Ever since the death of Peter Parker, teenager Miles Morales has carried the mantle of the Ultimate Universe's most famous web-slinger. And so far in his short career, Miles has aced the "friendly" and "neighborhood" parts of the equation, but he has yet to get the "Spider-Man" portion down pat.
Courtesy of Marvel Comics, here's an exclusive, banter-happy preview of the next issue of Ultimate Comics: Spider-Man by author Brian Michael Bendis and artist David Marquez. In this sneak peek, Miles has saved the day, despite having absolutely no idea what the heck he's doing. Also, check out our interview with Marquez to learn what's in store for our endearingly clueless hero.
This issue goes on sale next Wednesday, April 4. Here's the plot synopsis, and you can find our interview with David below.
Ultimate Comics: Spider-Man #9
Brian Michael Bendis (W) • David Marquez (A)
Cover By Kaare Andrews
• The Police Have Miles Squarely In Their Sights!
• Prowler Versus The Scorpion!
• Is The Secret Of The New Spider-Man Out?!
32 Pgs./Rated T+ …$3.99
The descriptions of your upcoming story arc in Ultimate Comics: Spider-Man have been rather cryptic. Can you give us a hint what's in store for Miles?
David Marquez: The general thrust of it is "the education of Mile Morales." In issues #1-#8, Miles doesn't really know what he's doing. He's thrust into this incredibly scary world of superheroes, and he has powers he doesn't entirely understand. He's had absolutely no training.
We've already seen his friend Genke come in and give him pointers on being Spider-Man. In the arc I'm working on, he gets a new mentor. He's learning what he's capable of in terms of superheroics, but he's also learning a lot about right and wrong and the dangers of taking the wrong path.
We've seen the Ultimate Universe versions of the Prowler and a new Scorpion in UCSM. Have you designed any "Ultimized" versions of stalwart Marvel characters yet?
Thus far, no. Although I have been told at the latter part of my arc, there will be new characters getting the Ultimate treatment, and I will be doing designs for that.
What's your creative process with Brian like?
Traditionally when you begin a creator/artist relationship, there's a little apprehension about whether personalities and creative styles will mesh. But honestly, it's been one of the most positive relationships I've had with a writer. He's incredibly generous in his scripts, and he's incredible open if I suggest, say, adding a panel to a certain sequence. I'm always trying to push myself artistically. He apparently liked the work I did on the Fantastic Four: Season One graphic novel and that encouraged him to bring me on this book.
Prior to Spider-Man and books like Syndrome for Archaia Entertainment, you worked on the animation for A Scanner Darkly. Did that experience give you any pointers about illustrating comics?
I worked on the Scramble Suit you see in the movie. A lot us working on the film had a comic background. Probably the biggest, easiest thing I can point to is that we worked entirely digitally on that film. I trained myself for comics with traditional artistic tools, but I owe my digital training I received to Scanner, and I do Spider-Man entirely digitally.
What other projects do you have cooking?
I just finished an arc on Magdalena for Top Cow that's just coming out, and I also have a creator-owned project for Archaia that I will hopefully be announcing soon.
As someone who's broken into comics fairly quickly over the last two years, do you have any tips for other artists attempting the same?
The easiest bit is always draw. The only thing that makes someone a comic book artist is that they draw comics, either for themselves or a publisher. Draw every day, full sequential pages, not just pin-ups, and all the stuff that isn't comfortable. Make an effort to draw those things you may not exactly love to draw.