I’m pairing the latest issues of Ultimate Spider-Man together, having given us Marvel 616-Universe fans some time to mourn for Peter Parker (or Peter Parker’s… life… force?). The transition from Amazing to Superior Spider-Man in Amazing Spider-Man #700 went better than the previous transition from Peter Parker to Ben Reilly after the ‘Clone Saga’, but wasn’t as elegant an exit as Brian Michael Bendis‘ one for Ultimate Peter Parker. Dying in Aunt May’s arms after saving his loved ones is better than dying in the body of an enemy and just giving up and moving to the west coast. The change of primary universe status quo, plus some extra time and the issuing of Ultimate Spider-Man #19 didn’t go well for issue #18.
I’ve already blew my wad about how Miles Morales didn’t belong in the ‘Divided We Fall’ event because I thought we were going to get away from all that and discover what Spider-Woman had to tell Miles about their relationship. However, for some reason I can’t put my finger on, we get one more installment in the crossover with Miles wandering around empty fields and fighting a Giant Woman.
The Amazing Spider-Man #700 Written by Dan Slott, JM DeMatteis, Jen Van Meter
Pencils by Humberto Ramos, Giuseppe Camuncol, and Stephanie Buscema
Inks by Victor Olazaba, Sal Buscema
Colors by Edgar DelGado, Antonio Fabela
Letters by VC’s Chris Eliopoulos
Covers by MR Garcin, Steve Ditko & Marcos Martin, Humberto Ramos & Edgar DelGado, Oliver Coipel & Justin Ponsor, J. Scott Campbell & Edgar Delgado & Joe Quesada, Danny Miki & Morry Hollowell Marvel Comics
Release Date: December 26, 2012
Cover Price: $7.99
This is IT, True Believer! The Amazing Spider-Man #700 is the LAST issue of Marvel Comics’ flagship title starring their most popular character. Now, I don’t want to incur the Twitter wrath of writer Dan Slott, so you won’t find any spoilers here, BUT you’ll get the nuts and bolts of if this issue is worth it or not.
Slott has been writing Spider-Man a loooooong time. And, like he himself stated, this story began way back with his earliest work on the title, about 100 issues ago. First, let me say, the lead up to this story has been pretty entertaining. Not mind-blowing, but very entertaining. This issue, however, does have some VERY mind-blowing moments. It’s a classic Spider-Man story that will have fans of the series recalling all of their favorite issues, as so many of them have been told at this king of break-neck, beat the clock manner.
When we rejoin our hero, things are not going well for Miles Morales in the Hydra/American War that was mostly contained to the Ultimates book during the ‘Divided We Fall’ storyline. In the mystery of publishing schedules, we get the contributions of All-New Spider-Man to the Battle of Wyoming a few weeks after we got the conclusion to the greater story proper in Ultimates #18. It was fun seeing Miles in the background of Ultimates #17 when the Battle of Wyoming starts in that book, especially since Miles had just recently “joined” the Ultimates when his school was cancelled after America started busting into different factions. At least this issue makes sense of his absence in Ultimates #18.
I’m worried. I’m worried that they brought Miles in too late to the greater Ultimate Universe plot to use him effectively. This April, Reed Richards destroyed Washington DC and the majority of the America’s politicians. Meanwhile, Miles had yet to earn the web-shooters from Aunt May and we were still getting the Prowler storyline all wrapped up before we could jump into the Spider-Men crossover. There won’t be a test, I’m just mentioning how the Ultimate titles were working earlier this year. The Ultimates were around, the Ultimate X-Men were around and Peter Parker’s replacement was in the skies of New York, but never the three met until ‘Divided We Fall,’ and that’s over now, with this, the most limp-wristed entry in the crossover event. SHIELD feels too big for Miles at this point and I don’t feel the destruction of Washington DC in his storyline.
The whole idea of Marvel “Point One” books is to give new readers a place where they can enter the Marvel timeline. These stories are ongoing and complex, so even though each issue essentially has a “Previously on” page that fills you in on the character and storyline, it’s not going to mention all the nuance that has come before.
And “nuance” is what makes Ultimate Spider-Man Volume 2 one of the best things going in comics right now. As you and I progress through the series every couple of weeks, I’ll try to bring up what makes this character special to me (and it’s not his race, even though I’m happy there’s nothing Aryan in him – if you want Blonde Hair and Blue Eyes, jump on Uncanny X-Men), hopefully organically. There won’t be a lot of discussion of Miles from this issue, a “Point One” that is supposed to provide an entry point for those readers who wanted to give Ultimate Spider-Man some time before investing in a comic that might not last a year.