The clerk at the library was so awful last weekend. He literally opened up his phone to check the time, as I handed him my books to check out. Where has the courtesy gone?
Ultimate Spider-Man Vol. 22: Ultimatum
by Brian Bendis, David LaFuente and Stuart Immonen
collecting Ultimate Spider-Man Annual #3 and Ultimate Spider-Man #'s 129-133
(Amazon, out of print)
This paperback contains the final annual and the final issues of Ultimate Spider-Man before any reboot nonsense. There are two stories: in the annual, Mary and Peter's relationship moves forward in that awkward way that teenage relationships do, and a "Mysterio" is hinted at. The payoff for his introduction isn't in this trade, so that hurts the reading experience for this trade.
The second story is the five-part "Ultimatum," as Peter tries to save New York from Magneto's tidal wave, and teams up with the Hulk to save it. Here's a super-sweet spread from Immonen and friends:
Ultimate J. Jonah Jameson realizes that he made a mistake about Spider-Man: as NYC is engulfed in the tsunami, he types one last article, on the goodness of Spider-Man. Immonen and Bendis make a nice send-off for Ultimate Peter, and there's a small interview with Bendis that wraps up his run on Ultimate Spider-Man. Plus, the final page is a thank you page to everyone involved, including you, the reader!
The finality of these sentiments are a little weakened in retrospect, because any well-read Spider-fan knows that there was a whole new volume of Ultimate Peter, from Bendis and LaFuente, before Peter actually died. I'm sure it read pretty dramatic at the time, but to really enjoy this, you're gonna have to wipe your brain of some spider-history, that I don't think is worth doing. This volume is only for completists, or people who don't know better.
Welcome to Tranquility
by Gail Simone and Neil Googe
collecting Wildstorm's Welcome to Tranquility #'s 1-6, plus Worldstorm #1
(Amazon, out of print)
Here's a little gem that you haven't heard of. Simone excels at building the world of Tranquility, a retirement community for silver-age-esque superheroes. The first issue introduces a murder mystery that unravels a lot of problems simmering under the skin of Tranquility, and it results in a clash of generations and of superheroes. Rose-colored flashbacks are told alongside a less optimistic present that challenges a few of the ideas that are embedded in super-comics. If you take the time to learn about Tranquility and its inhabitants, you won't regret it.
Welcome to Tranquility had a sequel! We'll read this next week.
This Wednesday: Secret Avengers, Chew and others.
See you there!
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