Ultimate Comics Spider-Man v2 Issue 1

By Roger

I’ll admit that my first reading of Ultimate Comics Spider-Man v2 Issue 1 wasn’t under the best settings. It was past two a.m., I’d had to pop a few pain killers, and though groggy, I couldn’t fall asleep.

At times like these, I like to turn on my iPad and enjoy a few new comics.

Is this fair to the writers? Not always. However most times, I stand by my initial opinions… although I may be a little sketchy on the details as to why I feel this way.

Such was the case with this new number one. Another thing I should mention up front is that though I was very impressed with the actual Death of Spider-Man story-arc as a whole, and liked the fact that Marvel was going to kill such an iconic character (even though it was only in the Ultimates universe), I did not like the idea of them replacing Spider-Man so quickly… if at all.

To me, this is not so much a new beginning, as it is just a marketing scheme, such as what we’re also seeing with the current X-Men shenanigans with Schism. But I digress.

None of this is to say that I’ve had it out for Miles Morales, our new man, er, boy, in tights. But rather that I already took issue to the manner in which he was being given his powers and forced into the limelight.

Let’s start at the beginning of this cliché-ridden tale.

The issue starts eleven months ago. Norman Osborn, ever the egoist, fills panels with text about the myth of Arachne and the origins of the first Spider-Man (his doing), all the while playing with arachnid subject no. 42. As any geek will quickly tell you, 42 is the answer to the ultimate question of life, the universe and everything. Vince pointed out during our podcast this week that 42 was actually also the jersey number which Jackie Robinson wore. Jackie was the first black Major League Baseball player, and though that may be a coincidence, I’d be inclined to believe that Bendis was ahead of the curve on that one and planned it.

Back to the no. 42 spider who, as spiders are wont to do in Marvel comics, wanders outside of its containment facility and stows a ride back to a thief’s apartment where it promptly bites young Miles Morales on the hand.

By this time, a lot of character development has been established. Miles is from a lower class family, though I wouldn’t go so far as to say impoverished (as that hasn’t been defined). We do see however that it’s a tough neighborhood to get out of, and so Miles’s parents are quite happy when he wins a lottery to attend the Brooklyn Visions Academy, a charter school that will give Miles a better chance at getting a decent education.

Miles isn’t very excited however, feeling as though he hasn’t earned the chance. Don’t fret though, for what Miles lacks in self-confidence and worth, he more than makes up for in mopping and moodiness.

Here’s where I have one of my biggest complaints with where it appears this series is going. The obvious comparisons will have to be made to Peter Parker, who despite being a geek, was incredibly funny, witty, and just plain fun to read.

Miles, by comparison, is as lifeless as a cinder block. He’s boring. Very boring.

I’ve raised four kids and can tell you, most are more full of life. Perhaps the argument can be had that he is old beyond his years, and that this is what will help us believe in him as Spider-Man. This is another concern of mine, as Miles is very young, and I’m not certain how believable he will be in this role.

To be quite honest, the only thing keeping me interested at this point is my faith in Bendis’s writing, although that faith has been shaken a few times in the past… I just hope this isn’t one of those times.

By the end of the issue, we see that the spider bite is affecting Miles a little differently than it did Peter, however how that will play into his role as Spider-Man is anyone’s guess. Anyone but Bendis, that is.

Don’t let us down, Brian. Not with this IP.

Ultimate Comics Spider-Man v2 Issue 1
Story: Brian Michael Bendis
Art: Sara Pichelli, Justin Ponsor

After a 25 year absence from comic books, Roger has returned, thanks in no small part to the iPad.

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