Review: Miles Morales: The Ultimate Spider-Man #3

Now things are starting to heat up! Last issue was definitely build-up, with Miles preparing to tell his girlfriend the big news, and bad guys moving around the background. Well in the new issue of Ultimate Spider-Man, Brian Michael Bendis shifts into a higher gear, setting up what will no doubt be an exciting climax! The new Spider-Man vs. the Green Goblin! Katie Bishop panicking! Ganke proven right?! The tension ratchets up in a big way this issue, from a threat that’s actually born from the Spider-Man universe. Not since Prowler or Venom has a battle felt so important in this comic.

Ultimate Spider-Man #3

But the best is yet to come! Bendis starts toppling over some of his dominoes in this issue, and we’ve still got more story to go!

Comic Rating: 9/10 – Great.

The stakes just feel more real in this issue than they have in awhile. Every time Bendis is forced to add Miles to some big Ultimate Universe crossover, the stories lose that important tension. Who really cares about Miles getting thrown into a big Ultimates battle against Hydra? Or Miles swinging around helping people while Galactus threatens the world? Miles, and Spider-Man, are best left as street-level heroes. I’ve always said it, and I’ll continue to say it. Seeing Miles struggle to tell his girlfriend that he’s Spider-Man, or panicking in the face of the Green Goblin, is a great Spider-Man comic.

Miles Morales is a fun character. He may not be as iconic as Peter Parker, there’s no way he could be. But Bendis is doing a great job with Miles. He’s grounded, he’s human, and he’s driven to be a hero. He’s got a lot to learn ahead of him, and the story of that discovery makes for great comics.

Though once again, rumors of the Ultimate Universe’s destruction are on the wind. Apparently Miles is going to crossover with All-New X-Men in a few months? And something big and interdimensional appears to be on the horizon for next Spring. Bendis even drops a clue/tease in this issue, if you can believe them. I don’t know what to think. I still don’t want Miles to be shuffled off to the regular Marvel Universe. But, obviously, that decision is out of my hands.

Join me after the jump for a full synopsis and more review!

We open at the Daily Bugle, where reporter Ned Leeds is trying to sell J. Jonah Jameson on a big expose on these ‘Spider-Men’ thugs – even though I reiterate that those two guys look nothing like Spider-Man! They look like the Beetle! But Ned is all fired up, until Jonah tells him he’s not going to run the story. They already covered these guys, and Ned isn’t bringing anything new to the table with his sensationalized take on them looking like Spider-Man. Jonah tells him to uncover something new and real about these thugs. Is it really so hard to find actual news for the newspaper?

Just then, Ben Urich pops his head into the conference room to declare that Norman Osborn is alive and on the loose! There, was that so hard?

Then we jump over to the police station to check in on the detectives tracking the Spider-Men, and how they have nothing so far. But here’s where Bendis drops his little hint.

He must be a member of the Ultimate Illuminati

Bendis has been doing these funny ‘shouting prisoner’ panels for years in Ultimate Spider-Man. But this one might be on to something. Converging Earths? Sounds a lot like Jonathan Hickman’s Incursions over in New Avengers, right? Damn straight it does. So don’t be surprise if next spring, the regular and Ultimate Marvel Universes are going to have an Incursion.

Then Miles will be screwed.

Anyway, Homicide Detective Maria Hill gets assigned to the Spider-Men case, and she decides to track down Miles Morales, since she knows he’s Spider-Man.

Speaking of Miles, he’s out in Queens telling his girlfriend, Katie Bishop, that he’s Spider-Man.

It doesn’t go so well.

At least Miles isn’t pregnant

After Katie runs off, Miles and Ganke talk quickly about how he screwed up. Miles wants to go after her, but Ganke insists he really, really screwed up big time on this. Then Maria Hill shows up and demands that Miles get in her car. She doesn’t tell him why, and sounds all mean, so Miles takes off running. Hill jumps back into her car and takes off after him, but when she’s gone, Miles just decloaks. He only went invisible, he didn’t really run off. Miles and Ganke resume their conversation, but then Ganke’s phone goes off. He has Google Alerts set to Spider-Man news, and they see the Daily Bugle article about Norman Osborn alive and on the loose!

The two of them quickly realize that Norman knows where Aunt May lives, so Miles needs to race off to protect her!

Over at Osborn Industries, ex-SHIELD Director Chang has been recruited by federal agents to search the building for any signs of Norman. She grumbles through most of it, claiming there’s no way Osborn would come back here. But sure enough, they find him in his secret lab, and he kicks their butts.

Back in Queens, Miles reaches Aunt May’s house, but it doesn’t look like anybody’s home. He wonders to himself how it can be that both Peter Parker and Norman Osborn are revealed to be alive on roughly the same day. Are they both clones, he wonders?

Then the Green Goblin crashes down into the street in front of him, ready to fight!

And it is on! Next issue!

But that was one heck of a good build up. This fight is going to be grand, and I can’t wait to see Miles throw down with the Green Goblin. Does he stand a chance? How will he get through it? Bendis has done a great job setting up this fight, building the tension and having it mean something to Miles. I’m still disappointed that nobody seems to be able to come up with a way to actually keep Norman Osborn down for good, but Miles fighting the Green Goblin should make for a fantastic next issue. It’ll be a rite of passage fight!

The rest of the issue was solid as well. I think Ultimate J. Jonah Jameson is my favorite version of the character. Regular Jonah is in full-on insane rampage mode all the time these days. Ultimate Jonah has a solid head on his shoulders, always has, and I love that about him. I’m glad he sees through the silliness of these ‘Spider-Men’ fools just like me! The stuff with Ganke and Katie is great. We barely know her, so it works out perfectly that she’d run, unable to handle the truth the way Mary Jane did when Peter told her all those issues ago. I like the drama.

We may have to wait another issue to get to the really good action, but at least Bendis makes the build up issues damn good too.

About Sean Ian Mills

Hello, this is Sean, the Henchman-4-Hire! By day I am a mild-mannered newspaper reporter in Central New York, and by the rest of the day I'm a pretty big geek when it comes to video games, comic books, movies, cartoons and more.

Posted on July 4, 2014, in Comics, Marvel, Reviews, Spider-Man and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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