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Sunday, April 24, 2016

Trade Tales! - Ultimate Spider-Man Volume 10: Hollywood


Well, I’m back with another tale from the Ultimate Spider-Man series. We got a couple of more weeks until Captain America: Civil War. Early press has said it’s good but I’ll have to be the judge of that. This week’s trade has most of the usual team. Bendis is writing, Bagley is penciling, and Thibert is doing some inking. Scott Hanna also does inking and will take over after this arc. Hollywood contains Ultimate Spider-Man #54-59 and is kind of a throwback to an old issue of Amazing Spider-man.

Ultimate Spider-Man Volume 10: Hollywood 
Writer: Brian Michael Bendis 
Pencils: Mark Bagley 
Inks: Art Thibert and Scott Hanna 
Colors: J. D. Smith 
Letters: Chris Eliopoulos 

SYNOPSIS 
The story starts out as Aunt May goes out of town for the week which leaves Peter and Gwen at the house. Later, Peter finds out that Hollywood is going to make a Spider-Man movie and they’re filming it in New York. This annoys Peter… for some reason and this also gets under Gwen’s skin since she does not like Spider-Man now because of her dad’s death At Ryker’s Island Penitentiary, Otto Octavius sulks about the news especially when he hears that his ex-wife is involved with the movie. Peter dawns his costume and heads to the filming site to give his opinions to Avi Arad and crew. After that, he leaves even more perturbed since he really can’t do anything about it. At the prison, Octavius is able to mentally call his mechanical arms to him and he escapes.
I see the resemblance...not.

Meanwhile, everyone else is excited for the movie at school. Kong even gets a role in the thing. All of the excitement gets to Gwen and Peter talks to Gwen about it. Even though it was just a fake in a costume that killed her dad, she still has mad feelings about it. Elsewhere, Doc Ock rests up at a house and decides to pay the production team a visit. Peter’s also there staking out the place up , so a fight breaks out between the two. Meanwhile, Gwen notices some black vans around the house.
It turned out that SHIELD was watching the place just in case Octavius paid a visit. They leave when word gets out about the fight.

Spider-Man puts up a nice fight but gets knocked out by Doc Ock. He’s able to trick SHIELD and escape with Spidey. He then hijacks a private plane with Peter in tow. He tortures Peter a bit and talks hhis head off about his life as they head to somewhere unknown. Meanwhile, MJ had paid a visit to the Parker household with good news: her mom kicked her jackass of a dad out. She’s happy but gets worried when news about the fight gets out. She suddenly leaves and Gwen is once again befuddled. On a whim, she ends up searching Peter’s basement and finds his Spider-Man stash.

On the plane, Peter uses a distraction to make Octavius believe he escaped the plane. When they land in Brazil of all places, Spidey lays the smackdown on Doc Ock big time. After the fight, he dodges the authorities and stowaways on a plane heading for the US. It takes him a while, but he’s able to make it to New Jersey. He makes it to the house as Aunt May makes it home as well. All seems good at first, but Peter is shocked by Gwen pointing a gun at him and blaming him for her dad’s death. 
I bet he doesn't see this every day.

Quickly and quietly, Peter disarms Gwen and tells her that he’s Spider-Man. He reassures that he had nothing to do with her dad’s death. She runs off but Peter can’t do anything about it since May starts looking for him. Later, MJ comes over and Gwen comes afterward. They talk and all seems good. Gwen now knows Peter’s identity and will keep it to herself. In the end, Octavius ends up in Nick Fury’s hand and Fury destroys the mechanical arms. The story ends with the movie being released and Peter being annoyed about it.

OPINION 
I thought this was good even though I had some problems with it. It was definitely a return to form unlike the previous volume. I did like the whole idea of referencing the Spider-Man movie franchise here. It was pretty funny and brought some nice comedic moments. While I did think Peter was a little weird about the situation, it was funny. If someone was making a movie about me and I couldn’t profit from it, I’d be peeved too. Doc Ock’s return was handled well too even though it’s another return. He seemed a bit more threatening this time too.

The situation with Gwen was a little weird. It wasn’t bad, but it literally comes out of nowhere. I literally went back through the trades to see if any animosity popped up with Spider-Man. Other than the volume where Captain Stacey’s death happened, we don’t get anything. She never really interacted with anything Spider-Man related until now, so I guess the situation just popped up. It still felt weird but I did like the revealation and the conversation at the end.

As usual, the artwork was pretty good. While we end up getting a new inker and colorist, it still feels consistent with Bagley drawing. The action scenes were pretty good. The quiet scenes were also really effective. I really don’t have much negative to say about the trade as a whole. It’s not the best story. Doc Ock makes another appearance. Plus, the situation with Gwen did feel a little weird at points. Overall, this was good but not great.

Reveals/Unmaskings of Spider-Man: 1

We get one reveal and it’s a big one. Gwen Stacey finds out Peter’s identity. After going through some of his stuff in his basement, she finds an extra costume and webshooters. She then tries to shoot Peter when he returns. She did later say the gun was unloaded, but still, that’s a bit weird. Things do settle down at the end. Will all continue to go well? Who knows…

Total Reveals/Unmaskings of Spider-Man: 12 

Highlights 
-The Production scenes - The scenes where Spidey susses out the production team was hilarious. We even got Bruce Campbell as Mysterio and a black stunt guy as Spider-Man. Now the latter is funnier now since Miles Morales is around.

-The smackdown of Doc Ock -  When the plane lands, Spidey kcks Doc Ock's pretty quickly and awesomely.

-The end of Doc Ock (for now…)  - After Doc Octopus's imprisonment, Nick Fury decides to do something I would have thought he was have done by now. I have to say nice job on that! If you're wondering, Octavius does eventually gets some new ones. I don't know how though.

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Overall, this one was good. Even though the story wasn’t that great, it had some pretty good humor. The characters were also good. Now if you excuse, I’ll get back to watching Star Trek Voyager. Yes, I’ve gotten to the better, more Seven of Nine-ish parts. Peace, God Bless, and be careful out there.

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