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'Ultimate Spider-Man' #5 sets up Harry Osborn well
Marvel

Comic Books

‘Ultimate Spider-Man’ #5 sets up Harry Osborn well

Harry Osborn takes center stage in ‘Ultimate Spider-Man’ #5.

Ultimate Spider-Man has felt like a breath of fresh air, and that’s no more the case than with Ultimate Spider-Man #5. This new universe is compelling as it reveals slight changes to the characters we know and how they’ve been changed by The Maker’s master plan. The issue out this week heavily focuses on Harry Osborn as we learn how he became the Green Goblin in this universe and what motivates him at his core.

As the preview shows, Ultimate Spider-Man #5 opens with Norman annoyed that his son is late to a party. It seems Norman is just as bad of a father as he is in the 616 universe, but before Jonathan Hickman can dig too deeply into the character, he blows up. Meanwhile, Harry watches as his father’s skyscraper explodes. A formative moment, to be sure, and with the keys to his father’s company now in hand, a journey takes place that is the start of a hero in the making.

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This issue expertly walks us through the key days that took Harry from his father’s son into a man with great power and new responsibility. Well-paced, Hickman and artist David Messina reveal more layers to Gwen Stacy and Doc Ock himself. It’s interesting to see these characters as a part of them that we know of from their 616 counterparts is there, but they’re also different in many ways. Doc Ock, for instance, is more of a Peter Parker know-it-all youngster with great potential. Gwen is more of a brass tax about things and a woman of action. Both could easily break bad at a moment’s notice.

Ultimate Spider-Man #5

Harry, your father is dead!
Credit: Marvel

When it was hinted that Harry would be a big factor in this series, I think many of us assumed he’d be a major villain, but this issue makes a strong case for him to be Spider-Man’s greatest ally. With his father’s fortune and Stark’s tech, he could become the greatest hero ever. Then again, he could also be going down a road he can’t return from. Hickman infuses the character with relatable qualities that make him an everyman hero you’ll want to get behind.

Messina gets to stretch his superhero legs in this issue, with Spider-Man and Green Goblin sightings. There are some cool tech visuals, like the inside of the Goblin helmet, which look great with Matthew Wilson’s colors. There’s plenty of talking in this issue, and framing the faces or using shadows creates good drama.

My only gripe with this issue is the last scene, which smash-cuts to “now” and seemingly comes out of nowhere. The general flow of the issue is about Norman building up to what he has become, and this issue lacks a direct, impactful feel. Instead, it’s more of a promise of what’s to come.

Ultimate Spider-Man #5 fleshes out Harry Osborn quite a bit while informing readers of whose side he’s on. A larger battle is underway, and this issue effectively loops Spider-Man into that fight right in time for Ultimates #1 out next week.

'Ultimate Spider-Man' #5 sets up Harry Osborn well
‘Ultimate Spider-Man’ #5 sets up Harry Osborn well
Ultimate Spider-Man #5
Ultimate Spider-Man #5 fleshes out Harry Osborn quite a bit while informing readers of whose side he's on. A larger battle is underway, and this issue effectively loops Spider-Man into that fight right in time for Ultimates #1 out next week.
Reader Rating1 Votes
8.9
Thoroughly explains how Harry got his powers
Loops this series into the larger fight against the Maker
Clean art is good at character acting with some superhero stuff too
Final scene doesn't have quite the same pace and flow as the previous time jumps
9
Great
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