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Ultimate Spider-Man, Volume 5: Public Scrutiny

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Peter Parker, a.k.a. Spider-Man, fights perhaps his most dangerous foe yet--a man on a crime spree dressed up as the web slinger--leading to the destruction of Gwen Stacy's family and threatening his relationship with M.J. Peter Parker, a.k.a. Spider-Man, fights perhaps his most dangerous foe yet--a man on a crime spree dressed up as the web slinger--leading to the destruction of Gwen Stacy's family and threatening his relationship with M.J.


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Peter Parker, a.k.a. Spider-Man, fights perhaps his most dangerous foe yet--a man on a crime spree dressed up as the web slinger--leading to the destruction of Gwen Stacy's family and threatening his relationship with M.J. Peter Parker, a.k.a. Spider-Man, fights perhaps his most dangerous foe yet--a man on a crime spree dressed up as the web slinger--leading to the destruction of Gwen Stacy's family and threatening his relationship with M.J.

30 review for Ultimate Spider-Man, Volume 5: Public Scrutiny

  1. 4 out of 5

    James DeSantis

    This is the best volume yet! This gets to have Peter deal with bigger consequences than before. First off someone is pretending to be Spider-man. In doing so it tarnishes Spider-man's name and in a bloody result Peter is shot by the police. On top of that Gwen is not doing good and her family is breaking apart and so she begins to live with the Parkers. On top of that some fetal encounters, messy relationships, and a very angry teenager all come to a explosive result. I loved the hell out of all This is the best volume yet! This gets to have Peter deal with bigger consequences than before. First off someone is pretending to be Spider-man. In doing so it tarnishes Spider-man's name and in a bloody result Peter is shot by the police. On top of that Gwen is not doing good and her family is breaking apart and so she begins to live with the Parkers. On top of that some fetal encounters, messy relationships, and a very angry teenager all come to a explosive result. I loved the hell out of all the interactions. I also think the big plot points really helped build characters for everyone. MJ you feel for her, Peter? You feel for him. Gwen? You feel for her. Hard to balance so many characters but they do it. I also think some major shifts work well. One death came a bit sooner than I expected but the rest was great. A 4.5 out of 5.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Lloyd

    This fifth volume, continuing what was the flagship title of Marvel's Ultimate line, carries on with modernizing nuances of classic Spider-Man stories. In this one, a crook in a Spider-Man costume is dragging the real Spider-Man's name through the mud by committing robberies and other heinous crimes around town. Could he be Peter's biggest threat yet since becoming Spider-Man? This one also (while I can't say how well, since I've not read the original) adapts the death of Captain Stacy, Gwen Sta This fifth volume, continuing what was the flagship title of Marvel's Ultimate line, carries on with modernizing nuances of classic Spider-Man stories. In this one, a crook in a Spider-Man costume is dragging the real Spider-Man's name through the mud by committing robberies and other heinous crimes around town. Could he be Peter's biggest threat yet since becoming Spider-Man? This one also (while I can't say how well, since I've not read the original) adapts the death of Captain Stacy, Gwen Stacy's father. The art remains the perfect style for the action packed, fun style of the story. Again, as with past volumes I've taken the time to review, not my favorite comic book art ever, but still damn solid. I'd recommend this one to fans of Spidey and those wanting a great superhero read.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Nicky

    More development with Gwen Stacy, wooo. Bendis doesn't seem to be doing that well at portraying the emotional life of the female characters surrounding Peter, though. The problems Mary Jane was having weren't exactly a surprise to me, but I didn't feel that they came off quite right, either; and Gwen Stacy felt melodramatic even though she has perfectly good reasons to feel terrible. Aunt May was... I don't really know what's going on with her, either. He does very well at pretty much everything More development with Gwen Stacy, wooo. Bendis doesn't seem to be doing that well at portraying the emotional life of the female characters surrounding Peter, though. The problems Mary Jane was having weren't exactly a surprise to me, but I didn't feel that they came off quite right, either; and Gwen Stacy felt melodramatic even though she has perfectly good reasons to feel terrible. Aunt May was... I don't really know what's going on with her, either. He does very well at pretty much everything else to do with Peter, though: Peter's emotions, the problems he faces, etc.

  4. 4 out of 5

    David Sarkies

    Not to be confused with 'The Amazing Spiderman' 14 December 2013 As I was wondering through my local lending libraries I discovered that there was quite a large collection of graphic novels, including not just the multitude of Manga but also a collection of superhero graphic novels as well. Now, I have never really been a fan of the super hero comics, and I generally don't read many graphic novels anyway (unless of course they are Tintin or Asterix) but I decided that I would grab a Spiderman one Not to be confused with 'The Amazing Spiderman' 14 December 2013 As I was wondering through my local lending libraries I discovered that there was quite a large collection of graphic novels, including not just the multitude of Manga but also a collection of superhero graphic novels as well. Now, I have never really been a fan of the super hero comics, and I generally don't read many graphic novels anyway (unless of course they are Tintin or Asterix) but I decided that I would grab a Spiderman one and read it to see what it was like. Well, I have read a couple in the past, one being an X-men graphic novel and another being a Wolverine Graphic novel, however I simply found them to be rather ordinary (and that yellow spandex uniform that they wear is rather laqme). I have since grabbed some more from the library (after returning Spiderman) if only to bump up the number of books that I have read, and also since they are pretty quick to read as well. The problem with these comics though is that they do have some form of order in which things begin to unfold, and then there are multiple universes which can be considered to be some form of reboot, though the multiple universes do end up running side by side. This particular comic is set in what they call the Ultimate Universe (which is why it is called The Ultimate Spiderman, as opposed to The Amazing Spiderman, which I suspect is also a different universe from the comic series simply titled Spiderman). In a way I find Spiderman to be kind of cool, but maybe that is because I liked the Sam Rami trilogy (and now they have rebooted it by calling it The Amazing Spiderman, and I wonder if sometime in the future there will be another reboot called the Ultimate Spiderman). Anyway, this particular comic has Spiderman come up against, well, nothing in particular. The first part of it has him trying to get away from school (including darting away from a parent-teacher interview, dodging the principle, and then escaping some bullies) only to discover that the monster that is rampaging through New York has been stopped by none other than Iron Man (though I suspect that he looks nothing like Robert Downey Jnr). Then somebody decides to put on a Spiderman costume and start robbing banks and jewellery stores, and in the meantime Gwen Stacey's father is unceremoniously blown to bits (saving a little boy) the day after her mother walked out on her. Also, Peter Parker's relationship with MJ is once again on the rocks (if the movies are anything to go by) and despite her knowing that he is Spiderman, decides that the stress of having him risk his life and worrying whether he will ever come home, comes to the conclusion that she has to break up with him (as if that will actually stop anything, because it is not as if she had decided that he is a jerk, she still loves him, she does doesn't want to worry about him anymore, but the problem is that she will no doubt continue to worry about him, so breaking up won't stop anything – apparently that is why there is such a high divorce rate among police officers in the United States). Well, I seem to have rambled on a bit on this comic, so I guess it is now time to turn my attention elsewhere, though I do have a Nightwing Graphic Novel, and X-men graphic novel, and an Amazing Spiderman graphic novel to read and comment on now. That is the thing that I like about lending libraries is that you can get your hands of books and read them, and you can dump them back on them afterwards without having to pay a cent. However the problem is that you are severely limited by their collection, and as can be suspected, people probably borrow them with no intention of ever returning them.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Jack Herbert Christal Gattanella

    Now how is it supposed to work when there is no real major foe against Spider-Man? The Rhino is in the first issue of this, but, in a brilliant stroke of creativity in this NYC Marvel world, gets taken out by Iron Man while Parker isnt looking. In a sense the thesis is laid out for Peter but it also comes with complications: he has this power, he has this responsibility, but has he really RECKONED with that yet? The irony of another hero saving the day is one part of it - if he never put on the Now how is it supposed to work when there is no real major foe against Spider-Man? The Rhino is in the first issue of this, but, in a brilliant stroke of creativity in this NYC Marvel world, gets taken out by Iron Man while Parker isnt looking. In a sense the thesis is laid out for Peter but it also comes with complications: he has this power, he has this responsibility, but has he really RECKONED with that yet? The irony of another hero saving the day is one part of it - if he never put on the suit to begin with, couldn't others have picked up the slack - but theres also the main meat of the story, where the entire image of Spider-Man gets (momentarily but irrevocably) corrupted due to the very act of what he does. Sometimes the whole "theres a double oh no" thing can get old, but Bendis's idea here is to use the image against everyone. And at the end of it all (spoiler?) the guy impersonating Spidey isnt some arch criminal mastermind or someone under control from one of the bigger-bads, he's... just an average shlub who (like many a Spiderman villain before - not least of which the Rhino) just wants to rob banks. It's the criminals fault that Stacy dies, but what fault is there for Parker, by proxy? And then theres Mary Jane, oh boy there. This is where I think Bendis gets the drama and (dark?) humor so damn well. It *is* a high school trials and tribulations story, but not one character is written falsely, and when it comes time for Mary Jane to unload everything inside of her near the end, it's totally heartbreaking because of what she's had to go through and how the lines of communication between them are *not* equal, not really. I'm not sure if ive read or heard anyone talk about if Ultimate Spider-Man is a feminist text, but the case could be made as far as how Bendis draws out MJ and Gwen as people who are defined well but the commentary is also, shit, how much am I supposed to be or should I be defined by men? Gwen gets tragically robbed of that (and this comes with a father she may or may not have taken for granted), but MJ already has for many years. Where is this series going to go? I have a few ideas. For now ill sleep on having powered thru the better part of three of these volumes in a night and know I'm reading some of Bendis's sharpest work. He really loves these characters and this world and it shows, and his storytelling is so fucking fantastic: those panels showing Peter, MJ and Gwen going up to and then Gwen getting the bad news - really anything with Gwen actually - is heartbreaking in a quiet way. This is much more grown-up at times than I have to wonder if kids will get all the subtleties; id like to think they will, or already have.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Patrick Mede

    It was an incredibly nice, well done, well contained touch having Peter run through his school trying his damnedest to get out and into his Spider-Man suit. It shows how great the Parker character is, that there are so many things keeping him in his real life, that he can barely deal with the whole other Spider-man life. And more than that, that his character is so strong, that we can live inside his world, without yearning for the action and the Spider-Man. Take that, Clark Kent. This series has It was an incredibly nice, well done, well contained touch having Peter run through his school trying his damnedest to get out and into his Spider-Man suit. It shows how great the Parker character is, that there are so many things keeping him in his real life, that he can barely deal with the whole other Spider-man life. And more than that, that his character is so strong, that we can live inside his world, without yearning for the action and the Spider-Man. Take that, Clark Kent. This series has really grown on me. And with my own biases, if I don't love the artwork, I'm almost destined to not give something a shot (as if I've read that many comics lol). But there's something so sincere and earnest about this series. From MJ's jealousy over Gwen, to Harry, to Aunt May. That when the impostor Spider-man, shows up, there's just a host of tugs from all these characters that feel real. The gunshot. The wait, what did you guys just f*$&ing do nature of it. To the ending that really did pull at my tin heart. Very impressed. Brian Michael Bendis, you say.

  7. 4 out of 5

    carol

    This volume was a bit slower and didn't have a major supervillian but a threat still since we have some guy posing as Spider-man, which is kind of annoying considering Peter had just finally gotten the people seeing him as the hero he is and not a some criminal hiding behind a mask. The only thing I'm not particularly enjoying is the way Gwen is being thrown into Peter's life. It's like the writers are forcing her to get in the way of him and Mary's relationship. I don't know how the original st This volume was a bit slower and didn't have a major supervillian but a threat still since we have some guy posing as Spider-man, which is kind of annoying considering Peter had just finally gotten the people seeing him as the hero he is and not a some criminal hiding behind a mask. The only thing I'm not particularly enjoying is the way Gwen is being thrown into Peter's life. It's like the writers are forcing her to get in the way of him and Mary's relationship. I don't know how the original story went, but this one feels like a big cliché. Not that Gwen is the only reason Mary has had seconds thoughts about dating Peter, of course. I really liked the way that last part went, the way she spoke out what she felt.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Matthew Ledrew

    A lot of people harp on this one, but i personally enjoy it as one of the better volumes of USM. Is it slow? Yes. Bendis loves giving us a slow arc then a fast one, then a slow one, yadda yadda yadda. But as the slow arcs go, this is one of the best.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Fellipe Moscardini

    So far, this has been the best arc. Absolutely amazing. Great writing, lots of conflict and some great twists. I had read this years ago, but the second time was even better. These comics have aged rather well. 4.5/5 stars

  10. 4 out of 5

    Jeff Raymond

    I’m shocked I’m enjoying Spider-Man as much as I am. Absolutely shocked.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Nicole

    I'm impressed with the writing in this series and the way Bendis handles the emotional aspects of the situations. I'm impressed with the writing in this series and the way Bendis handles the emotional aspects of the situations.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Lindsey.parks

    It's a rough week for everyone. It's a rough week for everyone.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Phil

    I was a bit torn on the rating for this volume. It didn't feel quite as strong as some of the previous volumes, but there are some great elements. I loved the first issue in this collection. It can feel slow because not much happens, but it pokes fun at a recurring event in the Spider-Man books. Namely, no matter where Peter is or what he is doing, if he finds out there is a villain up to no good, he drops everything and gets there to stop it. Here, everything that could go wrong and prevent Pete I was a bit torn on the rating for this volume. It didn't feel quite as strong as some of the previous volumes, but there are some great elements. I loved the first issue in this collection. It can feel slow because not much happens, but it pokes fun at a recurring event in the Spider-Man books. Namely, no matter where Peter is or what he is doing, if he finds out there is a villain up to no good, he drops everything and gets there to stop it. Here, everything that could go wrong and prevent Peter from getting to the villain pops up. It's got a playfulness that feels necessary between the end of volume four and what happen in the rest of this volume. There isn't a major villain in this book. Instead, Peter has to contend with someone who is dressing up as Spider-Man and committing crimes. That portion of the story takes a backseat to his personal life though. I don't want to give anything away, so I'll just say that the creators beef up the storyline with Gwen Stacy yet again. Long time fans of the Web Head won't be surprised by the events of this book. Despite that I felt like it was handled excellently. Aside from a less interesting workload for Spider-Man, the biggest weakness in this book felt like Mary Jane. Given how she has progressed over the last couple volumes, I'm not shocked by that. I was hoping that things would turn around concerning her. Hopefully, she gets a chance to shine somewhere down the line. As for the art, it is exactly what I've come to expect from this series. I've enjoyed it a lot and was not disappointed this time around.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Jibug

    So, I liked the previous volume. This one took a dip for me. Sad face....Volume 4 opens with Peter trying to get past his Aunt May who is at school for a parent-teacher conference, passing Gwen who is crying in a pile of garbage (yup that’s right), and dodging a group of angry teenage boys. All this to escape school so he can save the city from Rhino. But, iron man shows up to save the day instead as the civilians question Spider-Man’s late arrival. What begins is this seed of doubt. This is acc So, I liked the previous volume. This one took a dip for me. Sad face....Volume 4 opens with Peter trying to get past his Aunt May who is at school for a parent-teacher conference, passing Gwen who is crying in a pile of garbage (yup that’s right), and dodging a group of angry teenage boys. All this to escape school so he can save the city from Rhino. But, iron man shows up to save the day instead as the civilians question Spider-Man’s late arrival. What begins is this seed of doubt. This is accentuated by the fact that a Spider-Man doppelgänger is swinging his way from one crime to the next. No longer is Spider-Man trusted. On top of that is MJ, who also has doubts with their relationship which Peter is annoyed by. This bothered me a lot considering that MJ had expressed her fears and exposed her feelings only for Peter to argue his defense....really Peter? I just don’t like that MJ is portrayed as annoying when her reactions/feelings are understandable. Other shit goes down. Peter gets into a fight with the other fraudulent Spider-Man who is causing mayhem and murder. What we get is Peter contemplating whether to kill the guy. So yeah. I probably would’ve dropped this series right here, but I heard that the next venom volume is good so I’m sticking through.

  15. 5 out of 5

    B. Rule

    Despite the lack of a big name villain in this volume (other than a brief cameo by the Rhino), this arc is very effective because of the focus on Peter's very relatable personal problems. There's also some great pacing with material showing the particulars of his difficulties balancing the two sides of his life (by trying to sneak out of school to stop a rampaging Rhino, only to be waylaid by all of his other obligations, including MJ, Gwen, Aunt May, schoolwork, bullies, etc.). This is the kind Despite the lack of a big name villain in this volume (other than a brief cameo by the Rhino), this arc is very effective because of the focus on Peter's very relatable personal problems. There's also some great pacing with material showing the particulars of his difficulties balancing the two sides of his life (by trying to sneak out of school to stop a rampaging Rhino, only to be waylaid by all of his other obligations, including MJ, Gwen, Aunt May, schoolwork, bullies, etc.). This is the kind of stuff that sets Spider-Man apart from other superhero books: it takes seriously the importance of life outside the mask, and often the crime-fighting antics are only one more obligation on a long list of duties with which Peter is failing to keep up.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Aaron Maurer

    This run of comics I found to be great for the story and character development. There are not any crazy villains that he needs to conquer even though there is Rhino and a person copying him as Spider-Man. What I loved about this run was that we get more of Gwen and her story. We get more of Peter trying to navigate life as a high school kid while also trying to figure out love and being a superhero. I continue to love this series and looking forward to the next when you know there simply has to be This run of comics I found to be great for the story and character development. There are not any crazy villains that he needs to conquer even though there is Rhino and a person copying him as Spider-Man. What I loved about this run was that we get more of Gwen and her story. We get more of Peter trying to navigate life as a high school kid while also trying to figure out love and being a superhero. I continue to love this series and looking forward to the next when you know there simply has to be a crazy villain after this one did not have one.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Adam Stone

    Another delicious popcorn Spider-Man story by Bendis. It's a fast, easy read, with some fun tweaks on the Spider-Man mythos. The story itself isn't particularly memorable, but it's a fun little adventure on Peter's path to adulthood (should he make it to adulthood). Hormonal teenagers are melodramatic and hormonal, regardless of gender. Villains are pretty forgettable, but each of the characters gets pushed in a new direction. The whole run of Ultimate Spider-Man is totally worth the read, if you Another delicious popcorn Spider-Man story by Bendis. It's a fast, easy read, with some fun tweaks on the Spider-Man mythos. The story itself isn't particularly memorable, but it's a fun little adventure on Peter's path to adulthood (should he make it to adulthood). Hormonal teenagers are melodramatic and hormonal, regardless of gender. Villains are pretty forgettable, but each of the characters gets pushed in a new direction. The whole run of Ultimate Spider-Man is totally worth the read, if you're in the mood for a breezy, superhero read with excellent art.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Rix

    I definitely liked this volume the most out of what I've so far read of the run. Peter is faced with some issues that really challenge him as a character and it's actually interesting to watch him try to resolve what he wants to do. Also, the scene in the first chapter where he's desperate to get to a crime scene and fight a villain but is continually thwarted by the realities of high school life is a hoot. It's still paint by numbers superhero storytelling, but it's got a bit of flair this time I definitely liked this volume the most out of what I've so far read of the run. Peter is faced with some issues that really challenge him as a character and it's actually interesting to watch him try to resolve what he wants to do. Also, the scene in the first chapter where he's desperate to get to a crime scene and fight a villain but is continually thwarted by the realities of high school life is a hoot. It's still paint by numbers superhero storytelling, but it's got a bit of flair this time round.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Mike Ezepchick

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. This was a quicker story but still enjoyable. The main story about a Spider-Man imposter was neat, but the most entertaining elements were the non-Spider-Man stuff. The death of Captain Stacy was unexpected this early on and the repercussions of that, including Gwen living with Peter, and then MJ and Peter breaking up, are the personal elements of this overall story that make it great.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Natalie

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. I don't like how they made MJ seem so annoying and stupid in this one. There's many reasons why she would want to break up with Peter, but why are they obsessed with making Gwen seem to be the main factor? I didn't much like the storyline with them so easily making Gwen and orphan either. I don't like how they made MJ seem so annoying and stupid in this one. There's many reasons why she would want to break up with Peter, but why are they obsessed with making Gwen seem to be the main factor? I didn't much like the storyline with them so easily making Gwen and orphan either.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Sam Mosqueda

    My husband chose this one for me. I’ve only ever read a few comic books or comic book volumes, so I was interested to try this. I’ll have to see if the other volumes are at my library, because I want to see what happens next.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Henry Blackwood

    I really enjoyed this. It threw some interesting spanners into the works and is starting to show real strain on the mental side of Spider-Man as well as the strain it has on his relationships. This run is really awesome.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Marloges

    This issue didn't really have a real villian to fight but a lot of humanity in it's drama and character interactions... The MJ/Peter relationship goes in believable directions and this is also where Gwen Stacy gets a lot of spotlight. This issue didn't really have a real villian to fight but a lot of humanity in it's drama and character interactions... The MJ/Peter relationship goes in believable directions and this is also where Gwen Stacy gets a lot of spotlight.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Abhinav Vuppalapati

    Spider-Man is so fun to read and this Spider-Man especially was crazy!! No spoilers but so many things happened in the book to the point where things really went down! I really am enjoying this Spider-Man run a lot and can’t wait for more action and to see what happens!!

  25. 5 out of 5

    Kenneth

    Spider-man finds the imposter impersonating him.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Amanda Perry-Larkin

    WHATTTT!!! That's not fair of an ending, what happens next!? WHATTTT!!! That's not fair of an ending, what happens next!?

  27. 4 out of 5

    Zelly B.

    My favourite Spidey series of all time. This is actually a (2x) re-read of the entire series.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Quinton Baran

    Classic Spider-man story of Peter "Parker Luck" Parker (although he doesn't use that exact phrase). Classic Spider-man story of Peter "Parker Luck" Parker (although he doesn't use that exact phrase).

  29. 5 out of 5

    Ryan

    Just a note that I think I'm going to stop writing reviews for these unless there's anything particularly stand out about them. I just feel like I'm repeating myself when it comes to these. Just a note that I think I'm going to stop writing reviews for these unless there's anything particularly stand out about them. I just feel like I'm repeating myself when it comes to these.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Frans Kempe

    Spiderman faces an imposter and Gwen and Mj problems

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