Written by: Brian Michael Bendis
Art by: David Marquez
And so the first arc of the relaunched Miles Morales: The Ultimate Spider-Man comes to a close. This arc may have gone on a little longer than necessary and this final issue is an unusual misstep for the series, however it manages to tease some great upcoming developments that make me feel optimistic about the future of the series.
One of the main criticisms of this arc has been the return of Peter Parker, with many feeling this takes a lot of emotional weight out of the development of Miles and pulls the focus away from him. While I can understand the concerns I’ve actually never felt the focus being pulled away from Miles, on the contrary, I think the return of Peter has actually led to some interesting developments for Miles and we can really see how far he’s grown since taking on the roll as Spider-Man. What I’m not too big of a fan of is the “passing on the torch” scene towards the end; I can understand why it’s in there but I feel at this point Miles doesn’t need any more approval, he is Spider-Man so it felt a little unnecessary and cheapened this arc a little bit for me.
Another thing I wasn’t too fond of this issue was the pacing; while the series has been slow for a while it at least kept things interesting by sharing the focus with the supporting cast, making it constantly feel like something big was happening. This issue however focuses mostly on the fight with Goblin and it honestly gets pretty repetitive, there’s only so many times you can see Osborn knocked out, turned human and then get back up and go full on Goblin again. It feels too similar to the previous issue and feels unnecessarily padded out. Thankfully the issue ends a lot stronger with a lot of emotional twists that leave our main cast members in some interesting new places. The final cliff-hanger especially leaves me excited to see what comes next.
What has remained consistently excellent throughout the series however is the superb art of David Marquez. His style brings with it a grounded sensibility that suits the Ultimate Marvel Universe and does an excellent job rendering realistic emotions in the characters. Despite the unnecessary levels of action, he still manages to make it look fantastic and draws some great moments that showcase the Spider-Men at their best.
Overall, while this may not be the strongest issue of the series, it’s still a very solid comic and is hands down Marvel’s best Spider-Man series. With Peter now out of the way and some interesting developments going on in the life of Miles there should be some great things ahead for this series.