Wait: does he have one of the kids from Super 8 as his friend?
The relaunched Ultimate Spider-Man continues along at its slow but sweet pace with an issue that has Miles reacting to his powers in about the way you would expect and also getting to see his father and best friend be nicely fleshed out. Seeing Mile's supporting cast be established is a nice touch, even if it does leave Miles being a bit less developed. That's not to say that he's not getting character development too though. After all, this is all what Brian Michael Bendis is best at.
After coming off as very unlikeable last issue, Mile's father basically steals the spotlight here as he's shown to really be a loving and caring father, also giving Miles some warnings about his uncle, who as we saw last issue, really is exactly what Mile's father says he is. Granted, this is a scene that you've probably already seen and read a few times before, but its written well. Its sweet to see how much Mile's father cares not just for Miles, but also how he still retains feelings for his brother in spite of he's done. All in all, he now comes across as a much more likeable guy. We also see that he is not perfect however, when it is made clear that he's not a fan of superhumans, leaving Miles in a bit of a tight spot.
Miles Morales best friend is also introduced here, and the interaction between him and Miles is an appropriate mix of awkward and funny as Miles tries to explain his powers to his friend. Again, its a somewhat familiar scene, but Bendis nails it all the same. The fact that he has a Frog-Man T-shirt and Fin Fang Foom as his I-pad avatar is also pretty amusing. Gotta love Bendis's penchant for inside jokes.
Between those two scenes and also Mile's subsequent fleshing out I must say that it really impresses me just how good Bendis is with characterization. He just knows how to develop characters extremely well, never failing when it comes to properly developing his leads, whoever they may be.
As you could probably guess from the review, this is a pretty calm issue, focusing entirely on character development and little else. But that is not a bad thing at all. I think its exactly what is called for here, since this is an entirely new character exclusive to the Ultimate Marvel Universe. This is not as simple as giving us a slightly altered, or even radically altered, alternate take on an established character. This is an entirely new character we are being shown, so time being taken to develop him is necessary. I do hope that we see at least a bit more action in the next issue though, because I doubt that all readers are as patient as Bendis would like.
Sara Pichelli's art remains fantastic, and that really helps make up for its lack of action. You may not be seeing the black and red spidey suit yet, or seeing any super-villains coming into the forefront, but this series is still a visual treat.
It tells you something kind of sad that three out of Marvel's four Ultimate relaunches are pitch-perfect while nearly half of DC's new 52 are either nostalgic, same old, same old, or just straight up awful. That's not to say that the DC relaunch has been completely botched. There is a lot of good stuff there. But honestly, I'm liking Marvel's Ultimate relaunch better. A greater amount of overall effort seems to be being made here to return the Ultimate Marvel Universe to its former glory, and even though we still don't have our second Spider-Man, we're well on our way, and I count on Bendis to get the job done.
But seriously though, change the title. Ultimate Comics: All-New Spider-Man is kind of stupid.