After the debacle that was Survive!, writer Brian Michael Bendis returns to the the book that he does best – Ultimate Spider-Man. The series has been running near-continuously since 2000, originally featuring a younger, more modern version of Peter Parker, before Peter died and his title was passed on to a boy named Miles Morales. Back when he debuted in 2011, Miles, a young man of both African-American and Latino descent – seemed to be a direct response to the racist backlash against the movement to cast Donald Glover as Spider-Man. Since then Miles has become his own hero, with his own supporting cast and storylines. Ultimate Spider-Man #200 (which purports to be the third or fourth “final issue” of Ultimate Spider-Man) is more of a reflection of what came before than anything else.
Marvel Comics has the upper hand these days when it comes to quality and creativity. Their main competitors at DC are mired in grit and gristle, more concerned with pandering to their established fanbase than seeking out new readership. Marvel was the same way for a long time; in an unexpected twist the great success of the Marvel Studios films has spurred them to try new things in search of new properties to turn into blockbuster films. Marvel’s old ways are still evident in some corners of their product line, particularly in their Ultimate universe. After a cataclysmic event in the Ultimate Universe (appropriately titled Cataclysm), Marvel is preparing to shake things up in that group of books, starting with the Survive! one-shot.