I really enjoy the Miles Morales version of Spider-Man in Marvel’s Ultimate Universe, but I am always gonna have a soft spot for Peter Parker. Which, for a superhero comic fan, is about as controversial a statement as decrying Nazis, or perhaps coming down on the negative side of human trafficking, but it doesn’t make it any less true. Not only was the Ultimate version of Peter a pretty solid modernization of the character, while still keeping his core values and characterization, but it allowed we readers to see something we don’t normally get to see: the actual conclusion of the character’s story.
Sure, we get nods toward final stories with Marvel’s The End periodic series of books (and some of those are damn good) and in a few DC Elseworlds stories, but they’re never really final in a satisfying way. Because yeah, they’re endings, but then they, you know, end. And part of why any comics fan loves these stories is that they are ongoing. So while we sometimes see a beloved character go down, we don’t see the aftermath in a serious, ongoing way. But we got that with the death of Peter Parker in Ultimate Spider-Man almost three years ago, with the Death of Peter Parker, which was a really spectacular story. I recently reread the issue with Peter’s public memorial, and when the little girl asked Aunt May if she was Spider-Man’s mommy, and if she needed a hug? Jesus, if I could get my hands on whatever motherfucker was cutting onions in a room that dusty…
But that story concluded, and we moved on to Miles Morales, as comics do… but in real life, when someone gets killed, people don’t just yank up stakes and start paying attention to a new person, unless your name is Michael Peterson and you don’t mind explaining your weird behavior to members of the law enforcement community. In real life, those losses stick around for a while… and that brings us to Ultimate Spider-Man #200, which is a long reminiscence of Peter’s life, and shows how some of the regulars from the original series are doing. And while there isn’t any action and no current storylines are really affected, it’s damn nice to check in with Aunt May, Gwen Stacy, Mary Jane and some of the other former regulars on this title.
Unless you hate Brian Michael Bendis’s “guys sitting around a table talking” issues. Because then you’ll hate this.