Ultimate Comics Spider-Man #10
This issue of UC Spider-Man continues the slow pace trend of the series’ earlier issues after a couple of really fast paced issues. Not to say that this was a bad issue, it’s one of those things a series needs and I think more than a lot of other comics, UC Spider-Man does a great job when it has to handle slow stuff.
Coming off of last time, Miles is contacted by his uncle and lead to a building top where his uncle confirms his identity as the new Spider-Man. Miles is quickly attacked by his uncle and a short scuffle breaks out between the two before good ol’ uncle Aaron says he was actually only testing the kid. He doesn’t want to see Miles end up dead like the previous Spider-Man and thinks he can help him learn new tricks. This all sounds fine and dandy until you realize what the guy is really up to. Aaron is a wanted man. A Mexican villain named The Scorpion wants him dead and Aaron knows he can’t take the guy on alone. He needs help and what better way to get it? Blackmail his nephew by threatening to tell his father about what he’s become. Miles is backed into a corner here and Aron leaves out the fact that Scorpion wants him dead.
The rest of the issue has Miles dealing with what happened in his conversation with Aaron and he’s just pretty mopey throughout it. His dad pokes fun at the kid’s attitude, but his mother definitely senses something a little deeper is going on, though this really doesn’t go anywhere. In the end we’re left to watch as Miles sends his uncle a text confirming that he’ll help him take on the Scorpion. Oh, there’s also a pretty interesting scene with Miles looking out at Stark tower and wondering whether or not he should bother the other heroes with his problems. He sees Thor and Iron Man fly out on a mission and figures that whatever they’re dealing with is probably a lot more significant than his little problems.
Like I said earlier, I liked the issue. This was a pretty slow paced and introverted sort of issue, most of it taking place on that rooftop and only lasting a couple of minutes. For a moment I found myself thinking maybe Aaron wasn’t such a bad guy after all, but once he left out the detail regarding his history with the Scorpion, it was obvious the guy is out to save his own butt. Miles already knows that you can’t always trust your family, even though he loves his uncle, there’s something about him that he can’t trust. (gee, maybe it’s the fact that he’s a costumed villain? ) But in the end, Miles relents more than anything because he doesn’t want his father to find out that he’s Spider-Man. I think this goes along with the whole theme of Miles not being able to trust anyone in his family as far as his identity goes. The kid’s father has already made it crystal clear just how he feels about mutants and now Aaron is feeding Miles some story about his father more or less disowning him should he ever find out what the kid really is – something that probably isn’t terribly far from the truth.
I think part of the reason Miles ended up agreeing to go with his uncle, besides the obvious blackmail, is because he knows he needs the experience. Up to this point Miles has mostly been fighting regular crooks. The heavy hitters haven’t quite come in just yet and even in the previous issue, it was Aaron who had to deal with the supervillain. It’s a little too bad this probably isn’t going to be the ideal training experience for the kid. My guess is that Miles is just going to have something reinforced that he already knows to be true – you can’t always trust your own family.
Maybe it was the night setting, but I loved the atmosphere for the issue here. The amber lights and dark shadows contrast amazingly and give the vibe of the night and isolation, which Miles definitely felt throughout the issue. In particular, I loved the page that showed Thor and Iron Man flying overhead. They’re imposed against this black and starry sky and there’s some great light blue used in these panels to represent the jet fire they’re using. It all comes together to create an amazing atmosphere and that was my favorite quality of this issue.
I’m also loving the fact that not everyone has accepted Miles as the new Spider-Man yet. This might just be manipulation on Aaron’s part, but there is a particularly touching line from him. When the two first meet up on the rooftop, Aaron finds himself saying “Take that mask off, it’s not yours,” and this does a lot to punctuate the idea that Miles really isn’t Spider-Man to everyone. Though at the same time, the mask is his own, it’s not the same mask Peter wore, this was specifically designed for him and in essence, it is his, even if the title Spider-Man isn’t just yet. Or at least that’s what some people in this comic might think. Either way, I love that this is something that wasn’t dropped this early in the comic. Miles is going to need to keep up that fight to prove himself worthy of being Spider-Man and taking on Peter’s legacy, something the events of the next issue are probably going to set back.
Also, this issue really gives me the feeling that Miles could definitely use a sidekick on the field. He does okay alone, but he’s so indecisive at times that there needs to be someone out there being his voice of reason during those tough times.