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Cataclysm: Ultimate Spider-Man #3 - Part Three Review

5

Miles Morales’ secret is out to the man who probably should have been the last to know, but that doesn't change the literal world's ending.

The Good

My emotions!! MY EMOOOOOTIONS!!! These past three issues are going to go down in history as profoundly interesting. On the one hand, they’re easily the least “significant” in terms of what’s being done about the new, ultra-powered Galactus seeing as how...somehow I don’t think the ol’ “webbing in his eyes” trick is going to quite be enough against a limitlessly powerful cosmic destroyer. But on the other hand, it’s easily the most character-driven and tragic, giving us the most emotional resonance in what is a massive, world-spanning event. And that may be worth more than all the stirring speeches and lantern-jawed posturing in the Ultimates-verse. Miles Morales’ journey to fill the shoes of Peter Parker has been one of the most absolutely fascinating to watch in all of comic books as he grapples with his father’s hatred of superhumans, specifically mutants, as well as his own guilt over what his powers have brought him and how best to use them. It’s a classic Spider-Man arc, but with enough differences both subtle and overt that it feels completely fresh. Brian Bendis does an amazing job of showing us both the desperation that Miles has to do as much good as he possibly can, even in the face of the literal world’s end, but also being pulled in so many different directions and being unable to do everything he wishes he could. He also writes the supporting cast with interesting and unique voices all their own, keeping every character distinct.

David Marquez...whew, what more needs to be said? The visuals on this book are stunning and heart-wrenching, capturing the grand, terrifying scale of Galactus and every bit of tumult, anger and rage that’s going on on the ground while the world crumbles. The level of detail he provides is nothing short of stunning and the fact that the book hasn’t been delayed nor the quality waned is a testament to an incredible talent. The facial expression of “lips upturned sardonically” is oddly specific, but one of the expressions he nails with absolute perfection. Justin Ponsor provides his beautiful, evocative colors to the art, showing an amazing eye for establishing this book’s surprisingly complex voice. The darkness and destruction around Galactus and the grasping, desperate hope around Spidey, it’s all here and it’s all gorgeous.

The Bad

This title is spinning its wheels a bit and it’s especially visible in this particular issue. All three issues have had very similar beats and moments with different characters, though with steadily increasing urgency and intensity. It definitely feels like this wouldn’t be its own title if not for the event, and could have continued as Ultimate Spider-Man.

I’m beginning to wonder if solicits are actually LESS useful than covers to get a peek at what’s happening on the pages inside. We don’t know what Miles’ fate will be in the future and very few questions are answered, with absolutely nothing resolved, and while we get a tease of Cataclysm’s core title, I would have liked some closure on any of the characters in this title. By the end, at least one major one is in the wind and most of the supporting cast is in a similar stopgap state. I understand the necessities of a title like this, but ANY kind of closure, even on a smaller scale, would have been nice.

The Verdict

The level of emotion this book brings to the table is not to be underestimated in terms of superhero books, or in fact ANY kind of genre in the comics medium. This is as much a book about its characters and their development as it is about the world ending, and the title absolutely delivers on that front. Watching Spider-Man still so determined to help people despite everything falling down around him, despite his own personal issues, despite EVERYthing feels absolutely like picking up a Spidey comic and realizing EXACTLY what the character is all about for the first time. He’s about helping people, no matter what the future is hurling at him and this issue communicates that amazingly.

19 Comments
Posted by PunyParker

Would you determine the book,as "less important" than the main Cataclysm book?....they preety much star Miles,and have the same writer....

Posted by GrenadeFlow

Anyone else beginning to ship Miles and Spider-Woman?

I loved this issue, I can't even pick which issue was better this or the main book

Posted by Drewyetti

@grenadeflow: Spider-woman is around 18 while miles is 14. It would have been better if miles was older to about 16-17 as he is depicted being older than 14.

Posted by GrenadeFlow

@drewyetti: Spider-Woman is 16 she said so in Cataclysm Ultimate Spider-Man #1

Posted by Drewyetti

@grenadeflow: Really? I need the read the cataclysm in trade. I thought there was a time skip in the clone saga where peter was 16 and on his birthday before the death of spiderman arc he was 17 but writer's error made him 16 and there was a time skip in spider-man no more miles morales arc where peter would be 18 if he was alive and since spider-woman is a female clone she was aged to be the same age as peter during the clone saga.

Posted by GrenadeFlow

@grenadeflow: Really? I need the read the cataclysm in trade. I thought there was a time skip in the clone saga where peter was 16 and on his birthday before the death of spiderman arc he was 17 but writer's error made him 16 and there was a time skip in spider-man no more miles morales arc where peter would be 18 if he was alive and since spider-woman is a female clone she was aged to be the same age as peter during the clone saga.

Bendis made Bombshell younger too

Posted by GeekBait
Posted by Owie

Yeah, I felt the spinning of the wheels too. I wanted the situation with his dad to resolve itself a little more. It kind of amped up and left me hanging.

Posted by The Mighty Monarch

@owie said:

Yeah, I felt the spinning of the wheels too. I wanted the situation with his dad to resolve itself a little more. It kind of amped up and left me hanging.

This is pretty much why I feel this issue basically confirmed that Cataclysm will not end the Ultimate Universe. Bendis just left too many major emotional loose ends free in this issue that are too character-centric to get completed in the main event book.

Posted by Owie

@owie said:

Yeah, I felt the spinning of the wheels too. I wanted the situation with his dad to resolve itself a little more. It kind of amped up and left me hanging.

This is pretty much why I feel this issue basically confirmed that Cataclysm will not end the Ultimate Universe. Bendis just left too many major emotional loose ends free in this issue that are too character-centric to get completed in the main event book.

Yeah, I would be surprised they would end it for the same reason. Unless they all travel to 616 and live there from now on or something like that, which would not be a great idea.

Posted by JeanRalphio

Kinda got emotional at with Miles's dad's part.

Posted by danhimself

@drewyetti said:

@grenadeflow: Really? I need the read the cataclysm in trade. I thought there was a time skip in the clone saga where peter was 16 and on his birthday before the death of spiderman arc he was 17 but writer's error made him 16 and there was a time skip in spider-man no more miles morales arc where peter would be 18 if he was alive and since spider-woman is a female clone she was aged to be the same age as peter during the clone saga.

Bendis made Bombshell younger too

I hate all of the age changes....I just don't see the need in it or how it's justified....we know that Bombshell was in the same class as Peter so she should be the same age as Peter....Spider Woman is a clone of Peter's so she should be the same age as Peter as well...it just seems dumb to deage them at all

Edited by GrenadeFlow

@grenadeflow said:

@drewyetti said:

@grenadeflow: Really? I need the read the cataclysm in trade. I thought there was a time skip in the clone saga where peter was 16 and on his birthday before the death of spiderman arc he was 17 but writer's error made him 16 and there was a time skip in spider-man no more miles morales arc where peter would be 18 if he was alive and since spider-woman is a female clone she was aged to be the same age as peter during the clone saga.

Bendis made Bombshell younger too

I hate all of the age changes....I just don't see the need in it or how it's justified....we know that Bombshell was in the same class as Peter so she should be the same age as Peter....Spider Woman is a clone of Peter's so she should be the same age as Peter as well...it just seems dumb to deage them at all

Spider-Woman doesn't necessarily have to be Peter's age

Edited by jdp180

Kinda got emotional at with Miles's dad's part.

me too. Kinda hated how dad got all irrational and emotional when all Miles wanted to do was get him to safety.

Anyone else beginning to ship Miles and Spider-Woman?

I loved this issue, I can't even pick which issue was better this or the main book

isnt she much older than Miles? Miles cant even vote can he?

Posted by GrenadeFlow