Monday, December 18, 2017 • Morning Edition • "Brought to you by the lowest bidder!"

Ultimate Spider-Man Vol. 2 - Bendis Bagley

Written by Arion on Friday, March 08 2013 and posted in Blog

When you are in high school you can never be too sure about your own feelings. All those hormones and physical changes will keep you distracted and unfocused, and that’s what Bendis reminds us in the second volume of Ultimate Spider-Man. After the death of uncle Ben, Peter Parker has decided to admit that “with great power there must also come great responsibility”, but it doesn’t matter how hard he tries to do the right thing, he keeps ruining the possibilities of having a relationship with Mary Jane.

Peter will realize quite quickly that having a secret life as a masked vigilante comes at a very high price. There are some truly wonderful moments here, such as aunt May’s breakdown, when she thinks Peter is never at home because he simply doesn’t want to be around her, the boy ends up crying, telling her that she loves her. Just as he cried in the arms of Mary Jane after the murder of his uncle.

In this second volume we see Peter getting closer to Mary Jane. Powers can never guarantee getting a good love life, on the contrary, they can be a real problem. And that’s what Peter realizes when he has to cancel his first date with Mary Jane after getting hurt in one of his missions. Besides, Spider-Man’s powers may not be enough to grant him victory over his enemies, and that’s what he learns after fighting against the Kingpin. It’s only thanks to his intelligence that he can defeat the Kingpin at the end.
Ultimate Spider-Man Vol. 2 - Bendis Bagley
Remembering uncle Ben / recordando al tío Ben

Bendis sure can write some really hilarious moments, but perhaps my favorite takes place in Confessions (Ultimate Spider-Man # 13). Peter Parker invites Mary Jane to his house, they start talking and Peter tells her that he must confess a secret: he is Spider-Man. After reading superhero comics for so many years, I’ve seen many scenes of secret identities revealed but none as poignant and as funny as this one. This is basically an entire issue that revolves around some very common aspects of superhero dynamics, and Bendis plays with all the established clichés and in return gives us something truly unique and fresh.

There have been some subtle references to sexuality in the previous volume, and this time what we get are basically a series of jokes that have some level of sexual tension. For instance, Mary Jane screams quite loudly when she sees Peter climbing up his room’s wall, and then excited by the situation she starts jumping on the bed, making some strong squeaky noises. Immediately, aunt May enters his nephew’s room absolutely convinced that they are having sex. Which is only logical, after all, what else could a couple of horny teenagers do in a locked room? 

She even mentions safe sex and tells Peter she doesn’t want “any hanky-panky” in the house. As a matter of fact, Peter hasn’t even kissed Mary Jane yet (although he gets very close to do so in this chapter). Peter is still an innocent boy, and the fact that he almost kisses one of the most beautiful girls in the school makes him feel on cloud nine. Once again penciler Mark Bagley and inker Art Thibert form a very solid artistic team. Bagley keeps these kids as young as they should be, and he delivers some really amazing action scenes. This truly is, like Entertainment Weekly said, “one of the most emotionally resonant depictions of teendom in comics since Spider-Man’s debut 38 years ago”.
Ultimate Spider-Man Vol. 2 - Bendis Bagley
Spider-Man versus Kingpin

Cuando estás en secundaria, tus sentimientos son algo de lo que nunca estás del todo seguro. Todas esas hormonas y cambios corporales te distraen y desconcentran, y eso es lo que Bendis nos recuerda en el segundo volumen de Ultimate Spider-Man. Después de la muerte del tío Ben, Peter Parker ha decidido admitir que "un gran poder conlleva una gran responsa-bilidad", pero no importa qué tanto intente hacer lo correcto, sigue arruinando las posibilidades de tener una relación con Mary Jane.

Peter descubrirá con bastante rapidez que tener una vida secreta como un vigilante enmascarado tiene un precio. Hay algunos momentos realmente maravillosos aquí, como la crisis de la tía May; cuando ella piensa que Peter nunca está en casa porque no quiere ni verla, el chico termina llorando, diciéndole que sí la quiere. Al igual que lloró en los brazos de Mary Jane después del asesinato de su tío.
Ultimate Spider-Man Vol. 2 - Bendis Bagley
Peter Parker & Mary Jane 

En este segundo volumen vemos a Peter cada vez más cerca a Mary Jane. Los poderes nunca garantizan una buena vida amorosa, por el contrario, pueden ser un verdadero problema. Y eso es lo que Peter constata cuando tiene que cancelar su primera cita con Mary Jane después de salir herido en una de sus misiones. Además, los poderes de Spider-Man no son suficientes para triunfar sobre sus enemigos, y esto queda comprobado tras la pelea contra el Kingpin. Al final será sólo gracias a su inteligencia que podrá derrotar al Kingpin.

Bendis sin duda escribe algunos momentos hilarantes, pero tal vez mi favorito ocurre en "Confesiones" (Ultimate Spider-Man # 13). Peter Parker invita a Mary Jane a su casa, empiezan a hablar y Peter le dice que debe confesar un secreto: él es Spider-Man. Después de leer cómics de súper-héroes por tantos años, he visto muchas escenas en las que se revela la identidad secreta pero ninguna tan significativa y divertida como esta. Este es básicamente un ejemplar entero dedicado a los aspectos más comunes de la dinámica heroica, y Bendis juega con todos los clichés establecidos y nos entrega a cambio algo realmente único y fresco. 
Ultimate Spider-Man Vol. 2 - Bendis Bagley
the confession / la confesión

Había algunas referencias sutiles a la sexualidad en el volumen anterior, y esta vez tenemos básicamente una serie de bromas que presentan cierto nivel de tensión sexual. Por ejemplo, Mary Jane grita bastante cuando ve a Peter trepando por el techo de su habitación, y emocionada por la situación empieza a saltar en la cama, haciendo un fuerte sonido chirriante. Inmedia-tamente, la tía May entra al cuarto de su sobrino, absolutamente convencida de que están teniendo sexo. Algo lógico, después de todo, ¿qué otra cosa podría hacer una pareja adolescente a puertas cerradas? 

Ella incluso menciona el sexo seguro y le dice a Peter que no quiere "ninguna travesura" en la casa. De hecho, Peter ni siquiera ha besado a Mary Jane (aunque está casi a punto de hacerlo en este número). Peter todavía es un chico inocente, y el hecho de haber estado a punto de besar a una de las chicas más lindas del colegio lo hace sentir en la gloria. Una vez más, los lápices de Mark Bagley y las tintas de Art Thibert se combinan muy bien. Bagley logra que estos muchachos sean tan jóvenes como deben ser, y logra escenas de acción asombrosas. Esto es verdaderamente, como dijo Entertainment Weekly, "uno de los retratos del mundo adolescente más emocionalmente resonantes desde el debut de Spider-Man hace 38 años".

Originally Published at


Help spread the word, loyal readers! Share this story on social media:

Comment without an Outhouse Account using Facebook

We get it. You don't feel like signing up for an Outhouse account, even though it's FREE and EASY! That's okay. You can comment with your Facebook account below and we'll take care of adding it to the stream above. But you really should consider getting a full Outhouse account, which will allow you to quote posts, choose an avatar and sig, and comment on our forums too. If that sounds good to you, sign up for an Outhouse account by clicking here.

Note: while you are welcome to speak your mind freely on any topic, we do ask that you keep discussion civil between each other. Nasty personal attacks against other commenters is strongly discouraged. Thanks!
Help spread the word, loyal readers! Share this story on social media:

About the Author - Arion

Arion, who is either from Chile or New York (it’s not really clear) writes a blog that the Outhouse steals on a regular basis.  Arion is by far the nicest of all the staff writers and the most well behaved only having been banned from one country.  One thing we really appreciate about Aroin is that he writes his reviews in English and Spanish and we hope someday he’ll translate this blurb for us.  We’re not so good at languages, just look at how well we write in English if you need proof.  You should bookmark Arion’s blog - – and actually look at it.  There will be a quiz at the end of every month.


More articles from Arion
The Outhouse is not responsible for any butthurt incurred by reading this website. All original content copyright the author. Banner by Ali Jaffery - he's available for commission!