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Face Cataclysm with Ultimate Spider-Man

Brian Michael Bendis steers Miles Morales and the Ultimate Universe towards a cataclysmic confrontation with Galactus!

Cataclysm: Ultimate Spider-Man #1 cover by David Marquez

By Brett White

This fall, Miles Morales comes up against a foe bigger than any his predecessor Peter Parker ever went up against, and the stakes have never been higher! Fresh off of a year spent in retirement, Spider-Man finds himself face-to-toe with the giant, world-devouring cosmic entity known as Galactus in CATACLYSM: ULTIMATE SPIDER-MAN.

The new limited series kicking off in November ties into the larger Cataclysm event, which sees the entire super hero population of the Ultimate Universe fending off the Marvel Universe's Galactus following the inter-dimensional trip he took in the final pages of AGE OF ULTRON. But while Miles Morales may have a few new friends at his side—like Ultimate Cloak and Dagger—he's still reeling from his mother's death.

We caught up with CATACLYSM: ULTIMATE SPIDER-MAN and CATACLYSM: THE ULTIMATES' LAST STAND writer Brian Michael Bendis to find out just how Miles figures into this game-changing event.

Marvel.com: With Cataclysm, it seems like the Ultimate Universe is finally going to learn about the Marvel Universe.

Brian Michael Bendis: Yeah. There are a few people who know about it.

Marvel.com: Like Miles, for one.

Ultimate Comics Spider-Man #27 preview inks by David Marquez

Brian Michael Bendis: Yeah, and the people who read [the limited series] SPIDER-MEN would know that, and I know that was a lot of you, so thank you. Nick Fury, Tony Stark, Miles Morales, and a couple of other people know that there is a thin membrane that connects the Ultimate Universe to the regular Marvel Universe. And that membrane was once again broken by the end events of Age of Ultron, where the space-time continuum was so abused over and over again, that it actually erupted. One of those eruptions sent the regular Marvel Universe Galactus into the Ultimate Universe. He has no idea where he is; he's just figuring it out in [the limited series] HUNGER. He's starving and he's on his way to Earth. He's going to have himself a picnic.

This is the biggest threat the Ultimate Universe has ever faced, including Magneto drowning New York and the original Gah Lak Tus event. It's a gigantic thing. We have the Ultimate heroes, including Miles Morales, and they have no idea what they're up against or where he came from. Even if they figure out who Galactus is, sending him back from where he came from is not heroic. They can't kill him because he's a cosmic force of nature. It really is a conundrum.

Ultimate Comics Spider-Man #27 preview inks by David Marquez

Marvel.com: The last big event that Miles found himself in was United We Stand/Divided We Fall and a lot has changed for Miles since then. He spent a lot of time in retirement, his mother died. How does Cataclysm differ from his previous involvement in a big Ultimate event?

Brian Michael Bendis: A couple of things. He's older. We've skipped time in the Ultimate Universe. We skipped a year. He's back at being Spider-Man after taking a year off because of the tragic events that befell his family at the end of the Venom storyline. Miles was a guest star in the United We Stand storyline, whereas he's front and center in the Cataclysm storyline. He's on the very first pages; he's a major part of this storyline.

Marvel.com: Spider-Man isn't exactly an all-powerful superhero like some of the other heavy-hitters in the Ultimate Universe. How does he stack up against Galactus?

Brian Michael Bendis: I joked online a little bit about this, but it reminded me a little bit about when Frank Miller said he had pitched the Hulk vs. Daredevil storyline during his run on DAREDEVIL. Supposedly, [then Marvel Editor-in-Chief] Jim Shooter said, "And what happens on panel two?" And I feel the same way about this. It's Miles vs. Galactus, all right, then what? He eats Miles, and then what? This is his bar mitzvah, his coming of age story. It's a really big deal.

Marvel.com: With Galactus coming, everyone on Earth is threatened. I would imagine that Miles would be fiercely protective of his father and his friends. Are those supporting characters going to factor into this storyline at all?

Ultimate Comics Spider-Man #27 preview inks by David Marquez

Brian Michael Bendis: Yes. The entire cast of all of the Ultimates teams, the Ultimates themselves, the members that are left of the Ultimate Fantastic Four, the Ultimate X-Men, Kitty Pryde, Jean Grey, all of these characters come front and center. All of the schisms and things that have pulled these teams apart over the last couple of years are going to go by the wayside as everyone teams up to try to figure out the best way to stop this before a disaster is too late. Miles is a part of it; Reed Richards is a part of it. For new readers and old readers, there's something for everybody. A lot happens quickly.

All of the books are on hold and will be replaced with Cataclysm [limited series]. That's where we really get a sense of the supporting characters and where they stand and really the level of loss that we're going to be dealing with. On top of Miles, his girlfriend Kate, Ganke, his father, people will see over the next couple of issues that he's built himself a surprising team of like-minded young heroes like Cloak and Dagger, Bombshell, Spider-Woman, and some others. There's a lot going on. There's a lot of players and a lot to lose if Galactus has his snack time.

Marvel.com: With so many players, what do you think makes Miles Morales uniquely capable to be the focal point of this kind of story?

Brian Michael Bendis: I think back to my younger years, and I think a lot of people do. You think back to some dumb thing you did that may have worked out or may have not worked out. Something you did where your sheer force of will mixed with youthful idealism, that you look back on now and think, "That was just stupid!" But it brought in a bravery that others may not have had, but you were too young and stupid to not be brave. That's part of what Miles is bringing to the table.

Marvel.com: You're re-teaming with ULTIMATE COMICS SPIDER-MAN artist David Marquez for this tie-in.

Ultimate Comics Spider-Man #27 cover by David Marquez

Brian Michael Bendis: David Marquez is finishing up this volume of ULTIMATE COMICS SPIDER-MAN, which he will be on for the complete storyline of the Spider-Man angle of the story for the limited series.

Marvel.com: You have Mark Bagley, the original ULTIMATE SPIDER-MAN artist, drawing CATACLYSM: THE ULTIMATES' LAST STAND, and one of your more recent collaborators on the tie-in. How does that feel to be working with two big artists on one event?

Brian Michael Bendis: I'm excited to see what Bagley does with it. He's working on covers right now but he hasn't done pages. And people, don't worry. He'll have it done in a week, the whole book. The one thing I'm reminded, back when Bagley and I were working full time on the book, he would literally draw pages as fast as I could write them. I'd be six issues ahead and he'd already be done! It was like I was being chased! So we're back to that.

Marvel.com: You just had the honor of introducing Cloak and Dagger to the Ultimate Universe. Now you're throwing them into the deep end. How do Cloak and Dagger wrap their heads around what they've just gotten themselves into?

Brian Michael Bendis: These characters aren't sure where they belong in the world. Some of them have been quite screwed over by the world, so they're not actually built to be super heroes but they don't know what they're supposed to be. So this opportunity may enlighten them in one way or another.

Marvel.com: At least Spider-Man has more super powered friends at his side.

Brian Michael Bendis: Yes, this Spider-Man has his own amazing friends! I keep going back there. That's the pool I keep dipping in.

Cataclysm: The Ultimates Last Stand #1 cover by Mark Bagley

Marvel.com: Final thoughts in regards to Miles, Cataclysm and what comes next?

Brian Michael Bendis: I can only say that we're very flattered by the passion that people feel about Miles, particularly, and the Ultimate Universe, how much it meant to [readers] for getting them into comics. No matter how special Miles is to you, he's 10 times more special to me for reasons beyond the work that I've done with the people that I love. It's a very important thing to me in comics and I promise you I won't do anything to mess that up. No matter what the fallout is, it will be with truth and honesty.

People who are fans of the Ultimate Universe, they know that dead is dead. So when something is coming to eat the planet, if we do it they know we're really going to do it. There's always readers who are looking for the stories that matter or if something is really going to happen here. I get the sense that people think something is really going to happen here and I'm equally flattered and frustrated, because things are going to happen that do matter but it's not necessarily what you read online. You're going to get a high-quality piece of Dave Marquez and Mark Bagley awesomeness that harkens back to the early days of the Ultimate Universe and it is their darkest day. They are faced with the impossible.

Follow Miles Morales next into ULTIMATE COMICS SPIDER-MAN #27 on September 25

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