Miles Morales: Spider-Man #1

Writer: Saladin Ahmed
Artist: Javier Garrón
Colorist: David Curiel
Letterer: VC’s Cory Petit
Cover Artist: Bryan Stelfreeze
Publisher: Marvel Comics

Review by Nico Sprezzatura

Making his big-screen debut this week in Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse, Miles Morales has been primed for greatness ever since Brian Michael Bendis introduced him in 2011. Perhaps because of it, Marvel launched a brand-new ongoing series with the character, aptly titled Miles Morales: Spider-Man, as written by rising comics talent Saladin Ahmed. Is it any good? It certainly is!

The timing of this issue’s release (in tandem with Into the Spider-Verse) doesn’t seem accidental, but Miles Morales: Spider-Man #1 is a perfect gateway into the character for newcomers who’ll likely be intrigued by his leading role in that film. As an introductory issue, this one strikes the tough balance of recapping a character’s history up to this point in their existence, while also setting up a foundation to build upon in future issues. Whether or not you’ve actually read a comic with Miles as Spider-Man, this one will likely hook you in.

As someone who’s primarily known for writing fantasy and science fiction, Ahmed is an interesting choice for a Spider-Man book. But judging by this first issue, it seems that Miles is in quite good hands, as Ahmed handily adapts to the trials of a teenage superhero. By this point, Miles has been a webslinger for long enough that he’s used to things, but still green enough that he’s not exactly seen as the Spider-Man by some of Peter Parker’s most famous foes.

But while it seems like Miles may be flying under Peter’s shadow, the whole point of him is to serve as a contrast. Racial and socio-economic differences aside, Miles has a lot of things going for him that Peter historically didn’t at the beginning. Chief among them are both of his parents — alive and well — as well as his core group of friends. Also? Most of them know he’s Spider-Man. Because of all the ways Miles isn’t Peter, he’s a character worth investing in. Ahmed seems uniquely suited to writing outsiders (e.g. his Black Bolt and Exiles), so I hope he really delves into all the ways Miles may or may not fit into certain paradigms.

You can’t have a Spider-Man book without great art, though, and Javier Garrón delivers on that front. There are lots of nice webbing designs, acrobatic visuals that guide your eye through a page, and character designs that all stand distinct from one another.

Garrón also draws Miles to look a bit older than he was when we first met him in 2011, which really helps foster a sense of progression and maturity in our young protagonist. Now roughly a sophomore in high school, Miles is on the cusp of adulthood, which Ahmed’s writing seems to reflect. It’ll definitely be worth watching to see how his Miles voice differs from the one used by Bendis, which very much conveyed him as not quite a child, but not quite a teenager either.

The Verdict: Buy it.

With a solid creative team and tons of cultural momentum behind it, Miles Morales: Spider-Man #1 is a perfect (re)introduction to its titular hero.

Nico Sprezzatura
Nico Frank Sprezzatura, middle name optional. 24. Schrödinger's writer.

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