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Green Goblin is on 'Roids--Will Spider-Man Survive the Latest Encounter?!
Written: Jun 9, 2011
a Very Helpful Review
by the Epinions community
Pros:Mark Bagley, Brian Michael Bendis can do no wrong, GREEN GOBLIN
Cons:Another perfect story
The Bottom Line: A briskly paced, well told story featuring one of Spider-Man's best enemies. Dig it!
The Green Goblin is basically Spider-Man's Joker--the deadliest foe who is the most fatal of them all and causes the most pain. A few books ago Norman Osborn went crazy off of this serum and tried to kill Spider-Man-well, he comes back here in Ultimate Spider-Man Vol. 4: Legacy only this time he's bigger and badder than ever.
He's a junkie of sorts on this crazy high that makes him Hulk-like in appearance and he wants nothing more than to squash our hero like ...a bug. He knows Peter Parker is Spider-Man and wants him to cease and desist being him because Osborn CREATED him and his mutation.
Nick Fury shows up to try and protect Parker's loved ones, but him and his SHIELD agents remain in the shadows until the Goblin makes a move so that they can come in and jail him. That's no good for Parker who's nervous about the threats he's made about Mary Jane (his girlfriend and one of the people he's trusted with his secret) and Aunt May.
Harry Osborn, one of Parker's best friends, resurfaces and is in heavy therapy completely in denial about who his father is, which is creating a little bit of tension between the two and speaking of tension: Parker and Mary Jane are on the out and out as he continues to be flirted with by punker Gwen Stacy and holds back talking to MJ about what's on his mind, which frustrates her.
More of this Dawson's Creek-like interplay happens a lot this book, but it didn't bother me as much because I really enjoy Brian Michael Bendis' interesting take on a hip new culture, baby. He can animate these characters and make them lifelike with actually good dialogue and development so that it doesn't feel like a thirty-year-old (or however old he was at the time) was writing for a bunch of teenagers.
The creepiness of the Green Goblin fully comes out this volume and some very classic imagery is introduced such as the Gwen Stacy bridge drop (only with MJ this time) and the introduction of Captain Stacy to the series. I love how cold and calculating Norman Osborn is, but this time he's just plain nuts and hallucinatory--which makes him all the more frightening and ballistic.
Mark Bagley continues to bring out some fantastic work to the series using stuff he clearly was clearly inspired by via Steve Ditko's early run on the series in the sixties as well as bringing something new to the table with Art Thibert's impressive ink jobs that make every panel look exuberant and full of life. While this new coat of paint on the characters makes them look too teenage, it actually fits the atmosphere wonderfully and some of Bagley's best work is available in this volume.
Ultimate Spider-Man Vol. 4: Legacy collects issues #22-27 of the series and is one of my favorite books so far. Bendis and Bagley are a tremendous team together and seem to get each other's sense of humor and love of action quite well. The books are rooted in "hipness", but they also carry the same amount of heart and humor as all of the other Spider-Man comics. For some reason, the originality that perks up throughout these tried-and-true stories with the alternate canon-work makes this such an interesting read alongside regular Spider-Man stuff. The Green Goblin's return was very well received by this reader and I can't wait to see where they go next--especially given the amount of foreshadowing and goodness available in this volume. Bendis and Bagley clearly have created a legacy for themselves.
© Jason Haskins, 2011
Ultimate Spider-Man Vol. 1: Power & Responsibility
Ultimate Spider-Man Vol. 2: Learning Curve
Ultimate Spider-Man Vol. 3: Double Trouble
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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