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Sunday, March 1, 2015

Trade Tales! - Ultimate Spider-Man Volume 7: Irresponsible

I think it’s time to get back the Ultimate Universe. It’s been a while since I’ve been ensnared in its thrall. Lately, it’s been getting a lot of attention in that it is now ending after 15 or so years. Honestly, I don’t care about that since I haven’t even gotten that far into the Ultimate Universe yet. I took a bit of a break in trying to find trades. It also looks like I may be sticking with Ultimate Spider-Man in that search since his series is probably the only one I’m interested in now. I think the Millar-ness of Ultimate X-Men soured me on the Not-So-Merry-Mutants of that universe.

Spidey’s also been getting a lot of attention since Sony and Marvel are going to team up to include Spider-Man in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. They’ll also be releasing another rebooted Spider-Man in 2017. While many are happy about it, I’m actually in the minority on this one for some reasons. They’ve pushed back movies like The Black Panther and Captain Marvel for another Spider-Man movie. I like Spider-Man, but I’m more interested in seeing different properties from Marvel other than the usual “Spidey Play Time.” Also, it’s another frickin’ reboot. I have no problem with reboots but this is kind of ridiculous especially since it was rebooted in 2011. I’ll get over it… someday.

Anyway, it’s finally time to look at this trade. Ultimate Spider-Man Vol. 7: Irresponsible has the same team as before. Brian Michael Bendis is writing, Mark Bagley is penciling, and Art Thibert is inking. It contains Ultimate Spider-Man #40-45. As you can tell by the cover, the Wall Crawler may be running into some familiar faces. So, let’s see what happens when Peter faces the Latverian known as GELDOFF!

SYNOPSIS
We start out with Peter feeling pretty low. His costume was destroyed during the Venom incident, so he has to make a new without the help of Mary Jane. His makeshift costume is not working out too well. As for the situation with Mary Jane, the two still aren’t talking but there’s still some feeling there. Things start to rev up when Gwen takes Peter to a party being held. The two are flabbergasted to find Mary Jane and Liz Allen at the party. Let’s say that MJ’s overdoing it. I even think my 15 year-old self would look at her and say “What in the heck is that white chick wearing? She’s trying too hard!”

Things get a little serious when everyone hears a commotion outside. A kid from a rival high school is blowing up cars with his mind. Peter is about to see what’s up when the cops show up. He and the girls are able to get out of there and get to a bus stop. It’s there where Peter finds out that the kid (Geldoff) goes to another high school and is an exchange student.  It’s also here and on the bus where Peter and MJ finally make up. When they get home, she gives him a letter that has her feelings in it. After he reads it at his house, he runs out of his house, climbs up to MJ’s window, and plants one of those big kisses on the girl… Awww!
Cory and Topanga got nothing on this!

The next day, Peter (in another makeshift costume made by MJ) skips science class and makes his way over to P.S. 44 in order to find Geldoff. It turns out the guy is blowing up cars again, so Spidey tries to get him to stop. The two eventually make it to a rooftop where Spidey tries to put some sense into the Latverian teen. It turns out that Geldoff is an orphan who was adopted by American parents and his powers have now come. Spidey thinks Geldoff is a new mutant but Geldoff is pretty much in denial about that. Back at Midtown High, school gets let out because of Geldoff and Aunt May comes to find out that Peter skipped class before the school was closed.

At the rooftop, Spidey’s lecturing gets interrupted when he sees a store being robbed. The robbery’s stopped but Geldoff “helps” in way that almost gets Peter and everyone in the store killed. After Spidey yells at Geldoff out some more, Marvel Girl, Storm, and Kitty Pryde from the X-Men show up. They want to take Geldoff to Xavier Institute in order to see what’s up with him. Spidey comes along since he is a bit of a fan of the Professor. In the Blackbird, things go awry when Geldoff accidently uses his powers to damage to plane. He and Peter end falling out and Jean is able to save them both.

At the Mansion, Peter wakes up unmasked (take a drink) in front of most of the X-Men. While he’s having fun at the Mansion, Aunt May is really peeved because she can’t find him anywhere. She breaks into his lab but doesn’t find anything. At the Mansion, Prof. Xavier and Beast examine Geldoff and find out that he isn’t a mutant. They find that someone possibly experimented on him when he was a baby and that he was possibly part of some illegal experimentation.  Xavier wants to use Geldoff in order to publially combat illegal science but Peter says no since the guy probably wants to have a normal life. After one of the funniest scenes in the trade happens, Peter realizes Geldoff has to stay. Even Geldoff realizes he needs to stay.

When Peter realizes he’s been gone from home too long, the X-Men drop him off. He gets home and finds a really peeved Aunt May. Peter’s able to get out of trouble by lying. The next day, May meets with her therapist to talk about all the stuff she’s been going through since Ben died. It’s one of those one conversation issues that Bendis is known for. After the meeting, a renewed May heads home and asks Peter if he wants to go see a movie. The issue ends with him accepting the invite.

OPINION
I thought this was another good one by Bendis, Bagley, and Thibert. Instead of centering on Peter going up against someone from his rogues’ gallery, we get a bit of a team-up story. We also get to look at his supporting characters like MJ and Aunt May. The whole issue with Peter’s and MJ’s relationship is resolved and it was nice to see them finally make up. We also get in the head of Aunt May and that was pretty interesting. She’s had to deal with a lot ever since Ben died and it makes sense that she would have to talk to somebody about it. I don’t know if it had to take 16 pages, but I did like that. Heck, even Flash Thompson had something to do which will be dealt with later on down the road.

Geldoff was okay as a character. I liked that he was a normal guy who just got his powers and didn’t know what to do with them. He’s basically the irresponsible version of Peter. He’s what Peter could be if he didn’t have the “great power, great responsibility” motto. I also liked how Peter dealt with Geldoff. He dealt with him in a responsible way… yeah, I’m throwing that word around. I also like Peter in this trade. He gets the girl back but he also has his aunt staring darts at him and other stuff happening.

Of course, the biggest thing about this story is that we get an appearance from the X-Men excluding Wolverine and Iceman. I’m guessing this was after Millar’s run ended and Bendis’s run on Ultimate X-Men began. I liked how they were treated here. They come as likable when in Millar’s run you might have had some issues with that. Even Xavier comes off fine since he was a complete tool under Millar’s pen. I especially liked the funny moments between Spidey and the team. Just know that something happens on down the road with him and some of the younger members.

The artwork is still on par for the most part. The action scenes are really well done and pretty impressive. I especially liked Jean’s rescue scene. I also liked the quiet scenes here. Since there was a lot of time spent with Peter’s relationships, it was good that the artwork held up in that regard.  Still, there are some tough spots in the art. I wasn’t exactly a fan of MJ’s party get-up since it kinda over-sexed her a bit too far. She’s around 15 or 16 and she looks much older in that crap. You also had a couple of wonky images especially this one funny image of Xavier. He kinda looks like a Muppet. Other than those things, the art rocked.
"We're going to kick some mutant butt on the Muppet Show tonight!"


Unmaskings/Revealing of Spider-Man’s Identity: 1
This one is a bit tricky. Spider-Man was unmasked at the Mansion after the accident with the Blackbird. In a huff of frustration, he accidentally blurts out his name in front of the X-Men. Since this is a team, I might as well count it as one occurrence since the whole team found out at the same time. At least it wasn’t a villain this time!

Total Unmaskings/Revealings: 9


Highlights
Finally, here are the highlights of the trade.

-Reunited and it feels so good! – Peter and MJ getting back together was really cute. The dialogue and are were on par there.

-Idiot, thy name is Geldoff – Spider-Man’s lecturing to Geldoff was pretty funny. He wasn’t getting  it at all.

-Impure thoughts – When Jean and Spider-Man converse, she mentions that he is the first guy who hasn’t pictured her naked. Guess what happens? I can’t really blame Peter since Jean shouldn’t have mentioned it in the first place. Invading folks’ minds… no wonder humans are a bit afraid.

-Spider-Man vs. The X-Men (sort of) – When Xavier wants to keep Geldoff, Peter disagrees about the whole thing. He then grabs Geldoff and knocks out most of the team. We then realize that the fight was all in Pete’s head and it was pretty cool and hilarious.

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If you haven’t checked this one out, do so one day. You might like it. Well, I gotta go find something to do. I’m getting so tired of this cold, wet weather. I’ll try to get back into doing these more regularly. Peace, God Bless, and stay warm!


NEXT TIME: THE KINGPIN, CORRUPT POLITICIANS, ANOTHER HORRIBLE PARENT, AND HOT WOMEN!

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