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Critical Review: Ultimate Comics Spider-Man #4

Miles goes out in costume for the first time!
The death of the Ultimate universe’s Peter Parker rocked fans this summer, myself included. Although he wasn’t the “regular” Spider-Man that I’ve been reading the Amazing adventures of since I was 8, he was STILL Peter Parker/Spider-Man and still resonated as a character I could relate to. The announcement that the death of Peter Parker would not in fact be the end of Ultimate Spider-Man equally rocked the community and when the announcement of a gasp mixed-race Spider-Man hit, not even the mainstream, generally non-interested news sources could keep quiet. News of Bendis “playing the race card”, or it was all just a gimmick to get media attention and raise sales were almost instantaneous, even Glen Beck went as far as to say that Michelle Obama herself essentially told Bendis to make the new Spider-Man non-white. I’m here to tell you that none of that matters. Miles Morales is the new Spider-Man, I should say Spider-BOY though, and we finally get to see him in costume, if you can really call it that, this issue!

This issue really hit me again, since we see Peter’s death and funeral from Miles’ perspective. At the end of issue 3, Miles and Ganke were brought into the common room of their new school and hear the announcement of Spider-Man being shot on the bridge. As we pick up this issue Miles decides to run off and see the action. He gets to the Parker residence and watches from a nearby rooftop just as Peter passes away in MJ’s arms.

With great power comes great responsibility
After returning to the dorm the inevitable guilt that always pushes superheroes to do the whole superhero thing kicks in as Miles talks to Ganke about how he might have been able to help. That maybe he could have done something. They decide to go to Peter’s funeral where there is a touching exchange between him and Gwen Stacy that just broke my heart, and where Miles hears the famous “With great power comes great responsibility.” motto that exemplified everything Peter stood for. With this new resolve Miles sets out to take up the mask and with it, honor Peter’s memory and keep Spider-Man alive. Only one problem, he needs a costume. His roommate and best friend comes to the rescue with a halloween Spider-Man costume, and our hero is reborn! Sort of. One of my complaints about this issue, is that there is a fight, but we don’t get to see any of it. Except for a single shot of Miles getting thrown into a building on the Daily Bugle website, where we read that a copycat Spider-Man fought Kangaroo. Which he did apparently win and the Kangaroo was apprehended, but at the expense of property damage.

We get to see how things are going to get complicated rather quickly as things at the dorm, (Miles is living with 2 other boys, and only 1 of them knows his secret) get a little heated, when he and Ganke lock the door to talk about Miles’ new endeavor. How is he going to manage sneaking out of a dorm room to fight crime? We have yet to see if Miles will be able to make webbing on his own, or if he’s going to have to find another solution. He seems to be doing just fine with running and jumping across the city.

I won’t ruin the ending for you, but Miles really needs to figure out his spider-sense, and rather quickly.
Overall I’m really enjoying this book. Bendis has never disappointed me, and Sarah Pichelli is doing fantastic work on the series. If you’re a Spidey fan and are on the fence I’d say this is a good issue to jump into this book and see where it’s going.
Sound off in the comments and let us know what you think about the new Spider-Man.