Sunday, 4 March 2018

Ultimate Comics Spider-Man, Volume 5 Review (Brian Michael Bendis, David Marquez)

I thought the ending to the last book was abrupt - this book opens with the words “One Year Later”!!

As you can tell from the homage cover to John Romita’s iconic art, Miles has given up being Spidey. His family is completely ruined - the price of being a superhero is just too high. But, dammit, the world needs Spider-Man and everyone from his bestie Ganke to Spider-Woman Jessica Drew is out to convince Miles to put the web-shooters back on and start saving people again! 

Volume 5 is another triffic addition to Brian Bendis’ gob-smackingly superb Ultimate Comics: Spider-Man run. I felt really bad for Miles’ loss and, though him putting the mask back on was inevitable, seeing him build up to that point by talking it out with the people in his life was very compelling. 

Still more impressive was how Bendis was able to make me care about second-stringers I’ve never cared about like Cloak and Dagger! Their backstory was engaging and, off the back of this, I’d deffo read a title of their own. 

David Marquez’s art is as slick and stunning as ever and I like that Miles looks taller, having gone through a further full year of puberty. Katie Bishop (in another world, the once and future Hawkeye) as his girlfriend was cute and it was amusing her thinking Ganke is secretly in love with him when they were just fighting about Miles hanging up his threads. 

Taskmaster is the Big Bad of this book and the Ultimate version of this character is hella formidable. That said, the prevalence of generic superhero fighting was a bit of a dull and disappointing fallback for Bendis. And, while Bendis’ writing for the most part is first-rate, having Roxxon extensively monologue at the end to conveniently tie everything together made for a rushed, contrived and unsatisfying finale. 

Still, I enjoyed this fifth book as much as I have the others in this outstanding series - Miles Morales fans won’t be disappointed with this one! Dang, Bendis really did his best Marvel work with this character, eh?

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