In celebration of everyone’s favorite web-head, July is Spectacular Spider-Month at AiPT!. We have a series of amazing articles in store for the month. Movies, television, gaming, and of course comics will all be covered with great responsibility as we honor one of comics’ greatest heroes.
Given Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse, Miles Morales is far and away widely known and loved. For good reason. He’s quirky, easily identifiable with your own struggle, and represents a promise that we can all be heroes if given the chance. The introduction of Miles is getting a new collection in a new slightly smaller digest-sized this week and it features the first ten glorious issues by Brian Michael Bendis, Sara Pichelli, Chris Samnee, and David Marquez.
So what’s it about?
The official summary reads:
When Peter Parker falls, the world needs a Spider-Man — and young Miles Morales takes up the mantle! Before Peter died, Miles was poised to start the next chapter in his life in a new school. Then, a spider’s bite granted the teenager incredible arachnid-like powers. Now, Miles has been thrust into a world he doesn’t understand, with only gut instinct, his well-intentioned best friend Ganke and a little thing called responsibility as his guides. But what was the story behind the spider that bit him? How is Miles going to get his hands on a cool new costume? And is there any way he can be ready to face the deadly sting of the Scorpion? Find out if Miles Morales can live up to the legacy of Spider-Man!
Why does this matter?
This is one of the best origin stories ever told. Not because every facet is brand new (far from it since it follows a similar path to Peter Parker’s), but it’s how the creative team updates the way these characters would react in a world where superheroes are real.
Fine, you have my attention. What’s good about it?
This is bold storytelling. Bendis and Pichelli don’t put their protagonist in a costume till issue #4. They don’t have him wear his new costume till issue #5. This isn’t about superhero fights as much as it is a regular person being compelled to get into superhero fights. Miles is incredibly well written. You connect with him due to his life story, his family, and how he’s drawn. He’s very human and easy to empathize with and you’ll be rooting for him even when he wants to run away from superherodom. When Miles is compelled to help someone it’s not because he wants it, but because he must. He’s a hero that’s inside anyone who has ever felt the drive to help anyone in any way.
The character and his best friend Ganke are also a great example of what it would be like if superhero fans became heroes themselves. Ganke, in particular, is geeking out over the fact that his best friend is a superhero. The dialogue and his powers of deduction about Miles early on are hilarious and a lot of fun. The shared experience between these two friends is literary gold and it’s a big reason why the new Spider-Man films take from it so much. It’s a buddy-movie relationship, but on a different level since one has powers and the other is gushing over his friend’s new direction in life.
The art by Pichelli is out of this world good. It’s clean, detailed, and excellent at capturing the human body in all its shapes and sizes. The art is very dynamic too. Chris Samnee draws two issues here with Marquez finishing things off and it’s exciting to see their work here and see how they’ve evolved (Pichelli too) over the years.
It can’t be perfect, can it?
This is a very good 10 issues, but two minor things caught me. One, the digest size seems to have been cut wrong, or at least my copy was. I only noticed it a handful of times, but sometimes word balloons that were very close to the bottom of the page were cut too close and the words are sliced ever so much. You can still read it, but it looks like they cut out some of the art to get to this size.
The other gripe is how Miles is drawn when he first sees him. He’s clearly the height of a much younger kid than he is in the story. I’d say he’s about the height of a 6 or 7-year-old, but he’s supposed to be more like 13 years old. You can see he’s drawn much taller later on, especially when he sits on a bench with his dad. It’s super minor, but it honestly threw me off and made me wonder if there was a time jump!
Is it good?
If you haven’t read this yet this is the perfect collection to jump in on. Fans of Spider-Verse are in for a real treat too since so much from this collection was used in the film.