A Whole New World
Before he can make a choice, Miles still has Taskmaster and the other Miles Morales to deal with. Bendis and Pichelli have been piecing together the villainous Morales’ plan over the last four issues, and here it’s unveiled fully. Thanks to an idea planted in his head by The Kingpin, Morales has used his considerable wealth and influence to gain access to a parallel dimension. Having sent The Taskmaster there ahead of time to scout it out, he was able to confirm that this other world contains a version of his wife, who passed away several years earlier. Unfortunately, the Spider-Men aren’t able to get any of these answers as they’re too busy tussling with the Taskmaster and escaping the wreckage created by the interdimensional portal, but as they contemplate the general confusion the adventure has left them with, we see where the other Miles Morales has gone: The Ultimate Universe!
Thought destroyed in the final incursion prior to Secret Wars, the Ultimate Universe collided with Earth-616, killing everyone on both planets. When Molecule Man remade the world as part of the Prime Marvel Universe, it was pretty much what we knew Earth-616 to be, with a few changes, such as Miles Morales and his supporting cast shifting dimensions, and characters like Old Man Logan falling through the cracks. We saw in the final pages of Secret Wars — and recently in Marvel Legacy #1 — that The Future Foundation has been travelling the Multiverse, recreating the destroyed worlds, but this is the first confirmation that we’ve got of the Ultimate Universe once again existing.
As the Prime Miles heads to meet the Ultimate version of his wife — and the two do hit off quite well — a fight breaks out on the street outside between the Green Goblin and Spider-Man. In a sequence drawn by Mark Bagley, Brian Michael Bendis’ collaborator on Ultimate Spider-Man for over one-hundred issues, we see that Peter Parker, the Ultimate Spider-Man, is alive and kicking butt alongside the Ultimates, which include his clone Jessica Drew, Captain America, Thor, Human Torch, Giant Man, The Hulk and an ultimate incarnation of another Bendis creation, Ironheart. Bagley even gives Spider-Woman a knowing look and a smirk to the reader as if to say, “Did you miss us?” before both heroes head off home.
Marvel may not have immediate plans for the Ultimate Universe, but it’s comforting to know that it’s out there again. Readers invested a lot of time and love into the alternate reality, as did many creators shot to superstardom by the Ultimate Universe, Bendis included. Ultimate Spider-Man served as one of the biggest jumping on points for an entire generation of superhero fans, and it’s comforting to know that those heroes are still out there in the multiverse and they’re still growing, changing and evolving in the unique ways on the Ultimate Universe provided.
As for Miles Morales, he’s left with a big question mark on his future as — at least for now — Spider-Man isn’t a part of it. As he says to Ganke, he’s going to learn how to be his own man. Miles has grown a lot over the past few years; he was thirteen when we met him but he’s now around sixteen/seventeen now, and those three or four years make all the difference for a young man. Whether this means he’s retiring from superheroics, taking a break from being Spider-Man or possibly coming up with his own name and identity free from the legacy of Spider-Man, well, that’s to be seen. While this isn’t Bendis’ farewell to Miles — he’s still writing Spider-Man into 2018 — it’s certainly a loving tribute to him and to all the fans of the world and characters Bendis has given his life to for nearly twenty years.
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