With the Cataclysm event over, in which Galactus from the main Marvel-verse crossed over into the Ultimate Universe, the Ultimate Universe line of comics have undergone a restart of sorts, with old titles being canceled and a brand-new line of books launched that are all set after those universe-shaking moments. And in the midst of all this, with the current UU Spider-man Miles Morales’ new solo book, the hero comes face to fate with his heroic name-sake, the man that the UU held a remembrance ceremony for just a short while ago. And things are not looking good.
Last month’s Miles Morales: The Ultimate Spider-Man #1 was a great start to this new series and the new issue builds on that as Brian Michael Bendis seemingly nails the narrative voice for both Miles and for Peter. The interactions between the two of them are the core of this story and the other threats such as an escaped Norman Osborn and a pair of Spider-Man imitators get the short shrift. Not a lot happens in this issue, but there are some great character moments. The art is slightly iffy this time, mostly in terms of how Miles is drawn, but that’s really it.
Back in 2012 Marvel did this short and sweet 5-issue mini-series Spider-Men where Peter Parker from Marvel 616, the main Marvel universe, found himself adrift in the Ultimate Universe and came face-to-face with Miles Morales, who had taken up the web-slinger’s mantle after the death of the UU’s Peter Parker, at the hands of Norman Osborn. It was a great series with some great writing by Bendis and some great by Sara Pichelli. Now, in this new Miles Morales story, Bendis pits Miles against a seemingly alive Peter from the Ultimate Universe and it is a shock to his system. Especially since the Ultimate Universe just finished mourning the fallen hero a while back, and we got the really emotional Ultimate Spider-man #200 issue last month.
Given all my recent increase in reading Marvel comics, I’m really coming to like Miles as a character and I find him to be very refreshing and yet quite familiar as well. To see him go up against his own ‘verse’s Peter Parker is thrilling and Bendis certainly does not disappoint, especially not when Peter witnesses some of Miles’ unique abilities. Of course, there’s also quite a bit of humour here, such as when Miles can’t stop saying the word “clone” every five seconds while talking to his friend Ganke, and all in all, this is a pretty fun issue.
Some things are left to the reader’s imagination however, and I’m still confused as to what the Spider-Man imitators are up to, plus what Norman Osborn intends to do. He is some kind of a fire-demon monster now or some such and that had me really confused as well. A little in the way of explanation, perhaps via flashbacks would have been nice and appreciated. The villains could definitely use more screentime I feel, if they are to feel like real threats. For someone like me who is somewhat versed in the UU history, Norma Osborn is a big threat, but for new readers, his portrayal can be a stumbling block that should be avoided.
Even later, once Miles’ girlfriend Katie Bishop enters the scene, there’s some kind of hint-dropping that lacks a bit of clarity, although the intent of the scene is clear in terms of what Miles has to do now that he knows that Peter of the UU is alive, and whether he should tell Peter’s friends and family about it.
As before we have David Marquez as the artist, with Justin Ponsor as the colourist, VC’s Cory Petit as the letterer and the cover art by Marquez and Ponsor. In the main, the artwork here was good, but some of the panels with Peter and Miles felt off as the latter was seemingly drawn with a very round head, and that was just plain weird. And Norman Osborn seemed very… normal too and there was a distinct lack of an expression on his face. Cold and unfeeling, uncaring of anything. More weirdness. Other than that, smooth sailing.
I’m still liking where this is all going, but I think I’m ready to see more about the villains.
More Miles Morales: #1.