Tag Archives: gwen stacy

Hasbro Reveals New Wave of Spider-Man, AoA Apocalypse, Moon Knight, and More

To celebrate today’s Fan First Friday livestream event, Hasbro has revealed new Marvel premium 6-inch and deluxe comic figures from their Marvel Legends lines.

In addition to the three Legends 6-inch Retro Spider-Man figures that were revealed earlier this year at New York Toy Fair, three new figures from the wave were revealed during the stream, including Electro, Green Goblin, and Daredevil. Alongside this wave, a handful of other comic figures, including the 6-inch A.I.M. Trooper figure, the 6-inch Moon Knight figure, and two deluxe figures, Marvel’s War Machine and Marvel’s Apocalypse, are also available for pre-order starting today.

MARVEL LEGENDS SERIES 6-INCH SPIDER-MAN RETRO COLLECTION Figure

(HASBRO/Ages 4 years & up/Approx. Retail Price: $19.99/Available: Fall 2020)

Fans, collectors, and kids alike can enjoy this MARVEL LEGENDS SERIES 6-INCH SPIDER-MAN RETRO COLLECTION Figure, inspired by the character from the MARVEL SPIDER-MAN comics. This quality figure with premium design, detail, and multiple points of articulation for high poseability and display is a great addition to any action figure collection. Includes figure and 3 accessories. Available for pre-order at Hasbro Pulse, Amazon, GameStop, Entertainment Earth, and Big Bad Toy Store.

MARVEL LEGENDS SERIES 6-INCH ELECTRO RETRO COLLECTION Figure

(HASBRO/Ages 4 years & up/Approx. Retail Price: $19.99/Available: Fall 2020)

Fans, collectors, and kids alike can enjoy this MARVEL LEGENDS SERIES 6-INCH ELECTRO RETRO COLLECTION Figure, inspired by the character from the MARVEL SPIDER-MAN comics. This quality figure with premium design, detail, and multiple points of articulation for posing and display is a great addition to any action figure collection. Includes figure and 2 accessories. Available for pre-order at Hasbro Pulse, Amazon, GameStop, Entertainment Earth, and Big Bad Toy Store.

MARVEL LEGENDS SERIES 6-INCH PETER PARKER RETRO COLLECTION Figure

(HASBRO/Ages 4 years & up/Approx. Retail Price: $19.99/Available: Fall 2020)

Fans, collectors, and kids alike can enjoy this MARVEL LEGENDS SERIES 6-INCH PETER PARKER RETRO COLLECTION Figure, inspired by the character from the MARVEL SPIDER-MAN comics. This quality figure with premium design, detail, and multiple points of articulation for posing and display is a great addition to any action figure collection. Includes figure and 2 accessories. Available for pre-order at Hasbro Pulse, Amazon, GameStop, Entertainment Earth, and Big Bad Toy Store.

MARVEL LEGENDS SERIES 6-INCH GREEN GOBLIN RETRO COLLECTION Figure

(HASBRO/Ages 4 years & up/Approx. Retail Price: $19.99/Available: Fall 2020)

Fans, collectors, and kids alike can enjoy this MARVEL LEGENDS SERIES 6-INCH GREEN GOBLIN RETRO COLLECTION Figure, inspired by the character from the MARVEL SPIDER-MAN comics. This quality figure features premium design, detail, and multiple points of articulation for posing and display, and is a great addition to any action figure collection. Includes figure and 3 accessories. Available for pre-order at Hasbro Pulse, Amazon, GameStop, Entertainment Earth, and Big Bad Toy Store.

MARVEL LEGENDS SERIES 6-INCH GWEN STACY RETRO COLLECTION Figure

(HASBRO/Ages 4 years & up/Approx. Retail Price: $19.99/Available: Fall 2020)

Fans, collectors, and kids alike can enjoy this MARVEL LEGENDS SERIES 6-INCH GWEN STACY RETRO COLLECTION Figure, inspired by the character from the MARVEL SPIDER-MAN comics. This quality figure with premium design, detail, and multiple points of articulation for posing and display is a great addition to any action figure collection. Includes figure and 4 accessories. Available for pre-order at Hasbro Pulse, Amazon, GameStop, Entertainment Earth, and Big Bad Toy Store.

MARVEL LEGENDS SERIES 6-INCH DAREDEVIL RETRO COLLECTION Figure

(HASBRO/Ages 4 years & up/Approx. Retail Price: $19.99/Available: Fall 2020)

Fans, collectors, and kids alike can enjoy this MARVEL LEGENDS SERIES 6-INCH DAREDEVIL RETRO COLLECTION Figure, inspired by the character from the MARVEL comics. This quality figure features premium design, detail, and multiple points of articulation for posing and display, and is a great addition to any action figure collection. Includes figure and 5 accessories. Available for pre-order at Hasbro Pulse, Amazon, GameStop, Entertainment Earth, and Big Bad Toy Store.

*The full MARVEL LEGENDS SERIES 6-INCH RETRO SPIDER-MAN wave is available for pre-order at Entertainment Earth and Big Bad Toy Store.

 MARVEL LEGENDS SERIES 6-INCH A.I.M. TROOPER Figure

(HASBRO/Ages 4 years & up/Approx. Retail Price: $14.99/Available: Fall 2020)

Fans, collectors, and kids alike can enjoy this MARVEL LEGENDS SERIES 6-INCH A.I.M. TROOPER Figure, inspired by the character from the MARVEL comics. This quality figure features premium design, detail, and multiple points of articulation for posing and display, and is a great addition to any action figure collection. Includes figure and 2 accessories. Available for pre-order exclusively at Hasbro Pulse.

 MARVEL LEGENDS SERIES 6-INCH MOON KNIGHT Figure

(HASBRO/Ages 4 years & up/Approx. Retail Price: $19.99/Available: Fall 2020)

Fans, collectors, and kids alike can enjoy this MARVEL LEGENDS SERIES 6-INCH MOON KNIGHT Figure, inspired by the character from the MARVEL comics. This quality figure features premium design, detail, and multiple points of articulation for high poseability and display, and is a great addition to any action figure collection. Includes figure and 9 accessories. Available for pre-order exclusively at Walgreens.

MARVEL LEGENDS SERIES 6-INCH DELUXE MARVEL’S WAR MACHINE Figure

(HASBRO/Ages 4 years & up/Approx. Retail Price: $29.99/Available: Fall 2020)

Fans, collectors, and kids alike can enjoy this MARVEL LEGENDS SERIES 6-INCH DELUXE MARVEL’S WAR MACHINE Figure, inspired by the character from the MARVEL comics. This quality figure features premium design, detail, and multiple points of articulation for high poseability and display, and is a great addition to any action figure collection. Includes figure and 8 accessories. Available for pre-order at Hasbro Pulse, Amazon, Best Buy, Entertainment Earth, and Big Bad Toy Store.

MARVEL LEGENDS SERIES 6-INCH DELUXE MARVEL’S APOCALYPSE Figure

(HASBRO/Ages 4 years & up/Approx. Retail Price: $29.99/Available: Fall 2020)

Fans, collectors, and kids alike can enjoy this MARVEL LEGENDS SERIES 6-INCH DELUXE MARVEL’S APOCALYPSE Figure, inspired by the character from the MARVEL X-MEN AGE OF APOCALYPSE comics series. This quality figure features premium design, detail, and multiple points of articulation for high poseability and display, and is a great addition to any action figure collection. Includes figure and 3 accessories. Available for pre-order at Hasbro Pulse, Amazon, Best Buy, Entertainment Earth, and Big Bad Toy Store.


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Preview: Gwen Stacy #2 (of 5)

Gwen Stacy #2 (of 5)

(W) Christos N. Gage (A) Todd Nauck (CA) Adam Hughes
Rated T
In Shops: Mar 11, 2020
SRP: $3.99

• Gwen’s dad is hurt, in the hospital and implicated in corruption charges.
• But what is a high school student of the month/class president candidate/science team captain supposed to do about that?
• Gwen isn’t the type to sit on her hands even if it means crossing the Crimemaster and worse!!!
• Don’t miss this in-continuity tale that will change the way you look at the most-beloved Marvel character of all time!

Gwen Stacy #2 (of 5)

Around the Tubes

Bang! #1

It’s new comic book day! What’s everyone getting? What are you excited for? Sound off in the comments below. While you think about that, here’s some comic news and reviews from around the web in our morning roundup.

Smash Pages – Creators for Creators accepting 2020 grant applications through May 11 – This is great and comic creators should check it out!

Variety – Jude Law, Taika Waititi Team on Showtime Limited Series ‘The Auteur’ – Interesting.

Reviews

Newsarama – Alienated #1
Newsarama – Bang! #1
Newsarama – Gwen Stacy #1
The Beat – Snapdragon
Newsarama – Wolverine #1

Review: Gwen Stacy #1

Gwen Stacy #1

Marvel has been having success lately with adding unknown history to its characters. Not retcons, these additions flesh out unknown moments and weave in this new revelation into modern storylines. Gwen Stacy #1 kicks off a new direction with that as it lifts the curtain on the classic character before she met Peter Parker.

Written by Christos Gage, the comic is good, though doesn’t quite hook the reader. The issue sets the tone of the series as it takes us from Gwen’s experiences in high school to her relationship with her father. With some crime/police drama thrown in, the series finds its drama with that. And that’s where the series stumbles a bit. More time is spent with the plot swirling around Gwen’s police officer father than it feels with her. While I was expecting a more “Archie inspired” series, instead we get crime drama. She’s a bystander in a way in her own series.

Gwen also feels like an anachronism in a way. She has modern sensibilities but in a comic that doesn’t take place in modern times. The exact date is nebulous and with Marvel’s sliding history it’s hard to pin down. We know when the comic takes place relative to Peter Parker/Spider-Man’s story but that’s it. Gwen’s attitude feels a bit modern compared to some of what’s around her. Her dialogue just doesn’t quite click at times.

The art by Todd Nauck doesn’t pick up the slack of the story. While not bad, there’s an awkwardness to some of the character design. Characters look familiar but off at the same time too. They also don’t quite feel like they’re in high school and instead feel like 20-something actors playing high school students. Rachelle Rosenberg‘s color and Joe Caramagna‘s lettering are good with the colors helping Nauck’s line art.

Gwen Stacy #1 feels like the start of a limited-series where you wonder exactly what was being gone for. An opportunity to deliver a series geared towards middle-grade readers instead is muddled with mob violence and shakedowns. The comic isn’t bad at all but it also doesn’t excite. It just is.

Story: Christos Gage Art: Todd Nauck
Color: Rachelle Rosenberg Letterer: Joe Caramagna
Story: 7.0 Art: 7.0 Overall: 7.0 Recommendation: Read

Marvel provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review

Graphic Policy’s Top Comic Picks this Week!

Gwen Stacy #1

Wednesdays are new comic book day! Each week hundreds of comics are released, and that can be pretty daunting to go over and choose what to buy. That’s where we come in!

Each week our contributors choose what they can’t wait to read this week or just sounds interesting. In other words, this is what we’re looking forward to and think you should be taking a look at!

Find out what folks think below, and what comics you should be looking out for this Wednesday.

Alienated #1 (BOOM! Studios) – Three teenagers stumble upon an unearthly entity as it’s born. That cute little pet is a super-predator in the making, and it’s in need prey. The concept sounds fascinating and BOOM! has been nailing it as far as quality.

Batman: Pennyworth RIP #1 (DC Comics) – Alfred is dead (for now) and while the impact has been touched upon, it’s been missing that focus. Well, here it is.

Big Black Stand At Attica (BOOM! Studios) – The true story about the uprising at Attica Prison.

Dragonfly & Dragonflyman #4 (AHOY Comics) – One of the best comics out there that’s both a love letter, homage, and spoof of comics throughout history. A must for fans of the superhero genre.

Go To Sleep, I Miss You: Cartoons From the Fog of New Parenthood (First Second) – As a parent, these short cartoons are so funny and hit home.

Gwen Stacy #1 (Marvel) – Marvel’s been doing a solid job of filling in history recently and this new series gives us the unknown history of Gwen Stacy.

Hawkeye Freefall #3 (Marvel) – The first two issues were so much fun and we’re expecting more of the same.

Rai (2019) #4 (Valiant) – One of the best comics on the market right now. Each issue has been fantastic.

Tartarus #1 (Image Comics) – A cadet is framed for crimes agains tthe empire after discovering her mother was a ruthless warlord. Sounds entertaining to us!

Undone By Blood #1 (Aftershock) – A tale of revenge set in the 1970s. It’s like this comic was made specifically for us.

Preview: Gwen Stacy #1 (of 5)

Gwen Stacy #1 (of 5)

(W) Christos N. Gage (A) Todd Nauck (CA) Adam Hughes
Rated T
In Shops: Feb 12, 2020
SRP: $4.99

The First of Gwen Stacy’s AMAZING Adventures!

Gwen and Peter may not have met until AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #31, but that doesn’t mean Gwen’s life began on that page. Learn the never-before told origin of Gwen Stacy, top of her class, daughter of the Police Captain and, as her friend Harry Osborn calls her, “The Beauty Queen of Standard High.” But she’s way more that you even know! Gwen’s got a science brain, a nose for trouble and a no-quit attitude that always gets her in trouble. In the early Marvel Universe, that’s a recipe for disaster. Don’t miss Gwen, Captain Stacy, Harry and Norman Osborn, Crimemaster, Wilson Fisk, Jean DeWolff, Yuri Wantanabe and even Spider-Man!

Gwen Stacy #1 (of 5)

Gwen Stacy Teams Up with the Original X-Men in Gwen Stacy #4

Before she met Spidey, Gwen Stacy’s no-quit attitude and nose for trouble was already landing her in dangerous situations. See what happens when she runs afoul of villains like Crime Master, Kingpin, and even the Green Goblin. If it sounds like Gwen bit off more than she can chew, don’t worry— she’ll he’ll have super hero help in May’s Gwen Stacy #4 when she teams up with the Silver Age’s strangest teens, the original X-Men!

The amazing adventures of Gwen Stacy kick off next week when Christos Gage and Todd Nauck’s Gwen Stacy #1 hits stands! In her first ever-series, readers will learn the never-before told origin of one of Marvel’s most beloved characters.

Gwen Stacy #4

Marvel Unveils Connecting Chinese New Year Covers

Last year, Marvel joined forces with Wacom, a company popular with artists for their state-of-the-art graphic tablets, to conduct a nationwide talent search throughout China. The results of this endeavor will be the upcoming Chinese New Year variant covers, the first of which can be seen below!

First up, the talented artist Jie Yuan takes over your favorite Spider-Man titles with three connecting covers, featuring a who’s who of your favorite Spider-Man characters from Miles Morales to Spider-Gwen to Peter Parker himself. Take a look at these awesome variant covers below and be on the lookout for more cover reveals from other artists who Marvel and Wacom found during this exciting creative initiative!

You can pick up these covers in your local comic shop on February 12th. Retailers, don’t forget to order your copies before Monday, January 20th!

Marvel’s Pull List Reveals Gwen Stacy, Falcon & Winter Soldier, X-Men/Fantastic Four, Wolverine, and more!

Marvel has released its special edition of The Pull List, unveiling exclusive information for titles coming to comic shops this February! Check out below for some of what you can soon read!

GWEN STACY #1 (OF 5)

Written by CHRISTOS GAGE
Art by TODD NAUCK
Cover by ADAM HUGHES

The First of Gwen Stacy’s AMAZING Adventures!

Gwen and Peter may not have met until AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #31, but that doesn’t mean Gwen’s life began on that page. Learn the never-before told origin of Gwen Stacy, top of her class, daughter of the Police Captain and, as her friend Harry Osborn calls her, “The Beauty Queen of Standard High.”  But she’s way more that you even know! Gwen’s got a science brain, a nose for trouble and a no-quit attitude that always gets her in trouble. In the early Marvel Universe, that’s a recipe for disaster. Don’t miss Gwen, Captain Stacy, Harry and Norman Osborn, Crimemaster, Wilson Fisk, Jean DeWolff, Yuri Wantanabe and even Spider-Man!

GWEN STACY #1 (OF 5)

FALCON & WINTER SOLDIER #1 (OF 5)

Written by DEREK LANDY
Art by FEDERICO VICENTINI
Cover by DAN MORA

An office of dead government agents. A gifted new killer. Two ex-Captain Americas…

When a dramatic attempt on the life of Bucky Barnes reunites him with Sam Wilson, the two old friends are plunged headlong into a race to uncover the new leader of Hydra before a mass casualty event announces the terror group’s resurgence to the world. The clock is ticking…

Derek Landy (BLACK ORDER, SECRET EMPIRE: UPRISING) and Federico Vicentini (ABSOLUTE CARNAGE: MILES MORALES) team up for a pulse-pounding action spectacular!

FALCON & WINTER SOLDIER #1 (OF 5)

X-MEN/FANTASTIC FOUR #1 (OF 4)

Written by CHIP ZDARSKY
Art and Cover by TERRY DODSON

THE SEEDS WERE PLANTED IN HOUSE OF X….

THE LINE IN THE SAND!

KRAKOA. Every mutant on Earth lives there … except for one. But now it’s time for FRANKLIN RICHARDS to come home.

It’s the X-MEN VS. the FANTASTIC FOUR and nothing will ever be the same.

X-MEN/FANTASTIC FOUR #1 (OF 4)

CONAN THE BARBARIAN #13

Written by JIM ZUB
Art by ROGÊ ANTÔNIO
Cover by E.M. GIST

A NEW ARC BY JIM ZUB & ROGÊ ANTÔNIO

INTO THE CRUCIBLE AS THE MARCH TO KHITAI BEGINS!

Conan has faced many foes since leaving Cimmeria, but the greatest challenge lies ahead!  A perfect jumping-on point for new readers as Conan finds himself in a city in the mystical Uttara Kuru, further on the eastern border than the young barbarian has ever traveled.  And with the new city comes new dangers!  Unfamiliar with the language, Conan inadvertently agrees to be the latest entrant to the Great Crucible.  The people of the city support their foreign champion…but what deadly traps does the Crucible hold, and what will Conan sacrifice to overcome his ordeal?

Writer JIM ZUB (SAVAGE SWORD OF CONAN, AVENGERS: NO ROAD HOME) and artist ROGÊ ANTÔNIO (CONAN 2099, X-MEN RED) lead Conan on an all-new journey, as we begin a new era for CONAN THE BARBARIAN into undiscovered country!

CONAN THE BARBARIAN #13

ANT-MAN #1 (OF 5)

Written by ZEB WELLS
Art by DYLAN BURNETT
Cover by EDUARD PETROVICH

SWARM APPROACHES!

Scott Lang is back and doing better than ever! Er, at least according to him, but his daughter, Stinger, and the anthill he’s living in say otherwise. Desperate to raise his daughter’s opinion of him, Scott takes a job from local beekeepers only to uncover a global conspiracy that could topple the world order! No time to call the Avengers, this sounds like a job for – ANT-MAN?! Join the explosive creative team of Zeb Wells (NOVA) and Dylan Burnett (X-FORCE, COSMIC GHOST RIDER) as they take Ant-Man to all-new heights in this epic adventure!

ANT-MAN #1 (OF 5)

WOLVERINE #1

Written by BENJAMIN PERCY
Art by ADAM KUBERT & VIKTOR BOGDANOVIC
Cover by ADAM KUBERT

THE BEST IS BACK!

Wolverine been through a lot. He’s been a loner. He’s been a killer. He’s been a hero. He’s been an Avenger. He’s been to hell and back. Now, as the nation of Krakoa brings together all Mutantkind, he can finally be… happy? With his family all together and safe, Wolverine has everything he ever wanted… and everything to lose. Writer Benjamin Percy (X-FORCE, WOLVERINE: THE LONG NIGHT) and legendary artist Adam Kubert (X-MEN, AVENGERS) bring the best there is to his new home! PLUS: The return of OMEGA RED!

WOLVERINE #1

Back to School: Ultimate Spider-Man #22-23

Back to School is a weekly issue by issue look at the beloved superhero teen comic Ultimate Spider-ManIn this week’s installment, I will be covering Ultimate Spider-Man #22-23  (2002) written by Brian Michael Bendis, penciled by Mark Bagley, inked by Art Thibert, and colored by Digital Transparency

Ultimate Spider-Man #22 kicks off with a nice cold open as Spider-Man tracks down some roller skating purse snatchers and easily defeats them before he has to rush back to science class. This is because he’s still grounded, and his lunch period at school is the only time he can be a superhero. He and Mary Jane have a very animated conversation about his grounding and his battle against Kraven the Hunter and Dr. Octopus ending in a joke about kissing underneath the bleachers and the surprise return of Harry Osborn. Harry is excited to see Mary Jane and Peter and invites him over to have dinner with his apparently not-dead father. The limo that Norman Osborn sends for Peter impresses Aunt May so much that she puts his grounding on hold for a night. However, this dinner is very much a trap as Peter and Harry go from chatting about girl to Norman telling Peter that he needs to stop being Spider-Man and transforming into a new, improved Green Goblin, who is verbal and can glow fire.

Ultimate Spider-Man #23 goes a little non-linear opening with Spider-Man freaking out about the Green Goblin and flashing back to Norman Osborn saying he keeps Harry docile with hypnotherapy and showing Peter up and close and personal his transformation from the Green Goblin back to Osborn. He also threatens to kill Aunt May and Mary Jane if Spider-Man doesn’t do as he’s told. Then, they watch Harry and Norman’s Dateline interview where they pin the attack on Oscorp on the now dead Justin Hammer, which is Norman Osborn’s lying reason for coming back to the public sphere. This causes Peter to freak out and run home where he has a touching conversation with Aunt May about how he had a bad time at the Osborns and feels bad lying to her. May chalks up his lies to him feeling nervous about his first girlfriend, and Peter is about to tell Mary Jane about what went down at the Osborns when Gwen Stacy knocks on his door. She has nowhere to stay because her dad’s working all night, and her mother has left them. Aunt May lets Gwen stay over and makes her and Peter eggs and has a nice chat with John Stacy in the morning. At school, things are a little weird, and the issue ends with the “grief counselor” Miss Bradley talking to Peter frankly about his life as Spider-Man and Norman Osborn’s new Green Goblin form. It’s implied she works for SHIELD.

In Ultimate Spider-Man #22-23, the opening issues of the “Legacy” story arc, Brian Michael Bendis, Mark Bagley, and Art Thibert show that Norman Osborn is scary apart from his Green Goblin persona. He is a master manipulator who uses a lethal cocktail of gaslighting (He tells Harry that his mother’s death warped his perception of reality.) and hypnotherapy disguised as regular therapy to keep his son Harry compliant. This manipulation extends to the Parker family as Peter accepts his dinner invite even though he is extremely uncomfortable meeting with someone who tried to kill him and greets him with video clips of his last battle with Dr. Octopus. Bagley draws Norman Osborn as towering over Peter like some kind of stern, well-built father figure, and Thibert goes to town on the thick, dark inks on his face. He isn’t off the wall crazy like he was in the first arc of Ultimate Spider-Man with every move, media interview, and threatening word carefully calculated. Osborn’s transformation to the Green Goblin is still monstrous and Hulk-like, but he has power over it. This combination of brains, brawn, and general sociopathy easily make “Green Goblin 2.0” Spider-Man’s most formidable foe yet because if Peter suits up to fight him, his loved ones could die.

In contrast to Norman Osborn’s manipulative bastard of a parent, Aunt May exhibits a more even measured and empathetic approach  to parenting in Ultimate Spider-Man #23. She cares about both Peter’s well-being and privacy providing a listening ear and warm hug after he returns early from the Osborns and even goes easy on him with the whole grounding thing. On paper, that might make her sound like a pushover, or a move from Bendis to give Peter more time with Mary Jane or as Spider-Man. However, the intensely detailed close-up art of Peter and May tells a different story showing Peter as a vulnerable young man, who needs support in a world where powerful, evil men want to kill him.

May’s empathy also extends to the Stacy family, and she sees John as a good-hearted man and honest cop, who is in over his head with the whole single parent thing, especially when that daughter is the firebrand Gwen. She goes from almost lecturing Peter about having a girl over to putting on her house coat and whipping up some tasty eggs for everyone because even the Ultimate Universe Aunt May slays at making breakfast. Gwen popping in on Peter in his basement while he’s wearing his boxer shorts and giving him an attack hug right in front of MJ does make Mary Jane slightly jealous although Gwen’s line of “Hold on to this one, M.J. Solid gold.” assuages her fears a little bit. Bagley tilts Mary Jane’s last panel in Ultimate Spider-Man #23 as Peter gets sent to the principal’s office, and this silent image shows how uneasy she feels about him being Spider-Man, his grounding, and the whole Gwen Stacy showing up at his house in the middle of the night.

Before this awkwardness and the whole return of Norman Osborn drama, Bendis and Bagley give Peter and Mary Jane some fantastic romantic chemistry turning the middle part of Ultimate Spider-Man #22 into a scene from a teen comedy. (Their chat at the football bleachers is yet another example of Marc Webb taking a scene featuring Peter and MJ from Ultimate Spider-Man and using it for Peter and Gwen.) Bagley shows their budding romance through body language and positioning as Mary Jane is glued to him for seven straight pages while they discuss his superhero fight and the overall suckiness of his grounding. He does close-up of Mary Jane’s eyes when Peter talks about how he wants to respect his aunt and not have her sneak over, and it makes you feel really bad for them although Peter definitely deserved his punishment. And they have a shared moment of happiness when Harry makes his big return that is kind of overshadowed by some really juvenile gay jokes about Flash Thompson even though it’s nice to see his toxic masculinity and objectification of women (See panels where he’s pawing at Liz Allen.) taken down a peg.

Usually, Bendis and Bagley are on the same page with the quick fire dialogue and easy to follow panels featuring characters’ faces and big body movement with some speed lines to spice up action sequences. However, they really drop the ball in a fairly crucial double page spread in Ultimate Spider-Man #23 where Harry, Peter, and Norman watch Norman Osborn’s big comeback interview. Thematically, it’s cool to see yet another villain manipulate the press and spin the events of the “Double Trouble” arc in a way that makes him look like the victim unlike Justin Hammer’s inept attempts at lying to the media. However, the reading order of the page goes left to right, right to left, and some horrific panels of Peter sweating and freaking out stuck under a wall of text. Norman’s rise to power, and Peter’s return to powerless is trapped under an onslaught of a couple pages of really bad storytelling. Luckily, Bendis and Bagley salvage things with the Gwen Stacy subplot and an incredibly trippy SHIELD (without saying those words) cliffhanger showing that the Spider-Man vs. Green Goblin isn’t just a mere grudge match, but affects the big picture of superhumans in the United States.

However, Ultimate Spider-Man #22-23 don’t fall into the trap of the “interconnected universe” like Iron Man 2, and Norman Osborn works as a villain because of his personal connection with Peter, who is in a way his son because he got his powers from his Oz formula. Norman also still admires his scientific mind and intellect that was much greater than his biological son Harry, who he sees as weak and spoiled so he makes him docile with hypnotherapy. Spider-Man doesn’t fight the Green Goblin in any of these issues, but the fact that he can be Norman Osborn, ruthless and corrupt businessman, and a more powerful version of the Green Goblin definitely increases his threat level. As both Norman and the Goblin, he towers over Peter and taunts him with his new powers. Like the Kingpin in the second arc of Ultimate Spider-Man, this is a man, who thinks he’s untouchable, and he might be able to back it up with those creepy flame abilities.

After “Double Trouble” introduced three villains (Two were jokes, to be honest.) in rapid succession, Brian Michael Bendis and Mark Bagley go for a more focused approach in “Legacy”, which is influenced by the classic Spider-Man/Green Goblin stories of the late-1960s when Harry Osborn was a drug addict. They use the board clearing plot of the last arc to pave the way for Norman Osborn’s triumphant return and immediately put Peter on the defensive spoiling the return of his friend Harry. A villain with the Hulk-like brawn of the Ultimate Green Goblin and the mind of Norman Osborn is much more formidable one than the non-verbal Green Goblin that appeared in the first arc of Ultimate Spider-Man, and it’s exciting to see Peter cope with a foe that knows the people he cares about. And speaking of those people, Bendis and Bagley are careful to include scenes with Mary Jane, Aunt May, and even friend/potential love interest/general wild card Gwen Stacy, and with his grounding in Ultimate Spider-Man #22, there is plenty of time for interactions and character development.

With the exception of a goose egg of a double page spread in Ultimate Spider-Man #23, Ultimate Spider-Man #22-23 is a fantastic start to the “Legacy” arc with Brian Michael Bendis and Mark Bagley setting up Norman Osborn as Spider-Man’s physical and intellectual superior. It’s also nice to see a genuine heart to heart between Peter and Aunt May as well as the slow build romance between Peter and Mary Jane, which gets complicated by his double life, grounding, and the return of Harry Osborn.

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