Ultimate Spider-Man #81 - Marvel (2005)

You dirty rat!

Once there was a Marvel Team-Up Annual which featured the following superheroes:

Spider-Man (natch)
Iron Fist
Power Man
Moon Knight

I thought it was the coolest thing ever. It was bigger than a regular issue and the bad guy was the Purple Man who had the power to make people do anything he told them to do. He had Xtreme hypnotic voice powers which he got through exposure to a mysterious gas. In the Marvel Universe, radiation and chemical weapons are good things. They give you kewl powerz.

Here's the cover:

Man, that guy has a big face!

It was, in fact, the coolest thing ever. If they'd managed to work Cloak & Dagger into the story it would have become a coolness singularity and collapsed in on itself.

Anyway, the current storyline (Warriors) from Ultimate Spider-Man reminds me of that Annual. Here's the team-up:

Iron Fist
Shang-Chi, Master of Kung Fu
Moon Knight (badass!)

Be sure to throw the word "Ultimate" in front of each of those. Wouldn't want anyone getting confused.

This lineup has the potential for supreme coolness. Any one of these guest stars would be worthy of his own entry in The Badass Files and this third part of the story delivers the Big HK Action Fight you'd expect. However, there's something missing. Bendis hasn't made these characters stand out, yet. Iron Fist and Shang-Chi are going through the motions of Martial-Arts Plot #19: The Gang War and Moon Knight hasn't done enough for us to know what his deal is yet.

I'm not disappointed in this issue but I wish there had been a little more meat to it. There is an excellent scene between Spider-Man and Ultimate Jean DeWolfe and the fight scene is exciting and fun. Bagley's art is, as always, superb especially during the scene where Iron Fist and Shang-Chi catch up over dinner.

There are four more parts to this story which means that #82 is likely to slow the action down a bit to allow for some much-needed exposition. Also, the last page of this issue should lead into a very interesting opener to the next one.

This is one of those stories that'll work better in the trade which (even though this is no Marvel Team-Up Annual #4) I can recommend that you buy when it comes out...about five minutes after the ink dries on issue #85.

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