The second issue of the universe crossing mini-series Spider-Men gives us the scenario that comic readers are all too familiar with: the inevitable fight between heroes resulting from a misunderstanding. While this common super-hero trope may be exhausted and illogical in many readers’ eyes, consider Peter Parker’s predicament: he is dumped into a different yet oddly similar world as the result of Mysterio’s dimension hopping doohickey exploding in his face. For all he knows, the Ultimate universe he lands in could be another one of Mysterio’s projections. In an unknown world and situation he reacts as most would – defensively.
Despite the realm of the cliché that Brian Michael Bendis is occupying with this issue, he manages to make the fight between the Spider-Men an engaging and thought-out battle. It allows for both characters to witness each others strengths and weaknesses. And even though Peter Parker is a veteran at this game, Miles’ unique powers make this much more than a one-sided fight. The dynamic between these two characters is already a pleasure to read. It will be interesting how their relationship evolves as the series moves forward. Something else to look forward to is how characters from the Ultimate world will react to an older and living Peter Parker. Or even Peter’s reaction to a world in which their Peter Parker became a hero to the city after his death, in contrast to the menace he is repeatedly misunderstood as.
It’s hard to think of an artist more suited to take on the expressive nature of Bendis’ dialogue than Sara Pichelli. Especially when the two main characters of the book wear full masks. Despite that Pichelli proves herself to be an expert in body language. She is able to convey such clear emotion in the characters even in the middle of a brawl. There’s a realistic nature to her art yet her work feels right at home in the world of tights and superpowers as she has proven in her continuing work on Ultimate Spider-Man. Part of that also comes from the rich color work of Justin Ponsor. His vivid coloring brings out the primary colors essential to a superhero comic without sacrificing the intense detail he gives to his backgrounds.
For fans of either Spider-Man, you can’t go wrong with this book. With Bendis and Pichelli working their usual magic, Ultimate fans should feel right at home. And those fans coming in primarily as a fan of the original Spider-Man are given a glimpse into a the world of a different but unique Spider-Man who is just as endearing as the original. Though the story began slow and somewhat predictable, it seems as if the action and the stakes are rising by the end of this issue. It should be exciting to see how this spider-concoction is going to play out.