Ultimate End #1 Review


Miles Morales: Ultimate Spider-Man was possibly my favourite Spider-Man book for the last year. Sure, Brian Michael Bendis’ writing style can come across as slowly paced but I truly believed in Miles Morales as a character far more than I did with Dan Slott’s Amazing Spider-Man.

For that reason I was excited for Bendis’ Ultimate End, his last foray into the Ultimate Universe and Miles Morales’ last hurrah before he joined the big league of the standard 616 Marvel Universe. However what we’re given is perhaps one of the most confusing single issues of a comic I have ever read. It seems that once again Bendis is playing the super-long game by confusing the hell out of people and withholding information until the very last moment where it all comes together.

Naturally this kind of story-telling is fine, but it makes the first issue of a new title slightly off-putting and personally the first issue if a new title should never be off-putting, hard to understand or get into and confusing. Nevertheless I press forward with a review.

Ultimate End #1 1
Ultimate End #1 1 /

The issue opens with a fantastic double-page spread of the heroes from the 616 and Ultimate Universe preparing to fight each other whilst the Punisher sets his, and the barrel of his gun’s sights on them. We then completely ignore that and move on to another fantastic double page spread of 616 Spider-Man swinging through the city. He then takes on the Serpent Squad with the help of the All-New Ultimates (minus Miles Morales)

We’re three pages in and already there are a whole host of questions that Bendis makes absolutely clear he doesn’t care about answering yet. What was going on with the Punisher, why is 616 Spider-Man in the Ultimate Universe. Is it actually the 616 Spider-Man (probably not as he’s in a life-raft) Where is Ultimate Peter Parker, or Miles. When did possible fake 616 Spider-Man meet the All-New Ultimates (there’s talk of the last time they met). I told you it was confusing.

And then to simplify things a bit we head to the Triskellion to see that Ultimate Nick Fury (The 616 character’s dialogue is capitalised, which is incredibly helpful to know!) has assembled various superheroes including 616 and Ultimate versions of the same hero. They talk about what they’re going to do to fix things. We then learn that Ultimate Stark and Ultimate Amadeus Cho found a tear in the fabric of reality (like they do in the Ultimate continuity) and somehow it leads to 616 characters appearing in their reality.

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There are some great moments in this comic, Spider-Man’s freak-out that everyone knows his secret identity because the Peter Parker of the Ultimate World (who is conspicuous in his absence) was killed was hilariously well done and the confrontation between the two Starks was excellent.

But in true Bendis fashion we’re left with an avalanche of questions and absolutely no answers and an intriguing cliff-hanger at the end full of Thors to keep readers coming back for more. The problem with this issue though is that even if you’re a fan of Bendis’ writing style it’s hard to know exactly where you are, and if you’re not a fan of Bendis you flat-out won’t like it. However, this is the end of the Ultimate universe so its worth sticking with, and we’ll no-doubt get our answers eventually.

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