Ultimate Comics Spider-Man Volume 1 (Review)

By July 3, 2012

In Marvel Comics’ Ultimate universe (not the universe where most Marvel stories take place), Ultimate Peter Parker died while defending his friends and family from the Green Goblin. The world knows he was Spider-Man and the legacy he has left has shown the world what it means to be a super hero.

Now Miles Morales takes his turn wearing the mask.

After being bitten by a genetically altered spider stolen by his uncle Aaron, the Prowler, Miles Morales has gained super powers. These powers are similar to the ones that Peter Parker had but even better in some ways. Miles has the strength, agility, and spider-sense that Peter had, but he has a couple of other powers as well. He has a camouflage ability that isn’t quite invisibility but is just about as good. He has a “venom blast” that is an electric shock he can sting foes with by touching them. He lacks webs, but he’ll probably get that gadgetry in a later story.

Miles Morales is one of the most charming characters I’ve ever seen in a comic book. He’s deeply thoughtful in his conflict between wanting a better life and feeling the responsibility of his new found powers. In some ways, his story is more like something an X-Men character would go through, especially since Miles is right around the age of puberty. His father hates mutates and Miles therefore is doing his best to keep his powers a secret from him.

Brian Bendis is the master of decompressed storytelling. While you don’t get as much story as you would to a comparatively dense writer like Dan Slott, it has a level of coherency and pace that is truly cinematic and thoroughly immersive. Sarah Pichelli’s art masterfully fits Bendis’s style, with a clarity and detail that I wish was more common in comics.

 Give Miles Morales a chance. Start reading Ultimate Spider-Man.

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