[ENGLISH] Last month’s episode was all about the return of Venom, which made sense since the new story-arc was advertised as « War of the Symbiotes ». But, in addition to Eddie Brock’s comeback, Bendis said that this new saga would finally merge the events from the USM video-game with the comic-book storyline – better late than never ! Hence this new issue whose only purpose is to sum up what happened in the game. At least this allows Stuart Immonen to knock himself out with the introduction of the Beetle in the Ultimateverse !

Issue #123 was taking its time but, in the end, wasn’t telling much. But this new episode makes up for last month’s beating around the bush. OK, we’ll barely see Venom, and the war of the symbiotes seems to be postponed, but it’s clear that Bendis is now actively setting the stage for rather dense events to come. One of his pawns is none other than the Beetle, who has gone through an efficient « ultimization » under Stuart Immonen’s pencils. Forget the original version: the New Beetle (no pun intended) is more like a mix between Iron Man and Mach-3 (from the Thunderbolts pages), and he has everything it takes to finally be considered seriously. Starting with a great opening scene that relies almost entirely on an on-fire Immonen / Von Grawbadger duo ! The rest of the issue is more about reaching the required 22 pages. But Bendis is good enough as a dialoguist to allow himself to milk things out a little – a luxury not everyone can afford.

Finally, the new story-arc is really starting, and we won’t complain about it. The only problem is that, if you already played the game through to the end, this new issue will be nothing but a summary to you. Which can be useful after almost 3 years, but be prepared : the war of the symbiotes might not burst out immediately. On the other hand, if you’re not into video games, feel free to run to the closest comic-shop and enjoy this really good piece of art !

[Antoine Maurel]