Writer: Brian Michael Bendis
Artist: Sara Pichelli
Colors: Justin Ponsor
Letters: VC’s Chris Elopoulos
Spider Men, the first official crossover between Marvel’s 616 and Ultimate Universe ended with a cliffhanger as Peter Parker, freshly returned from the Ultimate Universe web searched for the 616 version of Miles Morales and was shocked at what he discovered. That was 2012 and quite a bit has changed since then, most notably that there is no longer an Ultimate Universe (that we know of, but it’s still very Confusing, Thanks Marvel) and the 616 Miles Morales is now the previous Ultimate Miles Morales thanks to a nicely timed Cheeseburger for the Molecule Man during Secret Wars (I’m completely serious). But revised continuity be damned as Brian Michael Bendis and Sara Pichelli are determined to continue the story of two Spider Men, Peter Parker and Miles Morales, as well as delve into that cliffhanger from five years ago.
Spider Men II #1, in typical Bendis fashion, begins in the middle of the action as Peter and Miles are in a deadly predicament that’s going to take more then their witty banter to get out of. Bendis then takes us back to a few hours earlier as Miles is still trying to survive his accelerated High School Academy while also being Spider-Man while Peter finds himself in a fight with the Armadillo. Both scenes are traditional Spider-Man tropes as both Spider-Men found hiding their identity and being a normal teenager taxing and many a Spider-Man story begins with our protagonist involved in a slugfest with lots of quips and jokes at his opponents expense. But the issue really picks up when the portal used in the first Spider-Men mini-series is activated, drawing both Spider-Men to the scene and into a larger conflict that will no doubt lead to the core conflict of this mini-series.
Spider-Men II is a reunion, not just of our heroes, but also for the creators as Brian Michael Bendis and Sara Pichelli are not only the creators behind Spider-Men I but also the original creative team behind the creation of the Miles Morales Spider-Man. Bendis does have a great grasp of both Spider-Men, after a lengthy run with the Ultimate Peter Parker and the sole writer of the Miles Morales solo series and he is showing that greatness here as Spider-Men II #1 is an engaging and intriguing read. I do have one gripe, but I think it is a Marvel issue over a Bendis issue, as it is impossible to get an accurate statement on the post Secret Wars Marvel. My original understanding was that the end of Secret Wars as the new iteration of Earth was folded together, including Miles that Miles origin was the same but it had taken place in the new Marvel universe but in Spider-Men II Peter is very aware of Miles being from another universe. This doesn’t sit well with me because Miles entire supporting cast would have to know that they are from an alternate reality but none of them seem to have a clue of that. Like I stated earlier, a minor gripe, but I’m not sure Marvel even knows the answer since it seems up to the creators to decide what the Marvel 616 Universe is and is not in the post Secret Wars era. I love that Sara Pichelli is back on the title. She has such a beautiful style and her work on Spider-Men is a perfect fit. She is truly a treasure for Marvel and I hope to see more and more of her artwork in the years to come.
Verdict: Spider-Men II #1 is a worthy successor to the original mini-series and a must Buy for any fan of Spider-Man, whether that is Peter or Miles. Bendis has an excellent take on both Spider-Men and Sara Pichelli’s art is fantastic.