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Is It Good? Ultimate Comics Spider-Man #20

Ethnic Spider-Man vs. Ultimate Venom: Who ya got?

That’s the premise of the Ultimate Comics Spider-Man‘s latest installment as Venom comes rumbling into Miles Morales’ home turf, thinking that Miles’ pops Jefferson is actually the new Spidey. Is inexperienced Miles ready to face off against the infamous symbiote? Better yet… Is It Good?

Ultimate Comics Spider-Man #20


We’re barely given more than a page to breathe before we’re thrown right into the middle of the action. Venom’s here and he’s looking for Spider-Man. Pichelli’s Venom is a prodigious melange of Hulk 2099, Mighty Joe Young, Hentai tentacle rape-monster, and some quasi-Giger crustacean — but it works. Dude is both horrifying and impressive to behold.

Fans of a more humanoid-looking Venom are advised to seek solace in the 616 super-soldier version; this beast takes every hinge-jawed, tongue-waggling, razor-toothed, spittle-gushing Venom from MacFarlane and Larsen’s heyday and twists the dial to the breaking point.


Bendis’ dialogue is savvy and fluent, though at times superfluous. We get it Miles — you’re trying to remember how Peter Parker smacked up Venom so you can apply the same methods to your fight; stop beating me over the head with this cunning stratagem every four panels. (And all you can muster is that Pete threw a tire at him? Really?)

Still, Bendis’ surprising skill in the realm of adolescent internal monologues is as sharp as it’s ever been and there are plenty of clever bits that’ll have you chuckling. (Especially Miles’ contrived accent and the exchanges with his friend Ganke.)

Premature web-jaculation?

I only wish the same could be applied to Venom’s remarks; they’re the sort of insipid “Me big monster, me kill you,” garbage that make Eddie Brock’s brain-feasting, “We are Venom” babble seem downright eloquent. (Miss you Eddie.)

Although the issue is essentially one big fight scene, it’s a solid one. (But damn is that conclusion a bit unimaginative. I don’t want to ruin too much, but forgetting you have an important ability so many times at this point just seems like pandering.)

Final Score: 7.5

  • Beautiful art. Pichelli draw so well-y.
  • Action-packed, solid fight scene.
  • Over fairly fast without any answers.
  • Hackneyed ending.

Pichelli’s roots lie in animation and anime and it’s exemplified beautifully here. Spider-Miles is as lissome an acrobat as we’ve ever seen the character, even if Miles can’t quite match Petey’s proficiency just yet, and the fight is choreographed with aplomb. I just wish the fight had extended beyond the scope of a single street corner, although it seems I’ll be getting my wish in the forthcoming issues.

Is It Good?

Yes. It’s over quick, but what we’re given is action-packed, competent, and exciting. I’m looking forward to seeing how the story unfolds.


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