The weekend is just around the corner, and I can see the light at the end of the work-shaped tunnel. I’m ready for some old-school superhero shit, fun and fisticuffs, wrapped up in one big web. I love all things Spidey, but my run of choice has to be Brian Michael Bendis’ fabulous 100 and something series on Ultimate Spider man.
This feels a tad redundant. Kid gets bitten by radioactive spider, stuff ensues, great power, you know the drill. This particular reboot has just the right balance of action, romance, humour (very important) and cool teenage angst, without overdoing any of it.
Why I love it:
So, you have of those things I mentioned above. The action is exciting; the romance superbly awkward and wonderful, the humour is, at times, pant-wettingly effective and, above all, the characters are great. Likable, human and not above saying exactly the wrong thing at the wrong time.
However, the strength for me in this series is the unspoken agreement between the author and the audience. Of course, there is a huge amount of history present when you take over a comic book like this, but even without that backstory, the first few issues, or chapters, set up the expectations of the reader. Whatever you promise through those early moments must be paid off if the reader is to remain interested and engaged. Bendis does exactly that. Yes, he creates some fairly out-there story arcs, but the relationships and inner monologue that drive the comic remain true throughout. This faithfulness to the initial premise is an essential part of keeping and entertaining an audience.