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REVIEW – Marvel Comics ‘Ultimate Spider-Man’ #4

UltSpidey4Var min

High-paced action and thrilling battles are exciting, but even a simple and normal night out can be a riveting one when you’re Peter Parker beginning his Spider-Man journey as an adult.

Ultimate Spider-Man (2024) #4 is available now at your local comic book shop! Spoilers ahead!

Ultimate Spider-Man #4 Cover by Marco Checchetto
Ultimate Spider-Man #4 Cover by Marco Checchetto

Writer: Jonathan Hickman
Penciler: David Messina
WHO IS THE GREEN GOBLIN? Peter Parker’s secret life starts fraying the edges of his personal life! J. Jonah Jameson and Ben Parker’s pursuit of truth – or, at least, the news – stirs unrest with the world at large… And now that Spider-Man may not have to operate alone, the real work of rebuilding this corrupt world can begin!

REVIEW – A Compelling Inside Look at Spidey’s Date Night

Issue #4 is easily the most singularly focused comic of this series thus far, with essentially just two general events to consider. Even so, the book offers many answers and also does a great job at building up plenty of intrigue for a seemingly familiar, but ultimately unknown and different, world.

The story primarily centers around a double date between Peter and MJ with new acquaintance, Harry Osborn (also known as the Green Goblin), and his wife, Gwen Stacy. You learn a lot about them and how the couples are contrasts of each other. Both couples may be married, but only one has kids. Both couples may feature a husband who’s a masked vigilante, but only one wife knows her husband’s secret. No panel, line of text or even facial expression is wasted on developing these characters, their relationships and their places in this universe. Not too much happens, and the narrative is simple, but the story is done well and shows off character dynamics nicely.

The layout of the panels also makes the date feel intimate for even the reader. For most of the date, the story is told through a grid of nine vertical rectangles equal in size. This approach is a true highlight of the issue, because suddenly, something as ordinary as a date transforms into an experience that invites the reader in. From the strategic demeanor that comes with holding a wine glass to gleefully taking a bite of food, each snapshot offers quick but effective insight into every character, honing in on details that could’ve been lost from a more general perspective.

Beyond the date, the issue briefly highlights the Parker residence, where Uncle Ben is babysitting May and Richard while their parents are out. Another seemingly mundane happening turns intriguing when May inexplicably expresses her dislike for J. Jonah Jameson, who’s there to talk business with Ben. More than just a comment of disapproval, it lets the young girl have even more agency in the narrative, especially when considering she’s the only person besides Harry who knows who Spider-Man is.

The most exciting part though? When Harry strongly delivers the iconic line, “With great power comes great responsibility” to Peter while their wives are in the restroom. But does that mean something tragic for Harry’s ultimate fate?

RATING – 4.5/5 Pocky

Pocky Rating 4.5
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Ashley Wijangco is a Filipina American writer who loves basketball, Marvel, and musicals. She wants to help make “Rogers: The Musical” a reality.

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