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Saturday, September 08, 2012

"CAPTAIN AMERICA IS A JERK!"- A Review of Ultimate Comics Spider-Man # 14 By Counter Monkey Steve

Now that I have your attention, let me explain.

In his interactions with Spider-Man in the Ultimate Marvel Universe, Captain America has been less than kind. Peter Parker was a great hero before the Ultimate version of the Avengers, The Ultimates, formed and before Captain America was defrosted after 60 years frozen in a block of ice. He had proven himself to be worthy of the respect of his peers, sacrificing the things that would make him happy and dedicating himself to others. This wasn't seen as enough by certain government operatives. I'm looking at you, Nick Fury.

After collateral damage built up in each of Peter's battles against the latest baddies that would appear to make his life a living pain in the tuckus, Nick Fury believed that a training program was necessary for teenage titan of spider-specific strength. Iron Man was the first hero to begin training Peter, and Tony Stark found Peter to be an equal in intelligence but his superior in sheer heroism. When Steve Rogers took his turn to mentor Peter, he found him lacking and suggested that he turn in his mask. Little did Cap know, however, that Spider-Man would soon prevent Frank Castle, the Punisher, from putting a bullet through his kneecap. In order to save Captain America, Spider-Man jumped in front of the bullet and found himself with a serious stomach leak. This injury eventually caused Peter to bleed out after his final battle with Norman Osborn, the Green Goblin, and pass into the next life. At the funeral, Steve Rogers took responsibility for Peter's demise and was rebuffed with a loud slap across the face by Aunt May, the woman who raised Peter Parker as her own son. Cap went into a self-imposed exile shortly after.

When the nation needed him most, Steve Rogers returned and found that Miles Morales had taken up the mantle left by Peter Parker and had become the new Spider-Man. # 13 of Ultimate Comics Spider-Man ends with Miles meeting Aunt May and Gwen Stacy, with Cap following him and declaring that he will give up his life as Spider-Man!

Issue# 14 begins with Gwen shouting the line, "CAPTAIN AMERICA IS A JERK!", a tribute to Kitty Pryde's utterance of a similar phrase to Charles Xavier in the regular Marvel Universe. Nick Fury has already given Miles his blessing, and Captain America was acting on his own feelings about someone else running around as Spider-Man. He insists that Miles cease and desist or face jail time. He then rushes off to deal with an escaped convict.

Aunt May and Gwen, and a just having arrived Mary Jane Watson give Miles their blessing and an essential Spider-Man tool, urging him to keep up the fight and prove himself to Captain America. Needless to say, Miles does by issue's end. My "spoilers" end there.

What can I say about this series that hasn't already been said? Brian Michael Bendis has been writing Ultimate Spider-Man since its creation, and neither he nor I see any end in sight. He writes this book with a fantastic talent for making each character real. The dialogue rings true for each character in the book, and you feel like you're Uatu the Watcher while reading this series. Just not in a creepy way. The latest artist to attach himself to the book is David Marquez. It's not an easy task to follow up Sara Pichelli on a book like Ultimate Comics Spider-Man. Sara has left temporarily to work on Spider-Men, the crossover book for Ultimate Comics Spider-Man and the Amazing Spider-Man. Terrific stuff. Buy now! David's facial expressions are great, and they evoke a very real emotion from the readers. You feel as though Captain America is berating you instead of Miles. You feel your heart lift as Aunt May gives Miles the gift of SPOILERS! Everything just works, and it wouldn't mean anything without the help of David's colorist Justin Ponsor. David's been promoted to co-artist on the title and will do rotating arcs with Ms. Pichelli when she returns.

This comic is fantastic, and it's a shame that there aren't more people attached to it. The Ultimate Universe may not matter in the grander scheme of things with the Marvel Universe, but everything that happens does affect that particular universe. When a character dies in the universe, they are apparently dead. No deus ex machina can bring them back. That's just one reason why each story matters in the Ultimate Universe. I strongly urge anyone looking for a fun read each month try the long running wonder that is Ultimate Comics Spider-Man.

Ultimate Comics Spider-Man # 14
Released: September 5, 2012-AVAILABLE NOW!
Writing: 9.5/10
Art: 8.5/10
Coloring: 9.0/10

Overall Rating: 9.0/10 AMAZING!

Tell me what you think of my review in the comments section, please. Tell me if you disagree. Communication is key, and I love a good dialogue or debate.! Any feedback is good feedback!
Until next time, I'm Counter Monkey Steve, your Animeniac of the Internet.

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At 9/08/2012 9:14 AM, Blogger Coolguy 2004 said...

Excellent review Steve. My favorite part was, "In order to save Captain America, Spider-Man jumped in front of the bullet and found himself with a serious stomach leak." Informative, fun and clean. I am curious though what books might rate a 1 or a 5 or 7. Will you be reviewing books that are not any good? Just curious. Also maybe you could rate 3 or 4 books along with your main review and just say a sentence and then grade it.


At 9/09/2012 12:39 PM, Blogger Animeniac Ellis said...

I can definitely do that, but I do not want to discount the quality of any given book. Even if I don't enjoy the comic myself, the saying goes: every book is someone's favorite. That's why different series end up getting published.

If I do write bullet point reviews, I will pick books that are still of good quality but do not reach the bottom of my pull list for the week.

The bottom of my pull list is usually where a comic wants to be. "Save the best for last."

Thank you for appreciating my review.


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