There are spoilers in this review. Major spoilers will be blacked out for your safety.
Spider-Man and Venom duke it out in a hospital, then something insane happens.
Brian Michael Bendis has been writing ULTIMATE SPIDER-MAN books since, well, since the series started, and the vast majority of the time, his books are a ton of fun, and while there's a big, horribly sad moment, in this issue, I really enjoyed it and had a ton of fun reading it. The fight scene between Spidey and Venom kept me on the edge of my seat, and the conclusion of this battle is epic.
Bendis does a fine job with the pacing here as well. It's a very fluid issue. It will feel like it took you mere minutes to read because it just flows that well.
By far, the best part of this issue has to be the art of Sara Pichelli and the colors of Justin Ponsor. During these fight sequences, the page layouts are small and span multiple pages, giving this quick, chaotic feeling, as you watch Miles try his best to defeat this monster. Pichelli shows movement so insanely well throughout the issue, and her art is so clear and crisp. On the sadder side of things, but just as brilliant, Pichelli and Parson do a stellar job with the end of the issue as Miles realizes and remembers what happened to him the night before. The look of horror and pain on his face is Earth-moving. The final page of this issue, art wise is my favorite final page of the week.
While this issue is incredibly sad and really pulls at the heartstrings, it's just another comic using death as a plot device. I don't know about you guys, but I'm pretty "death'd" out. After Miles' mother dies, we see Miles ripping up his costume. It's getting to a point where that feels like that is the only way many writers know how to make a point.
The next issue's cover features a tribute to AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #50, with Miles walking away from a garbage can with his costume in it. What will probably happen is the guys from the Roxxon Industries will put Miles in a place where he has to become Spider-Man again. Yes, assuming this is incredibly stupid since none of it has happened, but I feel, as of late, with this book, the story telling has gotten predictable, and it is beginning to repeat a lot of what we've already seen in Spider-Man books. Hopefully, the next few issues completely prove my assumptions wrong.
While ULTIMATE COMICS SPIDER-MAN #22 is a very fun and action packed issue, it’s a pretty big downer. This is is going to change the direction of this book in a big way, and while I'm not the keenest on the idea of death being used as a plot device again, it's still, overall, a great issue. Pichelli's art is a brilliant masterpiece of visual story telling, and Bendis paces this issue incredibly well.
Overall, I highly recommend this issue.