After the awesome showdown between Peter Parker and Miles Morales, the Spider-Men of two universes, in ‘Spider-Men’ #2, this issue takes us further down the rabbit hole. Sadly, what we find at the bottom isn’t good.
Last issue, Peter and Miles had a brief (and hilarious) skirmish before Miles called in his S.H.E.I.L.D. pals to help figure out why Peter Parker, who was killed in the Ultimate Universe, is still alive. After figuring out that this Peter Parker was somehow from an alternate universe, Nick Fury releases Peter to go with Miles while S.H.E.I.L.D. tries to find the rip/portal between universes. But, before Peter, could discover the truth about what happened to his Ultimate Universe self, Mysterio showed up to crash the party.
Warning: Some stuff happens this issue that hindered my enjoyment of it and I can’t discuss that without some spoilers. You’ve been warned.
The first part of this issue has Peter and Miles facing off with Mysterio. The usually all FX villain has apparently acquired a new power that allows him to recreate a person’s greatest fears through the use of a chemical (so he’s essentially become Marvel’s version of the Scarecrow from Batman). Mysterio uses his new powers on the heroes and they spend the next third of the book facing off against villains from both universes before figuring out Mysterio’s new trick.
After taking down Mysterio (sort of), Peter swings off to discover what happened to Ultimate Universe Peter Parker. When he finds out that his Ultimate Universe self was killed, Peter does something that may have ruined this series for me. He goes back to Peter’s home and meets with Aunt May and Gwen Stacy.
Up until this point, I’d been raving about how much Brian Michael Bendis, while not my favorite writer, really understood Spider-Man’s character but this last move has tossed all of that out of the window. Peter Parker has no idea where he is exactly but he’s been in other universes before and knows that you don’t mess with things too much. Besides that, if Peter’s plan is to return home eventually, why would he go and break the hearts of Ultimate Peter’s family all over again? It just seems irresponsible and annoying. The Peter I know would’ve been strong, sucked it up and hurried to return to his own world. This little aside… bad move, Bendis. Bad move.
On the other hand, the artwork is still gorgeous on this series and it was nice to see Pichelli’s take on all of the various Spidey villains. Still, that doesn’t make up for a very bad plot move.
Verdict: Burn… even though I will still be getting the last two issues to see where this series goes.
Story by Brian Michael Bendis
Art by Sara Pichelli
Cover by Jim Cheung, Sara Pichelli, & Terry Dodson