This issue- so much to say, yet all the room in the world will not do this issue justice; please go read it, you owe it to yourself. Bendis, already the proven master of the Ultimate Universe, has seriously just gotten better. Seriously. And David Marquez? I'm afraid to read another comic, for fear that the experience will be diminished. This artwork should be hung on gallery walls, it's just so damn beautiful. Overall, this might just be the best issue of the current volume of Ultimate Spider-Man. It's definitely one of my favourite issues of all time.
Ok, as usual I'll start with the writing. I think that this issue did something I've never seen in a Spider-Man comic. The closest comparison I could find was in The Dark Knight Rises; this issue proved that Spider-Man is more than just a man, it's an idea that transcends whoever wears the costume. The comparisons between Peter Parker and Miles Morales in this issue were so many, yet it is their differences that say it all. Bendis has truly captured the essence of Spider-Man, and true to the 'Parker Luck', it's not the heart-warming tale of the year. However, it will make you think, and there was such a variety of emotions in this single issue that it closing the final page was just about the hardest thing ever. In terms of the Divided We Fall event, it's feeling totally organic and natural to the stories being told across the whole Ultimate line. It was downplayed a bit here, but that's why it felt so right; Ultimate Spider-Man is very much the neighbourhood, city-based hero. Overall, I really can't say enough how much I loved this book. Everything up until the last few pages was just so good, then the ending. Oh boy. Pure fanboy gushing hysteria. Not so much the shock, per se, but just the overall implications and suggestions for the future of this series. My enjoyment of this series, if physically possible, only increases every month.
Ok, so now to the impossible part of this review: praising Dave Marquez. Way too hard. WAY too hard. Put simply, out of all the books I read this week, this issue, far and away, was the prettiest, most gorgeous thing I had the privilege to look at. Maybe the best book I've seen all month. Put simply, Marquez has some incredibly simple and clean line work, and his action scenes are as awesome as you'd expect from Pichelli or even Bagley. However, the quiet moments are where he really shined. Faces, body language- every character feels like a fully realised and fleshed out person. It's great to be more enthralled by dialogue and conversations than fight scenes. That's what happened here; every quiet scene felt so packed with atmosphere, and thats where Justin Ponsor shines once again. Together, Ponsor and Marquez succeed in making the events in this issue resonate and ring true of their context. It's almost like watching a film, so clear and emotive is the artwork. As with the writing, I'd have to say this book just reached a new pinnacle of excellence.
So basically, for those of who didn't read any of the above words, I loved this issue. Loved every thing about it. Rarely is it that I am so enthusiastic and in love with a comic book, but after a slow couple of months, this issue just completely reminded me why Ultimate Spider-Man is my favourite mainstream title. To the entire creative team, you have my admiration and respect. It's going to be hard to top this.