Well, it’s April and we’re getting that weather everyone “loves.” For those who don’t know, that weather is a nice blend of wetness and wind. At least it’s warmer and the sun does shine from time to time.
Before I get too bogged down in May (Sci-Fi Month), it’s time to return to Ultimate Spider-Man for a bit. So far, all’s been good for the most part. I do feel like the series has dipped a little at this point but it’s not dreadful. Today’s pick may test that, though. Ultimate Spider-Man: Deadpool contains Ultimate Spider-Man #91-96 and Ultimate Spider-Man Annual #2. That second annual came soon, didn’t it. As usual, Brian Michael Bendis handles the stories for the trade. Mark Bagley is penciling the main series while Mark Brooks handles the Annual again. The inkers for this trade are plenty though.
Ultimate Spider-Man Volume 16: Deadpool
Writer: Brian Michael Bendis
Pencils: Mark Bagley and Mark Brooks
Inks: Danny Miki, John Dell, Mark McKenna, Mark Morales, Jimmy Palmiotti, Jamie Mendoza, Victor Olazaba, and Mark Brooks
Letters: Cory Petit
Colors: Justin Ponsor, Richard Isanove, and Laura Martin
The story starts out with Spider-Man and Kitty (in a masked costume) taking down a lame criminal called the Ringer. After some swinging and kissing, her automatic ride picks her up while Peter heads home. When Kitty makes it to the Mansion, she gets attacked by some of the X-Men. Before she gets knocked out, she sends the Blackbird to Peter’s house. Peter sees it, suits up, and has it fly him back the Mansion. Kitty meets him there but she then stuns him with a gun. It’s revealed the it was none other than Deadpool taking her form… huh.
Spidey then wakes up on a helicopter shackled with the other X-Men. Spidey and the X-Men then get dropped onto the island of Krakoa. It turns out that the government of Genosha has kidnapped the X-Men in order to get back at them. Spidey was just along for the ride. Spidey and the X-Men start out split up but eventually come together. It’s then revealed that this is being broadcast live around the world. It even has a swarmy announcer. Going against the X-Men are Deadpool and the Reavers, a cybernetic band of douchebags.
The X-Men and Spidey fight their way through the group. It takes some time, but the group is eventually beaten. Deadpool tries to get one more fight in but he is also taken out and unmasked. Let’s just say that the charbroiled version of him looks much better. The team makes it to the compound where Xavier is being held by the Ultimate version of Mojo. Luckily, all seems to be fine with Xavier since he gets to mess with Mojo off-screen. The heroes then head back to the States. The story ends with Peter getting home really late. Luckily, Aunt May decided to play hooky herself and spend the night with her date, Miles Warren. Duh duh duh!
(Note: Miles Warren doesn’t play into… well, you know…)
The story starts out with a flashback to months ago. Spider-Man is chasing someone who is after someone else. It turns out that Blade, the Daywalker, is chasing down a vampire. Pete is almost bit when Blade grabs the vampire and takes it out. He then tells off Spidey and disappears into the darkness. We cut to present day where Ben Urich has proof of a vampire sighting. Unfortunately, he’s being blocked by Jameson. Peter want to say something but keeps it to himself. At school, Peter finds out MJ has seen he and Kitty together. He tries to keep it calm but MJ understandably sasses him out over it.
Peter, you suck with women. Also, nice Blue Beetle reference, Bagley.
Later, Ben Urich tries to talk to his witness who was bitten by a vampire. Unfortunately, the chick bites him. Luckily, Spidey was tailing Urich and a fight breaks out between her, another vampire, and him. Also, Morbius shows up to apparently fight the other vampires. Spidey gets them all lumped together and the fight continues. The fight ends with Morbius taking on the other while Spidey gets Urich to a hospital.
Morbius: Also, put your mask back on, dummy!
Later, Morbius comes to Urich’s room and tries to bite him but Spidey stups him. It turns out that if Morbius bites Urich, that’ll counteract the other vampire’s bite and cure him. Spidey doesn’t believe it but their scuffle ends when other vampires come to get Urich. Peter even gets bit but luckily his radioactive blood keeps him from turning. Morbius kills the vampires is able to cure Urich. The story ends at school. Peter (hiding his bite) and Mary Jane (who’s cooled down from yesterday) have a bit of a moment together.
The annual starts out with Spidey taking down the Shocker once again. Thanks to advices from lawyer, Franklin Nelson, Spidey actually takes the lame criminal to the police department. There, he runs into Captain Jean De Wolfe who is secretly in cahoots with Wilson Fisk. She pulls Spidey aside and asks him to trail a recently released criminal by the name of the Kangaroo. The actual truth is that Kangaroo is encroaching on Kingpin’s territory. Spidey feels uneasy about this but does it anyway.
Spidey heads to the location and finds that he isn’t the only costumed nut after this guy. Daredevil is there beating the crap out of him. Then, the Punisher (who recently escaped from Ryker’s Island) joins the fun and fires a bazooka at the location. Then, Moon Knight (who just recently woke up from his coma) joins the fight. What I’m trying to say is that it’s all one big cluster—buster. Anyway, Daredevil isn’t exactly happy to see Spidey since Spidey’s still too inexperienced. Luckily, Spidey and Daredevil take down Punisher and Moon Knight leaves.
I'm kinda sad that we won't get this in the MCU.
Captain De Wolfe and the police come to apprehend Kangaroo. All seems good until Punisher breaks his bonds and shoots De Wolfe dead. Spider-Man finds him and starts to lay in on him but Punisher reveals that she was working for the Kingpin. Spider-Man and Daredevil get their butts out of there. The story ends with Daredevil finding Moon Knight at his base of operations. The story ends with Daredevil telling Marc Spector that he’s putting a team of costumed folk together to one day take down the Kingpin. Also, we see Fisk mourn for Jean De Wolfe.
"... and I'd like to invite you to our Avengers Initiative."
So, what do I think of this one? I wouldn’t say it’s the least favorite, but I can’t say it’s the best either. There are good things here though. I thought it was cool that we get to see more of the Peter/Kitty relationship. We also get the other part that involves Mary Jane. It does make Peter seem like a bit of a douche but he is a dumb teenager, after all. It was also nice to see him actually team up with the X-Men this time. When he’s been around them, not much fighting’s been going on. Too bad it was against some lackluster villains.
Then, there’s the other two storylines. While I didn’t necessarily enjoy the Morbius story, it was nice to see the Ultimate versions of Morbius and Blade for a short time. I also liked that we got some more Daily Bugle action. It feels like it’s been a while since we’ve had that. The Annual was cool in that it’s a continuation the underworld shenanigans involving Kingpin. It was nice to see Daredevil (needs to switch to decaf), Punisher, and Moon Knight show up here. Just know that this is leading to something. Heck, Daredevil’s Nick Fury-like approach to Moon Knight at the end was definitely an example.
As usual, the artwork here is pretty good. While there were a lot of inkers in on the fun, it didn’t feel too different. Bagley did a good job as usual and Brooks handled the annual pretty well. As I said once before, their styles are a little different but fit the universe. The small quiet moments and the action scenes were pretty good. I also thought Kitty’s new costume was pretty good. I do have to say that some of the double pages in the first arc were a little muddled at points.
You can look up how he looks online. It is pretty bad.
The negatives are few but important. While the Spidey/X-Men team up was interesting, the villains were a bit lame. I really wasn’t a fan of Ultimate Deadpool. I barely like regular Deadpool and this version wasn’t an improvement. Basically, he’s “Anti-Mutant Bigot #119” to me. I also felt that team up was an issue too long. As for the Morbius story, it felt a bit shortened since we really don’t learn much about the vampires here. The Annual was fine but the flashbacks were a little weird at points. That being said, it’s not a bad trade. The good does outweigh the bad here.
Unmaskings/Reveals of Spider-Man: 1
Morbius unmasks him at the hospital in order to see the bite. Luckily no one’s around to see. Still, I have to give a point to the meter. At least it’s only 1.
Total Unmaskings/Reveals of Spider-Man: 17
Finally, here are the highlights of the trade:
-Spidey and Kitty vs The Ringer – That was one lame villain! It was hilarious seeing the two tear him down like that.
-Blade cameo – While he wasn’t in the story much, it was cool to see Blade. I just imagined Wesley Snipes playing him.
-The Death of Jean De Wolfe – Her death was a bit of a shock and yeah, I know what happened to her original counterpart. Everyone’s reaction to it was interesting. What was more interesting was Kingpin’s reaction to her death.
Overall, this was okay. It’s not bad but it isn’t one of the better trades in the series. A part of me feels like Bendis was filling in space for some of this. Maybe he didn’t want to go all out with these issues since we’re coming up on a turning point for the series. Let’s just say that some serious stuff goes down in the next big story arc. Next time, I’ll be looking at the Clone Saga… the Ultimate Clone Saga. Besides, it’s Sci-Fi Month as well, so you know clones need to be involved! Until then, Peace, God Bless, and don’t toy with your women.