Ever since the teaser image first appeared, I had a sneaking suspicion what the “Spider-Men” event would hail the first meeting of the 616 Spider-Man and his Ultimate counterpart. I think a lot of people had the same notion. Marvel has a history of pulling big stunts like this around the release of a Spider-Man movie. Yesterday, our suspicions were confirmed as it was announced that universes will indeed collide in June and the two spidery men will indeed meet.
To be honest, at first I thought that it was a bad idea. I thought it was too gimmicky and that it would be handed off to subpar creators just to cash in on the extra awareness and attention that the movie will bring to the character. And that is definitely part of it. Marvel exists to make money, the same as any other company does, and this is pretty much a licence to print money. But when I put my rage away and thought about it a little bit more, this meeting actually started to make sense to me and felt like something that should happen.
The Press Release issued by Marvel tells us the following:
When Spider-Man tracks down one of his deadliest villains, he suddenly finds himself thrust into another world where Peter Parker is dead…and there’s a new Spider-Man in town. As these two heroes learn the truth about their identities and their universes, they’ll embark on a journey that’ll leave them forever changed—and reveal a startling truth about a key player in the Spider-Man mythos!
All of that sounds fine. I like a good revelation every so often, and I’m placing my bet now that the “key player” is Uncle Ben. But more than that, 616 Peter needs to know that Spider-Man has a legacy and Ultimate Miles needs to learn what being Spider-Man is really all about.
I’ve made no secret of the fact that Ultimate Spider-Man has been my consistently favourite title of the past decade and almost all of the credit for that goes to Bendis who has been writing the series since Issue 1. He’s also writing this series which to me means that it’s going to be done “properly”. When Peter wanders in to the Ultimate Universe, he’s going to see the legacy that Spider-Man has. For the perennial underdog, seeing that the idea of great power and great responsibility can live beyond him will be an amazing experience. As for Aunt May and Gwen, that’s going to be one hell of a strange reunion when their paths inevitably cross with 616 Peter. If this faux reunion is written anywhere near as well as , was, I might find that there’s something in my eye while reading it.
When Peter appears in the Ultimate Universe, there will almost certainly be a fight. For who is Bendis to defy convention, but Peter and Miles will eventually come to an understanding and team up together. That’s when Miles will get what he’s wanted for so long; a chance to learn from his predecessor. Well, close enough.
In the hands of Bendis, I think that this is going to be a worthy and compelling story. The 50th Anniversary of Spider-Man’s introduction in Amazing Fantasy 15 deserves something amazingly fantastic. Between this and the Amazing Spider-Man movie, we might just get it.