Bendis continues this issue with a slow and steady introduction to not only Miles Morales, but the supporting characters as well. It’s during these events Miles confides in his best friend about his new abilities, but he’s also scared that he’s a mutant. Which in any of the Marvel Universes is a very bad thing. Especially since the mutant hate in the Ultimate Universe is higher than it’s ever been before due to recent events. It’s not until the end of the issue that things begin to get a little more clear for Miles, but that doesn’t mean the truth is going to make things easier.
Though several things about Miles may run parallel to his predecessor, Bendis is making it quite clear that this has its own unique flavor. Most likely in any other situation Miles would be thrilled to have these powers, but the mutant hate is at a high pitch right now and being normal is the safest thing to be. So right now there seems to be a bit of resentment about the powers that Miles has. The scene where he tells his secret to his best friend is a great one, but the best part comes when Bendis shows a father/son moment with Miles and his dad. He shares something with his son that he’s been ashamed of for years, and more about the uncle he doesn’t want Miles around. Bendis’s character interactions are on another level, making scenes like this come off as strong as any huge fight scene or those shock and awe moments we’re so used to in superhero comics. There was also a bit of dialog between the movers that makes me wonder if he was referring to the internet chatter about this particular series.
As with the last issue the art team of Pichelli and Ponsor gives a great looking panel after panel after panel. Since a lot of the issue is character building, it was great to see that Pichelli handles these slower moments masterfully. The reason the scene between Miles and his father worked even better than it probably should have was that each panel hits an emotion and compliments the script. The same goes for the sequence with the best friend and the look on his face when Miles was trying to get his powers to work. There were several other small things that were great additions, from the Frog-Man t-shirt to the profile pics used by Miles and his friend during their text conversation.
My only large complaint with the previous issue was that it felt too short. Well, after reading this issue I felt like there was more story being told, and that’s always a good thing when it’s written this well. As cool as it’s been getting to know Miles, I’m interested in seeing Bendis set up those who are going make his life hell in this series. Also, if Miles’s uncle ends up being who I think he is, I’m pretty sure that things aren’t going to go well for him later on down the line.
The Ultimate Universe allows Marvel to take some liberties with established characters and shake things up in ways that may not fit in the regular Marvel U. If they kept it all the same, then what would the point be for it to exist? Despite what the naysayers and complainers are shouting, this is one of those changes that is starting off very good, and hopefully the creative team continues to make it even better.