Published on June 2nd, 2024 | by Matt Fischer

Ultimate Spider-Man #5 (2024) Review

Ultimate Spider-Man #5 (2024) Review Matt Fischer

Summary: This is a very odd but good issue. It's good because we get even more world building information as well as some tremendous art. Harry Osborn is forced to grow up extremely quickly, but like all kids, he's going to make mistakes. It's going to be interesting watching him grow and stumble. It's odd because for the second issue in a row, there is no Spider-Man in a book about Spider-Man.



Background – The birth of a goblin.

Writing – Let’s break this down:

  1. It’s somewhat comforting to know that Norman Osborn is still a terrible father in any universe. It’s also depressing to see that even in this new fresh universe Harry Osborn is still trying to live up to his father’s insane standards. Finding Stark’s cache of armors proves to be a godsend for him, allowing him to avenge his family, but I’m fairly certain it also allows him to deal with his negative impulses. He very clearly enjoys being the Green Goblin and beating up the Shocker. He also seems to take pleasure in taunting the now captured Bullseye. Watching Harry from this point out is going to have to be a priority (one that I don’t think this Peter Parker is up for just yet).
  2. Gwen’s attitude is perplexing. The Gwen we met last issue showed so much love to Harry and was very gung-ho about getting business done. The Gwen we see in this issue is kind of detached from everything. She doesn’t see the business or practical applications of finding Stark’s armor. She just wants data. It’s a slightly jarring shift because this part of the story only takes place a few months ago. What led to such a personality change in such a short amount of time? UNLESS what we saw was Gwen’s “saleswoman” act last issue and this is the real Gwen. Hmm…
  3. Wilson Fisk has very quickly taken up the mantle of Kingpin. Whatever cautious nature he exhibited in the prior issues is now just gone. He is actually acting more like his old Ultimate Universe counterpart than the mainstream one (which I guess makes sense). 616 Kingpin was always more concerned about being a villain and destroying his enemies, while the 1610 Kingpin just wanted to amass wealth and keep his position of power.
  4. We get to see Bullseye’s face! I’m still convinced that this Bullseye might be Remy LeBeau and not Lester, although Harry does mention that he has an embedded exoskeleton, so maybe I’m wrong?
  5. Otto Octavius has arrived! He is still portrayed as a brilliant scientist who has become Harry’s version of Q. Having built the Goblin armor with materials found in the lab, he’s very proud of himself. While metal arms do not come up in any conversation involving him, he is VERY keen on playing with the arc reactor the Stark’s kept in the lab. If that isn’t a setup for an origin story than I know nothing about comics.
  6. So Shocker wasn’t Herman Schultz this time? In an interesting turn of events, this guy broke into some other fellow’s apartment and witnessed Tony Stark’s message being played, asking the guy to take up the gauntlets. The unnamed guy had a heart attack though, so he took them for himself. This brings up so many questions:
    • Is the Shocker we met Herman Schultz or somebody new?
    • If it’s somebody new then was the heart attack guy Herman Schultz?
    • If the heart attack guy was Herman, then why would Stark be imploring him to take the gauntlets? Why would Tony try and make a villain? Unless he wanted the guy to become a new hero and the gauntlets fell into the hands of the guy we met a few issues ago? Hmm…
  7. Finally, we come to Peter Parker. While all we get is a flashback to Harry and Peter having drinks the night they met, we do learn a few new things about Peter and Harry. We learn that Harry knows about The Maker’s “cabal” and that he plans on stopping them once and for all. In terms of Peter, we simply learn that being told that he should have been a great hero resonated with Peter straight to the bone. Peter knows this is what he’s supposed to do.

Artwork – All of this is so good. We get to see a small fraction of the armor vault that Harry inherited, with the best part being a cameo of the original Ultimate Universes Iron Man outfit. But the single best piece of art for me is the fact that Otto Octavius looks EXACTLY like Peter Parker would have if he was bitten all those years ago: A nerdy kid with glasses with the SAME exact haircut peter had in the 1960’s. Heck, Otto’s even wearing a sweater vest and a tie. That’s got to be more than just an easter egg, right?

Final Thoughts – This is a very… odd issue. Not because of the writing or the art, but because this universe is still so new. Amazing Spider-Man did an all-villain issue 13 or so years ago. That was issue 682 or something like that. This is issue 5 (yes, I am not taking the other two series or Ultimate Invasion into account). We received one panel of Spider-Man and I’m not even factoring in that it was the early black jumpsuit version to boot. This is the second issue in a row where Spider-Man doesn’t even make an appearance in costume. WE WANT MORE SPIDER-MAN!

All that being said, this is a damn good-odd issue. We get some fantastic art, with callbacks to a world that might have been (The Ultimate Armor, Bullseye) and a story about a boy who must very quickly become a man. We meet some new old characters (Otto!), and we get more exploration of how Harry came to own Stark Enterprises. With a bit more Spider-Man, this would have been a 5. This is still the best of the Ultimate line.

Comic Details

Final score: 4 out of 5

Publisher:  Marvel

Writer:  Jonathan Hickman

Guest Artist: David Messina

Color Artist: Matthew Wilson

Cover Artist: Marco Checchetto & Matthew Wilson

Letterer: VC’s Cory Petit

Genre:  Superhero

Format: Monthly

Release Date: 05/29/2024

About the Author'

Lover of all things nerdy. Reader of Comics for over 25 years. DC encyclopedia. Marvel lover. Indie side guy.

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