Miles Morales: Spider-Man #2
The Story So Far:
Miles Morales: Spider-Man #2 builds on a solid foundation. In the last issue, Miles arrived at the site of a burglary and discovered some very high-tech thieves. He also encountered the Rhino. Ironically, the Rhino was not behind the theft despite inadvertently assisting their getaway. He was there looking for his niece. Miles manages to stop the getaway, only to discover that behind one of those eerie robot masks (Black Hole circa 1979) was Eduardo, the young nephew of Barbara, Miles’ unofficial girlfriend. Talk about complicating a relationship. Before Miles can sort out what is happening, a high voltage burst knocks him out cold.
Written by Saladin Ahmed
Art by Javier Garron
Cover by Marco D’Alfonso
Series Rating: 5/5
From MAJK’s Coffee Corner:
On the whole, this title is providing a solid argument for why Miles Morales might just be the best Spider-Man yet. Saladin Ahmed’s Miles Morales is looking more impressive with each issue. This incarnation of Miles offers us a Spider-Man that is socially aware but not to the exclusion of his family, his friends, or his responsibilities. There’s depth in this character. Ahmed’s Miles has all the hallmarks of today’s youth – optimism, a tendency to question everything, confidence that they can do more, and a desire to change the world. When you add Javier Garrón’s artwork to the mix there’s no question that this is a must-read series.
Spoiler Warning: If you have not read Miles Morales: Spider-Man #2 There May Be Spoilers Below
If you are wearing a Spidey suit, and the Rhino willingly babysits your unconscious form, you can be sure all is not right in the world. Miles has questions but the only information the Rhino has is that he is looking for his girl’s niece. Miles struggle with this idea that anyone would date a supervillain, only to discover that Rhino had a wife. “Had” being the operative word here. The Loss in Rhino’s face renders our tender-hearted hero speechless.
Rhino still looks out for her family, and it’s her niece that is missing but Rhino isn’t asking for help. This is one of the best things about Miles, he’s got heart, lots of it, and he sees more than a supervillain in Rhino. He sees a human in need. The fact that Eduardo is somehow involved add to Miles reasons for getting involved.
The two try to track the van but the track pretty much vanish. Next thing you know the sun is coming up. Rhino and Spider-Man agree to pair up to solve this. That’s the start to an odd partnership and a rough day for our young, exhausted hero.
The mysterious thievery ring plaguing Brooklyn is a solid hook. It smacks of something larger when we see the ringleader talking about the use of “mindless super-powered twerps who do whatever you say and confuse five-o because they are kids” and considering who that ringleader is we know it’s going to be a tough fight for Miles.
There’s a lot of fun in the relationship between Rhino and Miles. There is the feel of the old and the new both trying to gauge one another. I can’t help but see in Rhino and Miles the grudging gatekeepers of fandoms learning to see the new kids as equals. Rhino questions Miles’ Spider-Man credentials, dubs him a kid, ribs him about curfews, and yet, you can see him growing to respect Miles. Their relationship strikes me as an unintended metaphor for the Marvel fandom.
Miles, too learns that Rhino’s more than just some old supervillain. Rhino watches over him while he’s out cold, Rhino is Miles Ace in the hole, when the two of them corner the ringleader. Rhino comes crashing through the walls to Miles’ aid, when Miles is discovered during his attempt at reconnaissance. Ultimately, they begin working as a team, which takes some trial and error but eventually culminates in an amusing WWE reference and defeats the ringleader, who only gets away due to his “mindless super-powered twerps”.
Art & Writing
Saladin Ahmed’s Miles Morales is the best I’ve seen. Given the recent, Spider-Man: Into The Spider-Verse movie. It’s easy to imagine the young Miles of the movie growing into Saladin Ahmed’s Miles. This Miles is confident, secure in his position as Spider-Man. He’s thoughtful, not rash. He’s concerned about maintaining the balance of his day to day life while offering as much help as he can to his community. There’s a youthful optimism blended with an awareness of the flaws in our system, and society. Somehow this incarnation of Miles feels (to me) more representative of today’s youth.
Javier Garrón’s artwork enhances Saladin Ahmed’s writing perfectly. With the two paired, we are treated to a first-rate comic book. The action sequences with Miles’ acrobatics are engaging and energetic. The details and designs in the characters’ expressions, really drive home the emotions and lean a visual voice to each character. Rhino’s gruffness is visual. Miles exhaustion and determination are displayed despite his mask. The city is alive and kinetic rather than just a flat backdrop for the action.
I also like the more modern character design of both Miles and his best friend, Ganke. From their clothes to their hair to their mannerisms these students more closely resemble today’s students. Even the discussion in issue one, between Barbara and Miles, about Eduardo’s father being deported reflects the more socially aware, more engaged attitude of today’s average students.
MAJK’s Age Recommendation:
As I said before, I am good with the 9+ years of age recommended. The cartoon violence isn’t anything worse that what you may see on TV today. Also, this is an excellent comic to start your kid or best friend on – even if they’ve never been a Spidey fan. It’s accessible enough for newbies and still exciting and interesting enough for long time Spidey fans.
Rhino: “So did the real Spider-Man let you use his name, or are you, like, a knockoff.”
Miles: “I am the real Spider-Man!”
Given some of the things the ringleader said and who he is – we know there’s a lot more going on than common theft. Things are going to get messy fast. I see Rhino and Mile becoming a much better coordinated team, especially since out of nowhere a classic superhero has arrived to assist our dynamic duo. There’s something huge on the horizon.
Next Issue: February 20, 2019