This is how ULTIMATE COMICS SPIDER-MAN should have ended and led into CATACLYSM. The last issue of the series, featuring the same creative team, was a big let down and the natural conclusion truly happens here. What really works for this overall issue is that in the LAST STAND issue, we already see Miles and how the coming of Galactus affects him. This issue deals with not just Spider-Man but also Spider-Woman, Bombshell, Cloak, and Dagger. We get to see everyone in the current Spidey-books, not just Miles himself. It's a bigger story than the title claims.
The coolest moment is how the public reacts to seeing Spider-Man back in action. At first, they think he's a faker and doing everything in poor taste. After Miles shows off his webbing, there's this sigh of relief over the New York people. It's a very cool moment to see an NYPD officer give Miles a big old hug instead of drawing a gun on him.
Cloak and Dagger are probably the most interesting part of this issue. They're journey home, after spending time as lab rats for Roxxon, was quite the emotional one. Writer Brian Michael Bendis has really made these Ultimate characters incredibly compelling. They were ripped from their homes, experimented on and make their way back only to realize that Dagger's family had moved on.
The final page is what ties into the Cataclysm storyline. It's a beautiful two-page spread from artist David Marquez and colorists Justin Ponsor and Paul Mounts (Not sure if they both colorists worked on this page or if only one of them did, but I have a good feeling it was solely Paul Mounts). Cloak and Dagger look towards the city only to see a silhouette of Galactus. Marquez has been fantastic on this series. His art work feels so right for this book. He has a fantastic was at getting real emotion across on a completely silent page. In addition, Ponsor's colors, in the first half of the book, always compliment Marquez's art. There's little things that make it stand out like the highlights in Spider-Man's suit and how Ponsor works with different colored light in a scene, in general.
The only real problem with this issue is that the vast majority of it feels completely disjointed with the main CATACLYSM story. It feels like this issue should have come out before ULTIMATES LAST STAND #1, since the events in the first issue take place after this issue, which mainly features Miles at street level helping people out.
This also isn't the best place for new readers. Sure, it's the start to a new mini-series, but it's so tired in to what happened with the last Ult Spidey volume that it will be hard for new readers to just jump in.
CATACLYSM: ULTIMATE COMICS SPIDER-MAN #1 seems to be a very nice edition to the current Cataclysm story line. While the vast majority of the issue doesn't have much to do with what is actually going on in Cataclysm, it's a really fantastic wrap-up to the last volume of ULTIMATE SPIDER-MAN. Seeing as how the last issue was a bit of a let down, this issue makes up for the recent problems in the main series. The transition between the last volume and this new story line is fantastic. New readers may have a bit of trouble jumping right into this story, but overall, this was a fantastic read.