Writer Brian Michael Bendis’ highly anticipated sequel to Spider-Men began this week. Issue one sees the two 616 web-slingers teamed up again for a story that promises to answer a five year old question. Who is the other Miles Morales? Beyond that, Spider-Men II may also provide a much needed course correction for the younger Spider-Man.
***SOME SPOILERS LIE AHEAD***
Spider-Men II issue one reunites the two most important Spider people (now that there are 1,000 of them) as they’re thrust into dangerous mystery involving (Ultimate?) Taskmaster, a door into another world, a girl catching Miles’ eye, and of course the other Miles. This is a fast paced and fun first chapter that doesn’t give much away but definitely draws interest in reading the next installment.
This book is a chance for Bendis to reel in Miles fans again. His solo series, Spider-Man, has had trouble finding its footing since the character has joined the 616 universe. When the Morales family found itself in the main Marvel continuity, it did so by erasing all the compelling drama that made Ultimate Spider-Man such a compelling read. Even with the character’s creator (Bendis) still writing the character, the series has felt stale and uninspired.
The first issue of Spider-Men II provides an immediately noticeable change in Miles. Right out of the gate, he feels a bit more like himself and not the angry and dull teen we’ve been dealing with the last few months. Hopefully Bendis recognizes when his character needs a shake-up and this story will be able to provide just that.
Having Peter Parker involved certainly helps and Bendis reminds readers right away that he has the voice for Pete down. From the Lethal Weapon style opening, to the two heroes recapping the events of Spider-Men, this book has the potential for major fun by tapping into the dynamic Peter and Miles provide together.
Spider-Men II may also be the unexpected clarification Marvel fans are clamoring for concerning the Ultimate universe. Earth-1610 no longer exists following Secret Wars, with Miles being the main leftover. In recent months, various Ultimate universe characters have been showing up (read X-Men: Blue), only creating more questions. Even this very issue we see Taskmaster appearing way more like the 1610 version than the 616.
There’s a lot of potential weight to Spider-Men II, for both the characters and universe. For Brian Michael Bendis, there’s also some added pressure in getting his beloved Miles back on track. Whether the book lives up to the hype and expectation of its predecessor, the first issue is a promising sign.