THIS WEEK IN SPIDER-MAN – Spider-Man #240: All’s Well That Bendis Well

spider-man 240

Spider-Man #240 was written by Brian Micheal Bendis with art by Oscar Bazaldua, Laura Martin, Matt Milla, Peter Pantazis, Sara Pichelli, Justin Ponsor, and David Marquez.

For the last nearly eighteen years, Brian Michael Bendis has been writing Spider-Man in some form or another. While he’s never done a proper stint on any of 616 Peter Parker’s books (though he did have some great moments with the character in New Avengers),  Bendis launched Ultimate Spider-Man back in the year 2000. While that series has gone through a few various versions & volumes and changed not just main characters but universes, all those various versions & volumes total up to two hundred and forty issues and Bendis has written every single goddamn one of them. And if you’re the type to say “Pshaw!” at lumping together titles and renumbering them, only counting the original Ultimate Spider-Man series Bendis still holds the Marvel record for “longest uninterrupted run by a writer on one title” with 133 issues.  And his work with artist Mark Bagley on the first 111 issues of that very same series is the current Marvel record for “longest uninterrupted run by the same writer & artist team on one title”.

Bendis is saying “smell ya later” to Miles Morales, a character he co-created with artist Sara Pichelli back in 2011 because he’s recently signed an exclusive deal with Marvel’s Distinguished Competition, DC Comics. There’s no ill will between Bendis and Marvel; it’s just that, as Bendis himself put it, “the mountain had been climbed.” I could write a whole entry unto itself about Bendis’ work at Marvel and what he meant to the company, so lets not get into any of that here and instead dive right into this issue.

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When we last left our hero, he’d been riddled with machine gun fire and fallen off the side of a stolen S.H.I.E.L.D helicarrier. He and his fellow Champions managed to save the day, but Miles was badly wounded. Miles lays in a hospital bed recovering, drifting in & out of consciousness as friends, family, and teammates come in to see him. Turns out this scenario mirrors an experience Bendis himself had last year with he came down with a MRSA infection and was in the hospital for a few weeks. He’d randomly wake up to find friends & family in the room, sometimes sound asleep in a chair next to him, having been there since yesterday. In the midst of this horrible thing that had happened to him, he realized that he was surrounded by friendship & love. And that’s the note he wanted to go out on with Spider-Man. Beautiful, ain’t it?

There’s a couple subplots that get hastily wrapped up. Remember a couple issues ago when Miles’ best friend Ganke had accidentally let it slip to his new girlfriend that Miles was Spider-Man and she toyed with the notion of selling the secret to the tabloids? Well, she totally promised she wouldn’t do it. Ganke tells this to Miles, who is surprisingly cool with the whole situation.

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And then as Miles is leaving the hospital, his parents tell him about someone they want Miles to meet about some very important stuff, but Miles blows them off because he promised Ganke that the first thing he’d do when he left the hospital was go to the movies with him.

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I can only assume this has something to do with the totally random appearance of Cable a few issues back.

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While I have no idea what the hell this is shaping up to be, all signs point to this being the last issue of this title before a relaunch with a new number one. There’s no Spider-Man #241 on the schedule for next month so what does the future hold for Miles Morales? Who’s going to write it? I guess we’ll just have to wait & see.

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