Though he has been a member of the All-New, All-Different Avengers since #1 (November 2015), we would like to formally welcome Miles Morales, the Ultimate Spider-Man, to the Marvel Universe! Though he will always be “Ultimate”, Miles is here and bringing his own special version of spidey-justice to Earth-616.
With the Ultimate Universe gone and Earth restored from what was Battleworld, Miles is slowly adjusting to his new life. But being a teenage superhero is not always what it is cracked up to be. There is dating, homework and the occasional super villain who shoots electricity from his face. It can all be hard to juggle. But whoever said being the Spider-Man would ever be a walk in the park? All Miles can do is take it one ditched English class or frustrated phone call from his parents at a time.
This issue was incredibly introductory, giving us only a basic view into the daily life of Miles Morales. Yet it is still a huge deal. Not only is Miles now part of the main Marvel Universe and, eventually, taking up the gauntlet as THE Spider-Man but his original creative team of Brian Michael Bendis (Powers, AKA Jessica Jones, House of M) and Sara Pichelli (Spider-Men) have come back to tell his story!
Miles’s time in comics has been short, only introduced to us in Ultimate Comics Fallout #4 (August 2011), but his audience appeal is vast. Bendis, who said he found the design for the African American and Hispanic born character while watching Donald Glover, wearing Spider-Man pajamas, on the television comedy Community, has since seen his creation on Television (Marvel’s Ultimate Spider-Man: Web Warriors). In video and cellular phone games (Marvel’s Contest of Champions). And, for a brief moment, in Silver Screen driven rumors. Yet, he does not have to cross time and space with Peter Parker on DisneyXD for Miles to have one of the largest and most excited fan-bases in all of Marvel.
Bendis has kept his original concept in mind while writing this new world for the Ultimate Spider-man. Miles still has the same difficulties: love troubles, issues with his secret identity and hardships in school. But now it is… Here! In a world where Peter Parker is not dead and he does not have to bare the Spider alone. But with great power comes taking responsibility for your actions! Especially when there is a battlefield full of fallen Avengers and only one figure left standing above them. Bendis is setting the stage for Miles to officially take up the mantle of the “Spider-man” but making sure that he learns all the most difficult and challenging questions along the way. And, of course, with the most important teacher guiding him: The Amazing Spider-Man!
When it comes to the visuals it almost does not seem far to harp on Sara Pichelli, after all she was the first! Sara has a talent for defined musculature yet understanding of the human form. Not overdoing Miles’s teenage physique but allowing for proper features for older characters such as Captain America or Spider-Man. And the imagery of New York, in some of the more environmental scenes, it is almost like looking at photographs of the New York landscape. But with all the beauty it seems as if faces are a difficult subject. With artists like Jae Lee, Jim Lee and Andea Sorrentino, “sketchy” is the name of the art-game and Pichelli is still adapting to the rules. Her issues with her facial features and expressions can be hard to simply gloss over. Small eyes, overly pouty lips and ears that stick out a little too far. It can be rather distracting when trying to read the emotional spectrum (or lack there-of) on a character’s face.
But, with all the minor nuances, the colors sing a beautiful song! Those explosions jump right at you. Justin Ponsor (Star Wars) crafts Pichelli’s work into incredible art masterfully. Miles’s story has never been on the happy-go-lucky or easily-taught-lessons side like the early days of Peter Parker’s career. But Miles has always had the ability to keep himself pun-ny no matter the situation, and Ponsor helps build the environment of real life in constant conflict with saving the world, but with a hint of over-zealousness.
Miles Morales is taking on this All-New, All-Different Marvel Universe and doing it in his own spidey-style. Though the first issue was only a taste, the adventure Brian Michael Bendis and Sara Pichelli will take us on is sure to be a fascinating one. With this new story following the end of the Ultimate Universe and the re-launch of Secret Wars, this book can be easily picked up by the newest of readers, but with the return of the original creative team, can also be enjoyed by even the most devote of “ultimate” fans.
Make sure to stop into your local comic book shop and pick up Spider-Man #1.