Norman Osborn has escaped from prison, Peter Parker has returned and a pair of mystery Spider-Men are on a crime spree! On top of that, ex-SHIELD agent Maria Hill knows that Miles is Spider-Man. Even worse, Miles has not seen his father since he revealed his identity and he is about to tell his girlfriend (Katie Bishop) his secret too!
At The Daily Bugle, J. Jonah Jameson refuses to run any stories on the Spider-Men criminals and demands a real story! Ben Urich bursts in announcing that Normal Osborn is alive and has escaped!
At a Police Station, Homicide Detective Maria Hill tries to get as much information as she can on the Spider-Men crimes and wonders about Miles Morales... and his parents...
Outside Ganke's house, Miles tells Katie that he is Spider-Man! She runs away without saying a word! Ganke calls him an idiot and Miles is about to go after her when Maria Hill turns up, telling him to get in her car. With Ganke's support, Miles runs away! She tells Ganke off and leaves. Miles reveals himself (having turned invisible), but just as they're about to go after Katie, Ganke gets a message about Norman Osborn's escape! After a quick discussion, Miles takes off for the last place he was seen alive... Aunt May's house!
Ex-SHIELD Director Monica Chang supports a Hulkbuster team as they investigate Oscorp Industries for signs of Norman Osborn. She is adamant he wont be there... until he is discovered! After taunting her, saying that she was never as good as Nick Fury, Osborn turns in The Green Goblin, kills Chang and her team and launches himself into the air!
Miles eventually arrives at Aunt May's house to find the place deserted. He spots a light in the sky but has no time to react before it crashes to the ground in front of him! The Green Goblin stands in burning glory on the spot he killed Peter Parker... ready to do the same to Miles Morales!
Brian Michael Bendis has always cleverly used repetition, exploration of similar themes and scenes and comparison of characters. This was seen no further than in the Chameleon arc of Ultimate Comics: Spider-Man (Vol. 1) to great effect but here, the big repeat at the end as we revisit the scene and cast of Peter Parker's death, all seems a little too soon and too much like trying too hard. With Peter Parker back in whatever form, Norman Osborn back and a return to where Peter died in Ultimate Spider-Man #160 I'd rather there was more development and time for the Miles Morales story.
Not that this is a bad story, nor told poorly. I'd still rely upon this title to deliver quality each issue, but I'm simply finding it hard to get truly excited again after the history of the title's reboots and with the rest of the Ultimate Universe dropping in quality so much.
There's a fine juggling of the multiple plot threads though and it is a decent enough idea to raise the threat of Osborn by having him killing Chang. It would have worked better if I actually knew who she was but again marks for trying . Miles's admission to Katie is refreshing and Ganke's conversation with Miles is natural and correctly toned for their situation and age. Typically strong Bendis dialogue.
David Marquez remains an absolute find and should be praised as highly as possible for churning out stunning, consistent and clean pencils every month. He delivers the emotion of quiet moments, the intensity of the dramatic moments and a level of detail that never falters. I'd easily put him on par with the magnificent Sara Pichelli and above most others.
A good continuation of Miles' story but a little too soon for the comparison with Peter's death to have its desired impact I think.