Miles Morales: The Ultimate Spider-Man # 4
Writer- Brian Michael Bendis
Artist- David Marquez
Color- Justin Ponsor
Review by Justin Townson
I believe that the Ultimate Universe is still here for one reason, and that reason is Miles Morales. During the entire history of the Ultimate line, the one consistently great book month in and out has been Ultimate Spider-Man. When Peter died and Miles came along to take his spot the book never skipped a beat, in fact in my opinion it has only gotten better. Miles isn’t Peter, he can never be; we know that, he knows that. He doesn’t have to be though, as evidenced by the renaming of the book. Miles has grown into the role in his own way, no longer feeling like he’s walking in Peters shadow. Of course, wouldn’t you know it, right as this happens not only does Peter’s number one nemesis return, but apparently Peter does as well.
Most of the issue is the big battle between Miles and the Goblin and that is plenty good enough for me. The standoff between the two on the spot where Peter died is fitting and full of symbolism. Although Brian Michael Bendis has been writing this book for going on 14 years, he doesn’t fail to impress with new ways to make these conflicts interesting. This could have just been another big Green Goblin/Spider-Man battle but it feels like this is the first time you’re seeing it. This is a new and crazier version of Norman than I can remember. For instance Norman seeing himself as some God that Miles should devote himself to is new and somewhat creepy, even for him. Seeing Miles stand up to the task in front of him and engage the Goblin (minus webshooters, thanks Pete) was really entertaining to read, and that’s before “Peter” decides to show up. As far as that goes, I still don’t believe that its really him, after all, dead is supposed to be dead in the Ultimate Universe. However, I trust Bendis to deliver a good story so I’m okay with playing the waiting game for answers. In all my years reading this title I’ve always found the supporting cast of this book to be an integral part of the story. I’m just as drawn to what’s happening to Miles as I am Spider-Man. So while I’m interested in his love life with Katie Bishop, the pages of her talking to her sister about Miles does feel slightly at odds with the rest of the book. Honestly I had forgotten all about it until my second read through. It gets outshined and then some by the rest of the issue and there were some possible interesting plot threads hanging there. Hopefully its something we revisit in a later issue.
David Marquez and Justin Ponsor really shine in this issue. Marquez manages to make the most physically imposing Green Goblin I’ve ever seen. The action is clean, crisp, and sequenced really well. Yet, I find the best aspect of his pencils to be the way he draws faces. Expressive and beautifully drawn character’s are all over this book. Justin Ponsor’s colors really jump out at you. With most of the book taking place at night, under spotlight and engulfed in flames, the colors really pop off the page. If you add that with Marquez’s pencils, you’re looking at a gorgeous book.
Buy it. This is such a good series. Whether you’ve been there from the start in 2000, or just started reading with the relaunch you are bound to have fun with this book. Out of all of the character’s that both Marvel and DC have tried to introduce, none in my opinion have been half as good or interesting as Miles Morales. He is after all, The Ultimate Spider-Man.