Remember what I was saying a while back about a moratorium on pointless origin story retellings? Well, Brian Michael Bendis’ Spider-Woman: Origin completely ignores it, and therefore manages to be utterly disposable. Hey, it’s Spider-Woman, getting her powers! Hooray, and yawn.

Bendis’ Ultimate Marvel Team-Up: Ultimate Collection is nearly as disposable. The idea here is that Spider-Man teams up with other heroes in the Ultimate universe to, you know, do stuff. In theory, this is fine. But in practice, it’s lame, because 1) a lot of the people he’s pairing up with haven’t been previously established in the Ultimate universe, so are portrayed in non-thought-through ways, in some cases totally contradicting later solo books (ah, continuity problems — so much for that Ultimate universe reboot thing), but mostly 2) the team-ups end up with Spider-Man not having anything to do, and just hopping around making quips. Lame. On the plus side, though, each issue is drawn by a different person, so there’s that really cool diversity of art style thing going on. This is the rare book that’s more interesting visually than literarily.

Finally, there’s Bendis’ The New Avengers, vol. 4: The Collective . This is a basically okay book, and if you’ve been reading the series through now, you’ll want to read this. But it’s not going to persuade anyone else to start. It’s nothing particularly special, plus is too tied-in with the House of M crossover storyline thing. Don’t change your pre-existing plans toward reading this book either way, I say.


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