Whatever a Spider Can’s All-New Ultimates #1 review


Whilst Amazing Spider-Man #1 may have been my first foray into a comic book and Amazing Spider-Man: Learning to Crawl #1 may have been the first miniseries supplement for my first ever comic book, All New Ultimates #1 presents me with my first bold steps into the alternate universes of the Marvel comic-books. This means that I need to get my head round the fact that events in this comic have no bearing on events in the Amazing Spider-Man comics.

And it was the getting my head round the fact that the two universes, the Amazing and Ultimate universes are narratively separate. The moment I opened the first page I found it difficult to ignore the fact that a couple of days before I had seen Peter Parker as Spider-Man battling a group of villains called the Menagerie and now I was looking Miles Morales as Spider-Man and he was joined by Spider-Woman, Cloak & Dagger & Bombshell.

The first impression you get is that this particular group of superheroes don’t really know what they’re doing. They just named themselves, they’ve found a secret-headquarters and they can’t figure out a right day to all meet up, or how to contact each other properly. Also Jessica Drews random change from Spider-Woman to Black Widow for no reason. Bbasically they’re all trying to find their footing as  group and I guess that’ll be a dominating storyline moving forward.

I also immediately noticed that tonally the comic is very different from Amazing Spider-Man, as well as artistically with Amilcar Pinna’s drawing style varying quite dramatically from what I’d just gotten used to with the other Spider-Man comics. Pinna’s drawing seems to be to be colourful and contrasting, almost presenting a hyper-realistic world where everything is neon stylised and dark. Like I said, it was different, so I found it quite jarring, but I’m sure it’s something I’ll get used to.

This is another #1 issue that I found confusing. The start of the issue shows the All-New Ultimates deciding to call themselves the All-New Ultimates and acted as an introduction to the team. We’re then introduced to Ganke Lee, who falls victim to a super-powered gang of muggers, only to be saved by Cloak and Dagger and then Spider-Man turns up on the scene. This was all pretty straight forward and easy to follow

But the moment that the cops raided someone called Stone’s appartment and Roxxon was mentioned I have to admit that I had no idea what was going on, so like Amazing Spider-Man #1 it turns out that you do need at least some previous knowledge of what has happened previously up until this point. For example we’re told that Cloak and Dagger are presumed dead and Kitty Pryde saved the world but again I’m left scratching my head.

Still, the information you are given is more than enough to enjoy and get a sense of the characters that are involved. This is my first ensemble comic as well and I thought that Fiffe’s writing was able to superbly balance each character and make sure they are featured in some way. And the introduction of what I presume to be the big-bad of the moment the Serpent Skulls was excellently weighted.

As was the cliff-hanger ending following a battle between the mysterious Stone and his disfigured companion Styx,  the All New Ultimates, the police and the Serpent Skulls, whose leader seems to be called Diamondback. All four groups are poised in a side alley for an almighty scrap and I’m really interested to see how it’s all going to go down, which is all you can ask for with a first issue really, wanting to read the second.

Click here for the Learning to Crawl #1.2 preview, which features Clash in action for the first time as he tries to take on the Vulture, also Spider-Man finds himself facing the Fantastic Four.  Also here’s the Learning to Crawl #1.1 recap and review. And here’s the Amazing Spider-Man #1 recap and review.

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