In Paris, Aunt May and Gwen Stacey are relaxing and enjoying coffee, when May spots a newspaper headline touting the appearance of a new Spider-Man. The two women exchanged worried stares.
Back in New York, Miles’ uncle Aaron, also known as the criminal The Prowler, confronts Miles at his school. Miles sends his best friend Ganke away for safety. Aaron tells Miles that he knows he’s the new Spider-Man, because he saw him get bitten and now knows that the spider was from Norman Osborn’s facility and as is common knowledge now, that’s how Peter Parker gained his powers. Aaron has a plan, but is interrupted and escorted off the premises by the faculty.
Elsewhere, police Captain Quaid refuses to acknowledge that there is a new Spider-Man, before questioning The Kangaroo, Frank Oliver.
The Scorpion has come to New York in pursuit of Aaron who attempted to rip him off in issue #6. He bloodily interrupts a poker game between a bunch of crooks, swinging a huge, nasty-looking hook on a chain. At first, he just tries to gain information on The Prowler’s whereabouts, but then he realizes how disorganized the crime syndicate is there and appoints himself as New York’s new kingpin.
Miles is traumatized by his encounter with his uncle and seems dazed the following week. Ganke is worried about his friend. Finally, Miles puts on his Spider-Man costume and goes out to clear his head and get some air. Unfortunately, his luck is as sterling as Peter Parker’s was and he finds himself in a super brawl with The Ringer. (He shoots metal rings, somehow.) Despite getting ensnared in his rings, Miles takes down the villain. But he is then confronted by Captain Quaid who demands information.
The crux of this issue is Aaron’s revelation that he knows Miles is Spider-Man. It’s one of those moments, like getting caught lying, where you know there’s no way back now. You’re kind of screwed and Miles certainly is at this point. With the knowledge he possesses, Aaron could blackmail Miles into doing anything he says, for fear of harm to his parents! This is a no-win situation and though Miles as a protagonist will surely come out on top, it’s sure to come at a steep price. (But Aaron is so scummy, I wouldn’t mind if they just killed him off.)
The Scorpion’s development is sure to pay off in upcoming issues and I’m sure Captain Quaid will end up being a major supporting character, but for me, the other real highlight of this issue, was May and Gwen’s inclusion. Though this book is a relaunch, with an all new lead character, it’s very nice that writer, Brian Michael Bendis is hanging on to Peter Parker’s supporting cast and hopefully they will become part of Miles’ as well.
And Sara Pichelli’s art? Stunning!
ULTIMATE COMICS SPIDER-MAN #8
Written by Brian Michael Bendis
Art by Sara Pichelli
Cover by Kaare Andrews