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Spider-Man #234 review

Trouble’s brewing — both personally and villainously!

Brian Michael Bendis and Oscar Bazaldua
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With Mama Bombshell out of lockup and a mysterious stranger looking to procure Tinkerer-type tech in Spider-Man #234, is Miles Morales prepared for what’s to come? He can’t even figure out his relationship status. It’s complicated — but is it good?

The Skinny

Look Mr. Shady, I ain’t the only game in town, so go see Phineas Mason if you’re not buying what I’m selling. Looks like something caught your eye, though. Are you settling a grudge, or building an army?

A day without Goldballs is like a day without sunshine, so thank goodness he’s gotten over his girl issues and crawled out of the house. Miles only likes her, man; he like-likes someone else. He won’t like who’s finally revealed to be in the new Iron Spider suit, though. What a twist!

The Lowdown

The armored adversary puts together a new Sinister Six in Spider-Man #234, and it’s mostly also-rans and haven’t-been-yets. It’s nice to see Sandman has the good sense to try and walk away, harkening back to his history of virtue waffling, but a score as big as the one proposed is too tempting to pass up. The Iron Spider clearly has a more personal motivation, though, so it’ll be interesting to see if the hired help figure out what’s really going on and if they’ll do anything about it.

Miles already has his own, typically high school, personal problems. That kind of thing is in writer Brian Michael Bendis’ wheelhouse, but the kerfuffle in Spider-Man #234 between Morales, Goldballs and Ganke Lee seems like much ado about nothing. Yeah, most teenage drama is, but maybe we don’t need it painstakingly detailed over five pages. The conversation does mostly ring true to how such situations play out, but the payoff is a little weird and some of that repetitive dialogue sneaks in.

The art by series semi-regular Oscar Bazaldua is predictably outstanding, continuing to show that either Bendis or his editors have a tremendous eye for upcoming talent. Bazaldua handles both the facial expression and the more super-stuff well, and colorist Justin Ponsor does a great job of grounding the “regular” scenes while turning up the greens and yellows for the Sinister Six.

The Upshot

Spider-Man # 234 is a more-or-less standard chapter in Bendis’ unfolding adventures of Miles Morales, though those looking for some action may be disappointed. It’s a slow build to the eventual throwdown, and this issue can feel slower than most, if interpersonal stuff isn’t your thing. But then, this is nothing unusual for the creative team or the character, so maybe it’s to be expected. Just like the reveal of Iron Spider’s coincidental-so-as-to-be-meaningful identity is a tradition across all Spider-media.

Spider-Man #234
Is it good?
It's par for the course from the creative team, though some readers might end up itching for more action. It'll come, of course, as Bendis knows his pacing and how he wants a story to unfold.
High school drama is true to life
Bazuldua draws great villains and can communicate with facial expressions
Ponsor adds the right ambiance
While it unfolds fine, the high school beef is squashed strangely
Not a lot of action
The Iron Spider's identity might be a little too on-the-nose.

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