Waiting For The Trade – Ultimate Spider-Man: The New World According to Peter Parker

Writer: Brian Michael Bendis
Artist: David Lafuente
Colourist: Justin Ponsor
Letterers: Cory Petit
Collects: Ultimate Comics Spider-Man #1-6

In my time as a comic reader I’ve asked many questions of the Universe (be it Marvel or DC) and reading this I find myself wondering:

  • Why reboot your reboot universe?
  • Why would Panini not call this Ultimate Comics Spider-Man like the US originals?
  • Why does Spider-Man have a beachball instead of a head?

Yes, this collection from Panini UK collects the first six issues of the relaunched Spidey title from the Ultimate U. The events of Ultimatum (which I haven’t read but which are handily summarised within) have passed and the UU carries on…but it doesn’t. I’ve read volumes 1-20 of Ultimate Spidey and I was a big fan…but this isn’t that Spider-Man, it doesn’t just feel like the artist and the world have changed, with NY coming to terms with events of Ultimatum, but that all of the characters are portrayed in an utterly different fashion.

Whilst Peter had seen ups and downs in his life I remember him being more self-assured and having developed as a character a lot over the 100+ issues of the Bendis/Bagley run. This Peter feels fresh from the spider-bite, ok he doesn’t have the same level of secret identity angst but he’s just not “right”.

We shall put it politely. David Lafuente’s art is not to my taste. His balloon-headed Peter doesn’t make any sense to me at all, particularly in a book that feels like it’s crying out to be loved by teens (and in doing so is trying too hard and failing I would guess) where it feels like it belongs in Marvel Adventures line. He does vary the level of rendering in each panel so that in some scenes the figures are barely realised sketches, which adds an interesting touch. However I found myself really frustrated by how Spider-Man appeared to vary in height from 4’6″ to about 5’10” and there’s one scene where he’s thrown through the windscreen of what is either a tiny car or he’s being drawn way too tall.

The plot is fairly pedestrian, nothing hugely to write home about and seems even more disappointing given who it is coming from…I don’t expect this from Bendis.

Swing and a miss.

Reviewer: Dave Williams

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