Writer: Brian Michael Bendis
Artist: Mark Bagley
Publisher: Marvel Comics
Release Date: June 10, 2001
I have really been enjoying jumping into the Ultimate Marvel Universe stuff and obviously, the beginning of any reading order is going to be heavy on the Ultimate Spider-Man, which is fine with me. Sure, Bendis spends a whole lot of issues with the origin story, but it’s still obvious to see why this was such a hit back in the day. I am excited to move on to bigger and better things, and they should all begin here with the beginning of the second arc of the story. A quick shout out to The Ultimate Marvel Reading Order which I am following, though, I think this issue #8 should have been listed before the two Hulk Team-Up issues since Peter was already at the Bugle at the start of those. It’s not a big deal, though, as it really has no bearing on the overall story.
Ultimate Spider-Man #8 starts with a quick takedown of the villain, Shocker. I wish I was a bit more fired up for the “Ultimate Shocker” here, but the play is he is a bit of a tool. Afterward, Peter overhears Kong and Flash Thompson talking about making money taking pictures of Spider-Man. It’s a cool setup to get us to something readers have been waiting for as Peter takes pics of himself in various poses and heads off to get “bank”.
Bendis broadens and modernizes Peter’s role a bit though, as he is able to solve the Bugle’s website issues (Betty Brandt is not great in her expanded I.T. role) and after getting an earful from Aunt May, J. Jonah Jamison offers Peter a job. You know that Betty wasn’t getting paid a cent more for her website work, so Peter is really a knight in shining armor here! Bendis does a good job with Jonah here, and I think he is the best-written character in the series so far.
Of course, when one part of Peter’s life goes well, another falls apart and we see that he’s having nightmares about not saving Uncle Ben and decides to do something about it. The issue ends with Peter deciding it’s time for someone to take down the Kingpin once and for all. While it does feel a bit silly that a “kind-of” sixteen-year-old is going to go after the Kingpin, he is Spider-Man and the man who killed Uncle Ben has a connection to his operation. I just wish Robertson had more to give than shrugging his shoulders and basically saying, “Kingpin gonna be Kingpin.”
This was a good start to the second arc of Ultimate Spider-Man with Bendis actually speeding things up a bit to establish Peter’s status quo and a new focus. Mark Bagley’s art is great as usual, but he even steps things up a bit in Peter’s dream sequence which looked fittingly unique and awesome.