Ultimate Spider-Man #80

Story: Untitled
Reviewer: Paul Sebert

Writer: Brian Michael Bendis
Pencils: Mark Bagley
Inker: Scott Hanna
Colorist: J.D. Smith
Letters: Chris Eliopoulos
Editors: Ralph Macchio
Publisher: A Marvel Pop-Art Production

He’s the most powerful crime lord in New York City. He has a finger on the pulse of the city’s gun and drug smuggling markets. He’s even managed to beat a murder charge despite the crime being caught on tape. He’s Wilson Fisk, the Kingpin of New York. It’s his world, we all just live in it. And now he’s making an offer that Spidey can’t refuse.

Last issue introduced a new figure into New York’s underworld: Hammerhead. A far cry from the Dick Tracy-esque caricature who shares his name in the mainline Marvel Universe, this Hammerhead is a hardwired mutant mob enforcer hell bent on taking over the city’s syndicates. Also introduced into the mix is Moon Knight, a violent vigilante who thinks Spidey is up to no good.

Now added to the mix is a guy named Danny Rand, a rather well meaning prisoner, who’s up for parole and going to be on the streets soon and Electra, who is working at the Kingpin’s side. All the ingredients are in place for a wild ride.

However, for the moment, we’re caught in the calm before the storm. Spidey is coming to understand just what is going down, and in a stunning confrontation with Kingpin we learn just how high the stakes are.

Despite some overly downbeat arcs last year, Ultimate Spider-Man remains one of Marvel’s best titles. Bendis continues to dazzle readers with his snappy dialog and thoroughly enjoyable stories. Mark Bagley’s art is some of the best in the business with each page filled with detail and subtlety. The facial expressions during the opening sequence with Rand are wonderful, as is the dark malevolence of Wilson Fisk’s sinister smile later in the book.

In short the latest story arch of Ultimate Spider-Man looks to be another entertaining ride.