‘Miles Morales: Spider-Man #1:’ Fisticuffs and Teen Angst

Comic Books Entertainment

Miles Morales: Spider-Man #1

Welcome to the Spider-Verse: 

Miles Morales: Spider-Man #1 came out today. Spider-Man: Into The Spider-Verse, a new film starring Miles Morales, comes out Dec 14.

*sings softly* It’s beginning to look a lot like Spider-Mas…

Really, this is a great time for Spider-Man fans (at least, for those who aren’t afraid of a Spider-Man that doesn’t look like them). I mean really, at this point we almost have more Spider-Man representations than DC has Green Lanterns and I’m not sure that’s a bad thing. 2018 has been the year of Spider-geddon.

I don’t just mean the comic crossover by the same name. There have been tons of limited-issue titles released this year that are spider-related (or should that be Spidey-related?). I’m collecting more than a few of these but the one I’ve been waiting for – the one I’ve most eagerly anticipated–is Miles Morales: Spider-Man #1.

It was everything I’d hoped for and a little more.

Creative Team:

Publisher: Marvel     Writer: Saladin Ahmed

Artist: Javier Garron     Cover: Brian Stelfreeze

Series Rating: 5/5

If Miles Morales: Spider-Man #1 is an indication of what we can expect from this series, then I think this may become my new favorite Spider-Man title. I still love Peter but Miles is a completely new hero in his own right. He gives respect to the original web-head but this young man is entirely his own person, unafraid to explore a depth of issues facing present-day American society as well as Super-Villains.

Spoiler Warning: If you have not read Miles Morales: Spider-Man #1 There May Be Spoilers Below

It’s Not A Diary!

Miles Morales: Spider-Man #1 begins with a simple introduction. Narrated by Miles via the journal assigned to him by his Creative Writing teacher, the first few pages give us an inside look at what it is like to be Miles and Spider-Man from inside the head that wears the mask. Miles isn’t the “Golly, Aunt May” clean-cut nerdy square that Peter Parker was. Instead, he is a clean-cut, socially-conscious, modern teen.

We see Miles with his parents, his best friends, and his “kind of girlfriend”, Barbara. He’s not as secretive as Peter but that’s because he’s got people he can trust. He makes that clear in how he speaks about his dad, a former S.H.I.E.L.D. agent, and his mom, the Chief Nurse at Brooklyn University Hospital. They know his secret and we get the sense that they are also where he gets his commitment to making the world a better place.

Like Peter, Miles is a truly good-hearted, heroic soul at his core but he is living in and protecting a world that does things that he doesn’t always understand. I think that’s the part the really resonates about him. You see his heart when he talks about hoping to get three hours of sleep before class, when he cracks a joke while chatting with Barbara, and when he makes eye contact with a little girl clinging to her mom’s hand as they wait in line for a warm meal.

This Spider-Man cares very much about the world he lives in, and he truly wants to help.

Real World Issues & the Rogues Gallery

Miles Morales: Spider-Man #1 is very much set in our present-day America. What this means is that instead of a generic world where the biggest problems are supervillains causing mayhem, Miles is faced with real world issues like immigration, poverty, and children being separated from their parents. From this first issue, we see how the real world is going to bleed into both of his worlds. The story shows us a young man who is fully aware of the world he lives in and the fact that being Spider-Man doesn’t cure all the ills. His first encounter with Eduardo, Barbara’s cousin, again reveals his heart.

Now that doesn’t mean this series is going to be short on good old web-slinging action.

On the contrary, this issue starts off by going big. We are talking big as in six-foot-five inches; big as in seven hundred and ten pounds of muscles. That’s right, Miles is getting a visit from a regular in the Spider-Man Rogue’s Gallery. Nah, I’m not telling you who. I want you to buy this comic. Did I mention it’s out in stores today?

Weirder & Weirder

Miles is tired and struggling both mentally and emotionally with maintaining the balance of his dual life, the last thing he really wants is to deal with a burglary, so the addition of one of the big bads of supervillaindom is not making things any better. Things get more complicated when it turns out that big bad guy isn’t interested in making trouble, he’s on a mission of his own. When Miles assists, he makes a startling discovery that going to complicate his already very complex life.

Art & Writing

Saladin Ahmed does a great job of delivering a solid set-up. Miles is as mouthy as any Spider-Man has ever been, though he’s infinitely more charming, and his jokes tend to actually be funny. Ahmed delivers to us a hero that a mixture of angsty high-schooler and dedicated hero while keeping the story entertaining, in the best of super-heroic ways. It may feel a bit light on action but this has all the ear-marks of setting up a powerful story.

Garron’s art is slick. The opening page is superb. Miles is easily the coolest looking Spider-Man. The characters feel more real. Even the background characters at Miles school have distinct looks. Also, I just love the sense of style Garron gave Barbara, both in the school hallway and at Brooklyn Bridge Park. She looks stylish and comfortable. Garron’s talent goes beyond style. There’s substance in how he uses the characters features and body language to tell a story. The best example of this is on page 13 at the bottom. The look that passes between the little girl clinging to her mom’s hand and Miles is potent and the pain in Miles expression translates through the mask.

MAJK’s Age Recommendation:

9+ years of age. I’m going to roll with the Marvel recommended age here but I want to add a few things

Other Info: some of today’s most debated issues from current events are dealt with / discussed in this comic. I would recommend if you feel comfortable with it, using this comic as a jumping off point to maybe chat with your child / younger sibling about these things that are happening. Also, you get parent cool points for reading comics with your kid / younger sibling

Best Line: Miles: “No, that’s cool. I love kids. I used to be one”

Next Issue: Miles Morales: Spider-Man #2 will be available in Print and Digital on January 9 2019

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