Spider-Men #3

Background

Peter Parker found himself zapped into Miles Morales' world by Mysterio. Before Peter could find out what happened to the Peter Parker of this world, the helicopter he and Miles was riding in was shot down by an avatar controlled remotely by Mysterio.

Story Details

  Spider-Men #3
Summary: Mysterio, Miles Morales appear
Writer: Brian Michael Bendis
Artist: Sara Pichelli
Cover Art: Jimmy Cheung
Lettering: Cory Petit
Colorist: Justin Posner

The Spider-men are standing on the rooftop where Mysterio fired off the rocket last issue. He asks how could the only two Spider-men find eachother so quickly? Miles tries to rush him, but Mysterio catches him and flings him back at Peter. Mysterio then blasts them both over the end of a pier, thinking instead of running he can mess with them for a bit.

Before Peter and Miles can get their bearings, they're confronted by nearly a dozen of their shared enemies (on a two page spread): Ultimate Electro, Ultimate Omega Red, Ultimate Scorpion, Ultimate Prowler, Venom, Electro, Carnage, Lizard, Green Goblin, Hammerhead and Doctor Octopus.

Peter says not to sweat it, that these are just illusions, little tricks, that it's what Mysterio does, and jumps into battle. Ock grabs Peter in his tentacle, slamming him into the ground, which surprises Pete, who says, OK, the illusion is a little more elaborate than usual.

Miles makes a dash toward Mysterio, who conjures up the Hulk. Miles jumps over him, and kicks the Mysterio avatar which affects the Mysterio back in Peter's world. Peter decides the trick is illusion with a "fierce chemical component". The real Mysterio decides trapping Peter in the Ultimate world where everyone thinks he's dead is a fine way to defeat him. Miles pulls wires out of the avatar Mysterio until it explodes, knocking both Spider-men out.

Miles awakes to find the Ultimates standing over him. Iron Man examines the remains of the Mysterio avatar and says the tech looks familiar. Fury notices Peter is missing. He says he's probably "ran the hell away from us" to find out "if any of this is real".

Peter swings in costume, thinking it's all a trick by Mysterio, and he has to regroup and look for things that Mysterio wouldn't know about, like the location of Peter Parker's apartment. He finds a convenience store in its place. He goes in and questions the clerk about how long the place has been there, who replies "I don't know". A gunman rushes in, demanding the money from the register. Spider-man webs his head and bashes him into a glass display case, and asks to use the clerk's web-enabled tablet. He quickly pulls up a Daily Bugle page, saying "Spider-man R.I.P." and revealing his identity in the byline.

Spidey is distraught by this news, but notices a pendant around the neck of the clerk that looks like his mask. He asks what it's about--she says it's out of respect. He asks if she can tell him what happened to Peter Parker in this universe, exactly.

Later that morning, outside "the home of Peter Parker", Aunt May and Gwen stacy are coming out the front, when they run headlong into Peter in full costume on the front lawn. Taking him for an exploitative whacko, they both scream at him to get out or they're calling the cops, when a teary-eyed Peter lifts his mask to show his face to them underneath. To be continued.

General Comments

What's there to say about this issue, and this series, really? This whole comic seems like an excuse to have Pichelli draw the Spider-men fighting their respective enemies. We get a short scene of Peter foiling a crime and starting to question this world he's plunged into: where his counterpart self is dead and has been replaced by a younger Spider-man. We get a tease that he's going to interact with the Aunt May---and Gwen Stacy--of this world. I will say that the final page was appropriately poignant.

I suppose that's about all we have to expect out of this series. It plays out just like a reader would expect it to. It might resonate more with me if I was more of a fan of the Ultimate Comics line, or if I even cared that Ultimate Peter Parker had died (it was a good death issue, but I can't say it moved me much).

So to expect more out of this series, or this issue, is probably a little silly. But there it is: it needs to be about something more.

Overall Rating

Fantastic art still, for the most part, and Bendis is weaving a simple and mostly effective story. But so far it's a story that feels like it could've been contained to a one, or a two, shot miniseries at the very least, and has been stretched to five thanks to Bendis' super-decompressed writing style. Three webs.

Footnote

The Ultimate comics Peter Parker met his fate in Ultimate Spider-man #160.