Issue #73, Pages 20-21: Full Cast Double Page Splash

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Ultimate Spider-Man
© 2007 Marvel Characters, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

by Brian Michael Bendis, Mark Bagley & Scott Hanna
Issue #73, Pages 20-21: Double Page Splash
Full Cast Flashback
Graphite and ink on board
Signed by Scott Hanna
22" x 17"

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Brian Michael Bendis is not just one of the best writers in comics, he has been the architect of some of the medium’s biggest events of the past decade.

Bendis was already a seven-year comics veteran (with an Eisner Award for the Deserved Wider Recognition of his hardboiled indie titles Jinx, Torso & Goldfish) when he landed the assignment of a lifetime: retell Spider-Man’s origin for a new generation of readers. And so in 2000, Ultimate Spider-Man was launched with longtime Spidey artist Mark Bagley interpreting Bendis’ scripts, which expanded the original 11-page origin story into a seven-issue, 180-page story arc. Issue #1 was voted “the ninth greatest comic of all time” in a 2001 Wizard readers poll, and the 110 issues that followed set the record for the longest, continual run on a Marvel Comic series by two people. Bendis won the Eisner Award for Best Writer in 2002 and 2003, Wizard Magazine’s Best Writer of the Year from 2000-2003, and The Comic Buyer’s Guide’s Best Writer of the Year from 2002-2004, the 2005 E3 People’s Choice Award for the videogame version of Ultimate Spider-Man and a 2010 Inkpot Award. The series won multiple Wizard Awards for Favorite Ongoing Series and Favorite Inker as well as Favorite Character (Spider-Man) and Supporting Character (Mary Jane Watson).

Ultimate Spider-Man’s overwhelming success led to the launch of an entire Ultimate line, which re-imagined the origins of all the publisher’s key figures, and helped revitalize the Marvel brand as a media empire. Sony’s Spider-Man film, which opened a multi-billion-dollar franchise of related comic book adaptations, can be directly traced to the success of Bendis and Bagley’s comic, and The Spectacular Spider-Man animated series contains several elements lifted directly from their scripts.

The double page splash above is part of the Ultimate Hobgoblin story arc. All of Spider-Man’s best friends and foes appear in a flashback triggered by best friend Harry Osborne’s psycho-therapy sessions. Nick Fury, The Green Goblin, Mary Jane Watson and Peter Parker –both in costume and unmasked, make this a signature representation of one of the all-time great collaborations.


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