Comic Review: Spider-Men #1

  • Writer: Brian Michael Bendis
  • Artist: Sara Pichelli
  • Publisher: MARVEL
  • Orig. Published: June 13, 2012
  • Price: $3.99

Universes collide in this special comic event from MARVEL. As part of the web-slinger’s 50th anniversary celebration, Spider-Men depicts a first time crossover between the Marvel (Earth 616) and Ultimate (Earth 1610) universes. The Amazing Spider-Man, Peter Parker, and the all-new Ultimate Spider-Man, Miles Morales, will meet in this five issue mini-series and there’s no telling how this can shape the future for each character. Marvel claims that this is “THE BIGGEST, MOST IMPORTANT SPIDER-MAN TEAM-UP EVER!” What did we think?

Without giving away any spoilers: You find The Amazing Spider-Man swinging through New York as normal but he stumbles across a villain who ultimately changes the course of Peter’s future as he is trying to thwart his plans, whatever they were. While taking down this criminal, Peter is zapped into what would turn out to be the world of another Spider-Man, the 13 year-old newcomer, Miles Morales. Of course at first the story shows Peter’s confusion as he notices some subtle and even not-so-subtle differences in his area – like the fact that he was just fighting a villain at night and now it’s suddenly day. Realizing something is wrong, Peter tries to catch his bearings to figure out what is going on, finds out some even more shocking news, and eventually crosses paths with a figure quite like himself.

The story, written by award-winning author Brian Michael Bendis, begins very Amazing Spider-Man-like. Peter Parker is swinging through New York like any other day, with one of his humorous and introverted monologues about his life, the good and the bad. Bendis, who is very familiar with portraying the web-slinger, depicts a Spider-Man as we know him, just taking care of business – big and small. Unfortunately because it is mainly a monologue that we enter the story on, the first round of this cross-over feels a bit empty. There is not much conversation other than the normal comical banter that Spider-Man throws around to the common criminals and villains. Even with this, there are quite a few pages with very few words if any at all. In addition, we all know the story is about a cross-over between Spider-Men, yet this first issue could have been a stand-alone Amazing Spider-Man comic as Miles Morales does not show up until the very last panel. I can’t say it was disappointing, yet I do wish there was a bit more development or conversation, especially between Peter Parker and Miles Morales. There wasn’t even an exchange of first words! I guess that’s what issue two is for, right?

If you are familiar with the art of the new  Ultimate Spider-Man comics, then you’ll know the work of Sara Pichelli who does a great job with both character and background detail in each panel. Spider-Men continues that trend with beautiful cityscapes both at night and day along with detailed penciling of characters (coloring by Justin Ponsor). The art isn’t any more spectacular than usual but it follows the standards seen in both The Amazing Spider-Man and Ultimate Spider-Man comics.

The premise is set for what hopefully turns out to be an interesting story. Although this felt like a short introduction rather than a full-fledged #1 issue, it does help pique curiosity as to what is coming and at the very least lets us know how this situation of two worlds crossing, happens. The story had its humor as expected from Peter Parker, it had its brief moment of suspense, but I can’t quite recommend this #1 issue as it gives very little to go on for the full story – but I will say, stay tuned because hopefully it picks up with part 2. If part two or the rest of the series is good, for sure, pick up #1 and start the series there. Marvel makes big promises for the future of this series and fans of the beloved wall-crawler are eagerly anticipating what’s next. What can the seasoned Peter Parker teach the young Miles Morales? What can they learn from each other? How will this meeting affect the continuity of their respective universes? Be sure to check back for our review of Spider-Men #2!

So sound off in the comments, have you read Spider-Men #1? What are your thoughts? Discuss in the comments below!

[Note: Since this is a mini-series event, there will be no final score for this comic until the last issue. Final score will be based on the whole series]

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