It’s all been building to this.  The final showdown between Miles Morales, the Ultimate Universe’s new Spider-Man and his evil uncle, The Prowler.  Uncle Aaron has been trying to force Miles to basically work as his enforcer, wiping out competing criminals, which would allow Aaron to rise in power.  Miles has had enough and decides to stand up to his uncle.

Aaron has been blackmailing Miles, threatening to tell his parents that he is Spider-Man, which worries Miles because his father is mutant-phobic.  (Even though Miles isn’t a mutant.)  Miles delivers a great speech to best friend Ganke about his decision to tell his parents himself, stating that as a hero, he’s supposed to be honest and good and that by lying to his parents, he is not either of those things.  However, when Miles gets to his parents’ house Aaron is waiting for him.  Miles tells him he will help him in order to get him to go away.  It isn’t clear, but it appears that Miles chickens out on telling his parents, though.

Miles, as Spider-Man, meets his uncle but tells him he wants him to leave town.  The Prowler lashes out and shows his true colors.  They battle and Aaron nonchalantly blasts a bus full of people to get to Miles.  Miles, the true hero that he is, helps evacuate the bus before Aaron comes at him again.  The battle is explosive to say the least and will change Miles forever.

This is just a solid, well-done book.  I’m a stickler for dialogue and I read this book after two others that weren’t very well scripted.  It was like a breath of fresh air!  Crisp, conversational and realistic.  Just excellent!  The characters are so engaging that you just really feel like you know them.  Miles is put-upon and insecure, but always does the right thing.  His friend Ganke is funny and endearing.  Aaron is so sleezy, he seems to ooze venom out of his pores.  So many books don’t succeed because the characters don’t really come alive and endear themselves to their readers.  These certainly do.

David Marquez’s art is so fluid, it looks like animation.  It’s dramatic and cinematic.  His facial expressions are full of emotion.  Miles’ eyes are amazing!  They’re so expressive and you can just read his emotions and thoughts through them.  That’s acting!  From a drawing!  Brilliant.  And the action scenes are excellent as well.  You can feel the energy right from the page.  Great use of speed lines.  And there are two explosions that were just like… well, explosive!  So well done!

Great book!  Great characters!  Great drawing!  Great writing!

Verdict: Buy

Written by Brian Michael Bendis
Art by David Marquez
Cover by Jorge Molina