Ultimate Spider-Man #5 Review: Power And Responsibility

Ultimate Spider-Man #5 review

Read our review of Ultimate Spider-Man #5 from Marvel Comics, written by Jonathan Hickman with art by David Messina.

We reviewed the book on the Stack podcast. But in the interest of highlighting more about the title, here’s a summary of the conversation with our thoughts. And if you prefer the longer audio version, that’s below as well!

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Ultimate Spider-Man #5 Review:

In the issue, we’re hopping back in time to find out a whole lot more about how Harry Osborn became the Ultimate Green Goblin… And in the process discovering how he, and Peter Parker, are similar — and also extremely different. One has the power, the other, the responsibility.

In the beginning of the issue, we get to see Harry having one last phone call with his father, Norman Osborn, before the latter dies. “It’s a rough phone call,” said host Pete LePage. “That was heartbreaking. But yeah, unbelievable art, enjoying the twists and turns, and the Kingpin stuff was really cool.”

“The series has been such an easy, breezy new continuity,” added Justin Tyler. “Let’s hang out with Peter Parker. And this issue is the opposite of that, in that it barely features Peter Parker, and is a hasty drive through Harry’s Green Goblin story that is continuity-heavy… So I was surprised with that, but I did enjoy this, and I think this is such a fun corner of the Marvel Universe.”

As for Alex Zalben, while he’s been enjoying the series, he noted he needs a little more from the emotional side of the book.

“I do want to have a better sense of where we’re going emotionally with this,” Zalben said. “You know, this is something that I talked about with the first issue a little bit as well. But this issue there’s a great conversation in a bar we finally catch up to two issues ago, when they were on the rooftop and they’re like, let’s go get a drink. We get to see that drink.”

In the scene, Peter explains that Tony Stark told him he was a hero, and he knew in his gut that’s what he needed to do. Meanwhile, Harry had to work hard to figure everything out on his own. “I’m really curious to see where we’re going to net out with that conversation,” Zalben continued. Specifically because this gets to an open question from the first issue: Harry has the responsibility and the power. Peter has the power, but no responsibility.

“Peter Parker was handed his destiny on a silver platter… That is cheap and easy, and sends you on the path of being a villain,” Zalben said, “versus what Harry is doing, which is working hard and figuring things out, and trying to do the right thing for the world.”

Ultimate Spider-Man #5 Official Synopsis:

THE SECRET HISTORY OF HARRY OSBORN! How does the heir apparent of Oscorp become a masked vigilante? And what does Green Goblin know of the true status of the world he lives in? All and more will be revealed!

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