Ultimate Spider-Man 44 (October 2003)

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Bendis opens with a lot of action–resolving the previous issue’s falling out of a plane cliffhanger–but Bagley does a couple double page spreads and it flops. It’s not tense, it’s not exciting. And it seems perfunctory. This issue isn’t about action, it’s about Peter meeting the X-Men.

On those lines, Peter hanging out at the X-Mansion while May freaks out about him sneaking out of school, it works pretty well. Bendis tries to hard on the science talk between the Beast and Professor X, but he does a good job showing Peter vacationing into the world of professional superheroes. Or whatever the Ultimate X-Men are supposed to be.

It’s so enjoyable, in fact, one doesn’t realize Bendis hasn’t really done anything the entire issue until the finish, which has a great cliffhanger.

Bendis is sometimes so good, he makes the reader forget all his tricks.

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