Ultimate Comics Spider-Man #28
Writer: Brian Michael Bendis
Art: Dave Marquez
Colors: Justin Ponsor
To start things off, Ultimate Spider-Man (starring Peter Parker) was the first comic I ever read, and this is probably the last issue of the Ultimate Spider-Man series. (Miles Morales will return in the Cataclysm event which will most likely end the Ultimate Universe.) So this was a very emotional comic for me. However, Brian Michael Bendis managed to conclude the “Spider-Man No More” storyline in potent fashion while also shedding light on Miles Morales’ origins. The last few issues pieced together the mystery behind Roxxon Corporation and its experiments on children and were exposition heavy. However, Ultimate Spider-Man #28 transformed this sobering knowledge into action as Spider-Man, SHIELD agent Spider-Woman, and former Roxxon Experiments Cloak, Dagger, and Bombshell team up to take down Roxxon once and for all. Marquez depicts the action beautifully with some great uses of detail and perspective. With the exception of an overlong villainous monologue, Bendis’ dialogue is snappy and in-character. For example, as he matures, Miles Morales is a lot less chatty than he used to be.
Like the conclusion of any good Bendis story arc, Ultimate Spider-Man #28 has plenty of action beats and a couple strong reveals that make the decompression in the previous issues worth it. Bendis deftly weaves Mr. Roxxon and Miles Morales’ backgrounds together so that they have almost the same creepy father/son relationship that Peter Parker and Norman Osborn had in the first volume of Ultimate Spider-Man. This kind of character relationship changes Roxxon from the head of a faceless corporation to an interesting villain. Miles really comes full circle in this issue, and some plot threads that have been dangling since the early issues are resolved. As well as looking at Miles, Bendis does a great job delineating the moral compasses of the various teen masked vigilantes from SHIELD agent and Peter Parker clone Spider-Woman to ex-villain Bombshell. Their personal moralities are conveyed through action, not long monologues. However, the same can’t be said for Mr. Roxxon who spends most of the issue talking at Miles Morales. But, for the most part, Ultimate Spider-Man #28 is an exciting comic filled with action and characterization that rewards long time readers of the comic as well.
Dave Marquez’s art is a real treat in Ultimate Spider-Man #28. He gives each character a distinctive look and fighting style. Spider-Man and Spider-Woman have more refined punches and kicks while Cloak just grabs people. Using perspective, Marquez creates a 3D effect on the page where Spider-Man is fighting Roxxon inside the building. He uses quick panel cuts to show the emotion that Miles feels when Roxxon mentions his dead mother. Because this story has a lot of ground to cover, a few of Marquez’s panels are unclear, like one where Roxxon’s Brain Trust attacks the teen heroes. But Marquez draws some fast moving and kinetic action sequences that are worthy of Spider-Man’s speed and power set. He also has a great silent page towards the end of the issue that offers new insights into the character.
Ultimate Spider-Man #28 is the perfect ending for the first volume of Miles Morales’ adventures despite the occasional technical flaw. It has some witty dialogue, lots of action, and personal interactions that show how far these characters have developed since the beginning of the run and “No More” arc. The issue shows that Miles Morales is no Peter Parker clone, but his own hero. He is a bit more immature, but he also is more willing to work with others (SHIELD knows his secret identity) and is more laconic in battle. Hopefully, Cataclysm, which will be written and drawn by the original Ultimate Spider-Man creative team, will build on this issue and represent the final stage of Miles Morales’ maturation as Spider-Man.