Current Reviews


Ultimate Spider-Man #113

Posted: Friday, September 14, 2007
By: Bruce Logan

"‘Death of a Goblin" (part 2)

Writer: Brian Michael Bendis
Artist(s): Stuart Immonen, Wade Von Grawbadger (i), Justin Posnor (c)

Publisher: Marvel Comics

EXCLAMATION: “Yaaaawwwwwnnnnn!!”

EXPLANATION: Picking up from a little before the end of the previous issue, this part of the “Death of a Goblin” arc is all about Normal Osborn. Heck, it is even told (mostly) from his perspective. Spending the first two thirds of the issue breaking out of Triskelion, Norman fills the last one-third by going on national television to pull one over on Nick Fury (in particular) and the US Government (in general). That’s about all that happens. Oh, and there is also a fight between Norman and Otto Octavius which ends rather abruptly thanks to Electro.

EXAMINATION (Story): Brian Bendis is the uncrowned, unbeaten and uncontested king of ‘Decompressive Comic Writing’ and this issue is just another example of why. I am all for quick recaps but when the recap itself takes up about a fifth of the page count, well, it isn’t all that ‘quick’ anymore. Retelling it from Norman’s perspective was an interesting approach but it too lost steam (i.e. impact) thanks to the aforementioned dragging out. As for the Otto-Norman fight, it couldn’t be more out of place and forced if it was done on ice with the two of them wearing ballerina tutus. I mean come on; I get Otto’s gone off the deep end a bit but not so much that he’ll give up a chance to escape just to get the beat down by Gobby Osborn and (his new lackey?) Electro.

The last third of the issue continues with the theme set in the earlier pages, i.e. the awkwardness. Maybe it’s the cynic in me but Norman’s going on national television to bawl his eyes out against the big bad Nick Fury and his bosses sure as hell didn’t pull at my heart strings. Maybe this scene would go better with the readers who are also viewers of those Barbara Walters, Larry King and other whatstheirface talk-shows.

Still there was one thing that I caught (and retained) my attention. Along with Norman and the others escapees’ one teenaged blonde-haired girl also seems to have gotten out of the high security prison. Can anyone say clone of Gwen Stacy?!

EXAMINATION (Art): Completing his third issue on the series artist Stuart Immonen seems to be quickly settling into his groove. Both the character and the action scenes are drawn quite well. Unfortunately the coloring doesn’t seem to be a good match for the pencilwork. While the darker shades and large expanses of black (might have) worked with Mark Bagley’s broader (character) style it takes away rather than adds to the Immonen’s slimmer style which calls for brighter, fuller colors to bring out the sketches to their fullest rather than stifle them as they do here.

PROCLAMATION: Two issues in I am already counting months to when this arc will be over and done with.

You can find more reviews by Bruce Logan at

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