Comic Reviews: Spider-men and Silk Spectre!
Spider-men #1 (of 5)
Marvel makes history this month with the arrival of Spider-men, which sees the Spider-man of the “616” universe (Peter Parker) meet the new Spider-man of the “Ultimate” universe (Miles Morales). Written by Brian Michael Bendis and drawn by Sarah Pichelli, (who also lead the Ultimate Spider-man series) the debut issue wastes no time getting right into the action, and definitely leaves you wanting more.
The main focus is on Parker. While swinging by on his usual patrol, stopping the odd carjacking and being hassled by NYC’s finest, he sees a strange portal open in the New York skyline. Naturally he goes to investigate, and finds Mysterio, who is clearly not acting like his usual super-villain self. After a quick skirmish, Spidey is accidentally sent through the portal. Along his investigation, he stops a mugging, and quickly learns that in this universe, people know that Spider-man is Peter Parker. Soon after, he comes face to face with Miles Morales, the Spider-man of the Ultimate universe, and end issue one!
While it may not seem like a lot happens in this issue, it moves at a good pace and is extremely enjoyable. Bendis doesn’t typically write Peter Parker’s main series outside of the Avengers titles, but he does a great job with this issue. Spidey’s banter is spot on, and the use of Mysterio is intriguing, as it drops hints of the identity of the Ultimate Mysterio as well (and makes one wonder how long ago this event was thought out). Pichelli’s art, as always, is fantastic, and she’s quickly proving that she’s becoming one of the best artists in comics today.
The sheer amount of storytelling possibilities that Spider-men presents is astounding, and while this issue doesn’t touch on any of them, it does create a good introduction to the scenario our hero finds himself in. While it does have many of the trappings that a “alternate reality” story would, the fact that this has been so long in the waiting makes it all okay. Spider-men is, without a doubt, a comic that Spidey fans should not miss.
Before Watchmen: Silk Spectre #1 (of 4)
Darwyn Cooke returns yet again this week, but this time as only a writer. Silk Spectre, the latest Before Watchmen title, is a great examination between Laurie Jupiter and her mother Sally, who has been controlling every aspect of her life so she can follow in her mom’s footsteps to become the next Silk Spectre. This extremely odd relationship is what makes the book so great, but in all seriousness, it’s Amanda Connor’s artwork that is the selling point of this book. Connor is one of my favorite artists, and is a perfect fit for this title. The panels that depict Laurie’s inner thoughts, from her mom picking her up from school to first seeing Gregg, the hunky high school jock, are stunning, and more than make this a worthy addition to your pull list. Alan Moore be damned, but the first two Before Watchmen titles have been extremely solid, and I certainly hope that this level of quality keeps up.