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Comic Review: Ultimate Spider-Man, Vol. 2 #20
Da7e   |  

Marvel Comics: Ultimate Comics Spider-Man #20Ultimate Comics Spider-Man #20
Story by Brian Michael Bendis
Art by Sara Pichelli
Colors by Justin Ponsor
Marvel Comics
Release Date: February 6, 2013
Cover Price: $3.99

Let us not forget who our senior ranking Spider-Man is, folks. It’s not the Superior one, it’s not even Kaine-turned-Scarlet, it’s good old Miles Morales, who has the most issues over the greatest period of time under his belt.

Part of what is making Miles so enjoyable is his individuality as a person and with his family issues colliding head-on with the history of Peter Parker. It’s just as fun to read Miles talk to Aunt May as it is to read Miles talking to Ganke, and that’s the magic touch that makes Ultimate Spider-Man the best Spider-Man running. Don’t get me wrong, the exact same thing is happening in Superior Spider-Man, but the lead character in that book is usurping the Parker Legacy while Miles is honoring it. It makes all the difference in the world.

Part of the fun of the original Ultimate Spider-Man run was to see how the characters would change from their 616-Universe counterparts. This was pre-New 52 and Marvel NOW!, so often the tease that would keep me coming back for those first 100 issues was “What’s Scorpion going to be like in this universe?” I choose Scorpion purposefully because the second volume Ultimate Spider-Man also re-imagined that character once the Volume One, Parker Ultimate years revealed Scorpion to be a Peter clone. Miles had to deal with a Mexican Warlord Scorpion while contemplating his relationship to his uncle. Both re-imaginings worked for their respective Spider-Men, and it’s staggering to see that this slight retconning still draws the audience.

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Comic Review: Ultimate Spider-Man, Vol. 2 #18-19
Da7e   |  

Ultimate Comics Spider-Man #18Ultimate Comics Spider-Man #18
Story by Brian Michael Bendis
Pencils/Inks by David Marquez
Colors by Justin Ponsor
Marvel Comics
Cover Price: $3.99

Happy 2013, Ultimate Spider-fans.

I’m pairing the latest issues of Ultimate Spider-Man together, having given us Marvel 616-Universe fans some time to mourn for Peter Parker (or Peter Parker’s… life… force?). The transition from Amazing to Superior Spider-Man in Amazing Spider-Man #700 went better than the previous transition from Peter Parker to Ben Reilly after the ‘Clone Saga’, but wasn’t as elegant an exit as Brian Michael Bendis’ one for Ultimate Peter Parker. Dying in Aunt May’s arms after saving his loved ones is better than dying in the body of an enemy and just giving up and moving to the west coast. The change of primary universe status quo, plus some extra time and the issuing of Ultimate Spider-Man #19 didn’t go well for issue #18.

I’ve already blew my wad about how Miles Morales didn’t belong in the ‘Divided We Fall’ event because I thought we were going to get away from all that and discover what Spider-Woman had to tell Miles about their relationship. However, for some reason I can’t put my finger on, we get one more installment in the crossover with Miles wandering around empty fields and fighting a Giant Woman.

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Comic Review: Ultimate Spider-Man, Vol. 2 #17
Da7e   |  

Ultimate Comics Spider-Man #17Ultimate Comics Spider-Man #17
Story by Brian Michael Bendis
Pencils/Inks by Pepe Larraz
Colors by Justin Ponsor
Marvel Comics
Release date: November 21, 2012
Cover Price: $2.99

When we rejoin our hero, things are not going well for Miles Morales in the Hydra/American War that was mostly contained to the Ultimates book during the ‘Divided We Fall’ storyline. In the mystery of publishing schedules, we get the contributions of All-New Spider-Man to the Battle of Wyoming a few weeks after we got the conclusion to the greater story proper in Ultimates #18. It was fun seeing Miles in the background of Ultimates #17 when the Battle of Wyoming starts in that book, especially since Miles had just recently “joined” the Ultimates when his school was cancelled after America started busting into different factions. At least this issue makes sense of his absence in Ultimates #18.

I’m worried. I’m worried that they brought Miles in too late to the greater Ultimate Universe plot to use him effectively. This April, Reed Richards destroyed Washington DC and the majority of the America’s politicians. Meanwhile, Miles had yet to earn the web-shooters from Aunt May and we were still getting the Prowler storyline all wrapped up before we could jump into the Spider-Men crossover. There won’t be a test, I’m just mentioning how the Ultimate titles were working earlier this year. The Ultimates were around, the Ultimate X-Men were around and Peter Parker’s replacement was in the skies of New York, but never the three met until ‘Divided We Fall,’ and that’s over now, with this, the most limp-wristed entry in the crossover event. SHIELD feels too big for Miles at this point and I don’t feel the destruction of Washington DC in his storyline.

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Comic Review: Ultimate Spider-Man, Vol. 2 #16.1
Da7e   |  

Ultimate Comics Spider-Man #16.1Ultimate Comics Spider-Man #16.1
Story by Brian Michael Bendis
Pencils/Inks by David Marquez
Colors by Justin Ponsor
Marvel Comics
Release Date: October 31, 2012
Cover Price: $2.99

The whole idea of Marvel “Point One” books is to give new readers a place where they can enter the Marvel timeline. These stories are ongoing and complex, so even though each issue essentially has a “Previously on” page that fills you in on the character and storyline, it’s not going to mention all the nuance that has come before.

And “nuance” is what makes Ultimate Spider-Man Volume 2 one of the best things going in comics right now. As you and I progress through the series every couple of weeks, I’ll try to bring up what makes this character special to me (and it’s not his race, even though I’m happy there’s nothing Aryan in him – if you want Blonde Hair and Blue Eyes, jump on Uncanny X-Men), hopefully organically. There won’t be a lot of discussion of Miles from this issue, a “Point One” that is supposed to provide an entry point for those readers who wanted to give Ultimate Spider-Man some time before investing in a comic that might not last a year.

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