Spider-Men II #5 has hit the shelves, and as well as the continued story of the relationship between Miles Morales and Peter Parker, and the legacy of Spider-Man, which we talked about earlier, writer Brian Michael Bendis leaves fans with a surprise return that has huge potential consequences for the Marvel Universe.
Spoiler warnings set to max, so if you have not read the issue yet and don’t want to be spoiled, go away and come back later!
With a return from long-time Bendis collaborator and artist, Mark Bagley, the pair seem to bring back something thought lost since the beginning of Secret Wars by Jonathan Hickman.
Because back in the Marvel Multiverse is the Ultimate Universe, where Miles Morales was born.
The 616 Miles Morales (assuming Marvel is okay with calling it the 616 now, but I will for ease’s sake), succeeds in essentially swapping places with the younger, heroic Miles Morales, travelling to the Ultimate Universe to meet that universe’s version of his wife.
But in doing so, it reveals that like the main Marvel Universe did, the Ultimate Universe has also survived the events of Secret Wars, restored and in fact continuing in that time.
But more than that, we see that as time hasn’t stood still there, neither have that universe’s heroes.
The Ultimate Peter Parker is back in the tights as Spider-Man, swinging round the city and saving the day. But he is not alone.
The Ultimates are back, too, and it would seem that Spidey is now a member. But the continuation of the Ultimate Universe brings other changes too, as we see the Ultimates also has the Ultimate Riri Williams/Ironheart among their number.
The potential of this are huge.
While characters and artefacts of the Ultimate Universe have been seen littering the main Marvel Universe since the end of Secret Wars, it seems that they may be remnants of the ‘old’ Ultimate Universe, destroyed at the start of Secret Wars, with a new Ultimate Universe restored after the conclusion of that multiversal cosmic event.
Could this mean that there is a home for the various Ultimate refugees still littered around the Marvel Universe, like Jimmy Hudson in X-Men Blue? Could the Ultimate Universe make a more prominent return to the Marvel publishing line?
Who knows. But in one issue, Bendis leaves off beloved creations he had a hand in building for Marvel to keep playing with long after he’s left them.