The 90s. One of the worst decades in comics, or some they say. Let’s remember what was happening in Spider-Man by the time this story was published: David Michelinie was still writing Amazing Spider-Man, the yet unknown Mark Bagley just started his run (after McFarlane and Larsen) Venom had just started his “I wanna eat your brains phase, and McFarlane (and Jim Lee in X-Men) polluted the industry with variant covers, and started the madness… Michelinie took a short hiatus and Al Milgrom wrote this 6 issue bi-weekly saga.
The most overdue development in Ultimate Comics Spider-Man's short history occurs in this issue!
Spider-Woman and the Human Torch team up to take down a mother/daughter supervillain team. The Torch, smitten by Spider-Woman, begins to hit on her. She initially brushes him off but the Torch follows her behind a billboard where he watches her unmask. The two continue to flirt...
Gwen Stacy lures her boyfriend, Peter Parker, into the girl's bathroom where Mary Jane and Kitty Pryde are waiting to give him a long overdue hair cut!
At the Parker residence, Johnny declares that he is in love with Spider-Woman and that the two of them made out. Disturbed by this, Peter storms out of the house and attempts to take his mind off the situation as Spider-Man (for those of you not in the know, Ultimate Spider-Woman is a clone of Peter Parker, but with girly parts).
At school the next day, Peter's class is interrupted when the principal walks in with two anti-mutant task force agents who demand that Kitty Pryde leave with them. Kitty refuses to leave, and Peter backs her up. When one of the agents pulls a gun, Peter tells Kitty to run.
Peter Parker finally loses that awful hair he's had since Ultimate Comics Spidey launched with David LaFuente as artist. It was a great scene, and LaFuente is a good sport, as Bendis pokes a little fun at his art style.
Loved Peter's reaction to Johnny's relationship with Jessica Drew. What Bendis is trying to say about the Peter Parker/Johnny Storm relationship is a question best left to braver reviewers than I, but this bizarre situation is bound to create awkward tension between the two in the issues to come.
With plenty of action, humor, and drama, this issue of Ultimate Comics Spider-Man is a great start to a promising story arc. If you have been on the fence about whether to pick this book up, this issue is a great jumping on point.