Spider-Men #4

Background

After getting knocked into an inter-dimensional portal by Mysterio, Peter of the regular Marvel universe has found himself in the Ultimate Marvel dimension. The Peter Parker of that reality recently died fighting as Spider-man. 616 Peter has found this out, and has chosen to visit his Aunt May's house in Queens.

Story Details

  Spider-Men #4
Summary: Peter meets Gwen and Aunt May of Ultimate universe
Writer: Brian Michael Bendis
Artist: Sara Pichelli
Cover Art: Jimmy Cheung
Lettering: Cory Petit
Colorist: Justin Posner

Picking up right where last issue left off, Peter Parker stands on the lawn of his Aunt May's house in Queens. Aunt May and Gwen Stacy of the Ultimate universe are standing on the porch, and Peter in the full Spider-man costume has removed his mask. He comments on how Gwen looks so young. Aunt May comes over and gives him a smack in the face. He falls to the ground in surprise, and Gwen comes over to kick him in the ribs, asking if he has a soul, or a reason to live.

Miles swings in, in full costume, and breaks up the commotion. Miles tells May and Gwen that it's really Peter. Peter says he shouldn't have come there, but that he couldn't understand how "there's this entire other world". At that point Aunt May faints.

At SHIELD headquarters, Nick Fury and Tony Stark are discussing the dimension that the 616 Peter says he came from, and agree that it's dangerous having a villain like Mysterio traversing the two worlds as well.

Gwen, meanwhile, has phoned Mary Jane, telling her of Peter's appearance.

Aunt May wakes up on the couch in the house in Queens. Hearing talking upstairs, she goes up to find Gwen, Miles and Peter talking past exploits. Peter talks about the differences with this universe's Gwen and his, while Miles examines Peter's webshooters with a kind of awe. Gwen asks if there's a "me" in Peter's world, to which Peter says yes. She asks if Peter's dating her, Peter stumbles, and Gwen says he's probably dating Mary Jane. Peter then asks "is there an MJ here?". Gwen says yes, and that she's called her. Peter asks if she's a model, and this sets off Gwen's jealousy further.

Gwen exclaims to May about other worlds, how there are whole other dimensions, and that Peter's "totally alive". May says they don't know for sure, Miles murmers "it's him." May asks if Peter lives "here" now, and Peter replies no, and that he needs to get back where he came from. May asks if there's a her where Peter comes from, he says yes, and he was raised by her and Uncle Ben. She asks if he's alive too, and Peter admits no, Ben isn't, but that he's the reason Peter does what he does. More back and forth between Peter, Gwen and May, while Miles sees a van pulling up outside, and announces "I think we have to go now".

Fury and his men meet everyone downstairs. He tells Miles to get back to school. Peter says he'd like him to stick around a little while longer. As they're about to enter the vehicle, Peter spies Mary Jane in sunglasses spying on him from across the street. She runs off when she realizes she's been spotted. Inside the van, Miles asks if there's a Nick Fury where Peter comes from, and what's he like. Peter says, "uh, white". Fury says "Sorry to hear that."

At Stark's lab, Peter and Tony banter for awhile about how to exactly get Peter back to his dimension. Mysterio is broadcasting his rants on the web. Miles recognizes a Brooklyn building in the background on the computer monitor. Fury calls in an airstrike, and the Spider-men go in full costume to infiltrate.

General Comments

I can't say much bad about this issue, as the regular-Marvel continuity Peter meeting his Aunt and Gwen Stacy of the Ultimate universe is done here rather well. What is lacking here is a sense of conflict or tension. There are no villains in this issue, even Mysterio takes a backseat to the conversation between Peter, May and Gwen.

It also certainly seems as if Miles Morales is being groomed to make an appearance in the Marvel of 616 (and I also thought the Fury of the Ultimate universe, clearly modeled after Samuel L Jackson, has indeed replaced the classic Nick Fury of the 616, to perhaps be more in line with the films). Miles wonders aloud whether he exists in Peter's dimension, and takes an interest in Peter's webshooters, which Miles himself doesn't have, mechanical or otherwise.

If nothing else, it's interesting to see how well Miles fits into the cast of characters here.

Still, I wonder what the point of this crossover is, besides the simple act of crossing over these worlds. It doesn't seem like it's going to be at all referenced in the regular Spider-man title.

Overall Rating

Bendis writes with care, and his story is paced well. Sara Pichelli's layouts, full of characterization, deftly enhance what is basically an issue of talking heads. I'm not particularly blown away by this tale, but it's good enough for what it is. One more part to go.