Best Shots Extra: (Death of) ULTIMATE SPIDER-MAN #160
DEATH OF SPIDER-MAN Ending Revealed
BEWARE! Here there be SPOILERS!Ultimate Spider-Man #160
Written by Brian Michael Bendis
Art by Mark Bagley, Andy Lanning, Andrew Hennessy and Justin Ponsor
Lettering by Cory Petit
Published by Marvel Comics
Review by Colin Bell
The clue was in the title, everyone! Not a metaphorical death, or a retirement of the identity of Spider-Man as some had guessed; this is the issue where Peter Parker faces down the Green Goblin: One. More. Time. With fatal results!
The last twenty six pages of this Ultimate Spider-Man's life are devoted to that battle and fleeting moments shared amidst the carnage, between the young Peter Parker and his family and friends. It's in these moments that writer Bendis hits the mark and where the characterization and interplay between characters, arguably the heart of what made Ultimate Spider-Man tick this past decade, shine through.
The final skirmish between Parker and his nemesis is frantic, desperate, and reckless, and therefore perfectly in keeping with the raised stakes of the situation. It also goes some way to underline the notion that for the past ten years we've witnessed not a fully-grown superhero, but a young teenager doing the best that he could with the powers that he had, which I suppose could quite easily serve as a summation of the entire series itself.
There are subtle touches written into the story that indicate that everything is going on the line on this one - Peter fighting unmasked in front of his neighborhood, Aunt May and MJ taking an active and sometimes desperate involvement in the proceedings for instance both ratchet up the tension. Before you know it, it's all over, abruptly, and we're left with our hero coming to terms with his situation, and even gaining some insight into his superheroic career, which while coming out of left-field, is pretty touching. It's a perfect little emotional beat to cap off, in terms of quality, one of Marvel's most consistent comics of the 21st century.
Does it stick the landing in terms of the current storyline? I'd say yes. Does the clash feel like a satisfyingly epic way to end ten years worth of story? Not massively, although you could always argue that death in actuality, rarely does bring any such closure. While the previously mentioned urgency of the final battle indicates that people are playing for keeps, it's worth acknowledging, begrudgingly, that what really ups the ante in the proceedings throughout the issue is the fact that the phrase "Death of Spider-Man" is plastered on the cover and has been for several months now.
Ultimate Spider-Man is dead. Long live Ultimate Comics: Spider-Man!Got a comment? There's lots of conversation on Newsarama's FACEBOOK and TWITTER!