Publisher: Marvel Comics
Writer: Brian Michael Bendis
Art: Dave Marquez
Colors: Justin Ponsor w/ Paul Mounts
Letters: VC’s Cory Petit
Cover: Dave Marquez & Rainier Beredo
Review by Scott Keys
After reading the excellent story arc, “Spider-Man, No More,” I was really excited (and trepidatious) about the Ultimate Comics event, Cataclysm. What repercussions does our rag-tag team of teenage superheroes have in store? Glad this story started so quickly after “Spider-Man, No More,” because I don’t know if I can take the suspense much longer.
Let me backtrack a little from my last review and make a statement (that is obvious to practically everyone). I forgot to mention how amazing Brian Michael Bendis is as the writer of the Ultimate Spider-Man, past and present (and maybe future if Miles gets his own title in the 616 *fingers crossed*). I know that a lot of people don’t like the modern “talking heads” “decompressed” style of comics, but if there is any writer that I don’t mind doing that, it’s Bendis. The banter, the plot points explained, just the dialogue in general, are all great, but what would you expect from a modern master? And what better person to bring these scripts to life other than Dave Marquez? His run on Ultimate Comics Spider-Man was superb and he keeps that quality level high on this new miniseries. “Talking heads” look ridiculous unless you have an artist that can show emotion, subtlety, and detail in each individual character. Luckily for us, Marquez brings all of that to the table when he is on art chores!
Now, what happened in the issue you ask? You want some spoilers, you say? Ok, ok! (I give in to peer pressure too easily). We start off with Spider-Woman explaining what happened in “Spider-Man, No More” to the Ultimates as they eat lunch. Jessica is afraid she will be kicked out of SHIELD, and because of their defense contracts with Roxxon, that could very well happen. Cue Miles, sleeping in class, but playing it off like a boss when he still answers the question correctly (sorry, I’m a nerd, and love that Spider-Man, no matter what form, usually is one too). Bombshell broke the terms of her parole, but zaps her PO’s phone so he can’t tell the authorities (that won’t go over well at her next parole hearing). Next, Miles is swinging across town and notices a dispute. He drops in to break it up, and the people scatter. Miles webs up the broken window, and the police are so happy to see him (something that Miles even mentions is not usually the case). Dagger wants to see her family one last time and has Cloak whisk her away to her childhood home, only to find that they up and left her behind (how do you like that?). Cloak tries to convince her that they should be superheroes full time and find a big bad guy to “hit the hell out of”, and just as Dagger states that “it better be a really big bad guy,” Galactus shows up! Be careful what you wish for, kids! It just might come true!
Cataclysm: Ultimate Comics Spider-Man #1 is a great introduction into the Cataclysm storyline for the uninitiated. It wraps up the “Spider-Man, No More” storyline and sets the stage for what looks to be the end of the Ultimate Universe. If you like Spider-Man but haven’t given Miles a try yet, go ahead and grab this book. Miles epitomizes what it means to be Spider-Man (you know, power and responsibility? Yeah, he’s got it!).
Art: 5 / 5
Story: 4.5 / 5
Overall: 4.5 / 5
Scott Keys is a father, Butler University grad, pharmacist, and full-time comic nerd. You can follow his adventures around the spinner-rack and his Incoherent Comic Book Ramblings on:
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