I rarely cry at TV or movie shows. Last time I blubbed properly was watching Doctor Who: Father’s Day with my three month old daughter in my arms. There was a certain welling up during Tom Stoppard’s Rock’N’Roll play. But it’s a rarity.
But I’m not sure if it’s ever happened reading a comic book before.
The first issue of Ultimate Fallout published today, runs through the cast of Ultimate Comics Spider-Man seeing how each of them is reacting to the death of Spider-Man in the final issue of that series. From Gwen Stacy to Mary Jane Watson to Tony Stark and Nick Fury – and a rather foreshadowy scene with Kitty Pryde.
And let’s be clear here, this is a melodramatic comic. It intentionally, openly and blatantly, tries to pull the heart strings. But I was surprised it worked so well, at least for me.
The final issue of Ultimate Comics Spider-Man I didn’t get anything. A character died, people were sad, it was a comic.
But this is the funeral. And it’s the scene when Aunt May meets a young child who Spider-Man saved, and she asks May if she needs a hug.
Oh, well, that was it. I’m sitting here in Pret A Manger, reading a comic book and there are tears on my cheek.
Maybe it’s the “being a parent” thing. Maybe it’s the lack of media hype for this issue and the surprise that brings. But I’ve never had a comic affect me like this before. Not Sandman #8, or #75. Not an issue of Swamp Thing. Nothing for the death of any previous comic book character.
It was just perfectly written, perfectly played and maybe, just maybe, I was in the perfect state to receive it.
Either way, damn you Bendis and Bagley.