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Wednesday, June 22, 2011 

Ultimate Spidey bites the bullet for publicity's sake

Predictably, the MSM has covered the story of Ultimate Peter Parker's demise at the hands of Marvel's publicity stunt, all because that's apparently easier than covering a story about a marriage in comicdom. The New York Post's article says:
The webbed wonder will meet an untimely end while saving his beloved Aunt May from the villainous Green Goblin in "Ultimate Spider-Man" No. 160, which goes on sale tomorrow(Wed.)

Series writer Brian Bendis called Peter's death "truly heroic and sacrificial," and said it brings his story "full circle," since his crimefighting career was spurred by his failure to prevent his Uncle Ben's murder.

"Uncle Ben. I couldn't save him . . . no matter what I did. But I saved you. I did it," the Queens teen tells his aunt with a slight smile on his face as his body goes limp, with some of his Forest Hills neighbors recording the scene on their camera phones.
Well at least it's not as abominable as 616 Spidey's deal with Mephisto. But that still doesn't make this an extravagant occasion worth covering in the mainstream press. No way. This whole idea's been done to death, for lack of a better word.
While several of Spidey's superhero brethren like Captain America and Superman have returned from the grave, Bendis said Peter's gone for good. "This is the last hurrah. This is it," he said. "There's a real point to this and the point doesn't work if we don't stick to our guns."

Bendis, who's written Marvel's contemporary "Ultimate universe" version of Spidey since his debut almost 11 years ago, said he "was blubbering like a fool" while writing Ultimate Spidey's ultimate scene. The character was like a family member, he said, "and I murdered him!"
Oh for heaven's sake. This is no better than Bendis' other lowbrow comments to the press, like what he said about the Avengers. All he succeeds in is being just as sleazy as before.
Marvel editor-in-chief Axel Alonso said the death paves the way for a new character to claim Peter's arachnid alter-ego this fall.

"There's going to be a brand new Spider-Man" in a brand new costume, Alonso said, while refusing to reveal the identity of the new wall-crawler. He'll make his debut in "Ultimate Comics Fallout" in August before taking over "Ultimate Spider-Man" in September. "We're certain readers will fall in love with him the way they did with Peter," Alonso said.
Assuming there's still enough readers left to care. Not many are left with a positive take on Bendis, that's for sure.
Traditional Parker fans, meanwhile, can still get their fix of the original hard-luck hero in Marvel's "Amazing Spider-Man" comics, where he'll still be wielding the webs in his iconic red and blue costume.
Oh, I'm afraid not. They're still blanking out the Spider-Marriage, and the writing is still as riddled with cynicism as ever. And Alonso is just as alienating an editor as Joe Quesada was before him.

The AP Wire has some interesting notes about the history of how the Ultimate line's dealt with deaths:
The death is real and in Marvel's Ultimate Comics imprint, death is not something taken lightly. Characters in that universe are dead and gone, never to return. The roll of the deceased already includes Magneto, Wasp and Wolverine, among others.
It sounds like the Ultimate line is a pretty short-term concept, treating its cast even more disposably than the main 616 universe's own cast. Even if it's not the main line, I still can't see what the point is of killing off any cast members. Why not just drop them quietly from the story and simply not bother to use them anymore? That would make a much healthier alternative to the slaughters.
"Ten years ago, Brian Bendis and Mark Millar changed the way people saw super heroes with the birth of the Ultimate Universe. With 'Death of Spider-Man' the two have done it again, creating a story just as big, and something that would really resonate with fans," said Mark Paniccia, Marvel senior editor. "But Peter's death doesn't signal the end of their larger plan — it's the start of one of the most ambitious stories you've ever read in comics."
Yes, we've heard that line before too. Really nothing special.

And looking at the USA Today coverage, I have to wonder if Bendis wants people to think he's really a "girly-man". He says:
"Listen, I sat there typing this thing with tears in my eyes like a big baby!" Bendis says. "I went upstairs to my wife, and I go, 'I am so embarrassed. I think I've literally been crying for 45 minutes.' I've had real things happen in my life I didn't cry about, and yet I'm crying about this.

"I became very proud of it, and that's not an adjective I often put on myself."
For heaven's sake, he makes himself sound emasculated, hardly a good example for men. Do the things he didn't cry about include his desecration of the Avengers and Scarlet Witch? And how do we know he isn't proud of the hack job he pulled there 7 years ago? He certainly did sound pleased with himself in earlier interviews.

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I'm surprised he didn't cry 'WRY,' as well.

Good God, whatever happened to getting all broody and pissed off, like the typical male reason to anything bad? Or, punch a mirror, or something. Hey, I hated it when DC killed off my non de plume or any of my favorite characters, but I didn't get all weepy about it. (Maybe a little choked up, but nothing like what Bendis did.) Then again, maybe he is just becoming a by-product of the times.

I'm sorry, but I can't swallow this one. However, good observation about his doing what he did to Scarlet Witch. I'd love to hear the answer to that one.

Ultimate Aunt May looks like a teenager with premature greying. Worry will do that to you.

I'd just as soon see the whole line will go under. Poop that turned into worse poop.

Ultimate Uncle Ben had a ponytail, too, as I recall. How kewl.

Odds the new Ulti-Spidey is going to be named Ben Reilly?

Odds the Ultimate Universe is nothing but a few one-shots, miniseries, and specials a year or so from now?

Odds it doesn't exist a year after that?

I give it a couple of years or no more than 5 years. As if the concept didn't catch on, as all this started in 2000, it would have ended long ago, right?

It's what always happens with Marvel alternate universes.

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