Ultimate Spider-Man: Cats and Kings

The problem is, it feels like all of my Ultimate Spider-Man reviews are basically the same. That is the only problem, though. I’m pretty sure that if there were forty years’ worth of this series to read, I wouldn’t read anything else for a long, long time. As it is, I hold myself in check, so that I won’t run out for a while. (See also: the Dresden Files)

So, in Cats and Kings, Aunt May continues to be the best (rather than worst) supporting character in comics, J. Jonah Jameson[1] shows sudden depth of character, Mary Jane reveals new troubles that, in retrospect, have been there all along, and… oh, right! There’s also some crime-fighting! Including the return of Spidey’s first foe, the Kingpin, the reveal of a single-dimensional Elektra that has nothing much to do with the one I’ve reviewed lately[2], and new-to-me character Black Cat, who… okay, despite an apparent cribbing of a DC character you may or may not be familiar with, seems like she might be the best crossover between Peter’s life and Spider-Man’s since the Osborn family. It remains to be seen, though!

As usual, none of this comes close to capturing the essential funness of the series. Every volume is like reading the first day of sunlight in the spring in Seattle, or reading your kid’s first steps, or reading the first time you ever had sex with Scarlett Johansson.[3]

[1] He runs the newspaper, the Daily Bugle, where Peter Parker works. But you knew that?
[2] Which is pretty much a good thing. The Ultimate Daredevil and Elektra in their own books have no good way to cross-over with the rest of the Ultimate universe, unlike most of the rest of what I’ve read.
[3] Too much hype?

3 thoughts on “Ultimate Spider-Man: Cats and Kings

  1. Mike Kozlowski

    The Black Cat is a classic Spider-Man character who had a number of different roles for decades, and they’re sort of condensing her into her most important/iconic aspects here, like they do with a lot of the Ultimate stuff.

  2. Chris Post author

    I sometimes feel like it’s an obscure sort of cheat, to get all of this cool stuff because some people decided to stand on the backs of 40-50 years of spread-out coolness, and be able to get rid of the enh stuff.

    But then I realize that, no, this is completely awesome, and not a cheat at all. Yay!

  3. Mike Kozlowski

    Plus, in addition to the whole “pick out all the good stuff from history” thing, having had a single consistent writer for the entire run of Ultimate Spider-Man from issue #1 onward is kind of a huge advantage.

    The comics like Fantastic Four and X-Men that have had random piles of authors aren’t NEARLY as consistent.

    (By the way, did I ever tell you that a lot of Bendis’s other stuff is very good, and you should pick up at least his Alias, which is set in the Marvel Universe, but not in a way that depends on continuity for like 99% of it? (Although after it ended, and Bendis ended up writing the Avengers and everything, his characters became continuity important… but that doesn’t change that Alias is still basically standalone.)


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