Comics : Spider-Man (Vol. 2) #2
This review was first published on: 6 Sep 2016.
Miles Morales is still relatively new to the Spider-Man gig, so he’s having a little trouble balancing his heroic life with his regular life. To make things worse, he’s just had a major fight with Blackheart that has left Peter Parker none too pleased with him.
Spider-Man (Vol. 2) #2
May 2016 : SM Title
Much to Miles’ shock and awe, Peter Parker (as Spider-Man) has arrived at the scene of his battle with Blackheart. However, he isn’t there to congratulate Miles or praise him for a job well done. On the contrary, he’s incredibly displeased with the collateral damage that Miles has caused. Miles is a bit taken aback by this, as he remembers the conversation between himself and Peter where the latter seemed to give Miles his blessing. Seeing the destruction and mayhem that Miles has caused, Peter is having a few second thoughts about whether or not he really wants to risk having Miles’ mistakes blamed on him.
Before either of them can really speak further however, Blackheart rises and attacks once more. Miles manages to take him down with his cloaking and Venom-blasts, effectively rendering the demon unconscious. At that moment, Sam Wilson and Tony Stark manage to wake up and recover from their injuries, and they help Miles deal with a frightened police officer. Peter also steps in and praises Miles for his work, after which Miles swings away.
Miles returns to his dorm utterly shaken by what he has just experienced. Ganke tries to calm Miles down, but before either of them can really process what has just happened, they stumble upon a YouTube video. A young girl has released footage of Miles’ fight with Blackheart showing his torn costume and skin color. She is excited by the fact that Spider-Man is a person of color, but Miles is generally apathetic to her joy. Meanwhile, the Black Cat is across town watching a news broadcast about Miles, and she starts to have a few ideas about him.
Miles returns home to his parents house, only for his grandmother to be there ready to put him in his place.
This issue is a noticeable step-down from its predecessor. While it’s obviously working further towards establishing a world for Miles to operate in, it makes a few missteps along the way that I don’t think can be ignored.
For one, I really do not like the conversation that Peter has with Miles. I don't believe that Peter would really disapprove of Miles for as selfish of a reason as he doesn't want to be blamed for Miles' antics. It seems very out of character to me, and I think it comes completely out of nowhere. At the end of Secret Wars (2015) #9, it seems that Peter and Miles are very amicable, and it seems that Peter has given his blessing. However even though that is brought up here, Peter throws it out the window. I don't like that at all, and I think it does a disservice to the character. I am glad that Peter did come around a bit by the end, but I don't think it was an idea that ever should've been used in the first place.
I do like the Avengers seemingly giving Miles their thanks and blessings, but I am still not totally fond of the idea that he saved them from getting killed. Remember...these are the Avengers. They're not amateurs; they're Avengers. Miles is a kid. I think I've made my point.
I think Bendis works a few funny jokes and jabs into the story pretty well. There's a nice moment where Peter asks if the demon Miles fought was red, and he was glad it wasn't because he "[hates] the red one." That's a very obvious reference to One More Day, and he also slips in a jab at how people always say the power and responsibility line wrong. It's harmless fun.
The scene between Miles and Ganke towards the end of the issue is also very strong in my opinion. I really like how legitimately freaked out Miles is by his battle with Blackheart, and I think it’s an understandable reaction for someone like him to have. He’s never really been up against an enemy of that “weight-class” before, so it makes sense that he’s a bit shaken. The moment where Miles and Ganke see the YouTube video discussing Miles’ race is a nice way to incorporate current discussions into the book. If any comic is going to discuss race and diversity, this is an appropriate place.
Finally, I think that Pichelli, Carlucci, and Ponsor deliver gorgeous artwork for this issue once again. I am not very well-versed when it comes to critiquing artwork, so I apologize if I seem inarticulate.
This issue is a bit of a mixed bag for me. I think that there are some very strong points and some very weak points, but I don't think it's a particularly bad comic by any means. I don't think it's as strong as the debut issue, but it's not anything offensive.