Ultimate Spider-Man V3 TP Double Trouble 1st Print


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Just when I thought the game plan of the “Ultimate Spider-Man” with regards to the love life of his alter-ego Peter Parker was to go directly to Mary Jane Watson, passing Betty Bryant and Gwen Stacy, when scribe Brian Michael Bendis drops the later into the action. This version of Gwen is big on the mascara and perfectly willing to pull a switchblade on a bully, both of which are completely valid reasons for Peter to have his eyes pop out of his head when he looks at her. Not even her police Captain father can reign in this blonde tornado. At this point in the comic book the stage is merely being set for the impending love triangle, but I have to tell you that what is happening here is clearly a take off on “Dawson’s Creek.” Seriously. Peter is Dawson, Mary Jane is Joey, and Gwen is Jen (No, Flash is not Pacey; Kong is closer to being Pacey than Flash, but Peter Parker does not have a friend, which means Harry is not Pacey either). This should prove to be interesting, especially given that Mary Jane already know’s Peter’s big secret. But at this point the main problem is that Aunt May has an over inflated opinion about her nephew’s love life. Yes, things might actually be worse for our hero this time around. The title of “Double Trouble” has to do with the fact that in this collection of “Ultimate Spider-Man” #14-21, Spider-Man has not one but two villains after him (I was going to say two super villains, but that would not be the case). The new and improved bad guys this time around are Doctor Octopus, who has come out of his coma to discover his tentacles are fused to his skin, and Kraven the Hunter, who is now a reality television star from Down Under. Clearly, the more you know about the original Spider-Man comics and his various foes the more you will enjoy Bendis’s refinements and provocative changes. At the end of this collection Spider-Man enjoys his biggest moment in the sun since the spider bit him, which quickly follows with a particularly low moment for Peter. Even when we think we know the rules of the game, Bendis continues to surprise us. “Double Trouble” is the third trade paperback collection of “Ultimate Spider-Man” comics, which re-imagines the webhead as a younger Peter Parker trying to learn the ropes of being a superhero. But for those who read the first couple hundred issues of the original “Amazing Spider-Man” this is a hyper retelling of the tale. Forget all the … superheroes Spidey had to fight with; this time around the focus is on the best and the baddest. The biggest difference between these first 21 issues of “Ultimate Spider-Man” and the original comic is that a single issue is no longer a complete story; it takes eight issues for the conflict between Spidey and Doc Ock to develop and be resolved. Consequently, we have the rather paradoxical fact that things are happening much faster for Spider-Man in this retelling of the tale while taking longer to develop. I continue to be impressed by this brilliant “re-imagining,” which is drawn by Mark Bagley with inks by Art Thibert and Erik Benson.

Collects Ultimate Spider-Man” #14-21. Near mint, 1st print.