Last issue, Miles Morales decided to officially become the new Spider-Man, donned a store-bought Spider-Man costume and began his career.  This displeases Spider-Woman.  She confronts him and demands an explanation, but since Miles has never seen or heard of her, he refuses.  She unmasks him, but he still won’t talk.  Then he accidentally knocks himself out trying to escape.

He wakes up at the Triskilion, the base of operation for The Ultimates, and finds Nick Fury, Spider-Woman, Hawkeye and Iron Man standing before him.  Spider-Woman is still furious that he is wearing Peter Parker’s costume.  Nick Fury has discerned Miles’ real name and entire history.  Tony Stark has had a sample of Miles’ blood analyzed to learn that he is not a mutant but a mutated human… essentially a new Spider-Man.  Fury dismisses the heroes and speaks calmly to Miles, pointing out that his wearing Peter’s Spider-Man costume is going to upset people.  Another revelation is that Miles’ uncle Aaron is the Ultimate Universe’s version of The Prowler.

Their discussion is cut short when the power goes out.  Turns out Maxwell Dillon, Electro, has escaped and is rampaging through the building.  Iron Man, Hawkeye and Spider-Woman fail to stop him.  Fury and his agents attempt to take him, but (of course) it’s only Miles that manages to take him down.

Afterward, when relaying the story to his best friend Ganky, Miles is met by Jessica Drew in her civilian clothes.  She gives him a gift from Fury, a new costume!  The new Spider-Man is officially endorsed and cleared for action!

Controversy over the death of Peter Parker and his replacement aside, I love this title!  I love Miles!  I SUPER love Ganky!  Bendis writes the best dialogue in the biz and this book is no different.  The opening story arc lasted five issues, but it was engaging the whole time.  I never got impatient with it, the way I do with other books.  I am happy that Miles is officially in the game, though, and can’t wait to see him take on some super villains!

I liked that Miles got to meet and interact with Nick Fury and the Ultimates (the U.U.’s version of the Avengers).  I always like when Peter Parker’s supporting cast pops up.  Ultimate Jessica Drew isn’t my favorite, but I liked that she took such offense to what she interpreted as a disrespectful gesture on Miles’ part.  The end battle felt a little pandering, but I’m not going to quibble about it.

Usual penciller, Sara Pichelli was unable to complete the art this issue, so she only provided layouts, with David Messina finishing the art.  You can tell.  By no stretch is the art bad at all, but it’s just not as good as in the four prior issues.  Some of the coloring effects continue to look very cool.  I like the dots in the backgrounds of a few panels, which remind me of old school comic book coloring dots.  The “jail bars” effect when Miles is locked up is also cool.

This is just a cool book!  Miles is great!  His powers are slightly different from Peter Parker’s in that he can turn invisible and generate little zaps (“venom blasts” as Ganky describes them).  Critics are crying “political correctness,” since Miles is ethnic.  Others simply can’t look past their beloved Peter Parker being killed off.  I think it was a bold move.  And this series is a result… and I love this series!  I wish people could get past their reservations, because if you aren’t reading this book out of protest, you’re only depriving yourself of a great title.

Verdict: Buy

Written by Brian Michael Bendis
Art by Sara Pichelli and David Messina
Cover by Kaare Andrews