Ultimate Comics All-New Spider-Man #200 Marvel Comics 2014 Written by Brian Michael Bendis Art by Dave Marquez, David Lafuent, Sara Pichelli, Mark Brooks, Mark Bagley & Andrew Hennessy Colors by Justin Ponson
Wow, what a way to end a series! May Parker sends out an invitation to all of Peter’s friends to come celebrate the anniversary of Peter’s untimely passing and celebrate his life not his death. All the usual suspects are here, though Tony can’t make it and instead sends the catering which is something of a grand spectacle in itself. It’s a beautiful idea and a wonderful way to start the future after all that has happened in Cataclysm.
Brian Michael Bendis manages to do an absolutely wonderful characterization with all the kids and May. Mary Jane sending her friend/boyfriend away to do this on her own was significant in many ways and Jessica bringing Lana and Bombshell along to experience this for her own good was also a joy to see. As all the kids come and gather with each other, you see just how profound an impact Peter Parker had on the lives of those around him. It’s beautiful, touching and above all, it shows Bendis’ skill at being able to just write something incredible without having a battle attached.
Even Mr. Jameson starts to come to the party and can’t bring himself to enter the house. Instead, he is a maudlin man full of remorse continues on his way home. Its powerful moments like this that continue to showcase Bendis as a writer and the Ultimate Universe Peter Parker’s impact that survives to this day.
There is a series of two page spreads as characters tell the readers what they would imagine life would be like had Peter not died. Various artists showcasing their talents in ways that bring joy and wonder to the reader while they imagine what a grown up man he would become and the outfits he may have donned. From leading the Ultimates to Mays version of his loves combining to Mark Brooks version of Gwen’s vision of a possible future, by far and away the most visually stunning work in the book, all combine to show the possibilities of what could have been.
What is also touching is that Miles who continues the legacy and having never met Peter in person thinking about what his life might have been like. A sidekick to the original, a mentor and a friend that he longs for and never knew has this poignancy to it that just makes you like the character that much more, as if it were necessary or possible. From Kitty’s love life and marriage to Peter to Bobby’s much fantasized team led by Peter they are visions filled with love and sorrow in ways that just grip the heart.
As the evening wears down and all these leftovers are still around, they decide what to do with them. There’s only one logical answer of course and that’s to donate them to the Queen’s Mission in Peter’s memory and honor. As they all go their separate ways there is one thing we see on the final panel that leads you to wonder why the new Ultimate Spider-Man title bears Miles name it in. Could there be another Spider-Man in the Ultimate Universe?
We know Jessica is the female clone so could there be another clone out there? Did a clone die in the real Peter’s place? Will we be introduced to Ben Reilly who thinks he’s Peter? So many questions and hopefully another Ultimate Spidey book will be on the market before too long. I mean let’s face it Bendis knows this universe and these characters to the point that he’s mastered them and has made the rest of the world fall in love with this segment of the comic book universe. So whatever happens next is guaranteed to be fantastic!