Ultimate Spider-Man #1 – Review!

18 Sep

Miles Morales is your normal kid.  He’s half-black and half-latino.  He’s growing up in a bad part of town where he has to enter into a lottery to go to an elite school.  He has loving parents and an uncle who cares a lot about him (even if Miles’ dad doesn’t want him involved).  Overall, Miles is leading a normal life until something extraordinary happens with spider #42.

I’ll have to admit it: I’m a DC fan… in case you couldn’t tell.  However, when I heard that there was going to be a mixed race Spider-Man, I jumped at the opportunity to see such a powerful superhero symbol represented by someone who wasn’t white and privileged.  Granted, this occurs in the Ultimate Universe so it’s not your typical Spider-Man.  Without really reading any Marvel comics for years, I picked one up.

I can say that I’m happy I did.  This comic doesn’t just take a mixed race kid and put him in a suit to cover up his identity.  Instead, it takes its time in developing why Miles is special.  It’s his character that will make him Spider-Man – he will define the identity himself.  This is the kid that gets into the lottery school and isn’t happy about it because he empathizes with every kid who didn’t get in themselves.  He cares about people and it comes off as so genuine that it is hard not to like him.

Not only was I interested in a mix-raced Spider-Man, I was taken by surprise that a woman would be on such a flagship title as the artist.  I am so happy that Marvel would give the opportunity to a woman to show that they too can do superhero comics – just as good as the boys, at that.  Pichelli’s facial expressions are spot on and the comic comes off as a nuanced character study with a lot of emotional heft behind it.  I’m excited to see what she does when we get into some action scenes, but I’m just as happy to see her drawing talking heads and making them look dynamic.

Basically, you do not need to know anything about Spider-Man to enjoy this comic – it is rewriting history and showing that finally one of the Big Two is starting to get committed to diversity whether on the page or behind the drawing table.

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