Ultimate Spider-Man 17 (March 2002)
This issue might be the most content-filled one so far. Bendis has a bunch of scenes in it–he’s got the classroom scene where Gwen comes back and Mary Jane gives Peter a somewhat inexplicable dirty look then Liz Allen goes nuts. But before that scene, he has one establishing Ultimate Kraven. Then there’s a scene with Justin Hammer, then another school scene, then one with Doc Ock attacking Hammer’s press conference.
It’s incredible. Even though all these scenes probably take place over two hours, Bendis really spends time on them (but never too much).
Then he has a Spider-Man scene. A long, funny Spider-Man scene… with action (but no fighting yet).
In a lot of ways, except in terms of the story–it’s good and all, but it’s just setting up material for Bendis to expand later–this issue is the perfect Ultimate Spider-Man issue.
Writer, Brian Michael Bendis; penciller, Mark Bagley; inker, Art Thibert; colorist, Transparency Digital; letterer, Dave Sharpe; editors, Brian Smith and Ralph Macchio; publisher, Marvel Comics.