The time has finally arrived. What has felt like a long break between seasons of your favorite show has come to an end with the return of a widely-loved hero. Miles Morales has inspired so many people to get more into comics, regardless of their level of interest, when he came onto the scene in an incredibly bad Halloween costume. From there we have watched this character grow, learn, and evolve into a superhero that people love and are inspired by. He even got me into collecting physical comics for the first time, something all comic book fans can appreciate. While on hiatus, I was able to finish reading 99% of the entire Earth-1610 Universe. This reading helped me understand Miles’ place within that world and how it can be compared to the one he fits into now. This world is new for fans that have been solely reading Miles’ books. It’s this perspective that I will use to go over the first issue of “Spider-Man”.
Brian Michael Bendis and Sara Pichelli are back like they never left. During my short time with reading comics consistently, artwork has been the part that I struggled gauging with the most. I can say the artwork is really nice and Miles keeps his iconic realistic black haircut, line up and all. This is important for so many readers because it makes the character that much more relatable. Some of his expressions are goofy but they were few and far between. The story has a noticeably diverse classroom and background characters. Pichelli took her time with the small details and people do notice and I appreciate all of them.
The story is where some peripheral problems occur. If you pick up this comic without reading any of “Secret Wars” you will be lost. You may have heard that Miles is in the main universe, but with this information alone there are a lot of holes. In the “Spider-Men” crossover, Peter looked up his universe’s Miles and found out something shocking. Sadly, we never find out what it is. In this comic, we have Miles living with his mom and dad and everyone seems fine. We know that his dad knows about Miles’ identity but that’s all. Miles mentions nothing of how he feels about having a mom again after losing her in his own universe when she dies protecting him. It just makes you wonder how Miles is set up in the Earth-616 Universe. But that was the bad. Let’s talk about the good.
Bendis does a great job of making Miles a competent hero who knows how to save lives. He allows Miles to save several people while also showing his lack of experience in a way that does not undermine what he already knows, which is shown when a bystander tells him to continue towards the root of the problem instead of helping each in every civilian. This is important because the common way to display inexperience in a hero is to have them make goofy mistakes that make them look silly. Bendis uses a more creative and direct approach to get this point across. Another nice touch was having the “big bad” in the story take out the bigger heroes first and leaving Miles to be the sole protector of the day. When Bendis gives Miles Captain America’s shield, one of the highest honors, and makes Miles question it, as most people would, it shows Miles’ humbleness and emphasizes his heroism. He is able to win the battle due to his unique venom blast that tends to be highly effective against all his enemies. It sets us up for some iconic Spider-Man situations, leaving Miles in a very suspicious situation for someone to suddenly just arrive in—which is exctly what happens when Peter shows up. It was a great set up for the two to finally converse since “Spider-Men” if you have only been following the Miles comics.
The last thing I would like to touch on is the new female character that is highly welcomed. Julie is the first black woman in Miles’ comic that I remember other than his mom. This is great and her character is wonderful. Her look is of a black girl you would see today, from her hair to her outfit to her attitude. She’s confident and calls Miles out on his excuses and doesn’t put up with his mediocrity. I thoroughly appreciated their interaction even though it was one of the shortest in the comic. I hope there is more to come from the two.
Overall, I would recommend this comic for the accurate depiction of black people, a wonderful dynamic between Miles and his new black friend, and for Miles finally getting Captain America’s shield. It will leave you with questions if you haven’t read “Secret Wars”, so be warned. Miles’ new chapter in the Marvel Universe is off to a great start.
Comicidal Terrahawks (@ComicidalTHawks)