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Why You Should Read: SPIDER-MEN

This five issue mini-series is a great example of crossover stories working to perfection.

The 616 Marvel Universe, where all the main Marvel stories take place and the Ultimate Universe, where all those Ultimate books take place, have never crossed over. They all lived in their little pockets of Marvel comics, and there was never a reason for the two to meet. That all changed in 2012 when Peter Parker, the Spider-Man from the 616 universe, traveled into the Ultimate Universe and met the Spider-Man of that universe, Miles Morales, in my favorite Marvel cross-over to date: SPIDER-MEN.

The Ultimate universe started back in 2000 with ULTIMATE SPIDER-MAN, and blossomed into a whole slew of other series. From 2000-2012, the 616 and Ultimate universes have never crossed over, but in late 2012, writer Brian Michael Bendis, who is a staple writer of ULTIMATE SPIDER-MAN, brought 616 Peter Parker into his world.

The two worlds are very different, and the Ultimate universe went through some pretty huge changes in the past few years, including the death of Peter Parker, and when that happened, the world found out the true identity of Spider-Man. Sometime after, a boy named Miles Morales received some spider-powers and took the mantle of Spider-Man on. Miles remains in contact with Aunt May, Gwen Stacy, and Mary Jane, so Miles still has a connection to the original Spider-Man, and that comes into play heavily into this cross-over.

In SPIDER-MEN, Peter Parker is on the trail of Mysterio, and Parker is accidentally transported to the Ultimate Universe, where we find that the 616-Mysterio has been sending Mysterio avatars to cause havoc. Peter quickly finds that this world knows that Peter Parker was Spider-Man, and that Spider-Man died heroically. He quickly meets a very excited Miles Morales and a skeptical Ultimate Nick Fury. Then, in one of my favorite issues of all time, Peter meets the ultimate versions of Aunt May and Gwen Stacy in one incredibly emotional and moving issue. From there, the two, with the help of the Ultimates beat Mysterio and find a way to send Peter Parker back to the 616 Universe.

So, why should you read SPIDER-MEN? For me, it's a cross-over done right. There's no tie-ins. There's only this 5 issue story which is a part of continuity, but it doesn't have huge ramifications on either ULTIMATE SPIDER-MAN or AMAZING SPIDER-MAN. It's just a nice, self-contained story. It's also a great gateway book. It's the book that got me into reading ULTIMATE SPIDER-MAN. While both of the characters, in this book, are Spider-Man, they're very different in personality and in age. Peter and Miles develop a bit of a mentor/mentee relationship, and while it's brief, it's a very cool moment to see these two together.

This series also has one of my favorite issues, or any book, of all time. Issue 4 of SPIDER-MEN is pretty dang emotional as Peter makes his way to Aunt May's and Gwen Stacey's place. The meeting of Peter with the Ultimate versions of May and Gwen is a tough one to read, since they lost their Peter Parker. It's a sad issue, yet uplifting at the same time. It's a bit of a detour from the main story, but it works extremely well, and it's something that needs to be addressed.

The creative team of Brian Bendis (writing), Sara Pichelli (art), and Justin Ponsor (colors) does some dynamite work on this mini-series. If you've been reading the current volume of ULTIMATE COMICS SPIDER-MAN (UCSM), then you'll be very familiar with this team. Bendis puts together an entertaining and very compelling story here, and 616 Peter Parker is written incredibly well. As for Pichelli and Ponsor, if you've never read UCSM, then you are in for a treat. The art is brilliant on that series and on this mini-series as well. The book has a fantastic look to it and the colors are beautiful. That's just another reason why this cross-over works so well. It has a creative team that puts their all into it, and there's no switch-up on the art or writing.

One of my favorite things about this mini-series that it completely changed how I looked at Ultimate Mysterio. We learn quite a bit about this character and his 616 counter-part in this mini-series and it will have you questioning what is and isn't real about this character. Is Ultimate Mysterio the biggest illusion Mysterio has ever played? Are the two connected? It's an idea that really isn't explored within the story and leaves it all up to the reader, and something I became a bit obsessed about while reading this issue-to-issue.

And while this fantastic book comes to a close, and everything seemingly wraps up, there's a little moment at the end that makes you want a sequel or any type of continuation to this book. Luckily, we will be seeing a sequel to this book in the future. If you want to pick up this fantastic book, check out your LCS for the single issues. If you're like me and want to show it off on your shelf, you can by the hardcover, which is super-sized, for $24.99 or the trade paperback $19.99. For me, this is a must have Spider-Man series for my collection. And that's why you should read, SPIDER-MEN!

Mat "Inferiorego" Elfring is a writer, comedian, and host of a really rad/funny/brilliant/stupid podcast called "Mat & Lewis Vs The Internet!" Follow him on the Twitter to check out all his tweets, which are currently being dropped like they are hawt.

48 Comments
Edited by PunyParker

Done it...enjoyed it!.......she didnt.....

Oh! we're talking about Spider-Men?....yeah,it was good..

Posted by Teerack

I liked it a lot. Really made me miss Gwen Stacy.

Online
Posted by Foot369

great article! now I want to read this!

Posted by tximinoman

Just the moment where Peter talks to Gwen and Aunt May is worthy enough. Can't wait for the sequel

Posted by The_Tree

This was a great miniseries, I can't wait for the follow up. Such a cliffhanger.

Edited by dondave

Loved it

Posted by wrthreeh

Pretty hyped for Spider-Men 2

-imagines Miguel, Peter, Miles and Noir-
:DDDDD

Posted by Dark_Guyver

Spider-Men was a great story. Any fan if Spiderman should definitely give it a read.

Posted by saoakden

Loved it. My favorite Spider-Man story.

Posted by Phaedrusgr

Yeah, it was a great read indeed. You're absolutely right. Every spiderman fan must read it.

Posted by superior_prime_maybe

although psyched when i 1st read it, i was still shocked they actually had the crossover. Cuz the literally said, that if they have the main universe and the ultimate universe crossover that would officially mean that have run out of ideas. That made me a bit reluctant in the start. But this was awesome! not every crossover needs to be loud to be epic. They can be subtle and soft.

Posted by DMXN

If Doc Ock as Peter meets the characters of the Ultimate Universe in the next installment, I am gonna be really pissed. He will just ruin the whole Peter/ Miles Mentor/Protege realtionship.

Edited by StMichalofWilson

Awesome crossover series. Not sure about the sequel though, hate to see Superior Spider-Man interact with Miles

Edited by GenesisX

So Spider-Men 2 would feature, say, Noir Spider-Man and Spider-Man 2099? I have zero knowledge of the Noir one, but I did read a few issues of 2099, thought it's nowhere as good as the original.

Posted by stevencarver_

So, I've been really curious about reading the Ultimate Comics, but I don't want to read literally hundreds of issues from before the relaunch. Is it super terrible to just jump in with the relaunch titles?

Posted by wrthreeh

@stevencarver_: Not really no

The relaunched title doesn't go back to the old comics at all. Much.

Posted by AlKusanagi

I could have sworn the two universes had come into contact before through some Marvel Zombies shenanigans...

Posted by frogjitsu

I've been meaning to pick this up since it came out. I think I'll add it to my wishlist so I can remember.

Posted by DadaHyena

Mysterio makes most any story interesting; I'd check this one out just to see what he (they?) has been up to.

Posted by Batmandemon23

@dmxn: don't worry Bendis has said he won,t write spider men 2 until Pete comes back

Posted by CommanderShiro

I really enjoyed reading Spider-Men. Loved when Peter met Gwen and Aunt May.

Posted by Pokergeist

@wrthreeh said:

@stevencarver_: Not really no

The relaunched title doesn't go back to the old comics at all. Much.

I myself like the older USM comics better. Then I was a huge fan of the Ultimate Peter, when he died, I refuse to care about Miles as much. So pick one and stick with it lol.

Posted by Damian_Arrows

oh yeah, i forgot about this. cant wait for this to continue.

Posted by MadeinBangladesh

Damn right!!! Can't wait for Spidermen part 2!

Posted by inferiorego

I could have sworn the two universes had come into contact before through some Marvel Zombies shenanigans...

To my recollection, the zombies in the Ultimate Fantastic Four book are not the same zombies as those from the Marvel Zombies series, which dimension hopped like a mofo.

Staff
Posted by Comicman1000

Ever since Fringe, I've been loving it when universes crossover.

Edited by novi_homines

SO awesome. Wouldn't want a sequel without Pete though. I would rather wait until Pete comes back. Its like having a batman crossover without bruce wayne. Just not right.

Posted by nightwingnerd

It was so awesome can't wait to see the sequel because of SpOck and Miles.

Posted by SupermanJohnathanKentJr

I'm trying to catch back up. What do I read after Ultimate Comics Ultimate Spider-Man vol. 1? From what I see, the death of Peter Parker story is before volume 2. Do I read it in that order? Is there anything in between?

Edited by Mezmero

It's not Otto Octavius so I probably won't read it. I always wanted to say that. Boom.

Posted by JamDamage

Great great book. very emotional. This is one of those books where 2 universes colide and you're glad its in continuity because it works............worked on so many levels. WHO THE HELL IS MILES MORALES IN THE 616?? It's killing me.

Edited by danhimself

@alkusanagi said:

I could have sworn the two universes had come into contact before through some Marvel Zombies shenanigans...

To my recollection, the zombies in the Ultimate Fantastic Four book are not the same zombies as those from the Marvel Zombies series, which dimension hopped like a mofo.

it is...it's why the zombie Fantastic Four weren't present during the first Marvel Zombies series....but either way it's only a Kevin Bacon connection between the 616 and Ultimate Universe....Spider-men is the first and only time that they've had direct contact

Edited by SmashBrawler

What can I say that hasn't been said before? Damn good story, even to someone who stopped reading the Ultimate U years ago.

Posted by victorcheenoanleu

I have a feeling that with Spock coming face to face with Miguel & Kaine in September we can be treated to a full on Spider-Men 2 featuring all the Spiders :)

Posted by RedheadedAtrocitus

I think I might go for the twenty dollar TP to be honest! Never read this but really wanna try it out now.

Posted by JamDamage

@danhimself: Yeah but how good was that story involving the FF zombies and the Ult. FF?? Sure Bendis has been on Ult. S.M. and we.are.of.so.grateful. for it too, but hands down the reason the Ultimate Universe still exists in other books other then Bendis Ult. S.M. is because Mark Millar did such a stellar job when he wrote Ult. X-Men, the Ultimates (Ult. Avengers), and Ult. FF. Other writers came along and butchered the Ult. Universe so bad Jeph Loeb (and his weird spelling of his first name) had to come in and turn the world upside and start it over. Literally. Right after we were so psyched he was even jumping on the big since he just wrote Long Holloween, Dark Victory, Hush and knocked them out. I actually liked his run on the Ultimates with Joe Mads (I know, I know, I'm the only) except for turning Ult. Thor back to the 616 Thor. What ever. The reason I even ever picked up an Avengers book, or FF book was because I read Millars version of both thier orgins otherwise I never really wanted to read the 616 versions of them. I was to afraid to just JUMP into 50 plus years of story telling from both books with out a clue. Sure he modernized them, but he made it that much easier. Comicvine and Wiki helped also being able to read up on their pasts, but Millar handled it like a champ. Even after leaving Ult. X-Men, the Ultimates, and Ult. FF we got horrible stories after, but we stayed with it because of Ult. S.M. and then Hickman nailed it with the Ultimates volume...........what ever, only to leave the title with one issue left. (what's up with that by the way) what ever. The Ultimate Universe is completely differant then the 616, and even tho it's garbage again, it's still fresh, but after everyone drops the Ultimates and the Ult. X-Men again, Ult. S.M. will still be here rocking out like the stand alone book it comes off as.

Posted by PunyParker

Spider-Men 2 is unlikely to be,if Peter isnt here.....i read somewhere that Bendis had an arguement with some Marvel execs,that he's not writing Spider-Man as Ock.....

Edited by Mucklefluga

DAT CLIFFHANGER.

Posted by Mucklefluga

Oh and i love this:

USM: "Hey, do they have a Nick Fury where you com from?"

ASM: "Oh yes."

Fury: "What's he like?"

ASM: "Uh, white."

Fury: "Sorry to hear that."

Edited by LarryDavis

Oh and i love this:

USM: "Hey, do they have a Nick Fury where you com from?"

ASM: "Oh yes."

Fury: "What's he like?"

ASM: "Uh, white."

Fury: "Sorry to hear that."

Yes, this is the best part.

Also there's a weird bit where the word balloons are misplaced. And I wonder if there will ever be a Spider-Men 2, but I hope so.

Edited by 8008S

@punyparker said:

Spider-Men 2 is unlikely to be,if Peter isnt here.....i read somewhere that Bendis had an arguement with some Marvel execs,that he's not writing Spider-Man as Ock.....

"But Bendis, you already wrote Ock as Spider-Man through Age Of Ultron"

"OH SH*T WAS I SUPPOSED TO?! SH*TSH*TSH*TSH*TSH*T"

Edited by BaneStrokeLoboGrundyBatArrow

Just for venom for me

Posted by bigboi100000

=]

Posted by Ninjablade09

Spider-Men 2 is unlikely to be,if Peter isnt here.....i read somewhere that Bendis had an arguement with some Marvel execs,that he's not writing Spider-Man as Ock.....

Thank god! At least some people know what's right down there.

Posted by Foxdye

I was first skeptical about the event when it first came out, but after issue 2, I was hooked. All time favorite cross-over...and this is coming from a die-hard DC fan

Posted by Jonny_Anonymous

I could have sworn the two universes had come into contact before through some Marvel Zombies shenanigans...

Marvel Zombies isn't 616

Edited by ThatOneKidWhoLikesComics

I read the whole thing and it was an amazing crossover that I had hoped for since I heard about Miles Morales. I like the whole "Spider-Man Family" thing. The legacy of a hero is a wonderful thing. Different costumes, personalities, and people. It's just amazing. Having them come together, like these two, is just spectacular.

Edited by MatteoPG

I generally don't like universe-crossovers. Do you guys still recommend this?