Yes this is the collection that contains the issue where Aunt May goes to see her therapist. That issue isn’t so great is it? I mean it starts out okay. I like the idea of looking into the character of Aunt May a bit more but then it just starts to feel a page, then two, then three, four pages too long. I found the longer that particular scene dragged out the weaker it got. Which is unfortunate.
The rest of the story has Peter trying to come to terms with his inability to make or keep his costumes. It’s a cute little sub-plot and probably the strongest aspect of this collection. Much like the previous trade about the Venom story I felt that this collection had some great basic plots but it tended to focus a bit too much on the least interesting aspects. Spidey spends a lot of time dealing with a teenage possible mutant that can make things explode – kind of like Nitro, I believe? I do love that he’s named Geldoff.
The play between Peter Parker trying to learn responsibility and express that message to this kid who really just wants to be accepted so tends to act like a reckless teenager is a decent conflict, but like the Aunt May talking to her therapist scene, the interplay tended to feel a bit too drawn out. Extended scenes are fine but this one never developed beyond, be responsible, I’m a teenager, well try to be responsible, I’m a teenager. It made me feel sort of teenagerish towards them and just want to go “pfffff” roll my eyes and ignore them until they went away.
Then the Ultimate X-(wo)men show up. There’s a funny bit with the attractive mind-reader and then your standard X-men plot where their plane blows up. I bet their airplane insurance is out of this world the way they destroy Blackbirds. Anyway, I was looking forward to a bit more interplay between Spider-man and the Ultimate X-men but again I felt a little let down by it all, although I’m happy to know that Kitty Pryde does come back to the series because I honestly think that’s a great Mary Sue relationship.
So while I just don’t quite like the choices made here on what to focus I can’t really criticize anything too much. The art is still fun and the characters really try to express themselves, the actual focus just wasn’t what I wanted to know more about or see explored. I got the point, I wanted it to move on. There were, however, two major things that I just didn’t understand. One: Why was MJ dressed like she was going to a Tarts & Vicars party or was in costume for Pretty Woman? Maybe I just didn’t go to that type of high-school but it just didn’t seem to fit in with the rest of the setting and character design which all looked their age. Two: Was there any consideration for issue breaks? It felt a lot like they reached the page limit and just stopped until next month without any attempt whatsoever to have some part of the story conclude. I know it happened in the other issues but this arc really stuck out for me, probably because I wasn’t totally engaged in the story. The name of the collection is either appropriate or unfortunate.