Friday, March 28, 2014

CBR Spider-Men


Spidermen, Spidermen, do whatever spiders can, spin a web through parallel dimensions, catch Mysterio with no apprehensions~

Look Out! Here comes the Spidermen!~

For more stories of AMAZING FANTASY check those out!!

Comic title: Spider-Men 
Art by Sara Pichelli
Story by Brian Michael Bendis 

Published by Marvel Comics
From 2012
Lineup Spider-man/Ultimate Comics Spider-man
Format: Trade paperback collecting the 5-issue mini-series Spider-Men.

Stories of alternate worlds within Marvel or DC are always fun to have a different look at familiar situations taking place in original settings.
Sometimes those get so interesting these What if..? or Elseworlds even get their own on-going series and spawning ever-lasting universe of their own. Among such were the Marvel 2099 or Ultimate Comics lines at Marvel.

As a tie-in to celebrate the 50th Anniversary of the Spider-Man franchise, Marvel decided to make something big. Something new and different.

And what better "something" than the very first actual crossover between Marvel's regular main Universe aka "Earth 616" and the Ultimate Marvel Universe's Earth-1610!

Brian Bendis continues to be the sole voice of the Ultimate Spider-man series, not giving his baby to any other writer.

Titled Spider-Men, it was published as a mini-series in 2012.

Let's dig in.

The story begins with our plain old regular wallcrawler!

Peter Parker, Spider-man!

Spidey was web-slinging as he always does, being the friendly neighborhood hero he is. After helping the police with some car thieves, Peter saw some strange energy emitted from a building in the outskirts of the city.

Following that light, it turns out the once-dead, then-resurrected, but never-admittedly defeated Quentin Beck aka Mysterio as returned once more!

Using some strange sophisticated tech, he was able to pierce through an alternate dimension! Using a remote-controlled Mysterio android he has been messing around the multiverse.

Spidey tried to stop the super villain...but ended up on the alternate planet!

Is Spider-man trapped in this strange familiar but not quite right-world?!

Continuing the on-going thread following the death of Ultimate Peter Parker, nobody finds the costume our hero sports in good taste...

Eventually he meets that universe' regular webhead... the young Miles Morales!

Fresh off Ultimate Comics Spider-Man Vol. 1, Miles has been given spider-like super powers from a radioactive genetically enhanced spider.

Our two Spider-men clash in an epic, albeit almost too short fight. while Peter clearly has the experience on his side, Miles has some advantages, including some surprising new abilities...

After a traditional brawl between heroes before teaming up later, our Spider-men go looking after Mysterio.

It is revealed Ultimate Mysterio has always been until now an avatar operated by the real original Mysterio through dimensions!

The story is gun and offers a lot of other surprises. Including an awesome scene as he is brought in by SHIELD (which has a bigger presence in the Ultimate-verse anyhow) and gets to meet that universe's awesome Samuel L. Jackson-esque Nick Fury. I wonder what Peter would have said after meeting Nick Fury Jr. back at home...

Mysterio had kind of a similar role he was given in the Spider-Man: Shattered Dimensions video game, where he also attempted to reach bigger powers and triggered a crossing between realities. That Mysterio.. He never changes..

Ol' fish bowl tries to trap Peter in the Ultimate Universe, he wanted to use his knowledge of Peter Parker's secret identity.. In the end, Pete is able to imprison instead on that alternate world (that's harsh!). Looks like he won't be able to use that knowledge in a world where Peter is dead and people know his real name...

There's nothing bad about Spider-Men, really. The weakest part of the book is probably how Mysterio is merely used has a plot device here. He does.. something to launch this whole crossover, which is never much discussed or explained.

Bendis continues to be the only voice behind Ultimate Spider-man as he has always been for over a decade. This makes Spider-Men a much better alternate universe crossover than Timestorm ever was.

This is a good crossover done right, giving both sides of the tale equal screentime and introducing them along for new readers who happen to be here for the ride.

Well executed (besides how and why Mysterio did all of this - except if all Bendis really wanted and intended was to expose 616!Mysterio as the creator of Ultimate Mysterio).

The book contains fantastic art work from the Ultimate Comics Spider-man team of Sara Pichelli and Justin Ponsor. Responsible for the on-going series, which brought this crossover nicely into the Ultimate series. Sara Pichelli's take on Peter and his Spider-man costume is absolutely outstanding.

Miles continue to be a breath of fresh air in Marvel's current publications, and a great character.

This story sees Peter learning another version of himself died heroically (and so young!), while Miles gets to finally meet a version of his biggest inspiration in life. There's a nice mentor angle, that sadly doesn't get explored much due to the limited amount of issues.

Seeing Peter meet this world's Aunt May, and Gwen Stacy (!), was great and touching.

The main Marvel Universe was going through some shifts at the time (what's up with that this last decade, Marvel? can't settle on one status quo for more than 3 months??). Every new epic event leading into another, non-stop, every couple of months. They can't let the series establish their characters or a pacing... That's why I like to stick mostly with these self-contained stories or alternate universes!

It feels like a proper new entry in the Ultimate Spider-man series rather than taking place in the very convulsed Amazing Spider-man these days. And you know Miles will be the one to be properly affected by this encounter with Peter, following this mini.

Two very different universe, and two very different New York Cities. It's in the little details that this series was the best and the most brilliant.

Overall, a fantastic crossover! Two Spider-men for the price of one!

Like always, Peter acts as a huge jerk on his first contact whenever he meets an alternate version of himself. It's not the first time! But unlike Timestorm 2009–2099, this time it actually was fun and in the hands of this alternate Universe's creator.

It was published just prior to another even which drastically altered Spider-man.. again. Just before Marvel had to shake things up again and change Spider-man's status quo. So it's nice how this ended up being kind of the last fun Peter Parker story we got for a while (before Doctor Octopus took over his body.. long story). And again, one of the reasons why I tend to favor these stand alone side-stories/parallel universe series.

It's a great introduction to both series. Particularly new readers friendly, in case you want to check on Miles/Ultimate Spider-man following this book.

Bendis confirmed he had ideas for a sequel story, on a much bigger universe-scale, if he was able to get it greenlighted.

Highly recommended, for long time Spider-fans and newcomers!

I give it:
3 / 3 Howards!

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