And so, the 3rd volume of Ultimate Spider-Man comes to an end, but it’s not really an ending, it’s more of a new beginning for Miles Morales, and an issue that has me excited for whatever it is that’s next for him after Cataclysm (as long as whatever’s next doesn’t involve going to the 616 Universe, but I really think that’s unlikely).
The plot of this issue was very simple, with Spider-Man, Spider-Woman, Bombshell, Cloak and Dagger attacking the Roxxon corporation and taking out not only Mr. Roxxon, but also his evil Brain Trust. I really enjoyed this confrontation, it’s been a long time coming, and it was made even better by the fact that Bendis revealed that Roxxon knew that Miles is Spider-Man. In fact, Roxxon is actually behind Miles becoming Spidey, as it was he who employed his Uncle Aaron to sneak into Oscorp back in #1. The 3 pages of repeated, narrow panels, with Roxxon explaining himself to an intense, silent Miles were very well done, especially with how Bendis makes it into a Batman Begins reference. Roxxon tries to intimidate everyone because he has the Police in his pocket, but Spider-Woman pulls rank on him thanks to her being an Agent Of SHIELD, and he’s taken in, as are Layla Miller and the other evil scientists.
So, Miles and the gang have won this battle, and Miles returns home to tell Ganke, that, yep, he is Spider-Man, in a great, iconic splash-page from David Marquez, who really has grown into a fantastic artist. At first, I thought his work was a bit stiff when compared to Pichelli, but now, it’s fluid and awesome and perfectly suited to this book’s tone and Bendis’ style. His return is complicated however by the fact that Roxxon has implicated his dad in some shady shit. We already know that Jefferson is a former petty criminal, but now it sounds like he was a bit more than petty. I’m excited to see where this plotline leads when this title returns, and by the fact that mysterious plotpoints from the past are still going to be important. There’s Miles’ dad, the whereabouts of the other 41 super-spiders, and more Roxxon stuff. The fact that Bendis is setting this stuff up proves to me that the Ultimate Universe is going nowhere.
At the end of the issue, Jessica Drew is debriefed by Black Widow/Monica Chang and it looks like they are planning on putting together a new SHIELD team made up of the ad hoc group in this issue. I’d definitely like to see that, one of the best eras of Ultimate Spidey with Peter Parker was when it became a quasi team book with Human Torch and Iceman, and doing that with Miles could be good, because from the little we’ve seen of them, Ultimate Cloak and Dagger, as well as Bombshell, are exciting characters. Maybe they’ll be the new Ultimates after everyone else dies? From the cover of Cataclysm Spider-Man #1, it does seem like the association is continuing, though I’m not sure Cloak could absorb Galactus like he did to Sterns in this issue.
I’m sad to see this title come to an end, but it’s not really ending, Bendis and Marquez are doing the Cataclysm mini, so that’s basically #29 onwards. Hopefully a new #1will bring more eyes back onto this book, because it really is one of Marvel’s best, and I think the fact that the Ultimate Universe has been floundering a bit has hurt it. Cataclysm needs to shake things up, and I think it will, and that the future is bright for Miles.