Review: Ultimate Spider-Man #8 by Brian Michael Bendis & Sara Pichelli

Ultimate Comics Spider-Man #8

Written by: Brian Michael Bendis
Art by: Sarah Pichelli
Colored by: Justin Ponsor
Lettering by: VC’s Cory Petit

Published by: Marvel
Cover Price: $3.99

Note : This review is for the digital version of the comic available from Marvel Comics on Comixology

Summary (contains spoilers): Last issue ended with Miles’ Uncle Aaron(AKA The Prowler) confronting him, hinting that he knows Miles’ secret (THAT HE’S SPIDER-MAN). This issue he flat out reveals that he knows it’s true:

Before Miles can respond, one of his teachers arrives and tells Uncle Aaron that he’s not on the visitor list, and he needs to leave.

Meanwhile, in Paris, Gwen Stacy and Aunt May have just found out that there is a new Spider-Man in town.

Back in New York, a police captain named Quaid seems to be obsessed with finding out more information about Spider-Man, and integrates Kangaroo to find out what he knows.

Also meanwhile, the new Scorpion has arrived in New York and is looking for Prowler. In the process, he realizes that New York’s criminal enterprises are ripe for the taking, so he pretty much takes over, demanding that:

Determined to clear his head, Miles ends up putting on the Spider-Man costume and ends up in a fight with the Ringer. Even though Ringer manages to wrap him up, Spider-Man still gets the win:

Before he can celebrate the victory, Captain Quaid shows up and insists that Spider-Man needs to talk to him.

Review: It is stupid for me to backseat drive a comic that I like as much as Ultimate Comics Spider-Man, but I am surprised that they didn’t make this cop who is so interested in the new Ultimate Spider-Man into Miles’ dad. I just think that would have added another layer to the story, especially since we know that Miles’ dad hates mutants and has a criminal background. Becoming a cop would have been a great way to show his redemption. Granted, I guess that would have made Miles’ dad and uncle a little similar to the brothers from Astro City: The Dark Age.

This story with Miles’ uncle as the Prowler has kept the reader (and Miles) very off balance the last two issues, which I love. Miles already has a lot of doubts, and the Prowler represents a very different answer to the question of “What should someone do with powers?” I hope that Bendis continues to play up this angle of the story.  It definitely makes Miles’ story more unique.

Another thing I love about Ultimate Comics Spider-Man is that pretty much once the initial arc was over, we’ve gotten to see Miles deal with a lot of Spider-Man’s rogues, like Ringer:

The only problem I’ve seen is that Miles, even with limited experience and training has been able to fairly easily take down Electro, Ringer, and Kangaroo. Granted, these aren’t exactly the most impressive enemies the Ultimate Universe has to offer, but it makes Miles seem a lot more impressive than he probably should be at this point in his superhero career. I loved when Spider-Woman took Miles down easy because it seemed to make a lot more sense to me.

Sara Pichelli draws a great Spider-Man comic. Her action sequences are some of the best I’ve ever seen. I would easily list her up with Mark Bagley as being one of my all time favorite Spider-Man artists.

I actually would be tempted to suggest that Marvel should get her to work on Amazing Spider-Man. That book really NEEDS an artist with this much talent. That said, I am happy she is on Ultimate Comics Spider-Man, which is consistently one of my favorite Marvel comics every month.

I do think that sometimes Ultimate Spider-Man does suffer from some of Bendis’s needless dialouge quirks. The opening page with Aunt May and Gwen for example, the whole “Are you going to say Ah every time we sit down?” exchange just didn’t feel right at all.

I am curious why Aunt May and Gwen showed up at all. I think this book works much stronger when it’s all about Miles and his cast. Peter Parker is gone, and I would prefer we focus on Miles and his supporting cast more than seeing how people compare him to the old Spider-Man. It works in small doses (like the Ultimates issue), but it’s not something I want to see come up constantly.

Really, that is just me being nitpicky. Ultimate Comics Spider-Man pretty much single-handedly got me back to reading Marvel books again. Ultimate Comics Spider-Man really is a unique twist on the Spider-Man story, and Bendis and Pichelli are putting out a great comic every month. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!

Final Score: 9.0 One of my favorite books every month! One of the few books that I don’t cringe at paying 4 bucks for every month…well…not too much at least.

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