If you haven’t already heard the good news, it seems that Miles Morales’ life as Spider-Man gets to continue in the Ultimate Universe. He’s not jumping over to the regular Marvel Universe. He’s not dying. Miles gets to live on and continue having adventures, which is fantastic news. I want to keep reading Miles Morales comics for the rest of my natural born life. I want to read Miles as an adult Spider-Man, like normal universe Peter Parker. That’s all I’m about: want, want, want! Unfortunately, I have been denied the excellence of Brian Michael Bendis’ original plans for Miles revealing his identity to his father, and that’s a shame.
The final issue in this 3-parter is a bit of a let down, if only because not much really happens. The emotional confrontation between father and son is short and bittersweet, and the issue ends with just a continuation into the main Cataclysm series. It doesn’t serve as a finale to Ultimate Spider-Man or as much of a finale to this 3-parter.
Comic Rating: 6/10 – Pretty Good.
I don’t know what Bendis originally planned for the moment when Miles reveals his identity to his father, but I can’t imagine it was this. There’s no way Cataclysm was on the table back when Bendis was putting together his plans for Miles. So to have such an important moment wasted in the middle of this big mess is kind of disappointing. The confrontation happens in a logical and reasonable way, but it leaves a lot to be desired, and a lot on the table. That makes sense, considering the story is going to continue, but for a single issue, it’s just disappointing.
And there’s too much going on with Galactus destroying the world for anything else to matter. Everybody, especially Miles, is in crisis mode. Nothing slows down enough to be cherished. It’s all rush, rush, rush in every direction. So while that means the action is cool, all of the potentially important or interesting story beats are lost in the rush. And then, like I said, the end is just a ‘To Be Continued in the Rest of Cataclysm’ thing. So this issue is fine, and it’s well made, but everything is a little too discombobulated by Cataclysm to be really effective.
Join me after the jump for a full synopsis and more review!
When this issue came out on Wednesday, writer Brian Michael Bendis made a plea to reviewers on the Internet not to spoil the ending. And as much as I want to follow his wishes, the ending is the only thing in this issue worth talking about. Plus, it’s been a few days now, and I don’t think Bendis reads my blog (but if he does, ‘Hi!’). I’ll spoil it when we get to it, just know that the ending says a lot about Cataclysm, and not in any way that I like.
Based on this issue, it looks like Cataclysm is probably changing whatever plans Bendis had for Miles Morales’ story. And that’s a damn shame.
Comic Rating: 7/10 – Good.
Of course, this is still a Bendis-penned Ultimate Spider-Man comic, so it’s still entertaining. But this issue is one big generic tie-in fest. Nobody in the world of Ultimate Spider-Man is going to stop Galactus, so this would be an opportunity to show Miles and his cast responding to the end of the world. It’s like that, in a way, but not in any sort of meaningful way. There’s nothing overly touching or very deep in the issue. It all just kind of happens.
Fortunately, the characters remain entertaining and worthwhile. We also get flashbacks to what they were all doing during the last Ultimate Universe catastrophe in Ultimatum, not that any of them were doing anything very interesting. But then was anybody doing anything interesting in Ultimatum?
As I’ve said before, Bendis’ Ultimate Spider-Man is just too good to be interrupted by a story like Cataclysm. This issue is my evidence why.
Cataclysm is upon us. The Ultimate Universe has been chugging along for more than a decade now, and with Cataclysm, it looks like we might be at the end. We comic book fans don’t yet know what’s going to happen at the end, but all signs are pointing to some kind of cancellation of the Ultimate line. Or maybe a streamlining? Who can really say? All I know is that Galactus, Devourer of Worlds, has crossed the interdimensional barrier and plans on eating the planet Earth in the Ultimate Universe. All of the Ultimate heroes are scrambling to deal with the problem, including our much-beloved Miles Morales – which is a huge shame, since this means Miles’ book might be cancelled. It seems writer Brian Michael Bendis got the memo a little too late.
With the first issue of this Cataclysm tie-in, Bendis proves that he fully intended to just keep writing Ultimate Spider-Man, regardless of whatever cosmic demigods decided to show up. That means this issue is even more bittersweet.
Comic Rating: 8/10 – Very Good.
The last few issues of Ultimate Spider-Man were all about Miles teaming up with Spider-Woman, Bombshell, Cloak and Dagger for a wacky adventure against the Roxxon Corporation. This issue, despite being renamed and renumbered to tie-in to Cataclysm, picks up exactly where the last issues left off, following all four of those characters in the aftermath of their team-up. In all honesty, and some spoilers, Galactus doesn’t even show up until the very last page. This is less a tie-in than it is Ultimate Spider-Man #29. On the one hand, there’s nothing wrong with that, because I could read Bendis writing the daily lives of these characters until the cows come home. But if this is truly the end, if these characters are soon to be gone forever, then it’s kind of a waste of an issue. Bendis could have found a lot more to do in terms of Miles, his family and his friends reacting to the end of the world.
If you’re at all invested in Miles and his Amazing Friends, you should enjoy this issue. I know I did. The art by David Marquez is as amazing as ever. The pencils are a little sketchier than I’m used to, but the art remains top notch. Bendis’ writing is, likewise, a ton of fun to read. There’s a fantastic scene between Spider-Woman and the Ultimates, and solid scenes for the rest of them. It’s clear that Bendis has stories in mind for everyone. I just really hope he gets a chance to tell them to completion.