Spider-Man is easily one the most loved superheroes on the planet. When Marvel decided to kill off the man behind the mask, Peter Parker, in an Ultimate Spider-Man event, fans were devastated. Marvel has made it quite clear that when a character dies in the Ultimate Universe, that death is final. So, who would be special enough to pick up where Parker left off? A thirteen year old school kid by the name of Miles Morales was the one to step up to bat. While readers quickly adapted to Morales, reading this new chapter of the Spider-Man legacy begged the question: What would Peter Parker think of Miles Morales? Thanks to Brian Michael Bendis, readers are about to find out!
No one is more in touch with Peter Parker and Miles Morales than Bendis. Peter Parker narrates most of the issue and he is pitch perfect. He is sarcastic, funny and a bit full of himself. The dialogue is fast-paced and witty but that doesn’t stop the action. Combined with the art, the book almost seems to move on its own, like a cartoon. You can almost hear Peter’s quips through the traffic zooming around New York. But the problem with this book comes with the fact that all but the last panel could have easily fit between the covers of any issue of The Amazing Spider-Man. There wasn’t anything special that set it apart or made it its own series.
Sara Pichelli is a natural complement to Bendis’ writing. This team has worked on many great Ultimate Spider-Man titles and many fans of the series will continue to enjoy her wonderful work here. Her characters are beautiful. Her backgrounds are detailed and her grasp of how to express emotion is exquisite. Spider-Man’s mask makes it difficult to adequately express emotion through facial expression so Pichelli gives us everything through body language. Justin Ponsor solidifies the artist’s ideas with his strong use of color. For Spider-Man, reds and blues are essential and obvious. Even so, Ponsor’s decisions with his shades really lets the readers know that he loves this character and he loves this story. Besides the wonderful work on Spider-Man himself, readers are able to experience a wide range of Ponsor’s abilities.
All first issues of a new arc tend to set the backdrop for the rest of the series. First issues introduce us to the characters and explain why things are happening the way that they are. With an established character like Spider-Man, though, there really is no need for this set up. The entire purpose of letting Peter swing around New York is so give us a sense of his voice, to let the reader know that Peter has a sarcastic sense of humor that just doesn’t stop. Most readers already know this and even if this is someone’s first dip into the Spider-Pool, the point is made within the first few pages. Is it a fun read? If you enjoy Amazing Spider-Man, then absolutely! Is it special? Not yet. While this series is sure to be a favorite for some and a great time, it still has some growing to do before it starts walking on its own.