Today we take a look at an issue that features my new favourite Spider-Man movie‘s protagonist, Miles Morales. It’s Ultimate Comics: Spider-Man!
Again, I don’t really have much in the way of an introduction for this one, so we’ll just get on to the review, shall we?
First, if you’ve missed any Days of Bendis, click on your desired day below:
The issue begins in an all-too-familiar fashion, with Norman Osborne talking to a subordinate about the Greek myth of Arachne. Hmm, awfully similar to Bendis’ Ultimate Spider-Man, huh? Well, turns out this is done completely on purpose, as Osborne harasses the subordinate – a newly hired doctor – into working with spiders. Osborne comes out and tells the man that he’s the one who created Spider-Man in the first place, and that he wants this guy to figure out how to do it again. Apparently every other attempt he’s made has failed.
Osborne also caps off this little welcome speech with a threat: tell anyone about this and I will personally beat you to death.
Distressed, the doctor doesn’t put away one of the genetically engineered spiders properly – number 42 to be exact – and it escapes.
Cut to a newspaper article about Norman Osborne being the Green Goblin and being taken into custody by S.H.I.E.L.D. This article also reveals that Green Goblin was busily hunting the Spider-Man when he was apprehended, having destroyed a high school in the process.
I suppose due to the scandal, Osborne Industries went out of business and the former lab has now fallen into disrepair. A mysterious yet familiar purple-masked thief sneaks into the abandoned labs to collect something left behind in a vault. While there, Spider #42 crawls into his backpack.
After this, we finally meet Miles and his parents as they’re walking to a charter school lottery. Living in Canada means I don’t know terribly much about this process, but apparently it’s a really big deal if you get into this school and it would secure Miles’ future. Miles is pretty freaked out, considering the pressure, as he’s worried about both whether he gets in or doesn’t make the cut.
As the lottery goes on, Miles and his parents begin to lose hope, when the last number is drawn: 42. It’s Miles’ number, and his parents celebrate. However, seeing the disappointment in the faces of some other kids around him makes Miles feel incredibly guilty for getting in.
I assume in order to shirk the guilt, Miles goes to visit his beloved Uncle Aaron – an uncle neither his father nor mother approves of, apparently. Miles loves him, though, and Aaron is excited to hear that Miles got in to the charter school. He tells Miles it’s a good thing and that this means he won’t have to fight so hard to get places, like Aaron and Miles’ father had to.
To celebrate, Uncle Aaron goes to grab some popsicles, and Miles finds a weird red cube. Aaron tells him to leave it, as it’s for his work. Miles takes a popsicle and goes to sit down on the couch, where he’s bitten by Spider #42. Uh oh.
Immediately, Miles begins to foam at the mouth and passes out.
When he wakes up, Aaron has called Miles’ dad, who arrives in the apartment absolutely furious. He accuses Aaron of giving Miles drugs and the two men get into an argument. Eventually, Aaron points out to Miles’ dad that the kid bolted, and Miles’ father goes running after him. He runs out into the New York street, calling for Miles, who was curled up next to the stairs to Aaron’s apartment building. His father didn’t see him, though, as Miles was invisible.
And that’s the end of the issue!
It’s not my favourite Bendis issue, but it’s still really, really good. Miles is such a sweet kid, and the Spider-Man origins are so classic I find it hard to get sick of them.
I loved the call-back to Bendis’ original Ultimate Spider-Man origin, with the whole Arachne speech, and the way Bendis has written Osborne in this issue is just perfect. This guy is a no-holds-barred, weapons-grade asshole (and the art by Sarah Pichelli does an amazing job at getting across just how evil and slimy he is)! It’s just too perfect.
If you’re at all interested in Miles Morales, especially after having seen Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse, I would definitely recommend you read this.
We’ll be taking a look at everyone’s favourite band of space misfits, the Guardians of the Galaxy! I’ve heard the comics literally have nothing to do with the movies, which I really like, sooo… I guess we’ll just have to see how this turns out.
I hope everyone had a lovely New Years, by the way.
Until next time!
- Satisfying call-back to his previous series
- Good introduction to a new character, while keeping the origin familiar
- 42 is the meaning of life
- No cool music when Prowler is on the page...though I guess that's my own fault for not playing his theme while reading the issue.