Continuing the adventures of the newest transplant to the Marvel Universe, Spider-Man #2 continues to define the new status quo for Miles Morales. How does the last remnant of the Ultimate Marvel U. fare now that he’s alongside the major Marvel heroes? Read on, faithful spoilerite!
Writer – Brian Michael Bendis
Pencils/Inks – Sarah Pichelli, with inking assistance from Gaetano Carlucci
Colorist – Justin Ponsor
Editor – Nick Lowe
Publisher – Marvel Comics
Cover Price – $3.99
Previously in Spider-Man: The first issue of the new series wasted little time in establishing Miles’ own corner of the post-Secret Wars Marvel Universe. Life for Miles is difficult at best, as he struggles to balance the responsibilities super-heroism brings with the demands of being a high school student. The last issue also saw Miles win a major battle against the demonic villain Blackheart, which had just laid waste to the entirety of the Avengers…
COMING OF AGE
It’s no secret that the Ultimate Universe was on life support when Miles Morales was introduced. The character quickly became a crowd favorite, and for good reason. While the Ultimate U. was failing, Miles brought a fresh perspective, an adventurous spirit, and plain old heart to a line of books that was severely lacking all three of these qualities. Keeping Miles around after the Secret Wars had to happen. The risk, however, was seeing if the big fish in the small “Ultimate” pond would survive when placed alongside the heavyweights of the Marvel U. proper. Bendis seems to recognize this risk and is addressing it head-on in the series.
I groaned at seeing Miles take down Blackheart last issue, while the bodies of a dozen unconscious Avengers lay around the battlefield. Blackheart pops up again for a moment this issue before being put down quickly. It seems to be a ham-fisted way of saying to the reader, “See? Miles is just as cool as the other heroes. More powerful too!” The reason Miles survived the “Ultimate Ending” was not due to his immense powers, but more about the issues the young man faces.
However, I was happy to see that the story made sure to keep track of Miles’ personal life. This is a youth who is dealing with a lot of pressure, and he seems to be facing it with much more attitude than I remember. He is putting much more emphasis into being a hero, and his personal life is already in pieces. This is a major strength of the story. Miles has a great supporting cast of family, friends, and potential romantic partners. I look forward to seeing them pull Miles into maturity.
PICHELLI: MODERN-DAY MASTER
I write that headline with no hyperbole. Sara Pichelli has done and continues to do a fantastic job of illustrating Miles’ adventures. In particular, the design of Blackheart this issue and last was amazing…a fearful, oily mess with a face that shouldn’t exist. Pichelli is comfortable with action sequences, facial expressions, body language…she’s the total package, and without her, I daresay that Miles Morales would not be the popular character he has become.
BOTTOM LINE: A GREAT ADVENTURE FOR SPIDER-FANS, NEW AND OLD
If you’re longing for the old Lee/Ditko days, where Peter Parker had to deal with the stress of being a teenager, this is the book for you. It has more in common with “classic” Spider-Man than “Amazing” does these days (though that book is excellent for other reasons). If you’re new to Miles’ adventures, don’t be put off by the new black suit. This is the real deal, a story that breaks through the barriers of age, race, sex, and class to deliver the tale of a hero.