Ultimate Spider-Man 53 (April 2004)

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Bendis misses just about every chance he’s got this time. It’s not a bad issue, surprisingly good, actually, but he misses all the great chances. He doesn’t, for instance, let Peter beat the shit out of Mary Jane’s dad. It’d be a hard scene to do, but I’ll bet Bendis could handle it.

Or when Peter–in costume–rescues Black Cat. She’s in her civilian identity and it could have been a strong encounter. But Bendis doesn’t. He abbreviates it. This arc, had Bendis cut out half the useless action scene a couple issues ago and lengthened the finish here, would have been really strong.

And the Mary Jane stuff needed to be introduced earlier since it turned out so important. Bendis arcs might be trade-friendly, but he doesn’t write enough for the arc. He doesn’t put enough thought into what he wants to get done.

Still, good issue.