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Peter Parker Learns How to Be Spider-Man in LEARNING CURVE
Written: May 27, 2011 (Updated May 28, 2011)
a Very Helpful Review
by the Epinions community
Pros:Awesome story, Bendis' treatment of the characters, major shocker ending, art
Cons:None-it's a smooth read, baby
The Bottom Line: A very crucial and interesting development in the Ultimate Spider-Man series--totally worth the read!
Brian Michael Bendis did for Spider-Man what Frank Miller did for Daredevil. There. I said it. While the Ultimate line could easily be viewed as a re-modernization of classic characters in Marvel's universe, he completely revolutionized the core concepts Spider-Man was built off of by Stan Lee and Steve Ditko. The first trade paperback, Power and Responsibility, translated the classic story of Peter Parker's origin and how he became Spider-Man--the death of Uncle Ben Parker being key as well as the set up of Norman Osborn.
In this tale, he's still struggling with being a teenager in high school and keeping his secret identity under wraps as well as learning more about his powers such as how this spider sense works. Things heat up in the friendship he has with Mary Jane Watson to new unbelievable heights, which is pretty exciting and startling for so early in the series, and Learning Curve introduces us to Parker's job at the Daily Bugle and J. Jonah Jameson's shenanigans.
The main plot of the book is that his uncle's killer may be involved with the Kingpin of crime and his run-in with this blob of a man and his associates (which include Electro!) is disastrous especially as far as his secret identity is concerned. Overall, I thought this story was actually better than the first because more was going on and it was dealing with less "givens"-Bendis is clearly trying to make his way out of the already-constructed web of the mythos in favor of giving his own spin.
Bendis makes all of the characters really "hip" and "fresh", but does so with a very keen sense of humor that will make you chuckle as well as fill your heart with the familiar nostalgia long-time fans of the characters will cherish. Mark Bagley returns to offset the dialogue with his intuitive art that re-imagines classic John Romita and Ditko stuff while paving it with this contemporary sheen that makes it sleek and polished without being too manufactured looking. There's quite a lot of breezy panels, which makes the entire book literally fly by as you read.
Ultimate Spider-Man Vol. 2: Learning Curve is comprised of issues #8-13 of the series and was released shortly before the first Sam Raimi Spider-Man film in 2002. Much of the style is very similar...almost eerily so, and while this is meant for a new and younger audience the actual content is impressively put together and far more entertaining than a lot of the stuff that was coming out in the regular Spider-Man series' at this time.
I love all of the drama that comes out of the Kingpin conflict as well as Parker's budding relationship with Mary Jane and his new fame of being a superhero and teenager at the same time. The pages will keep coming like potato chips...and I'm okay with that. This is currently available everywhere books are sold and is fairly cheap is you find it for the right price.
© Jason Haskins, 2011
Ultimate Spider-Man Vol. 1: Power & Responsibility
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!*
(A big thanks to Stefanie (dramastef) for adding this for me!)
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