Story by: Brian Michael Benids
Art by: Sara Pichelli
Colours by: Justin Ponsor
Letters by: Cory Petit
Cover by: Jim Cheung
Publisher: Marvel Comics
Cover Price: $3.99
Book Summery: Can the Spider-Men stop Mysterio?
Peter Parker comes face-to-face with the family he never had!
ONE OF THE MOST POWERFUL MOMENTS IN THE LIVES OF BOTH SPIDER-MEN!!!
Roughly around the time that Mark Millar was working on the beginnings of the Marvel Zombies story in ultimate Fantastic Four with an arc called ‘Crossover’, the story was (falsely) teased that it would be the first crossover of the regular Marvel Universe and the Ultimate Marvel Universe. Fandom went into a frenzy at the prospect and ultimately were let down a bit as ‘Crossover’ wasn’t what we all thought it was. Then Marvel Editor in Chief Joe Quesada came out and said that there would be no universal corssover between the two distinct lines during his tenure as Marvel’s EIC and that was that. Fast forward to Axel Alonso in the drivers seat and with Joe Q’s apparent blessing, we get Spider-Men. Que rising excitement and fan expectation.
I make no secret that the Marvel mainstream isn’t exactly rocking my boat lately, not anything specific but more to do with fatigue than anything else. But this is one story I wanted to read. Four issues in and that old thrill I used to feel reading a Marvel book has returned and it’s great.
If I was to be picky, I would have preferred to have seen the two Peter’s be the ones to have met but with the death of the Ultimate Peter and the rise of Miles to the role, I thought that it would very interesting to see where the writer brought the plot. There could only be one writer to do this story and Bendis is the absolute perfect choice. He is never at his strongest than when he is writing the Ultimate Spidey book and he grabs the baton and runs with it.
Each issue so far has been a rapid page turner and I don’t think anyone wasn’t waiting to see the inevitable meeting of Peter and the Gwen, May and MJ. That scenario was finally teased with the last page in issue three and the payoff was exceptional. In what may be Marvel’s issue of the year, no exaggeration, the emotion that Bendis weaves into each page is palpable. From grief to laughter to tense taught moments, the issue is filled with standout scenes.
Peter approaching Gwen and she being exactly as he remembers her was great to see. As was May finally getting to say a final goodbye to ‘Peter’ as she wasn’t there when her Peter died was a gut wrenching scene. I particularly thought that Bendis handled the Mary Jane aspect really well. From Gwen finding it hilarious that Peter’s 616 MJ was a super model (that I couldn’t help feeling was a dig at the direction taken with the character in the 80’s) to Gwen calling MJ to say what was happening to finally MJ not being able to approach the house with Peter there as he is about to leave with Fury was a superb issue long sub plot that was handled with care.
Sara Pichelli in my reckoning isn’t quite up there with Mark Bagley as the definitive Ultimate Spidey artist but she is damn close. The book, in fact the whole arc so far is beautiful and harkens back to when the book was at its most popular under Bagley. She is a real talent and a genuine top tier artist.
I have no hesitation is tagging this book as one of the best cross overs in recent years. I have a hope that the crossover isn’t ignored in the respective universes and is acknowledged by both sides. Who wouldn’t love to see an Avengers/Ultimates crossover. If Marvel looked at what the fans want, with the exception of a Marvel/DC crossover which won’t happen because of petty politics, they would see that they have two hugely strong universes at their disposal where they can weave tales that could entice readers like myself back into the fold once more as this one has. Excellent stuff.
Story: Overall 5/5
Art: Overall 5/5