Ultimate Marvel Team-Up #1 (2001) Review

Writer: Brian Michael Bendis

Art: Jung Choi and Matt Wagner

Release Date: April 2001

Price: $2.99

There is only a handful of characters who work best with someone and work best-being solo. Two characters I can think of on the top of my head are Spider-Man and Wolverine. Now imagine those two A-List characters in a team-up book together, your mind is simply blown. And readers, that’s exactly where we are going to be going today on the Retro Review! This Spidey is from the Ultimate Universe, still new, and a bit of a rookie. Can this novice work side by side with the uncontrollable Wolverine?

We begin our story with a bickering couple, and one trope I really can’t stand is when a mutant is hearing someone else’s discussion and it just so happens to be about bashing mutants. That is basically what we get for our cold open. Unfortunately, Wolverine just so happens to be the mutant to overhear them. How it played out, I actually enjoyed it and it seemed like what our 616 Wolerine would have done. So far, I’m really enjoying what Bendis is giving me for the voice of Logan.

But fun times are over as Sabretooth shows up and we get a small brawl. Of course, if you knew Sabretooth, no brawl is small. So the chase begins…

Up until this point, I did not really mind the art. But now, the artwork is quite distracting me from enjoying this issue. When you have books like Ultimate X-Men and Ultimate Spider-Man that already came out prior to this issue, and they look so much better; this book shouldn’t even have gotten released. I get it that this book was released in the early 2000s but the art style looks almost a decade prior. While I am hitting areas that need improvement, I might as well add in the writing too. There is a lot of reading! It’s okay dialogue but some of the pages are super heavy with narration. Bendis just adds a bit too much, and if he took some of it away, it would not have changed the story one bit.

As you recall, this is a team-up book, so let’s check in with our friendly neighborhood pal, Spider-Man. Thankfully, he is there to stop a robbery and just as luck may have it, Peter spots Logan at gunpoint on a rooftop with Sabretooth and two henchmen. Last we saw of Logan, he was actually on the streets and having a phone call with someone. It feels like we missed something or at least a scene or two.

Even with the art looking like crap, we still get a great fight scene! The fight went on for a few pages and on the last page, it ended poorly. To add insult to the injury, the art is just getting worse and worse.

Once the cops come in, Spidey takes Wolverine and swings off with Logan. All this happens while the two henchmen talk to the cops to claim their case for being there. At this point, two things are going through my mind: A) Those henchmen should have gotten some dialogue way before now. They went from being a nobody to a very important character very fast. B) Why was Spider-Man truly in this book? He didn’t do anything. In the recent Hawkeye book, Hawkeye Freefall, any of those issues are more of a team-up issue than this one.

Final Thoughts:

I can’t say this is the most enjoyment I have had when reading a team-up issue featuring both Spider-Man and Wolverine. If you wanted to read this to see what that duo is like, don’t pick this up. It was a total waste of time. Plus, the art doesn’t help the issue at all either. The story, however, is okay but what we got, could have been shortened down. I really hope more of these team-up issues are legit team-ups. While I think Bendis did a great job on this issue with the voice of Logan, the voice of Peter felt off. The idea seems good but the execution failed.


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