Ultimate Marvel Team-Up #15 & #16 (2002)

It's Buy A Bunch of Discounted Crap week here at Noetic Concordance HQ!! This means I've bought some older comics and I'm going to go all Dave's Long Box on you and review some of the ones worth mention. I'll start with a couple of good ones:

One of the two Friendly Local Comic Shops I frequent has a whole other store for their 50-cent bins. I was over there the other day and I picked up Ultimate Marvel Team-Up issues 15 &16.

These issues are parts one and two of the Spider-Man/Shang-Chi, Master of Kung Fu team-up. Stephen Strange may be the Master of the Mystic Arts but Shang-Chi is the Master of the Whupass Arts! He knows all the fighting styles that ever there were because his father (a really evil guy) had him trained to be the ultimate fighting machine. So, this Shang-Chi is the Ultimate ultimate fighting machine which makes him even more badass.

The story is simple and well-told by Brian Bendis. Bendis, as I have mentioned before, groks Peter Parker so his reactions to Shang-Chi are spot on and funny.

Artistically this story is an all-star jam session! The covers (see above for #15) were done by David Mack. The shining star, though, is Andy Lee who does these gorgeous brush-art interludes throughout the panels. They enhance the story and give it an exotic quality that really "brings the room together" as The Dude would put it.

The main interior art by Rick Mays and Jason Martin is good, especially in the action scenes, which for a tale about ass kickin' is vital. However, I wish that the numerous Asians and Asian-Americans in it had looked more, um, Asian.

Spider-Man and Shang-chi don't fight each other upon meeting which is a refreshing change. In fact, Shang-Chi doesn't really need Spidey's help at all. Webhead's appearance for the climactic altercation just helps the Master of Kung Fu get done faster than he would have normally. The action movie that follows Shang-Chi around is really cool and this Ultimate version of him is a welcome addition. I hope he shows up elsewhere in the Ultimate Universe.

If you can find these issues in your local funny-book emporium or at a con pick them up. They are completely self-contained within the two issues and are the best buck I've spent in a long time. You can also get them as part of the trade-paperback collection Ultimate Marvel Team-Up Vol. 3.


Charles W. said...

Andy Lee is indeed quite skilled. He's collabo'ed with David Mack a few times before, I believe. Mack himself actually tends to employ a variety of artistic techniques. I've been meaning to check out some more Kabuki.

I think you may be seeing Shang-Chi very soon, in the current USM arc. I guess Bendis just decided to put all the badasses together in one story. I still gotta pick up the new issue, but I'm all about seeing more Danny Rand . . .

Vaklam said...

I'm gotta pick up that Essential Iron Fist collection. I mean, Roy Thomas + Danny Rand = Bombastic Badass!