The Ultimate Spiderman comic series is back and I hope that you caught my review of the previous volume. For those of you who are unaware, this series is not just based off of the TV show of the same name, but it is the TV show. Essentially, you are reading the episodes in case you do not want to watch them. This can be a good thing if you really love the show, but otherwise….it really limits the potential of these comics. I’ve already experienced the adventures, so seeing them again may not have the same impact. Ah well, there are four stories here so they should be pretty entertaining. Short, but epic right?
One story features Thor as Loki manages to trick him into becoming a frog. This doesn’t bode well for the Prince of Asgard and he will need to turn to Spiderman and his gang for help. He had been pretty condescending towards them, but true heroes don’t hold grudges so they decide to come in and help. They may not be a match for an Asgardian, but with the right weapons..they may stand a chance.
Well, this was a decent story. Thor’s portrayal was a little too over the top as he’s the punchline for too many jokes. He also looks bad since he underestimates the mortals at the beginning. He may have been transformed into a frog, but I figured that he could still fight a little. Evidently, that was not the case. Loki is also fooled rather easily, but I suppose that it was too be expected when faced with the mighty Spiderman. Definitely not the best Spiderman adventure, but it had some fights, which is always good.
We also had a comic, which featured Venom. Shield decides that he needs to be destroyed right away, but Spiderman warns them that a human is inside. His teammates don’t care and (unsuccessfully) attempt to take Venom down for the count. Will Spiderman be able to stop his friends from seriously injuring the host while making sure that Venom doesn’t destroy them either? It’s definitely going to be a long day for the web slinger.
This was the best comic in the batch simply because we got the most amount of action compared to the other issues. Venom definitely puts up a fight so it’s nice to see how he fares against the heroes. Spiderman’s partners definitely seem outmatched, but that’s essentially in their job description. The jokes are minimal in this comic and one could almost think that they were in a dangerous situation…almost.
Next, we had a story where Wolverine and Spiderman swap bodies. This can be a little tricky for the heroes since Wolverine isn’t really a school person and Spiderman doesn’t want to have to face off against the deadly Sabretooth. Spiderman’s going to have to steel himself and prepare for the fight of his life…without his trusty Spider Sense! This is going to get epic!
The Wolverine story wasn’t my favorite and I can’t say that I cared for it in the TV show either. The idea of switching bodies is cool, but they really don’t do anything with it. They just fight a bit and switch places again. It’s very uneventful and Spiderman should still be able to fight well in Wolverine’s body. Sure, no spider sense, but he should show some courage. I expect more out of the legendary Spiderman. The insults between Spiderman and Wolverine were original, but also a little petty.
Finally, we had the issue with Doctor Octopus as he decides to fight Spiderman one on one. It’s just going to be the two of them as they fight to the death. Will Spiderman be able to beat this mastermind? Doctor Octopus has been waiting a long time for this fight so it’s bound to get dicey for Spiderman. Winning will require more than just power or dedication, it’s going to take speed!
Well, this was a decent comic. I never like when Spiderman mocks his own jokes because that’s going a little too far. Just let the jokes keep on rolling so that they can have a subtle epicness to them. Mentioning the jokes makes them seem a little forced. Doctor Octopus fought pretty well, but the victor was never in doubt. The comic didn’t really have any heart, but it was still a decent read.
There isn’t much to say about the art since it’s just screenshots from the show. The show has some great animation so it also looks pretty good on paper. The way that the panels are arranged can be a little awkward since there are a lot of blank spaces, but I suppose that it’s to be expected considering how they put the pictures in.
As mentioned earlier, the problem with this collection is that it doesn’t have a lot of heart. It can be fun to read and it’s essentially like Marvel Adventures. The problem is that the comic is guaranteed to never get all star art or fight scenes. It’s destined to stay as a fun read, but not something that you will think about afterwards. The collection is very short so it won’t be around for long either.
Portrayal wise, everyone is out of character or extremely in stereo type. Thor is a prince so he’s really proud and needs to learn about humility. Wolverine is just as mean as he is in the comics, but without any of the great lines or character development. Venom is really just there to beat up on the heroes and Spiderman just cracks jokes for the fun of it all. His teammates don’t really have character and they’re barely heroes as they didn’t care about Venom’s host at all. Nobody is completely in character in this collection and that’s basically what I had assumed from the start. Staying in character would go against the series’ tradition after all.
Overall, this is what I’ve come to expect from Ultimate Spiderman. It’s a quick read that is entertaining, but there is nothing noteworthy about it. I have a feeling that it wouldn’t be half as fun if Spiderman wasn’t in it. (This feeling is basically confirmed after watching the new Hulk show) The score is over the halfway mark, but I really couldn’t recommend this to any Marvel fans. Sure, it’s a fun read, but almost any other Spiderman comic would still be fun, but it would also be a lot better. I recommend checking out the original Spiderman comics or just going with Avengers X Sanction if you want an excellent comic where he is present.