Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Ultimate Spider-Man TPB 19: Death of a Goblin

Bendis' best work is on his solo titles. Daredevil was fantastic, and I still love catching up on Ultimate Spider-Man. I had been considering dropping this title, even in trade, because it seems the Ultimate Universe is being revamped or something, but man, am I glad I gave this book another trade to win me over.

With Nick Fury missing after Ultimate Power, Carol Danvers has taken over SHIELD, which means she is in charge of the many prisoners held in the Ultimates HQ. The most dangerous is Norman Osborn, who of course breaks free and wreaks havoc throughout New York. I really enjoyed the way Bendis included Doctor Octopus and Electro in the escape. Using those villains added a cohesive feel to the book. In particular, I loved the way Electro was just so sick and tired of dealing with Spider-Man. Osborn tried to wage his battle against Fury in the press, which made me wonder if Bendis was thinking through his eventual Dark Reign ideas here. Osborn ends up doing the exact same thing (with a better ending for him) after Secret Invasion, so it is interesting seeing the idea toyed with here.

Eventually, there is a huge showdown with the Hulkbuster SHIELD agents, Spidey, Shadowcat, and the Hobgoblin (Harry Osborn) against the Green Goblin on the deck of the helicarrier. It's a great fight, filled with the witty banter from Spidey that Bendis does so well. The story ends the only way it could, although I really doubt it is permanent.

Stuart Immonen came abord as the regular artist in this trade, and wow. His art is breathtakingly beautiful. The action scenes are dynamic and exciting, and his quieter panels are filled with emotion. I'm convinced that a huge part of why I liked this trade so much was because of Immonen's art.


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