2000-2006: Golden Age of the UU
2007-2009: Age of Loebotomy
2009-2011: Post-Ultimatum Era
2011-????: Silver Age of the UU
I like the way the guy below addresses the questions as well :
my art blog: http://stephenscomicgenius.blogspot.com
Star in your own personalized comic book:
I voted 'great read' in the poll. That ending was so powerful it just gave the good art and good story the boost over the top. Then I read this thread and learned this whole Gwen is apparently a clone(?) rigamaroll and am happy not to have invested too much into the UU, save these last few months, so I could enjoy this issue so much. Ignored or glossed over continuity is a definite deterrent to being tempted to dive into the UU but there is nothing stopping me from finishing this mini - it's playing out in very nicely. Ultimates these 'last few months' has been pretty good too so their guest starring was an old school type treat. However, already the need for continuity placement already rears its ugly head. Down, beast, down! Haven't touched anything dealing with the U-X-men yet, to much trouble to catching up and getting into them now. Most of the big names are dead, right? Apparently not Dazzler who is busy being a star at... selling houses?!
Anyways ,after this enjoyable showing for Peter, I cannot wait to see AFTER this mini, when Peter should clearly check up on 616-Miles. It has got to happen! Happen, newplot, happen!
I just had to say something about this issue. It has touched me very deeply. Bendis got it all right in this issue. The last page especially! Two years ago I had lost my Father and my last remaining Grandmother. The most painful deaths for me to be near and apart of. Not a single day goes by that I am not reminded of them or the fact that they are gone and I am well on my way. Death surrounds me and has forced me to change in many ways. Acceptance is hard but I have found it. Without God by the way or drugs and alcohol. I am still digging my way free from the hole I found myself buried in and comics have been a large part of that. It's weird for me to admit this personal struggle on a forum about comics but this is my reality. Without my friends for support and comics to escape into, and then to learn from, I really would be in a bad place right now. Bendis has shown his genius in this one and Pichelli is Marvelous! My perspective. I just wanted, maybe needed, to explain why I feel so strongly about it and praise it so highly.
I get what you're saying, though. It might seem silly to some people, but these characters and stories have always helped me escape or deal with things in my life. I had a pretty miserable childhood and comics (Spider-Man especially) really gave me something to escape into and showed me a world of adventure and idealism and imagination. As a kid, I wanted to be just like Peter Parker (and Dick Grayson, Tim Drake, Steve Rogers, Jim Rhodes and some others), and that probably has a lot to do with who I am as an adult. Like I said, it's probably kind of childish to some people, but these characters have always had a special place in my heart. And I'm still discovering new stories and new characters that inspire me and spark my imagination.
So while our stories may be different, I definitely understand how comics can be more than just a hobby. I'm glad they've given you some sense of peace. Hang in there.