Comics : Spider-Man (Vol. 2) #11

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This review was first published on: 1 Jan 2017.

Background...

Miles’ father, Jefferson, has been working as a S.H.I.E.L.D. agent to help protect his son. It’s been quiet so far, but things have a way of getting complicated.

In Detail...

Spider-Man (Vol. 2) #11
Feb 2017 : SM Title
Writer:  Brian Michael Bendis
Artist:  Sara Pichelli
Inker:  Gaetano Carlucci
Cover Art:  Sara Pichelli and Jason Keith
Lettering:  VC's Cory Petit
Colorist:  Marte Gracia
Executive Producer:  Alan Fine
Publisher:  Dan Buckley
Chief Creative Officer:  Joe Quesada
Editor In Chief:  Axel Alonso
Editor:  Nick Lowe
Associate Editor:  Devin Lewis
Assistant Editor:  Allison Stock
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Issue
Review

Jefferson receives a phone call in the middle of the night. His wife asks him who was on the other end, but Jefferson insists that it was nothing. The call was really to summon him to a meeting with Dum Dum Dugan, which he goes to the next day. Dugan explains the mission that has been lined up: a drug deal. Jefferson is to sell Terrigen to an undercover S.H.I.E.L.D. agent, who will then pass it off to the true “target”. Jefferson eventually meets with the “target” directly, who turns out to be the Black Cat.

Black Cat leads Jefferson to a back-room where she is holding Miles hostage. She reveals her knowledge of Jefferson’s status and Miles’ identity, and she threatens Miles’ life if Jefferson refuses her demands. Jefferson takes down a few of the Black Cat’s men, but she does not drop her threats. After Jefferson refuses once more and takes down the rest of her men, Black Cat finally drops the act. She reveals herself to actually be Maria Hill in disguise, and the rest of the men are S.H.I.E.L.D. agents. Dugan and Hill praise Jefferson for his good work, and they mention that it was all a test to prepare him for his actual mission.

Meanwhile, as Miles swings about, he receives a call from his mother asking if he’s seen his father. His mother mentions that Jefferson never came home the night before, and she is deeply concerned for his safety.

In General...

I will admit that this was not how I originally envisioned this issue to be. I thought that after the long stretch of Civil War II tie-ins that we would have a book focused on Miles and his life after the fact. That’s not to say that this issue is necessarily bad. It’s actually got quite a few strengths that make it a pretty enjoyable read. It’s just not what I expected.

The main goal of this issue is clearly to do some solid character building for Jefferson, and I think that was accomplished beautifully. We see how he handles his life as both a civilian and a S.H.I.E.L.D. agent. We understand that he hates keeping secrets from his family, and we can see the hesitation and genuine disdain he has for his job. However, we also see his commitment to his family, because he knows that he’s doing the job to protect his son, so he stays and trudges through the hardship. We get a glimpse of what kind of man he truly is, and it’s a really inspiring story. It almost feels a bit like a stand-alone piece, but it’s obviously leading to something larger.

I will admit to being fooled by the Black Cat/Maria Hill scenario. Upon re-reading the issue, I really should have noticed that the Miles’ decoy tied to the chair was much too tall to be the real deal. It was definitely a twist for me when it turned out to be just another test, but it was still a really fun scene despite its lack of authenticity.

Lastly, Pichelli, Carlucci, and Gracia deliver very high quality artwork for this issue.

Overall Rating...

There’s not really much to say about this issue. It’s a fun character-building issue that sets up some interesting stories for down the road. It makes me respect Jefferson more as a character, so that is probably the issue’s biggest achievement.