Okay, web-heads! This is it! Forget ‘Avengers vs X-Men’! This is the Marvel cross-over event that we’ve been waiting for! …even if the first issue isn’t exactly off to a speedy start. For those who haven’t kept up, the premise of ‘Spider-Men’ is that somehow the two Marvel Universes, the Ultimate Universe and the regular (616) Universe, will collide and allow Peter Parker to meet with Miles Morales.

The issue starts off with Spider-Man (of our Earth… not the Ultimate one) swinging around New York City. As he enjoys the day, Peter rambles off how much he loves NYC and even manages to take out a few street level thugs along the way. Then he sees a mysterious flash off in the distance and rushes to see what’s going on.

Inside a (mostly) abandoned warehouse, Spider-Man runs into Mysterio. It seems that the villain is in possession of a strange device… the one that we can probably assume gave off that strange flash. In his skirmish with Mysterio, Spider-Man activates the device and BAM! He finds himself on a rooftop… in broad daylight… when it was night-time mere seconds ago.

Spider-Man swings around the city to try and gather his thoughts to see what’s going on but he quickly discovers that this might be more than just one of Mysterio’s special effects gags.

And that’s pretty much it. Period. Spidey swings around the city, fights Mysterio for a few pages, and wakes up in a strange world. Don’t get me wrong… it wasn’t a bad issue. Brian Michael Bendis completely nails Peter Parker’s inner dialogue throughout the issue, making the reader feel like he’s swinging above new york with the ol’ web-head. But storywise…. not enough happened for the first issue of a mini-series that’s only five issues long.

Slow story aside, the artwork from Sara Pichelli is simply stunning! This is some of the best interior art I’ve seen on a Spider-Man title in a good while and I wouldn’t mind too terribly if Pichelli jumped over and penciled one of Dan Slott’s tales in ‘Amazing Spider-Man’ after this series wraps up.

So, I’m going to recommend this as a buy… but that’s based on some great characterization in the writing, some wonderful artwork, and the hope that next issue picks up the pace a little bit.

Verdict: Buy

Story by Brian Michael Bendis
Art by Sara Pichelli
Colors by Justin Ponsor
Letters by Cory Petit
Cover by Jim Cheung, Sara Pichelli, Justin Ponsor, Mark Bagley, Humberto Ramos, & Edgar Delgado