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Spider-Men #5 Review — September 21, 2012

Spider-Men #5 Review

This issue is a conclusion to the first meeting of 616 Spider-Man, Peter Parker, and Ultimate Spider-Man, Miles Morales, as well as Pete’s first meeting of the Ultimate versions of Nick Fury and the Avengers. While the story is sort of anti-climactic, it’s still entertaining enough to make the mini-series – as a whole – rank among one of my favorite Spidey stories in quite some time. There sure is a lot to love in this issue. Particularly writer Brian Michael Bendis’ smart dialogue, which he injects with copious amounts of humor and wit, as well as a few thoughtful scenes between Pete and Miles. I especially enjoyed his handling of both Ultimate Iron Man and Ultimate Nick Fury, who both look and sound like their movie counterparts. I actually hear Robert Downey, Jr. and Samuel Jackson when reading their dialogue. Whether this was intentional or not, kudos to Bendis for that, either way. He nailed them.

As for the story itself, it basically consists of Mysterio having his ass handed to him by both Spideys and the Avengers. By now, Pete is able to easily see through Mysterio’s illusions and defeat him on his own, even without Miles and the Avengers to help out. However, Miles does manage to get a few good kicks in here and there and it is Ultimate Nick Fury who decides on how best to deal with Mysterio after they’ve apprehended him. His solution is actually one that makes good, practical sense. There are a few emotional scenes between Pete and Miles, as he tries to leave his younger namesake with some profound words of wisdom. It’s interesting how he leaves, though, because Pete clearly wasn’t finished telling Miles something very important. The story also ends with a bit of a shocker that all but ensures that this isn’t the last time the 616 and Ultimate universes collide. At least, I hope that’s the case, as this story has been very enjoyable. I’d definitely like to see all involved return for a sequel.

A few words here about artist Sara Pichelli. Every once in a while, a comic book artist comes along who has a significant impact on the subject matter they’re working with. Someone whose work always adds something special and is always a treat to see. Jim Lee, Humberto Ramos, Ivan Reis, Ethan Van Sciver, Stefano Caselli, and David Finch all come to mind, for me personally. Now, I can add Sara Pichelli to that list. Her work here has been nothing short of spectacular. Her style is unique in that it feels like you’re reading a really cool animated movie translated to comic form. She perfectly combines the look and feel of both the 616 and Ultimate universes into an appealing whole, which not many artists would be quite as successful attempting to do. Her facial expressions and body language of the characters are spot on. For example, the way she depicts Miles in his bashful attempt at asking for Pete’s blessing to carry on the Spider-Man name in his universe, as he puts one foot behind the other, looking sheepish. Perfection. Her action scenes pop off the page, as well. Marvel needs to get this chick on a regular book A.S.A.P. All in all, while this issue doesn’t wrap things up as neatly as one would like, it was extremely enjoyable, nonetheless, and leaves things open for a sequel. Which, I suppose, was the point. If that ever does happen, I’ll be first in line to pick up the first issue. A resounding 9/10 from me!

Marvel Comics Preview: Spider-Men #5 — September 19, 2012
Marvel Comics First Look: Spider-Men #5 — August 23, 2012

Marvel Comics First Look: Spider-Men #5

Story By: Brian Michael Bendis



Publisher: Marvel Comics

Price: $3.99

Release Date: 19th September 2012

Marvel is proud to present your first look at Spider-Men #5! Peter Parker, Miles Morales and the Ultimates team up to take on Mysterio, but even if they can take him down, how will Peter get back home? And what will he and Miles do with the knowledge that they’re not alone in the universe. And most important of all – will Peter Parker give Miles Morales his blessing to carry the mantle of Spider-Man? The chart-topping creative team of writer Brian Bendis and artist Sara Pichelli pull out all the stops in Spider-Men #5, web-slinging into comic shops everywhere, the Marvel Comics app, and Marvel Digital Comic Shop this September.
Spider-Men #4 Review — August 9, 2012

Spider-Men #4 Review

This is the issue I’ve been waiting for this since mini-series started. Any Spidey fan worth their salt knows the significance and impact Gwen Stacy’s death had on Peter Parker. That, coupled with all of the tragedy that has taken place with Ultimate Gwen and Aunt May since Ultimate Peter’s death, make this meeting of the two Spideys all the more profound and emotional. Thus far, I’ve enjoyed this mini and I have to say that this was the most satisfying issue yet. Writer Brian Michael Bendis included some very deeply heartfelt moments in this issue that we’ve never quite seen from a Spider-Man comic before, given the odd circumstances. Besides a few noticeable personality quirks, the Ultimate versions of Aunt May, Gwen Stacy, and Mary Jane Watson aren’t that different from their 616 counterparts.

Among the bittersweet moments, there is also a bit of humor. Particularly Ultimate Gwen’s jealous and flabbergasted reaction to learning that the 616 version of MJ went on to become a supermodel. Also, one can’t help but notice the similarities between the Ultimate version of Tony Stark and his movie version, portrayed by Robert Downey, Jr. I swear, as I read his dialogue with Peter, I was hearing it in RDJ’s voice. He even looks like him in this issue. I thought that was a nice touch that. Also, Ultimate Nick Fury’s reaction to Pete’s description of his 616 version is pretty damned funny. Some moments are rather sweet, such as Pete not letting Ultimate Gwen in on the fate of her 616 counterpart. Current Ultimate Spidey, Miles Morales, also has some amusing scenes. Namely, his fascination with Peter’s web-shooters. Character moments like these are what really makes this series so special. While these things are certainly why this story works so well, the real concept that it hinges on lies with Pete, Ultimate Nick Fury, and Ultimate Iron Man finding out why Mysterio was even bothering with opening a doorway between the alternate worlds in the first place. This, hopefully, should be addressed in the next issue, which is the last.

So far, Bendis has outdone himself with this story, as well as artist, Sara Pichelli. Her renderings of the characters are nothing short of gorgeous. Never have these characters looked so cool and so classic. While this issue delivered on characterization and making the reader empathize with the characters, it was curiously lacking on any sort of action. I suppose they’ll remedy that with the final issue, but it would’ve been nice to see Pete and Miles taking on some bad guys this issue. That would’ve made it perfect. Speaking of which, judging from the last page, we should be getting plenty of action in the final issue, as the heroes race to confront Mysterio about his interdimensional tampering. I have a feeling the last chapter will be the best yet. Over all, I’m thoroughly enjoying this series and it looks to be shaping up to be a classic entry in the Spider-Man canon. I give this issue a 9.5/10.

Spider-Men #3 Review — July 13, 2012

Spider-Men #3 Review

This issue continues the first meeting of Peter Parker and Miles Morales, as they team up against the villain Mysterio. Or, more accurately, Mysterio’s avatar in Miles Morales’ Ultimate Universe, sent over from Peter Parker’s 616 Universe. (I promise, it’s not nearly as confusing as it sounds.) So far, this series has been a real treat, mainly due to the simple novelty of these two characters meeting. It doesn’t hurt that writer Brian Michael Bendis has such a great handle on Peter Parker and his sense of humor that comes so naturally and Miles Morales is such a likable wide-eyed character. When the two interact, it’s pure gold. It’s still unclear what Mysterio’s plans were to begin with, but I suspect we will learn more in the coming issues. As with my reviews of the two previous issues, there is also the question if this is even the Mysterio we’re more familiar with in the 616 Universe. Something’s off about him. Not just his different costume, but his personality. But that’s neither here nor there, since so much fun is being had, anyway. We’re also treated to an appearance by Ultimate Nick Fury and his Ultimates team, who aren’t so different from the 616 Avengers, as trepidacious new readers who have been reluctant to get into the Ultimate Marvel comics will discover. I, for one, have always been fascinated by alternate universes, particularly in comics. The more heroes, the merrier, I say. In between the action, there are a few emotional moments, as well, as Pete discovers his younger Ultimate version’s fate and why there is a different kid underneath the Spider-Man mask now. The last few pages will really pluck at your heartstrings, as Pete tries to piece together the mystery of his deceased doppelganger’s life and what has been left behind. I can’t imagine it would be an easy thing to face for anyone. At any rate, this really had me looking forward to next issue even more than I was before.

I can’t rave enough about Sara Pichelli’s art in this series. If this doesn’t make her a superstar, I don’t know what will. She’s already up there with the great Spidey artists, as far as I’m concerned. Her blending of the 616 and Ultimate Universe styles are seamless and her renderings are classic, yet with a cool modern style on its own. Bendis, as always, is tops. The only criticism I have of this series is that it seems things are moving slightly slower than I’d like. However, I have a feeling when the remaining issues are released and I’m able to read the story as a whole, it will all seem more cohesive and I won’t notice the pace at all. It’s really hard to say anything bad about this, since the premise alone is so awesome. I give this issue a 9 out of 10!

Spider-Men #2 Review — June 28, 2012

Spider-Men #2 Review

In Spider-Men #2, we see our first meeting between Peter Parker and Miles Morales, the Spideys of both their respective universes. The issue opens with Mysterio raging over 616 Universe Spidey being the one to cross over into the Ultimate Universe and utilizing a special avatar synthoid to follow him there. As mentioned in the review for #1, one gets the feeling that this is not the Mysterio of the 616 Universe, so it’ll be interesting to see just who is exactly under the fishbowl helmet. I could be totally wrong, but I’ll be really surprised if it turns out to be Quentin Beck. Now… on to the meat of the story. The first meeting between Pete and Miles is just what you’d expect. At first, there is total confusion from both, as they’re both in a state of disbelief and distrust as to what has happened. Miles questions Pete about his identity and even demands he unmask, which Pete points out is a no-no in the superhero business. (Never mind that he does the same thing to Miles later.) They then proceed to test each other’s powers and gauge each other’s reactions. It’s interesting to note the differences in their personalities, as well as powers. Miles is more of a wide-eyed, innocent kid amazed by everything going on and Pete is, of course, the sarcastically hilarious guy we all know him to be. Writer Brian Michael Bendis does what he does best: smart and funny dialogue. It’s a real treat to see the two Spidey’s learn about each other. Pete also meets the Ultimate version of Nick Fury, who was – as fans know – modeled after actor Samuel L. Jackson. Bendis plays up this version of Fury in a timely way, given Jackson’s part in the Marvel movie universe. It’s all a lot of fun and will have you greatly anticipating next issue. Sara Pichelli’s art is also very cool. She captures the perfect look and feel for this story, seamlessly mixing the style of the 616 Universe with the Ultimate Universe. I give this issue a dimension-shattering 10/10!


Marvel Comics First Look: Spider-Men #3 — June 17, 2012

Marvel Comics First Look: Spider-Men #3

Publisher: Marvel Comics
Cover Price: $3.99
Release Date: 11th July 2012

Marvel is proud to present your first look at Spider-Men #3, as the blockbuster creative team of best-selling writer Brian Bendis and red hot artist Sara Pichelli bring you the next chapter in the ultimate Spider-Man event of the year! Now that Peter Parker and Miles Morales have met, can they both work together to defeat their foes – or will they require the help of Nick Fury and his Ultimates?