When Web-Crawlers Collide: A Review of 'Spider-Men'

Spider-MenI’m a fan of Spider-Man—this is nothing new to people who have read my reviews before, or to the people who know me—but I’m not the largest fan of crossovers.  So, when I heard that there was going to be a crossover between mainstream Marvel Spider-Man (grown-up Peter Parker) and Ultimate Marvel Spider-Man (Miles Morales), I wasn’t sure what to expect. Then, I found out that Brian Michael Bendis was doing the writing, and I changed my tune.

Two heroes meeting together for the first (and perhaps only time) in continuity, taking on the good fight to defeat a common enemy. What couldn’t be more enjoyable?


Summary (Covering all 5 issues)

Peter fights Mysterio in a downtown warehouse and ends up being transported to the Ultimate Universe, noticing the Triskelion in the distance.  He saves a random civilian, who comments on how tasteless Peter’s costume is out of respect for the deceased Spider-Man, and then encounters the current web-crawler, Miles.  The two fight, but eventually Miles wins and knocks out Peter, taking him to Nick Fury to contain the fallout of the encounter.  After talking with Fury and S.H.I.E.L.D. operatives, Miles informs Peter about the events concerning the previous Spider-Man when Mysterio attacks.

Eventually, the pair gets away from Mysterio, and Peter heads to “his” house in Queens to talk to May Parker and Gwen Stacy.  After the initial shock, Gwen, Miles, and May sit down with Peter to talk about the various differences and commonalities between the two universes  Finally, the web-crawlers head back to the Triskelion and work with Tony Stark to track down Mysterio; not long after, the Ultimates and a majority of S.H.I.E.L.D. personnel head to his location and tackle the villain and allow for Peter to head back to his own universe, so that the unstable vortex between the two can be finally closed.

Good Observations

As with most of his writings, Bendis does a great job of blending the story together from the two distinct universes into one cohesive experience, especially in regards to conveying the differences between Peter and Miles and how they interact with the world(s) around them.  As is the case with the Ultimate comics, the dialogue while taking place in the Ultimate Universe is shown in standard lower-case, but when the story focuses on Peter’s internal musings, it switches over to the common upper-case lettering as seen in most comic lines.  While it may not be a huge difference, it helps to really tell what’s going on and under what circumstances.

Another great scene is in which a heli-limo is shown with a S.H.I.E.L.D. logo carrying Nick Fury and is sent to bring the Spider heroes back to the Triskelion.  It may be a small scene with no seemingly overall purpose, but I just think it is rather neat to see a heli-limo in action.

At the very end of the last issue, when Peter is relaxing in his apartment after the situation has finally settled down, he plugs in Miles’ name to do a search and see if there’s a counterpart of him in the mainstream universe.  The very end shows disbelief on the part of Peter, with an open-ended situation giving the option for another crossover in the future.

Bad Observations

As stated above, I’m not the biggest fan of crossovers, because it relies on the reader knowing the background of not just one title.  This is not an easy pick-up title for someone who is not familiar with the Ultimate Universe to read, nor is it for anyone who doesn’t at least have a moderate understanding of the greater mainstream Spider-Man mythos.

I’m also slightly disappointed that the vast majority of the crossover takes place in the Ultimate Universe.  I’m a huge fan of the Ultimate incarnation of Marvel, and it makes sense since Bendis has done a lot of his writing in that universe (although he’s also done a lot in the mainstream, too), but it would have been nice to have seen Miles running around in the 616 dimension.

The (Possible) Future

I’m eager to find out if there’s going to be some sort of inclusion of the 616 Miles, given the reaction of Peter in the end of Issue #5.  Is Miles someone who is important in the 616 universe?  Is he someone good, or evil?  I really want to know what happens.





Last modified on Thursday, 27 December 2018 17:12

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