Overview

Ultimate Comics: Spider-Man #2

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Ultimate Comics: Spider-Man #2

Credits

  • Words: Brian Michael Bendis
  • Art: Sara Pichelli
  • Colors: Justin Ponsor
  • Publisher: Marvel Comics
  • Price: $3.99
  • Release Date: Sep 28, 2011

Bendis expertly shows his new Spider-Man learning about his powers, his family, and himself.

The hype over a new, ethnic kid suiting up as Spider-Man has been fueling the fire for this book, but now that the first issue came out (and we liked it), Brian Michael Bendis’s challenge is to make it stand the test of time by creating an interesting story with a likeable protagonist. This issue, Miles gains some much-needed character development as we witness him come to grips with his new spider-abilities, and it is a lot of fun.

Ganke is Miles’s best friend – a chubby Asian kid – and his witty and silly dialogue threatens to steal the spotlight from Miles himself. Although, Miles is the one with the powers, so instead Ganke joins the already impressive cast of supporting characters along with Uncle Aaron and Miles’s dad. Bendis plays it smart and focuses the story not on what Miles can do – turn invisible, stick to walls, and zap stuff – but instead explores what this means to Miles as a person. He already feels sad about being from an underprivileged family to the point that he believes he is undeserving of getting into a prestigious school, but now he has to deal with getting new powers at a time where everyone in the Ultimate Universe is hunting mutants. Miles's powers are somewhat different from Peter Parker’s, but one thing has stayed the same: they both have tragically bad luck.

It is common comic book knowledge that Peter only put on the spider-suit and started fighting crime after the death of his uncle forever changed him, so with that in mind, one expects something equally life-shattering to happen to Miles. He’s already surrounded by a cast full of loving characters that seem to spout life lessons, so it is hard to predict who will suffer tragedy in order for Miles to step up to be a hero. Not that anyone has to die for him to become Spider-Man; in fact, it would be nice to see Bendis find a new way to create a Spider-Man that is not based on embracing responsibility via regret.

Speculation aside, Miles's most powerful relationship thus far is formed with his father sitting on a park bench. Their conversation is realistic and puts Bendis’s true-to-the-ear dialogue to good use as his dad must admit something wrong he did in his past. It is punctuated by raw emotion that is wonderfully portrayed by Sara Pichelli’s beautiful pencils. Whether she’s drawing the father’s furrowed brow and coke-bottle glasses or Miles’s troubled and expressive eyes, everything evokes a sense of genuine humanity. Another highlight of her work is her settings. New York feels like New York with crowded urban developments and a bright day at Central Park. Even Ganke and Miles’s rooms are incredibly detailed with various toys of Iron Man, Thing, and countless Legos.

While the story is not the same as Peter’s, Bendis has succeeded in crafting a tale for Miles that is diverse, yet undeniably Spider-Man.

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