Monday, January 30, 2006

Booknote: Ultimate Spider-Man, vol. 4: Legacy

Title: Ultimate Spider-Man, vol. 4: Legacy
Script: Brian Michael Bendis
Pencils: Mark Bagley
Inks: Art Thiebert
Publication Information: New York: Marvel, 2004
ISBN: 0-7851-0968-4
Genre: Graphic Novels
Subgenre: Science Fiction, Fantasy

For those who keep track, this is a compilation that collects Ultimate Spider-Man #22-26. In this volume, Peter Parker, a teen is still struggling with the fact he has the powers that make him Spider-Man. He has just defeated Dr. Octopus, and he thinks maybe things will settle down. However, when the Green Goblin reappears and threatens not only his family, but to expose his secret identity, he knows that he needs to act. The art is colorful; I would say the quality is excellent. The story is good and entertaining as well. Since it is part of a series, it makes you want to read more. I will probably seek the rest in the series. For a casual reader like me, I remember some of the older comics where Spider-Man seems more adult, and his body build reflects that. In this series, he is a teenager, so the hero seems a bit smaller, to me at least. Having said that, the story is so good that a reader like me forgets that. I think this hero and series will have a high appeal to young adults. Peter Parker is a teen struggling with many of the issues any other teen trying to figure out his place in the world faces. Even with his great powers, he gets picked on in school and strives to keep up with school work and a social life like any other teen. He has the appeal of an everyman, or should I say "everyteen." My only bias comes from the fact I am not as a big a fan of Spider-Man as I am of X-Men and other heroes. I did enjoy this series very much. It is appealing; it is well drawn, and it has a story that readers can relate to, especially young adults. For readers who like some intrigue as well, a certain secret agent makes an appearance. Overall, I recommend this compilation.

By the way, in writing these notes for graphic novels, and in reading about RA in this area, I have noticed that knowing names of artists does make a difference. So I am trying to include as much as I can, even if some volumes do not always make this information as handy. We'll see how it works.

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