Review: Ultimate Comics Spider-Man #23
Now that Miles Morales is a true Spider-Man, let’s see how he handles the true pressure of the role. With a year behind Miles, Brian Michael Bendis decides to start giving him the old Parker luck in more ways than one.
This is the second big time jump in Bendis’ tenure on the title. You’ll remember the six month jump after the Ultimatum event, and how it created a lot of new story beats for Peter Parker and his family. This one year jump seems to be doing the same thing for Miles. It’s a bold new world for him, and it’s a much darker one. Miles, and even more Ganke, are the same characters that we saw a year ago, but have matured slightly (not so much with Ganke). The same humor is there, which is always good in a Spider-Man book. The Ultimate version of Kate Bishop makes her appearance in this issue, and with an interesting role. Now it wouldn’t be an Ultimate Spider-Man title without a good ol’ love triangle. Bendis has always had them in this book, and they always create drama. But the drama feels natural to teenagers. Teenagers are such a hard thing to nail down dialogue wise, but Bendis has always been able to grab a hold of it.
As a long time reader of Ultimate Spider-Man, it’s great to see Bendis continue to incorporate past characters without making their presence feel forced. Gwen’s new role in the book is an interesting one. It’s feels oddly familiar to her role after the last relaunch, but Bendis seems to be giving his own twist to this one. What stuck with me after the issue was the sense of grief in Miles’ dialogue. It’s not blatant, with Bendis putting a facade up for Miles and his true feelings. His short conversation with Gwen breaks it down for the reader and Miles. The ending makes me excited, as it reminds me of the small group that Bendis created after the start of volume two. It was fantastic to read, and used the Ultimate universe to great effect. Now, I’m probably getting ahead of myself, but that shows how excited I am in the future of this title.
David Marquez, who can do no wrong recently on pencils, is damn near perfect. Every character is full of personality and detail. The constant grief on Miles’ face sells every sentence of Bendis’ dialogue. Bendis has always had a knack for writing to the artist’s strength, and it shows in issues like #23. Gwen’s looks towards Miles are penciled with a detail you don’t see in much from the big two. Gwen’s eyes are worth a thousand words. Their full of emotion that Gwen only wishes she could speak. Miles are cold, and are trying to deal with things beyond his age. All-New X-Men was great for elivating Marquez’s stature as an A-list artist, but his penciling panels that make a career in Ultimate Comics Spider-Man.
Ultimate Comics Spider-Man #23 gets 4.5/5.