It’s a talking heads book and not a bad one at all. First Peter talks to Nick Fury (either Nick lies to him or Ultimate Origins is a retcon),then he talks to Eddie’s roommate, then he talks to Curt Connors.
Peter’s unhappiness and indecision doesn’t make much sense until you remember he’s just a teenager. Bendis takes the issue to drive home that point.
In the finale, in what shouldn’t be a good moment, Peter is calling out to an unseen figure–presumably Venom–offering to help. The naïveté of Peter’s offer at first seems contrived, but it’s Bendis making it clear how–even with Bagley’s somewhat cartoonish art–Peter’s a real kid.
While the issue drags during some of the dialogue and Bagley doesn’t make it visual enough, the ending really sells it. In fact, Bendis’s ending makes the whole Venom arc seem better and far more cohesive.
It’s a lackluster finish. The issue reminds of the big fight issue with the Green Goblin, only with–in addition to Peter’s self-depreciating narration–Peter’s dad narrating it from a video tape journal.
Now, the video tape journal thing was big in the eighties. It’s a perfect device for a movie or TV show; I’m not sure why Bendis used it, instead of an actual journal (which seems more likely) here.
It does give a “voice” to the issue. Venom is a monster, not a villain. Eddie occasionally pops up, says something dumb, Peter says something quippy and the fight progresses. The narration grounds it.
As usual for Ultimate Spider-Man, even when Bendis isn’t doing anything original, he maintains a certain likability. He’s always believable, plot-wise, in the context of the series and Peter remains an appealing protagonist.
Just wish it had more meat on its bones.