This is the best Marvel crossover event to date. I once read someone at Marvel say, years back, that when the 616 Universe and Ultimate Universe crossover, Marvel has run out of ideas. I hope Marvel runs out of ideas more often then because this series is nothing short of brilliant. This isn't just one of my favorite Marvel stories this year. This is my favorite story from ANY company this year. Now, onto the actual issue.
Let's jump right to the end. This has one of the best cliffhangers in years, and it's insanely simple. It's not some huge reveal page with a character you love saying something moderately threatening. It's a question we all have in the back of our minds, and it's executed so incredibly well.
Since issue one, I felt Brian Michael Bendis has done a stellar job with the dialogue, minus one scene in this issue which I'll mention later. I love one of the final scenes here as Peter gives advice to Miles. Miles really looks up to Peter and to have your role model give him advice about the choices he is making in his life must be a great feeling, and it makes for one fantastic, emotional scene.
Lots of great action in this issue as Peter and Miles fight Mysterio. While this is an emotional book and series, there is still some fun little action sequences as we get to see the older Spider-Man and the new Spider-Man do things their own way.
Sara Pichelli's art is just as strong as Bendis' writing here. One thing I'd like to point out that I really enjoyed was Mysterio's stance as he swings a lead pipe. He's not a super-strong villain, and he's not the best hand-to-hand fighter. You can see all of this in the two panels as he swings a pipe. There's little power behind his swing, and it's little things like that which add depth to the character and story.
The opening, with Mysterio talking to himself, is a bit rough. It's a lot of explanatory dialogue as Mysterio recalls everything that has happened in this mini-series as he talks to himself. I do not like characters babbling on to themselves in monologues, especially when they're explaining the whole plot of the book. I understand that any issue can be a person's first issue of a book, but this is the last issue of the mini-series. This isn't needed, and it doesn't really add anything to the book, other than Mysterio has no one to talk to but himself.
The Verdict - Pick of the Week!
This mini-series a strong contender for pick of the year, and it will probably win it for me, unless something amazing comes out between now and December. This is the best Marvel crossover to date, and on top of being an excellent read, it has an amazing cliffhanger ending. Bendis has done a phenomenal job with the writing here and as always, Sara Pichelli's art is awesome. I just hope we get to see some of the repercussions of this mini-series in the main books. One can dream.
On the downside, I really didn't like the opening with Mysterio talking to himself.
Overall, I highly recommend this issue and series. It is downright amazing.