Wednesday, 22 February 2012
Review: Ultimate Spider-Man #7
Ultimate Spider-Man #7 By Bendis / Samnee
Perhaps one of the most intriguing elements of Brian Michael Bendis' Ultimate Spider-Man relaunch has been Miles Morale's shady uncle Aaron, aka the Ultimate incarnation of classic Spider-Man foe The Prowler. Indirectly responsible for Miles gaining his powers, Aaron has been an enigmatic presence in the series up till now, but after the events of the previous two issues looks to be approaching the forefront of its plot. In many ways this could be described as a filler issue - in terms of storytelling, it stands on its own two feet and contains few new developments, instead choosing to develop Miles' family, and his fledgling superhero career. This is by no means a waste of time however.
In some ways the plot of this issue is quite fractured, and contains a number of different settings and characters. Despite this, at its centre is a strong core, concerning a young boy carving out a career for himself as as superhero. Morales has been an engaging character from the beginning, and that is no different here. It is great to see his family getting some panel time too, with his parents quickly beginning to settle into strongly defined roles in the series. The opening scene at the Morales family dinner table is brief, but wonderfully done. A superhero with two living parents is something of a novelty, and its great to see Bendis playing with the idea.
Oddly, the actual superhero elements of the issue seem a little tired. Miles getting to grips with his new powers is interesting enough, and portrayed well by Bendis, but in truth there is little of note here. His battle with Omega Red is along the same lines - Bendis' dialogue is smart, but the scene lacks punch and Omega Red is a bland and forgettable choice of adversary. Uncle Aaron's role in the story however, is a polar opposite. His character has been handled brilliantly by Bendis, and is no less captivating here. He promises to be a major player in the series, and his increased panel time is more than welcome. Peter Parker's increasing presence in the series is great to see too. The idea of Miles as a legacy character did not initially sit too comfortably with me, but Bendis is beginning to sell the idea to me, without it coming across as forced at all.
This issue is far from a misfire, but it does not quite reach the heights that the series has so far proved capable of. Morales getting to grips with his new powers is no longer as fresh as it could be, and although the charges of decompression are mostly unfounded, it would be nice to see a little more progression. That's not to say that this isn't a well written issue however - Bendis' dialogue is predictably great, and perhaps more impressive is his sterling work developing Miles' impressive supporting cast. Yet another reason that Morales is a worthy replacement for even a character as iconic as Peter Parker.