Pros:Spider-Man goes Hollywood!, the return of Doc Ock and more surprises!
Cons:None--this is one of the best volumes!
The Bottom Line: A very exciting and compelling meta-story for Spider-Man fans! This is one for the books, folks!
Proving that Brian Michael Bendis is ahead of the curve once again, the tenth volume of Ultimate Spider-Man definitely doesn't disappoint and is a fantastic meta-journey through the making of a movie about, you guessed it, SPIDER-MAN!
Peter Parker is shocked at how fast a film is rushed into production, which is all about him! Tobey Maguire plays him, Sam Raimi's directing it, and Doc Ock's ex-wife is a guest-consultant on the project--having sold out her ex-husband's story for some scratch.
Doctor Otto Octopus is not happy and decides to crash the set after escaping from Riker's Island! Uh-oh! Will the movie be able to flourish or will everyone be systematically mauled by Doc Ock--thus stopping the whole production?!
Gwen Stacy is reeling about this project as she has still personified our web slinger as the person responsible for her father's death even though it was a bad guy wearing a Spider-Man costume. As she struggles with this, she also begins to snoop into Peter's business. (!)
Big revelations are in this book and there's the added benefit of Aunt May out of the state as she's visiting family in Florida. She's not the only one travelling either when Doc Ock kidnaps Spider-Man and takes him on a plane to Brazil. Someone is getting grounded if he can't get home in time.
Hollywood collects issues #54-59 of the Ultimate Spider-Man series and is another standout volume that I loved reading through. The pacing is impeccable, the whole idea is quite brilliant as it was published around the time that Spider-Man 2 was going to hit theaters, and surprisingly this isn't some cheap tie-in.
The story is really fun as it plays with the whole Hollywood aspect of things and it's hilariously written with references to Bruce Campbell, Raimi, producer Avi Arad, and Tobey Maguire. I think that it was an original concept that didn't rely on cheap tricks or stupidity, which is easily could have--and continues the onslaught of great story arcs for these characters to participate in.
Once again, the extraordinary Mark Bagley puts the pencils to the paper providing us with some more exuberant and interesting art that's consistent with all of the work he's done in the past. He actually makes Doc Ock much more menacing this time around, which I really enjoyed, and overall this volume has a lot of violence including a torture scene that's pretty crazy. Of course, the colors are dazzling and all of the paneling is interestingly designed to keep us entertained through all of the story elements and action scenes alike.
I definitely enjoyed this volume and how it treats the Spider-Man mythos with a movie being made and all of the fun little winks to the franchise, but there's still a coursing life underneath it all that makes it even more a pleasure to read. The Gwen Stacy storyline reaches all new heights here and was very shocking and expertly handled by Brian Michael Bendis as he continues to develop her in this interesting way no one has ever done before. This is another treat in the series and one that I put up there with the best of the best Spider-Man stories ever told!
© Jason Haskins, 2011
Ultimate Spider-Man Vol. 1: Power & Responsibility
Ultimate Spider-Man Vol. 2: Learning Curve
Ultimate Spider-Man Vol. 3: Double Trouble
Ultimate Spider-Man Vol. 4: Legacy
Ultimate Spider-Man Vol. 5: Public Scrutiny
Ultimate Spider-Man Vol. 6: Venom
Ultimate Spider-Man Vol. 7: Irresponsible
Ultimate Spider-Man Vol. 8: Cats and Kings
Spider-Man 2 (2004)
Spider-Man 3 (2007)
Spider-Man: The Movie Game (GC)
*This is part of Elvisdo's 2011 Funny Pages Write-Off! Learn more here!*
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