Writer: Brian M. Bendis
Artist: Sara Pichelli
Colorist: Justin Ponsor
Cover: Sara Pichelli & Justin Ponsor
What better way to kick off the return of Miles Morales than with the original creative team from his exciting debut back in 2011! Bendis has been the guiding hand behind Miles for some time so this issue really feels like a return to greatness. Miles himself has grown a little and Bendis shows this in giving us a young man who is slightly more confident in his skills but still hasn’t lost that childlike wonder. One of the character traits that really kept the original Spider-Man grounded and endeared him to fans.
Bendis begins the issue at a pretty low point while reintroducing a villain we haven’t seen in a long time. The Avengers have been laid low and the last hero standing is Spider-Man! From here, Bendis takes you back a while and we get a look into the personal life of Miles. Many wondered who would make it over to the core (is it still 616 at this point?) Marvel Universe post Secret Wars and it’s great to see that best friend, Ganke made it. They have always had great chemistry together and many times their interactions rivaled the big superhero moments in past issues. Miles is also still struggling to balance school, home, and his hero life and as usual Bendis gives these scenes plenty of weight. There’s been a slight tweak to Mikes’ home life and I’m not too sure how I feel about that right now. To go into detail would spoil it for anyone who didn’t read the previous series but hopefully this adjustment will be a good thing.
Sara Pichelli’s artwork has been missed and seeing her back visually telling Miles’ story is reason enough to start this series. If you’re familiar with her work in the first series you’ll notice that her style has changed a bit. What hasn’t changed is how great she is at moving the story along. The redesign for the villain has some nice touches from his older look while still feeling brand new. She also makes the personal life of Miles as equally fun to look at as the action sequences. Now, this may seem like something small here but it was so nice to see Julie wearing a natural hairstyle. After decades of seeing artists draw Black girls with pressed hair that resemble Caucasian women or default afro puffs this was just nice to see. Pichelli’s action sequences are kinetic, strong, and embody the standard what Spider-Man fights should include. The agility, webs, and intensity that has made them so much fun in the past. And to put a nice bow on it all are the magnificent colors of Justin Ponsor. If it was up to me, he’d color everything but I’m sure he’d like a day off. The double page where Miles leaves school and when he’s raising Cap’s shield are the standout scenes here because of Ponsor in my opinion.
The cliffhanger seemed a bit odd when you take into account the tone and intensity of the question asked. Especially to those familiar with the history between these two. Other than that and the return of a character this is a pretty flawless issue. Bendis keeps the story a comfortable entry for a new reader while not retreading over too much old material that might bore a seasoned fan.
You really can’t lose with this creative team so add this to your read pile immediately!