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Mark Bagley

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2Brian’s Comic Book Grab Bag: Ultimate Spider-Man Volume 1 #67

Last Christmas my brother gave me a booster pack of random, non-sequential issues from a variety of popular comic book titles that syndicated in the late eighties to mid nineties. The nineties was a time… [more]

USM13Ultimate Spider-Man #13 Uses Art and Dialogue to Add Depth to Its Characters

There are no masks, tights, or supervillains in Ultimate Spider-Man #13. There isn’t a fight scene. No one gets hurt. The whole comic is about a teenager having a conversation with his girlfriend and aunt.… [more]

USM10Ultimate Spider-Man #10-12 is a Coming of Age Story with Tights, Crime Lords, and High School Girls

The coming of age story is one of the most enduring story types in Western literature. From Telemachus in the Odyssey to Huckleberry Finn and more recently the boy wizard Harry Potter, readers young and… [more]

USM8Ultimate Spider-Man #8-9 Uses a Variety of Character Perspectives to Show Spider-Man’s Development As a Hero

After the editorial mandated origin story, Brian Michael Bendis and Mark Bagley get to cut loose and tell their first official Ultimate Spider-Man story. The name of the story arc is “Learning Curve”, which signifies… [more]

UltimateSpider-Man005Ultimate Spider-Man #5-7 Has an Abrupt Ending, but Transforms Peter Parker into Spider-Man

Unlike the previous four issues which have played extremely fast and loose with Spider-Man’s origin in Amazing Fantasy #15, Ultimate Spider-Man is surprisingly faithful to Stan Lee and Steve Ditko’s story. The plot is virtually… [more]

USM4Ultimate Spider-Man #4 Uses Language to Explore Peter Parker and Spider-Man

Ultimate Spider-Man #4 primarily consists of conversations, inner monologues, and characters running away from each other. No one throws a single punch. Some of the events, like Peter’s foray into wrestling and arguments with Uncle… [more]

GrowingPainsUltimate Spider-Man #2-3 Reveals the Perils of Power without Responsibility

Unlike the first double-sized issue of Ultimate Spider-Man, the second and third issues move at a much slower clip. At the end of Ultimate Spider-Man #2, Norman Osborn tells his scientists that he is testing… [more]

Ultimate_Spider-Man_Vol_1_1Ultimate Spider-Man #1 Introduces Peter Parker, his “Fathers,” and Hints at a Rich Supporting Cast

Ultimate Spider-Man #1 is one of the most important comics issues of the 21st century. The  series was the brainchild of Marvel publisher Bill Jemas, who wanted to create a Marvel universe that was accessible… [more]

002-bUltimate Spider-Man: Power and Responsibility: Part 2

Ultimate Spider-Man #2-7 The second issue is titled “Growing Pains”. It could have been called “The Longest Day” and fit just as well. It starts off with Peter in class. Coming down with the shakes,… [more]

ultimate spidermanUltimate Spider-Man: Power and Responsibility: Part 1

Ultimate Spider-Man #1: “Powerless” I’ve got a confession to make: I’ve never been a big Spider-Man follower before. Yes, I did see the movies, the sequel literally brought me to tears, and I consider it… [more]

Ultimate Spider-Man #48The Art of Intrinsic Failure: Epic, The Cubs, and Some Reviews

Salutations, and welcome to another New Comics Day. Well, okay, not really. New Comics Day plus a few days. Sadly, New Comics Day last week was spent in mourning after watching the Cubs blow it… [more]

406px-The_UltimatesSex Scenes, Orson Welles, and Other Matters

Greetings, and welcome to another edition of New Comics Day. As usual, New Comics Day winds down at O’Malley’s Pub on Lincoln where the beer is cheap but the comics reviewers are cheaper. This week,… [more]

Wolverine X-Isle 1Comics Published on 2 April 2003

Wolverine: X-Isle #1 Marvel Comics – Bruce Jones (w); Jorge Lucas (a) Well, another day, another Marvel mini-series by Bruce Jones. The last one was Captain America: What Price Glory? and from what I read,… [more]

The Filth 7Comics Published on 15 January 2003

Optic Verve makes its triumphant (or generally unnoticed, depending on your point of view) return to the Internet, having taken the holidays off due to lack of Internet connectivity and a general plague of viruses… [more]

32-2Comics Published on 4 December 2002

I’m currently snowed in, so badly so that I almost didn’t go to work on Wednesday to get new comics at all. However, the time cooped up in the house should allow for a) lots… [more]

31-2Comics Published on 20 November 2002

Daredevil #39 Marvel Comics – Brian Michael Bendis (w); Manuel Gutierrez (a) My goodness… this was absolutely fantastic. Daredevil is a book that’s been hit and miss for me over the past six months or… [more]

15-1Comics Published on 2 October 2002

Uncanny X-Men #414 Marvel Comics — Chuck Austen (w); Sean Phillips (p/i) After a while you run out of ways to say the same good things about the same books. I know that problem is… [more]