SPIDER-MEN II #1
The sequel that sets out to answer a 5 year old cliff hanger begins this week with SPIDER-MEN II #1 from Marvel Comics. Brian Michael Bendis returns to familiar ground with a script that once again brings together the Spider-men from different universes. Only now the result of Secret Wars is that it is all one universe adding an extra twist to the story. The original cross over left off with Peter Parker of the 616 universe doing a google search on what became of Miles Morales in his world with a final panel showing the shock of the discovery. That discovery is still to be revealed but SPIDER-MEN II #1 does feature the return of the same dimension hopping gateway that originally brought the two heroes together. How and why it has returned will be revealed along with the appearance of an older and battle scarred Miles Morales.
Bendis knows Spider-man, both of them, as well as anyone and has a knack for the witty banter that makes the character such an enjoyable read. The first mini series ended so long ago I had genuinely forgot that it ended on such a big cliffhanger. With the recent changes in the Marvel universe that plot thread could have been dropped completely but I am glad it is being revisited especially with the way this issue ended and a mysterious older and scarred Miles being aware of his younger doppelganger. The return to this threat is a welcome one but the first issue felt like it had far too much padding. After a fantastic cold open the issue completely stagnates with a Peter Parker fight against Armadillo and Miles hitting on a girl at school. Both scenes are well written with the typical Bendis flair but they both felt unnecessary and overly verbose.
Sara Pichelli’s art is on point from cover to cover. She has been drawing Miles for so long it feels like she really has developed his personal style. Great action, emotive expressions, and solid panel work that flows from page to page and keeps the comic moving at a brisk pace despite the dialogue heavy script. As a stand alone issue of a comic book I feel that SPIDER-MEN II #1 had some issues but I am extremely invested in the payoff of this cross over and fully intend to see it through to the end. Bendis has a proven track record with the characters an the art is fantastic.