Ultimate Spider-Man 29 (December 2002)

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I’m usually pretty reserved in any Bagley praise—Bagley hands are one of the more frightening things in comics—but he does give Jonah a great expression here. There’s no dialogue and he and Bendis take most of a page to do it and they make this great moment where the reader can tell what Jonah’s thinking from his expression.

The issue’s incredibly frustrating, but in a good way. Gwen moves in (or comes over for a sleepover while her dad’s away) and Mary gets pissed off. Peter’s confused; plus he’s got a Spider-Man impersonator committing crimes. I can’t remember if it’s Ultimate Mysterio.

So after all the buildup—the fight with Mary Jane, the oddness of having Gwen around—then Peter heads off to fight the impostor.

And gets shot by the cops.

And Bendis ends the issue. It’s exceptionally frustrating, but if it weren’t, it wouldn’t work.

CREDITS

Stolen Identity; writer, Brian Michael Bendis; penciller, Mark Bagley; inker, Art Thibert; colorist, Transparency Digital; letterer, Chris Eliopoulos; editors, C.B. Cebulski, Brian Smith and Ralph Macchio; publisher, Marvel Comics.

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