Ultimate Comics: Spider-Man #28
by Brian Michael Bendis and David Marquez
Ever since Miles Morales felt true loss, he has stepped away from the life he seemed destined to inherit. In the recent story-arc of Ultimate Comics: Spider-Man, Brian Bendis has been inching Miles closer and closer to returning to his costumed life. While it has taken some time to get there, the pieces were delicately placed and the development that occurred for many of the characters in this universe lent to a real sense of noticeable growth throughout the arc. Now Miles, along with several others like him, is motivated to make a difference and bring the fight to the people who started it all.
In the twenty-eighth issue of this chapter in the Ultimate Universe, things come full circle for Miles Morales as he finds himself staring at his origin. In a fantastic confessional, Roxxon remarks on the irony of trying to recreate the super soldier experiment, only to accidentally set events in motion that would lead to a new Spider-Man. Bendis does a great job bringing the entire Miles-era to a head in this concluding chapter of the current arc. With a team, or even in some ways a family, supporting him, Miles is able to face the man who altered the course of his life forever.
What the issue does so well is find the balance that Bendis has excelled with during his career. Issue 28 has a significant level of depth in storytelling and plot advancement, while still maintaining a clear sense of character and humor to strike a great middle ground. Moments like the character title page to the many instances of comedy never interrupt the flow of the story telling. Even as Bendis expertly rounds off this opening chapter in the life of Miles Morales as Spider-Man he drops seeds and mysteries for the next. It is this kind of story-telling that has kept this title as compelling as it has been for over a decade.
In addition to the script, David Marquez proves his staying power as a premiere talent in the industry. Once considered a fill-in artist on the title, Marquez displays some of his best art to date. There are several panels in this issue that are recognizable as images that will permeate and remain iconic years from now. Following a gorgeous splash page that depicts each of the members of this unlikely team behind Spider-Man, Marquez lays out a double page spread that utilizes and angular orientation which is stunning to witness. As the images trend on an upward angle, so too does the tension in the story. A previously mentioned confessional by Roxxon is depicted in another double page spread, this one featuring of a dozen vertical panels that combine in such a mesmerizing way. It is a sequence to which readers will return and stare.
The final aspect that contributes to the enjoyment experienced with the issue has much to do with the team that has formed. The group of teen’s share a spirit with Brian K Vaughan’s Runaways, and that recognition makes this one-time collaboration all the more bitter-sweet. While never imitating the dynamics of Vaughan’s characters, Bendis organically touches upon a similar bond that is instantly engaging. It is with great relief, then, that several times in the issue he works in hints that readers may not have seen the last of this dynamic team.
In this single issue, Bendis and Marquez close out a chapter in the series with impressive skill, and simultaneously lay the groundwork for an entirely new era to come.