"Ultimate Knights: Part 5"
Writer: Brian Michael Bendis
Artists: Mark Bagley (p), Drew Hennessy (i), Justin Posnor (colors)
Publisher: Marvel Comics
Spider-Man is an "upright" guy. Whatever the medium, movies, TV or for that matter comics, he just is the kind of person who we expect and know to do the (morally) right thing. As in the mainline (616) Marvel Universe, Ultimate Universe Spider-Man too believes in and operates by the belief that "With Great Power Comes Great Responsibility." In this fifth and final part of the five-issue long "Ultimate Knights" saga OlíWebhead does exactly that. However, while writer Brian Bendis does so with some nice (meaningful albeit long) dialogues, it is at the cost of another of Marvelís "upright" characters: Matt Murdock, a.k.a. DareDevil.
A few years back the Ultimate Universe had not one but two Matt Murdock focused limited series, namely Ultimate Daredevil and Elektra and Ultimate Elektra. Even though the second series was (supposedly) mainly an Ultimate Elektra story, it was in essence a sequel to Ultimate Daredevil and Elektra and had Matt in an equally important part. Why bring this up here? Well, because having seen Mr. Bendisís depiction of Ultimate Matt Murdock in this title, both in the past and in the recent months (i.e. this arc), I canít help but feel that the Matt in those two limited series and the one presented here are two different men, both in his civilian (lawyer) life and his costumed hero/vigilante one. Moreover, it seems as if Mr. Bendis is channeling the Daredevil he was writing before (in the 616 MU) into the one is writing now (in the UU). That is the only reasoning I can come up with DareDevilís threat to kill the Kingpinís comatose wife, a threat that if not for Spideyís intervention he would have carried out.
As for the reason for this, discovering the traitor (last issue), the "Ultimate Knights" spend the first half of this issue confronting him, during which we learn what it was that made Iron Fist betray his fellow heroes. Along the way we get to see Shang Chiís disbelief and subsequent reaction at his closest friendís doing. We also see Ultimate Dr. Strange flex some of his magical muscles, which is quite something for a character as inconsequential and non-existent as he is.
The story ends with the Kingpin in police custody. As to how he got there and that too at the airport is something that I wonít spoil here. Depending on how much one is invested in the characters involved, these two developments (KPís almost leaving and getting arrested) will vary from promising to gawd-awfully tired. Me? I am in the cautiously mildly-interested grouping.
The artwork, courtesy of Mark Bagley, Drew Hennessy and Justin Posner is as competent and consistent as ever. The next issue marks the end of Bagleyís 5+ years long run on this title. Stuart Immonen takes over the art-baton starting next month too.
Conclusion: With a good starting plot but not too deep meaning in the end, the "Ultimate Knights" donít quite live up to their promise.
You can find more reviews by Bruce Logan at www.xcave.net
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