Secret Wars is over and we’re smack dab in the middle of Marvel Comics’ “All-New, All-Different” era. After reading the debut issue of Miles Morales’ latest series, I feel like “All-New, All-Classic” would better describe Spider-Man #1. But forget the adjectives, you just want to know if this new spider-series is any good.
Spider-Man (2016) #1 (Marvel Comics)
As one of modern Marvel’s chief architects, writer Brian Michael Bendis has left his mark on the Avengers and X-Men to – depending on which message board you’re reading – great success or tremendous horror. Love him or hate him, it’s hard to deny the quality of Bendis’ Miles Morales stories. After all, he is this black-and-red-costumed Spidey’s real-life father.
Bendis joins artist Sara Pichelli, Miles’ co-creator, for Spider-Man #1 and, I can assure you, it is good! What we get is a classic Spider-Man comic with all those Peter Parker tropes we know and love, just without Peter Parker. Like young Parker, Miles is a gifted student, but his academic life sometimes has to take a backseat to his other life as Spider-Man. The OTHER Spider-Man. The one that’s not swinging around the world in Dan Slott’s Amazing Spider-Man.
From this comic’s first page, the stakes are extremely high. The Avengers appear to have fallen at the grotesque hand (and blade hand) of Blackheart, son of Mephisto. Has he come to New York to undo his demonic dad’s doing and get Peter Parker and Mary Jane back together? Nope (I don’t think he’s had a chance to read “One More Day”), but he does help set up a fun scenario that will ensure you come back for #2.
This comic provides such a breezy read that it’d be unfair to give too much away. If you were a fan of Morales’ adventures in the Ultimate universe, you’ll be pleased to see supporting characters like Ganke and Miles’ parents have survived Jonathan Hickman’s destruction of the multiverse. New readers who are looking for a series that mixes fun, action and character in that classic Marvel manner should give this series a try. Pichelli’s art, which manages to look hyper-realistic in one panel and cartoony in the next, is worth the price of admission alone.
My one complaint about this comic is that it doesn’t touch on Secret Wars or the fact that Morales now resides on a hybrid Earth. I’m sure that’s intentional, as it does take place several months after Morales made friends with the Molecule Man, but as I’ve been following this character since his debut in 2011, I’d love to know if he remembers his old world. Or if his supporting cast has any recollection of what came before. Hopefully Marvel will address this as creators start to fill in the gap between Secret Wars and this new era, because right now, I just get New 52 vibes from the hazy sense of history.
But, that’s just a comic book fan nitpick. What Miles Morales supporters never thought would happen has happened—he’s in the mainstream Marvel Universe. Add this series to your pull list and watch Bendis and Pichelli play with their creations in a whole new sandbox.
Is It Good?
If you’re not feeling Peter Parker’s Tony Stark-style makeover, Spider-Man #1 is the spider-book you’ve been waiting for!