Friday, February 9, 2007

Ultimate Spider-Man #105 Review

The conclusion to the clone saga. How will Brian Michael Bendis mop up this mess?

Maybe I'm a bit harsh calling Bendis' take on the infamous clone saga a "mess." Sure, the arc has been convoluted and all over the place, with so many details and characters being thrown around that it's hard to keep track of, but I've thoroughly enjoyed it. An homage to the original clone saga wouldn't be complete without a bit of confusion anyhow.

Well, issue 105 hit the shelves on Wednesday and provided, in 32 pages, a chance for Bendis to wrap up the enourmous number of events that have occured in this 8-part story-arc. When I say there were an enourmous number of events I'm referring to Peter getting cloned, clones going crazy, Peter's dad coming back from the dead, so did Gwen Stacy, Aunt May having heart attack, MJ turning into a wolf-beast, Doctor Octapus ending up out of jail, the Fantastic Four gotting involved, Shield getting involved. Am I missing anything? Probably. It has been a crazy arc and an entertaining one.

Now, unlike my Spawn 164 review, I don't want to give too much of this issue away. Ultimate Spider-Man 104 ended with the Fantastic Four giving Peter the question of a lifetime: continue as Spider-Man or let them take away the burden of his powers. Now, this question takes the entire issue to answer but is broken up by some key plot developments. We find out Nick Fury's reasoning behind sending all those spider-mechs to Peter's house in Queens. Peter also gets closer to Mary-Jane than he has since they broke up and must choose between MJ or Kitty Pryde. Peter must also deal with Aunt May who is recovering in hospital. She now knows her adopted Son is Spider-Man and Peter doesn't know if she will be able to cope.

Brian Michael Bendis does a good job wrapping up the story while leaving some of the story open for conclusion later on in the title's history. I think he did an excellent job with the Clone Saga and was able to throw so much at the reader without losing them (too much). I'm always in awe of how Bendis is able to really capture the human quality of things in such an action packed book. As much as I enjoy his fight sequences and the battle royales, I always appreciate the conversation scenes that much more. Sure, some of the stuff is corny and cheese fluff, but it works well in the book.

Mark Bagley is also up to his usual standards in issue 105. His compositions are top notch as usual and he does an excellent job nailing his characters' emotions in this issue. I don't think I'm saying anything new when it comes to Mark Bagely's art. He's done 105 consecutive issues on the title, the man knows how to draw AND meet his deadlines, something some of the best artists aren't able to do these.

I thought Ultimate Spider-Man 105 was a great issue and I'm looking forward to seeing what Bendis and Bagley can do with their next issue: Daredevil.


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