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Ultimate Spider-Man – Vol. 10-11 (Hardcover) (Review)

This represents the final volume of Ultimate Spider-Man, the relaunch of the popular character created by marvel as a way of introducing the iconic webslinger to the those who might be understandably wary of the backstory and continuity tangles the character has found himself in (did you know the character sold his marriage to the devil?). It’s been a landmark run, and a popular one and – by any measure – a successful one. There’s a reason that this ‘reboot’, to borrow a cinematic term, was famous for outselling the mainstream titles. So, as it winds down, what do we think?

What a Shocker…

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Spider-Man: Blue (Review)

Writer Jeph Loeb and artist Tim Sale just work well together. They’re the pair behind The Long Halloween, the Batman story which strongly informed Christopher Nolan’s The Dark Knight. Somehow they bring out the best in each other, even though Loeb’s recent output has generally been less than stellar. At Marvel, they’re put together a rough thematic “trilogy” offering a nostalgic look at the early careers of various superheroes. Spider-Man: Blue is the middle part of that trilogy (coming after Daredevil: Yellow and before Hulk: Grey). I’m about to commit a cardinal sin, so brace yourself: I think Spider-Man: Blue is the weakest of the three books.

Welcome to the spider's web...

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The Vulture(s) Circle Spider-Man 4…

It’s been a while since I looked at the possible villains lined up for Spider-Man 4. With the shooting date drawing dangerously close, I’ve bowed out of all the rumours we’ve been hearing about the film – mainly about whether The Lizard would be appearing or who would be playing the Black Cat. But, as far as rumours go, this one is too juicy – and too close to the deadline – to avoid discussing. Basically two Oscar-nominated actors – John Malkovich and Anne Hathaway – are playing a pair of villains. Malkovich will be playing Adrian Toomes, and Anne Hathaway will be playing Felicia Hardy – but the character apparently won’t be sharing her comic book counterpart’s secret identity (the Black Cat), instead getting an entirely new secret identity (something called ‘the Vulturess’).

Somebody finally figured out that the only way to make John Malkovich more badass was to strap wings on him...

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Ultimate Spider-Man – Vol. 4-6 (Hardcover)

It’s probably hard writing the same comic with the same artist for the bones of a decade. Setting things up years in advance only to have them pay off down the line, trying to put a new slant on an existing mythology while updating it for a new audience. This middle section of the Bendis/Bagley run on Ultimate Spider-Man isn’t necessarily bad per se, but it lacks the energy and reckless fun which defined the start of the run and the sense of resolution that approached at the end of the run. It just is.

Not that there’s anything wrong with that.

Your spidey-sense should be tingling...

Your spidey-sense should be tingling...

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Ultimate Spider-Man – Vol. 7-9 (Hardcover)

Five years in and the Ultimate Universe is starting to look a little cluttered. In fairness, it was a little bit inevitable, with so many classic storylines to play out and so many classic characters to reimagine in a relatively short space of time. Bendis tries to keep the toys from cluttering up the pram through various means, and none of these new characters seem forced (though some do feel gratuitous). I suppose that if the Ultimate line is supposed to offer a mirror to the mainstream history of Marvel, it’s only natural it should become cluttered. Still, like playing with your favourite toys, it’s only natural to make a bit of a mess…

No claws for alarm...

No claws for alarm...

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Ultimate Spider-Man Collection (Hardcover Volumes #1-3) (Review/Retrospective)

In 2000, Marvel did something genuinely bold with one of its pop culture icons. Of course, the early part of the last decade saw a breath of fresh air at the House of Ideas, with iconic and influential (and occasionally iconoclastic) runs on books like New X-Men, Fantastic Four, Amazing Spider-Man, X-Statix, Punisher and other titles like Daredevil or Alias. However, the formation of the Ultimate line of comics was perhaps the most significant creative gamble taken at the time. The idea was simple, and the timing perfect. With Sam Raimi’s Spider-Man around the corner, and Bryan Singer’s X-Men proving that superheroes were the stuff of summer blockbusters, it seemed like a perfect opportunity to launch a line of books that would be easily accessible to new readers, free from decades of tangled continuity and plot developments.

And, appropriately enough, the character chosen to spearhead this new line was arguably Marvel’s most iconic character, Spider-Man.

spidey

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Spiderman 4 – We Know Who the Good Guys Are…

… but who are the bad guys? With Kirsten Dunst confirmed as returning last week, the ‘big three’ (and four, if you count Bruce Campbell’s inevitable cameo) are back on board for the third sequel in what looks to be a very long-lived franchise. Sure, we (along with a lot of people) weren’t too impressed with the third film, but everybody makes mistakes. If only Sam Raimi were willing to admit that, it’d be the first step on the road to recovery. Picking kick-ass villains is widely regarded as the second step. So, we thought we’d give you guys a little cheat-sheet when it comes to the Spidey villains you are likely (and unlikely) to see in the webslinger’s next big screen adventure.

The Sinister Six. Does Exactly What it Says on the Tin.

The Sinister Six. Does Exactly What it Says on the Tin.

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