Axel-In-Charge: Extending "Secret Wars," Excitement for a "Totally Awesome Hulk"
Here’s #13! Click here for the master list!
Ultimate Spider-Man #13
There was already a considerable amount of buzz around Ultimate Spider-Man by the time issue #13 came out. Brian Michael Bendis had established himself as a major force at Marvel Comics, and Mark Bagley had his career completely rejuvinated – and yet they both managed to outdo themselves with the critically acclaimed thirteenth issue, in which Peter Parker reveals his secret identity to Mary Jane Watson.
While I mentioned Bagley, this issue was almost completely about the writing (if I recall correctly, a great deal of the panels were photostats) of Bendis, as he explored the reaction of Mary Jane as well as the reaction of Peter to her reaction – all the while, clearly establishing that Ultimate Spider-Man was departing from the style of stories that Amazing Spider-Man was telling dramatically.
The issue, which was almost entirely dialogue, was later revisited by Bendis on the title a few times. In fact, I would say that most of the most notable issues of this popular series were the ones where Bendis is given room to just create a sort of two-person mini-play. The recent issue with the Shocker and Spider-Man (#122?) followed in the footsteps of this issue, with its tense dialogue between two characters.
The first appearance of Mysterio in Amazing Spider-Man #13 is certainly important, but I do not think that issue stands out as much as this issue does – when you think of Amazing Spider-Man issues, #13 would not crack the top twenty. If you think of Ultimate Spider-Man issues, #13 is at or right next to the top of the list, and the book maintains a nice cultural resonance.
Comics Should Be Good accepts review copies. Anything sent to us will (for better or for worse) end up reviewed on the blog. See where to send the review copies.