Comic Reviews, Comics, Reviews

Miles Morales: Ultimate Spider Man Volume 1: Revival Review

I haven’t read a lot of Ultimate comics compared to their 616 counterparts, but I could clearly see why it was known as a missed opportunity. The concept behind the Ultimate Universe was great. The characters would undergo a reboot and we could take a step away from the complex threats of multiversal scale for a little while. After all, how can Scorpion be a threat when Spider Man consistently fights foes like Thanos and the Phoenix? Unfortunately, the universe couldn’t live up to the hype. The Fantastic Four comics weren’t bad and the Spider Man ones were a bright spot amidst all of this. Here, we get to meet the new Spider Man!

The graphic novel brings the final Ultimate Spiderman issue before we launch into the first 5 issues of Miles’ new series. (I believe that this is already his second one) Miles is still learning to cope with his identity as a super hero as it is a tough job. He decides to tell his friend so there are no secrets between them, but she doesn’t take it too well. Things go from bad to worse for him as Peter Parker (Is it really him!) comes back from the grave and wants to be Spiderman again. Not to mention that the original Green Goblin is also back and he wants to destroy both of them.

You can see why things are a little tough on Miles right now. It’s certainly a lot to take in. Miles has a lot of fans, but I have to say that I’m really not one of them. His personality is just unappealing to me. For starters, I feel like he is constantly in shock and quickly starts swearing at every opportunity. This is a Bendis comic so it happens constantly by many different characters. All of the words are censored of course, but it’s still rather unnecessary and just shows us that Miles has a potty mouth. It makes it hard to identify with him as a character and likewise, it can be hard to root for him.

Handing out his secret identity so casually just doesn’t seem like a good move. He’s new to the superhero gig so some mistakes are to be expected, but he also tries to sound tough and/or confident, which is a mix that really doesn’t work. His Venom’s sting is certainly a good ability to have though and he’s a decent fighter. I’m sure that he could take on a lot of the opponents that the real Spiderman has faced throughout the years. He is not as strong as Spiderman physically, but his other abilities help to even the playing field.

He has two friends, who serve as supporting characters throughout this ordeal. One of them freaks out when she learns about Miles being Spiderman and it is certainly a cringe worthy scene. I don’t think people would react like that in real life and especially not in a world where superheroes are at every corner. I just don’t see it, maybe if Miles had said that he was the Kingpin or something, but certainly not for being Spiderman. As for the other friend, he is really just a generic friend. There’s really nothing to say about him and I don’t care for the character.

The Ultimate Universe may have a lot of heroes like the 616 one, but not nearly as many. As such, the civilians seem to have responded to them much differently. People actually don’t seem to fear Spiderman and they looked to him as a hero at one point. The cops are still trying to capture them and do their jobs of course, but it is an improvement. The universe is also a lot more down to Earth so you could almost call Spiderman a heavy hitter here. Gwen Stacy is still alive, which is a major change and just about everyone was friends with Spiderman. I definitely wouldn’t trade this universe for 616, but it does remind you of how the universe once held so much potential.

When Spiderman died, I’m sure that Ultimate fans were fairly disappointed. The final issue of the run is included in this collection as everyone attends the funeral and thinks about what could have been. I already read that one during Free Comic Book Day a while back, but it was still interesting to check out once again. With the “Revival” happening in this collection, that was surely going to be a big chance to the Marvel universe. Could it possibly be the real Spiderman or is it all a trick? I have a feeling that this is a fake, but at least he seems to be cool so far.

Peter is fairly unreasonable when he first appears though. He just barges into the house and tells Miles that the real Spiderman is back. This sounds nothing like the Peter Parker that we have known for so many years, which is sketchy. At least he does come back to help out against the Green Goblin and he looks tough enough to be the real deal. He handles the threat well and doesn’t fight against the cops. If the true Spiderman is back, then it’s a bright day for the ultimate universe.

The second half of the comic really stepped it up as the action scenes were a lot of fun. We also got to see the Green Goblin again and he proved why he is one of Spiderman’s greatest villains. Even 2 on 1, he was putting up a great fight and he hadn’t been prepared. For round 2, things could get hairy for the heroes, unless Jameson’s plan ended up succeeding. It was a fairly shocking ending and it’s hard to see how Osborn would be able to react in time, but that could be a reaction time feat. Miles is also about to get some “answers” from Peter, which should be interesting.

There’s a lot of ways that the comic can go with this so it will be interesting to see what happens. Right now, the series is mainly lacking in the characters department. Adding in someone likable and experienced like Spiderman could really help to shake things up. That being said, Spiderman has to actually be likable so we’ll see if that ends up being the case here. If not, then it certainly defeats the purpose. I have a feeling that we haven’t seen the last of Green Goblin and the Ultimates should have something to say about Spiderman being back unless they’re currently gone. I think it was mentioned that Captain America may have vanished or something like that. I know that the Galactus event already happened, but I know almost nothing about it beyond the fact that Shadowcat had a big fight with him.

There’s even a reference to the Secret Wars event as the cops think that someone is crazy when she starts to babble about it. It’s a neat bit of foreshadowing as this comic came out quite a while ago I believe. If the Ultimate Universe had acted on this knowledge they could have thrown the 616 guys for a loop. I suppose that the cops just didn’t realize how important those vague references were at the time.

While the writing may not be up to snuff, the art is decently good. Only decently though as it really varies and some pages do end up looking pretty bad. The artist has trouble with the faces at times so the battle scenes are what stands out. The big fight with Goblin was a lot of fun to look at. Hopefully, the art will improve in the next one, but it’s still clear enough that you can easily tell what is going on and follow along with the action. The faces may just make you smirk at times.

Overall, Revival is a solid Spider Man story. Seeing the original Spiderman meet up with the new one was something that we had been waiting for. We got to go one better in Spider Men and in the Ultimate Spiderman TV show, but this got to be a pure Ultimate meet up. I don’t know if I’ll be checking out another Ultimate comic for quite a while, but at least I got to add another one to my reading history. As far as alternate universes go, Ultimate was definitely fleshed out more than most. It simply didn’t work and a reboot of it will probably be necessary. At the end, a new FF series for Ultimate was being teased so maybe that will end up being good. It’s hard to hold out too much hope for it, but you never know right? I recommend this comic if you want a quick action story and don’t really need much of a deep plot behind it. Then, you’re all set for some fiery action! (No guest stars showing up when the heroes are fighting Goblin in front of such a large crowd in a public neighborhood is a little sad, but most of the heroes may be busy at the moment since the Ultimate Universe is always in the middle of a fight somewhere)

Overall 7/10

16 thoughts on “Miles Morales: Ultimate Spider Man Volume 1: Revival Review”

    1. Well, I do agree that he beats the modern 616 Spiderman thanks to the horrors that Dan Slott has subjected the charcater too. The current Peter has no morals and he essentially acts like a psychotic villain most of the time. That being said, Miles is only a marginal improvement for me. I dunno, I just don’t like his attitude. He acts a little too overconfident at times and then panics the next minute. It’s too much of a seesaw ride for me. Of course, I still haven’t read many volumes with him.

      1. I kinda wished that they would “fix” Peter after Secret Wars but considering that Dan Slott is back on him I don’t have high hopes. I’m also really annoyed that they’re remarrying Peter and MJ. Never really liked the couple and at this point the relationship is just laughably embarrassing. And I highly doubt that getting them back together is gonna fix anything. They should never, ever, ever get back together (lol, just reminded me of TS).

        As for Miles’s overconfidence and then panicking, I kinda like that about him because he’s just a kid. If I remember right he’s like 12 or 13, Peter was 15 when he started so Miles is even younger and thats how I would picture a kid superhero would realistically act. He overconfidence because he thinks he cant be beat and than he panics when he realize he might lose. Pretty much how I would expect from someone his age.

      2. Keeping Slott in as the writer was a terrible move on Marvel’s part. Just giving Peter a new writer would be a huge step in the right direction as he could start on the road to being a better main character. Unfortunately, I think the comics are still selling well enough that Slott has a lot of leverage. I don’t want Peter to be in a romantic relationship with anyone, but if it is someone then I’m fine with MJ or bringing Gwen back to life. What I don’t like is that Peter essentially flirts with every female character that he meets. How he tends to act around Silk or Black Cat is just embarrassing.

        Perhaps it is realistic, but it’s that kind of super realism that goes a little too far at some points. In real life, people do use curse words constantly and I find it really distasteful so it’s sad to see it start to appear in the comics as well. It’s why I always say that the dialogue and writing for films, books, and comics were so much better back in the 60’s and older as you would never see a swear word. The characters all sounded brilliant and it made for great banter. Still, I would like for Miles to be more modest and panic or to be totally overconfident and not panic. If he could just choose a side and stick to it, I’d likely be a much bigger fan of his.

      3. Here’s what I would really want to happen to the character. First off, get someone other than Dan Slott to write him. Second, find some way to get him back in high school. I know that this would tick off a bunch of fans, but thats where I personally like him best. I honestly don’t care what they do be it time travel, reality altering, whatever (so long as he doesnt make another deal with a devil) just make him a teen again. They don’t need to retell his origin story, just get him back to where he’s best. They can even bring Gwen back so long as they kill her later.

        I don’t know if anybody would agree with me on that but thats just an idea i came up with.

      4. High School Parker eh? You know, it’s actually not even that far fetched because the new Spider Man in the reboot coming up is supposed to be a very young teenager. Like around 16 or so, which means that in the films he would likely be in high school and the comics love to try and tie into the films. (Adding Coulson into the films, giving Ultrona and Thanos big arcs, making the Guardians of the Galaxy big again, etc) So I could see something like that happening. If it did, I would likely assume that it involves time travel. There’s also a chance that Secret Wars would have an effect on it as well. That being said, I’m probably still keeping my hopes a little low on that angle as getting Slott off of the character is going to be the tough part. Imagine a Spider Man in high school written by Slott? Things could go from bad to worse as he would find a way to make Gwen Stacy unlikable and perhaps have a version where it is completely Peter’s fault as to how she dies.

      5. Yes, if they do anything to help the character Marvel’s No. 1 priority should be to get Slott as far away from influencing the character as possible. Honestly I think that would be a better fix than simply making him a high schooler again. But I do feel like him being in High School would be a nice thing. Think about it, Stan Lee created Spider-man with the intent on making a teenaged superhero as to be relatable. And isn’t that where most people like him? The Raimi films, TASM, the Spectacular Spider-man cartoon, and the Ultimate Spider-man cartoons all takes place in high school. Heck the original Ultimate Spider-man comics (before Miles Morales) were interesting because we got to see Spider-man back in high school (even if it was different than the 616 universe). And while I usually hate it when the movies effect the comics (just look at some of the changes that the X-Men has gone through), I guess this does give Marvel a chance to try something.

      6. Certainly, his high school days were a lot of fun and they were what made him such a popular character in the first place. I’d definitely be up to seeing him head back there in the comics. A little less so for the new film since I would have liked a bit of a change there, but I’ll likely warm up to it once the trailers have started. X-Men has certainly gotten rather chaotic over the years to be sure. Tying into the films can certainly have a negative effect on the comics, but at least now (If this happens) we’ll have a good thing to point to as well.

      7. Considering that all the films usually features him in his later high school years (heck, I bet the TAMS movies would’ve gone to college soon enough if the films would’ve continued) I’m actually happy that they’re giving him a more younger high school style. And due to the MCU’s format, the younger the acter the longer they can use him for different things. If they get an actor that’s in late highschool early college than it won’t be long until he starts looking more like a young adult.

        The biggest problem with the X-Men right now (and I use the term “biggest problem” loosely considering that current titles like All-New X-Men and Uncanny X-Men are actually getting pretty good reviews) is the fact that Marvel is in such a big pencil measuring contest with FOX that they’re messing up their continuity. “Oh you won’t let Quicksilver and Scarlet Witch be mutants in out movies? Fine, they won’t be mutants in the comics either!” (never mind the fact that Quicksilver being a mutant has had a big impact on his history [e.g. How is he not a mutant if he lost his powers during House of M?]). It kinda comes off as Marvel being a immature kid where if they can’t get their way than nobody can. Heck, I recently heard that Marvel was originally planning to take the X-Men out of their 616 universe before fans got upset and they went out and stated that the X-Men were staying.

      8. Marvel really is trying to pressure Fox with this. While I don’t think that they were going to permanately take the X Men out, I could see them trying that for even up to a year to essentially hurt Fox. Without any comics to read, less people would see the new theory. It’s one of the reasons why the X Men haven’t appeared in any animations lately aside from Wolverine. Marvel’s completely snubbing them. All New X Men has been a decently good series though although I can’t say the same for Uncanny. Turning mutants into inhumans and vice versa is pretty awful though and I hope that ultimately Quicksilver and Scarlet Witch manage to stay mutants. It would be a terrible smack in the face to fans who have been following them for years. They are mutants, changing that is like changing Batman or Superman’s origin.

      9. It’s actually really sad when you think about it. I’m fine when adaptations change things (when it’s necessary of course), especially when legal issues are involved, but to alter the source material because of that is really selfish. For example, I’m fine with the fact that Quicksilver and Scarlet Witch are “genetically enhanced humans” rather than mutants as Marvel can’t legally call them that (that and the fact that “mutant” and “genetically enhanced” are basically the same thing). But did that mean that I’m ok with their connection to Magneto and their mutations be cut out of the comics due to this? No! That’s like if Harry Potter was changed so it was revealed that Harry’s not actually a wizard and that his parents didn’t die by the hands of Voldemort. Does that make any sense? No! Harry’s a wizard, Quicksilver and Scarlet Witch are mutants, and Marvel needs to stop being selfish little kids!

        Maybe this is why I like DC better.

      10. I just took a peak at some of the scans relating to how they simply aren’t mutants anymore and it is rather…intriguing. There go the last 60 years of their comic history! I’m sure that they’ll be back to being mutants via retcons in a few years at the most, but this is definitely a move by Marvel to try and take Fox down a peg. I’m not a big fan of the Inhumans at the moment, but maybe adding these two to their ranks will make the group look cooler as a whole. Maybe. Either way, I’m definitely on team DC myself. No matter what, DC’s always had the best characters and comics for me.

      11. I don’t actually know how they explained them off but I frankly don’t care. I just hope that the DCCU doesn’t start to negatively effect the DCU. And I agree with you on that. Really DC has a lot more intriguing characters that I care about than Marvel. Sure I love Spider-man, the X-Men, Hulk, and Captain America, but I either don’t like or just don’t care for Iron Man, Dare Devil (and just in case you’re wondering, no I haven’t seen the Netflix series yet), Fantastic Four, Thor, Punisher, etc.

        DC on the other hand, I can’t really think of a character I don’t like. Batman, Superman, Wonder Woman, the Flashes, most of the Green Lanterns, Jaime Reyes/Blue Beetle, Static, etc.

        That and DC has better villains and they know how to make anybody a threat. Think about it, movie-wise the Avenger’s first villain was a god but soon enough the Justice League’s fist villain is going to be a normal man (Lex Luthor). Granted that normal man is still extremely intelligent and rich, but he’s definitely not a god. And the fact that this normal man is able to be a threat to the Justice League (who I would argue are more powerful than the Avengers) is pretty impressive and shows the skills of the writer.

      12. I highly recommend avoiding the Daredevil series personally. I did end up giving it a 0/10 after all. That being said, if you like The Walking Dead, Game of Thrones, or other really violent shows, then you may like it. Daredevil is ultra violent, gritty, and dark, which is why so many people love it. I typically love shows for the opposite reasons so it didn’t mesh well with me. I certainly agree that DC has more likable characters. Like you said, there are just so many there. I like almost all members of the Justice League, and so many of the stand alone heroes. Lex Luthor is certainly more compelling than just about anyone that you could throw over from Marvel. Also, while Loki was ultimately treated like a joke in the end when the Hulk was smashing him, I like to think that Luthor will go out with more style. I actually just read a JLA comic where he made his big move and I’ll be reviewing it soon. I certainly go DC all the way and think that they win in just about every category. Movies, Shows, Comics, Manga, etc. The only area where they may lose is in video games and I’d say that it is a very close fight, but Marvel likely wins that round.

      13. I actually kinda find it funny because I was recently talking to a friend (who likes Marvel and think that DC is bad) about this and he asked me “Other than Batman, who does DC have” and I practically had to hold in my laughter cause I immediately was thinking “Uh, practically everyone they own.” I think the biggest reason Marvel is so much more popular than DC is the movies. People now know who Iron Man is. People now know who Thor is. But a lot of people don’t really know much about DC characters other than Batman and Superman. With the DCCU coming hopefully DC will begin getting some more attention again. With Batman V Superman and Suicide Squad being made I think that more people will start to appreciate DC (that is if they do better than Man of Steel).

        As for Daredevil, your actually the first person I know who dislikes the series. I’m not a big fan of gore and violence simply for gore and violence sake but if there’s a reason for it than I’m fine with it.

      14. At least, the TV shows are starting to help DC a little with that regard. Flash and Arrow have a lot of fans and now they’re coming up with a Supergirl show and one that will feature Hawkgirl I believe. I definitely think that the DCCU will certainly help matters. At this point, I don’t see DC ever fully catching up to Marvel, but making it more of a close fight would still be satisfying for me.

        Yes, I haven’t been able to find anyone who dislikes Daredevil. It almost seems like literally everyone likes the show. It’s debatable whether the violence and gore are there for a purpose or not. I would argue that it’s just there for the sake of being there, but fans would likely say that it is just realistically showing what would happen if a man with failing moral values put on a mask to make the world a less painful place. I’m just glad that it’s over for now. Season 2 seems to be getting a new writer or director so I’m hoping that it gets better, but the chances are slim. The TV MA rating is really what doomed it since the show uses the rating to its fullest in every episode.

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