We’ve all known that Peter Parker of the Ultimate Universe was going to die. Marvel didn’t hide that fact. So it was only a matter of how he would die. I haven’t kept up with the Ultimate Universe in a very long time. But I thought I’d check out this issue to see how Marvel handled the death of a hero.
There’s a decent recap of the Ultimate Avengers vs Ultimates story that is tied into the Death of Spider-Man storyline. It’s enough to bring a reader up to speed with what has happened so far. This issue ends up being a giant fight between Spider-Man and Norman Osborn, the Green Goblin. The Goblin is targeting Spidey’s family and friends and they will die if he doesn’t stop the Goblin.
As an issue long fight, it works pretty well. Spidey takes alot of punishment but he saves the day. It’s not the bang that I was expecting. It’s not a whimper either. Peter goes down swinging, saving the day. The idea here is that Spidey has always been about helping the little guy and his family. He couldn’t save Uncle Ben but he saved Aunt May.
It just doesn’t carry the weight I thought it would or that it should. The tension really isn’t there. One scene carries alot of weight, where Osborn says that no matter what at least Peter will be dead. But beyond that one scene, the tension really isn’t there. We know that Peter is going to die. It’s up to Bendis to make a story strong enough to keep the tension. Sadly this doesn’t.
The last page is a little hard to understand. It features a shot of the dead Norman Osborn laying in the flaming wreckage and it proceeds to zoom in, over a series of panels, on Norman’s face. I’m not sure what the point is. What is the scene supposed to convey? Osborn looks dead. Normally a scene like that would end with his eyes opening. Not so here. Is it a way of showing that he is truly dead?
Bagley’s art hasn’t been his best in a long time. I wasn’t that big a fan of his recent work on Justice League of America and hadn’t seen any of the work on his second stint of Ultimate Spider-Man. The same style has been there, but it looks rushed, and not as complete as normal. Maybe it’s the inkers he’s been working with, but it’s not as solid as I remember during his heyday when he first started on Ultimate Spider-Man.
Ultimate Spider-Man #160 receives
3.5 out of 5
Knowing that the death was coming, the story still required tension and was lacking in that.