Spider-Men #1 Review
Marvel said it would never be done, but it finally happened. The main Marvel universe is crossing over with the Ultimate universe. And just in time for The Amazing Spider-Man to hit theaters! Wonder if that was planned……
Brian Michael Bendis has always had a great hold on what makes Spider-Man Spider-Man. The sense of responsibility, combined with the jokes, has made him, to some, one of the best Spider-Man writers of all time. His ability to write a great Spider-Man is on display here. He opens with a long scene of Peter Parker stopping a robbery, and cracking wise. It gives the reader a good understanding of who Peter Parker is, both as a person and as a super hero. Fans of the character could be a little bored here, as it does go on for quite some time. Then the big event happens and Petey is in the Ultimate universe. He hears about what happened to his Ultimate counterpart then…..well that’s it. That’s the end of the issue. Not a lot really happens in Spider-Men #1. Given Bendi’s history of using decompression story telling, it’s not surprising. But it does leave the reader going “wait that’s it?” at the end of the issue. Some type of set up would be nice. The reader barely knows what happened. And while this puts the reader in the position of Peter, it makes the reader wonder if this book was worth the $3.99 price tag.
But the dialogue is classic Spider-Man. The jokes are somewhat corny, but give the reader a chuckle none the less. Peter’s long monologue about why he loves New York City, while giving subtle nods to his love life and other aspects of his civilian life, are well written also. If a reader had never read/see a Spider-Man book/movie before, they could pick this up and love it all the same. Some of it is public knowledge at this point, like the police hating Spider-Man, and could have been omitted. When Peter goes into the Ultimate universe, Bendis does throw the readers for a loop. Even as a veteran reader, I still found myself giving into the fake out. Most of this had to do with Sara Pichelli’s artwork, but part of it has to do with the script. Even with the story taking a detour into Peter’s love of New York City, Bendis delivers an enjoyable issue.
Sara Pichelli has been knocking it out of the park on Ultimate Spider-Man, and her gorgeous artwork continues on this book. Her artwork is very realistic, but not to the point that the characters looked photo referenced. The skyline of New York City is beautiful, and almost postcard quality. She gives subtle differences between the Marvel New York City and the Ultimate New York City, but they are there. It really works to make the reader feel just as confused as Peter. You’re thinking “This looks almost the same….so did anything change?” The few action scenes flow like a movie storyboard. As mentioned before, there is a big fake out before Peter goes into the Marvel universe. It’s great as a long time reader to have your thoughts and understanding of a scene flipped. She gives the character (I’m not going to spoil who) subtle differences between the Marvel and Ultimate costumes. It’s almost impossible to see on the first reading, unless you are actively looking for the differences.
Spider-Men #1 is a good start to the mini-series, and looks to be a lot of fun.
Spider-Man #1 gets 4/5