’s definitely something we’ve never seen before. And I was really happy to see Kitty Pryde come back. I felt so bad for the character after everything that happened to her and it was really good to get some closure for her. The problem now is with all these things being wrapped up with Kitty, Mary Jane, and Jameson it makes me think that Bendis might actually kill off Spider-Man. They killed off Cyclops and Wolverine, so I could actually see them killing off Spider-Man. I’m mostly confident that he won’t actually die, but in the back of my head there’s some real concern.

Ken Zeider