The time is finally here folks! Peter Parker meets the family he never knew and learns a bit more about a life another him got to live. With this series wrapping up in just one more issue, does Bendis bring it home and deliver the emotionally charged story we’ve been hoping for? Does Peter learn anything in this world that could help him in his? Does May Parker get to slap some people?! Keeping reading to find out!
Issue 4 of Spider-men picks up right where issue 3 left off, Peter, outside of the Parker home, staring at a very confused May Parker and Gwen Stacy. As you might expect, the two of them don’t really appreciate someone standing on their lawn dressed as their recently deceased family member. So things go about as “well” as you’d expect…
Of course when they finally get a good look at Peter and realize that its him, things change quite a bit. May, bless her heart, isn’t really built for that kind of surprise anymore and faints right there on the lawn. Which gives us a nice second to breath before we catch up with Gwen, Miles and Peter chatting it up in Peter’s old room (the house’s attic).
Now, I’d have really love it if this issue was a deep, heart wrenching tale about Peter seeing a family he never had and Gwen and May having a touching reunion with a boy they’ll never get to see again in their world. And, while there are certainly elements of that in this issue, I really have to hand it to Bendis for keeping such a potentially serious situation equally humorous and touching. Gwen, in particular, is shaping up to be one of the best written characters that Bendis has ever penned. Both in this story arc and in her appearances in the regular Ultimate Spider-man story, Gwen is both humorous and serious. A sarcastic teenager who is both aware of the strange life and people she meets while still doing her best to remain down to earth and look out for Aunt May, who she cares deeply about.
While I’m sure people would rather she not play such a big role in these comics (although I’m not sure why), Gwen is honestly shaping up to be one of my all time favorite characters in the Ultimate Universe due to Bendis’s writing along. It’s almost a shame that Gwen steals the show a bit in this issue, what with it being the “touching” reunion between Peter Parker and his Ultimate Universe family; but Gwen acts as a mediary of sorts. Keeping things light and funny in typical Bendis fashion while still delivering the meaty material fans like me were hoping for. If I had to vote for an MVP of this story arc, it’d be Gwen.
That isn’t to say that May doesn’t get her fair share of page space those. I’d be lying if I said it wasn’t touching when she looked Peter in the eyes and, after asking him if there was a May and Ben in his life, finally realized that this was indeed the same boy (albeit grown up) she’s loved and raised. A scene that eventually reaches its climax as, when Peter and Miles leave the Parker home at the end of the issue, she tells herself that she “Made the right choices.” Gwen, of course, just replies with “Well I’m writing a book!”
MJ also makes a brief appearance in this issue too. But, it would appear that meeting a grown up version of her late boy-friend is a little too much for poor MJ to handle (and I can’t say that I blame her). It would have been nice to see a Peter & MJ reunion, but, I can understand why it didn’t really happen. I don’t really see a way for MJ to meet a living version of Peter and walk away better from it. I mean, at the end of the day she doesn’t get to keep him, and would only have ended up heartbroken again. So it was probably for her own good that they didn’t meet.
With all that said and done though, the plot must progress and Peter needs to get back to his own Universe. So while I’d love to spend more time on Peter Parker reunions, I expect next issue to be a pretty straightforward action issue featuring Mysterio VS The Ultimates & Spider-men. But who knows?! Maybe Bendis will sneak in some touching moments as Peter and Miles say goodbye… we’ll just have to wait and see! This issue though, managed to earn itself a solid 4.5 out of 5 stars. I loved what I saw, it left me wanting more, and the only real complaint I have with it is that it has more “plot” in it then I’d have liked. But, I can’t really hold it against them for not having a whole issue with nothing but a family reunion. I mean, the story has to move on at some point.
And be sure to check out my review of the final issue!