Ultimate Spider-Man 4 (February 2001)

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Bendis recovers this issue. Maybe not in terms of pacing (when am I going to get used to “decompressed” narrative again–it’s been way too long since I read mainstream ongoings), but definitely in terms of content.

He kills Uncle Ben right after the speech, right after the “great power, great responsibility” speech. Maybe more importantly, he introduces Peter’s internal dialogue (they aren’t called thought balloons, they’re present tense narration). It goes far in making Peter likable, though his racing after Mary Jane already does some of that work.

Again, problems with the Bagley talking heads, especially during Uncle Ben’s speech. The reaction shots on Peter too, they’re way too artificial, way too static. If it weren’t for the dialogue, the scene would fail.

Oh, and interesting choice on the robber… Peter’s not in costume, he, Peter Parker, is expected to be the hero in that situation, not Spider-Man.

CREDITS

With Great Power; writers, Bill Jemas and Brian Michael Bendis; penciller, Mark Bagley; inkers, Art Thibert and Dan Panosian; colorist, JC; letterers, Richard Starkings and Troy Peteri; editors, Lara Castle and Ralph Macchio; publisher, Marvel Comics.