Spider-Man: Miles Morales vol 1 is basically a day in the life of Spider-Man. He’s a teenager who got bitten by a radioactive spider, giving him amazing abilities. With these abilities, Miles has become an Avenger and fights crime all while dealing with standard kids stuff. Written by Brian Michael Bendis with art by Sara Pichelli, Spider-Man is a new take on a classic Marvel character. Is it worth your time or should you move on to the next Spider-Man? Let’s discuss.
The book, even though it says volume 1, takes place somewhere in the middle of Miles’ story. He already has his powers, and he’s already an Avenger working with Peter Parker. It takes some time, but you eventually get a handle of what’s going on. It’s just a little confusing if you thought this was an origin story. Miles is a normal kid with superpowers, just like Peter Parker was. It brings this grounded element that we don’t usually see in comics, he feels like a real kid, with a real family. His grades start dropping due to his superheroing, and his parents and grandmother are legitimately concerned. His friend Ganke tries to use Miles’ secret for his own gain. Something a kid would do [see Ned in Homecoming]. Keeping Miles’ friends and family involved in the story makes things feel believable.
Where the book starts to fall apart is the actual superhero stuff. We open the book with the Avengers fighting this villain named Blackheart, a superpowered foe from another dimension. Blackheart is destroying the Avengers, the art here is fantastic too. It ends with Miles showing up trying to help. He takes down Blackheart with some luck and Captain America’s shield, only for Peter to show up late to the party.
This was a great intro, and it was fun seeing the Avengers and the original Spider-Man make an appearance. Unfortunately, after that, it becomes a slog. The rest of the book focuses on Miles being tracked by Black Cat and Hammerhead, which was a waste of time. Or Golden Balls, a former X-Man, joining Miles’ school, or some random YouTuber making a big deal about Spider-Man being brown skinned. None of these things are particularly interesting. They all feel like B plots in another story, but nope, that’s the main story. I’m sure things pick up in volume 2, but I have to judge this book for what’s in volume 1.
Overall, Miles Morales vol 1 is a book full of potential. There are things that I love, but it’s not enough to overcome its shortcomings. It felt like it needed another rewrite. I’m sure the series finds its groove later on, but as of volume 1? It’s far from spectacular.