There is no character that I love more than Spider-Man. I grew up with him as my hero and an inspiration. When Miles Morales was first introduced in the Ultimate line after the death of that world’s Peter Parker I thought his story was a fresh take on Spider-Man. His powers, while recognizable as Spider-Man’s, were not quite the same as Peter Parker’s and even included a few new powers such as his camouflage ability and his venom blast. I still had my “real” Spidey safe in the main Marvel Universe so I was free to enjoy Miles’ adventures. With the destruction of the Ultimate Universe several of it’s more popular residents were folded into the main Marvel Universe. Miles was one of those characters and considering Marvel’s recent love of replacing iconic heroes with new versions I was worried about losing the “real” Spider-Man, especially since Miles got to keep the Spider-Man moniker rather than adopt another such as Kid Arachnid like he did on the animated series.
After reading Spider-Man #21 my fears were layed to rest. Brian Michael Bendis, who created Miles back in Ultimate Fallout #4, has done an amazing job of crafting a story that cements Miles into the main Marvel Universe and gives him his own direction and place in the world. I love the parallel between Peter and Miles with both of their parents having been involved with S.H.I.E.L.D. in the past. This is also used to blend Miles and his family into the fabric of the Marvel Universe. Miles is a very different Spider-Man than Peter and has his own way of going about being a hero. The humor and sarcasm that I expect from any Spider-Man was there and gave us great moments such as Miles not wanting a psychic to read his mind because he’s a teenage boy and not responsible for the thoughts running around in his head. Miles’ supporting cast compliments him and enhances the story. I’m curious to see where his story goes, especially after a surprise guest star (I won’t spoil who it is) turns out to know Miles’ father and has a huge interest in this particular Spidey’s future.
The feel of the book took me back to Miles’s days in the Ultimate Universe and not just because of Bendis’ story, but Nico Leon’s art, which was very reminiscent of early Ultimate Spider-Man (Miles’ era). His take on Miles’ movements and fighting style made him visually different from Peter, which is part of what makes Miles great. He stands on his own as character and blazes his own trail.
Miles may be called Spider-Man, but that’s not what makes him interesting. I would follow his adventures wether he was Spider-Man, Kid Arachnid, or even just Miles Morales, but I think he’s earned the title and is himself a “real” Spider-Man. I’m going to continue to follow his exploits and I think you should too.
Overall Rating: 4
(W) Brian Michael Bendis (A) Nico Leon (CA) Patrick Brown