Spider-Verse Review: Miles Morales The Ultimate Spider-Man #4 By Brian Michael Bendis and David Marquez

Editor’s note: Review by Paul Miranda.


“untitled” (part 4 of story)

Story by: Brian Michael Bendis
Art by: David Marquez
Colors by: Justin Ponsor
Letters by: VC’s Cory Petit
Covers by: David Marquez with Justin Ponsor
Publisher: Marvel Comics
Cover Price: $3.99

Miles. Miles. Miles. What a hot mess you’ve gotten yourself into!! As if upholding the Spider-Man legacy isn’t enough, now you have to blab to those closest to you your secret ID?!?

So begins this current chapter of the new on-going saga. Miles told his new main squeeze Kate Bishop his biggest secret. Why the heck would he do that??? So that he wouldn’t be lying to her constantly and so that she’d trust him. The ‘tragedy’ here is that Kate can’t keep this to herself. Big surprise!! She’s so conflicted with this info that she has to confide in someone: none other than her older sister Misha. Bendis must be a teen at heart because he nails it every single time with the dialogue. A big reveal like this raises many conflicting emotions and overall confusion. Aside from the “keep the secret secret” scenario and the “playing it safe” strategy, Misha dispenses her big-sister insight like a blunt instrument — Miles being killed by a super-villain would be best. How insensitive!!

Miles has definitely upped his game as Spidey because now he faces an A-level, world-class threat: Norman Osborn a.k.a. The Goblin. Miles is definitely out of his league (rightly so) as he processes the reality of the situation and vainly tries to physically take down the fiery brute.

No coincidences here as there is a specific reason the new Spider-Man finds himself in the exact same spot that the original Spider-Man was killed by the very same villain he is now fighting. This couldn’t be more spot-on than by the reporter’s remark: “Let’s hope we are not witness to history repeating itself.” Speaking of coincidence (or not) from the fire emerges Peter Parker, the original Spider-Man!! Like a phoenix from the ashes (oops! wrong analogy), The Goblin becomes unhinged seeing his greatest kill alive and kicking. Humor is sparsed throughout the harrowing conflict from both Spider-Men — Miles want to have coffee with The Goblin and discuss his anger issues; Peter egging on ‘Normie’ and sarcastically congratulating Miles touching the Goblin.

David Marquez creates two interesting spreads evoking the emotions of the supporting cast. The first is on page 10 as the supporting cast look on in dread of Miles’ confrontation with Norman. Only Maria Hill looks unimpressed and downright angry at the scene. The next is on page 13 as the “real” Spider-Man appears. Shock and awe are exemplified here. Interestingly enough, Mary Jane looks out the window. Is she hoping to be spotted by Peter?

The last page is a real emotional wringer for both Aunt May and Gwen. Gwen is convinced that this Peter is a fake. Aunt May knows in her heart of hearts that he’s the real deal. Isn’t it ironic that this ‘momentous’ occasion only leads to grief and despair? Pure Marvel melodrama at its best!!

Any artist who can pencil and ink deserves a doff of my hat. David Marquez focuses on the faces so well. He makes great use of tears for dramatic purposes. All the various emotions can be read distinctly in each of the characters’ eyes. The Goblin looks positively wicked in the two-page spread towering over Miles crouching. He looks purely demonic in the silhouette on page 18 as he feels the effect of Miles’ venom blast.

The cover is what really has me going. It brings to mind Mark Bagley’s art. Justin Ponsor’s colors on the cover definitely give it that feel. Clear, neat, and simple. I think it’s one of the best made covers so far this entire year.

Bendis is a master tease. Is Peter really a clone? What will Aunt May do? Will Katie be inspired by Miles and become a super-hero in her own right? Time will tell.

The web continues to be woven. 9.5 strands out of 10.

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