With a title like 'Spider-MEN,' you have to wonder, can this really be a crossover between the 616 universe and the Ultimate one? Is this a good idea or pushing things too far?
Upon hearing that Spider-Man would possibly be meeting Miles Morales, there's no denying that I had serious doubts. The Marvel Universe is rich in the the number of alternate realities and the Ultimate Universe has always thrived at staying in its own little corner. Now that the line between the Ultimate Universe and the 616 is going to become blurry, you can't help but be a little nervous.
The great thing is having Brian Michael Bendis on board as the writer. I wouldn't really think of him as a Spider-Man writer when it comes to the 616 universe (despite several appearances in Bendis' Avengers titles) but there's no question he owns the Ultimate version of Spidey.
The big factor on the success or failure will be the "how." How the heck can we see a crossover between these two universes? I won't go into the details but yes, Bendis makes it work. The issue has to set up this event. We start off with the Spider-Man we all know. But with this inevitable meeting, there are still lots of questions. The big one is where exactly will this crossover happen? Will we see Miles travel to the 616 universe or Spider-Man journey to the Ultimate universe? Or, could it be some other random universe? A question I brought up before was the fact that villains or people from alternate realities could abuse secrets from one world on another. Everyone knows Peter Parker was Spider-Man in the Ultimate universe. This is something that should really be explored.
What about the art? We've been wowed ever since Sara Pichelli came on board ULTIMATE SPIDER-MAN. It's great to see her on what could be an extremely important series. She draws Spider-Man looking like Spider-Man. There's no question who is under the mask. But perhaps my favorite part was seeing the differences in New York Cities.
It's the first issue. It has to set things up. Will we see the Spider-Men interact immediately? That would be too much if it happened right away with no build up. Despite that, it's a tiny bit frustrating in the way that we've been teased by this event and even though the first issue is here, we still have to wait for the real action to begin.
As a big fan of Spider-Man in the 616 and Ultimate universe, I was extremely nervous that this crossover would end up as a mere gimmick. Brian Michael Bendis knows what he's doing as he's mastered telling the story of Ultimate Spider-Man. We have a plausible 'reason' for this crossover to happen. There is plenty of ramifications to this meeting that needs to be explored. Having Sara Pichelli on the art duties is a treat and you will appreciate how distinctly she draws the characters and environments. As a first issue, we do have to go through some set up for this momentous story. Everything can't be and shouldn't be rushed. But with the way Bendis handles it, you'll be wishing for for the next issue as soon as you reach the final page. The SPIDER-MEN crossover is here and neither version will be the same after this. Bendis and Pichelli are just warming up here.
SPIDER-MEN #1 is sale June 13.