Saturday, October 07, 2006

24 Hour Comics Reviewing Day, Hour Ten: Ultimate Spider-Man #100

Ultimate Spider-Man #100ULTIMATE SPIDER-MAN #100: This comic is not fun. I'm gonna be blunt: I got more joy and thrills out of the reprint of Amazing Spider-Man #87 in that Stan Lee comic than I did in this ultimate-sized 100th issue of Ultimate Spider-Man, and I genuinely enjoy and like USM. I don't often review the series here in Comics Oughta Be Fun because the swift-to-trade publishing programming means I can save some of my hard-earned dimes by "waiting for the trade." I actually do like the modern teen Spidey and his heroic and romantic problems, and I've peeked in on the last few issues of this storyline enough to know that this is a much better Clone Saga than the original, but this one-hundredth issue was nothing more than a big disappointment and a bit of a sour taste to me. It read so swiftly (to be honest, many decompressed Ultimates do read pretty fast) that I didn't feel I got my money's worth. More important, it didn't wrap up the story. I know I'm spoiled by the classic idea that an anniversary issue finishes off a storyline, but it's seldom I get to the end of a comic and say "that's it?" as I did here. I didn't care for the portrayal of Aunt May as a fed-up, venomous "had enough" personality who would toss out Peter with a scream. And most of all, I didn't like that in his own hundredth issue, Spider-Man is reduced to doing nothing but talking and reacting. Where's the fight? Where's the action? Where's a Spider-Man who battles his problems instead of sniveling about them? Not here, that's for sure. He might show up in the next issue or the one after that, but I don't know if I'll be pickin' that issue up. The issue's padded with sketchbooks, history, and a pointless four page preview of an X-Men book that has already shipped. What I thought was gonna be a fun issue in a generally entertaining series really disappointed me. It'll read a lot better in the trade, sure. But there's nothin' classic about this issue on its own.

1 comment:

Mike Haseloff said...

I personally struggle to identify an issue of Ultimate Spider-man that hasn't been a disappointment.

I think the anniversary issues in particular seem to be a disappointment. I don't know if that's because it's the same content stretched further, or if I just really don't like the overall formula.

For me, each issue seems to promise so much, and then feels like so much a slim fry taken from a box -- but even when you get the box full, it's not a meal.

Venom and Ultimate Six really nailed the coffin for me.