Miles Morales: The Ultimate Spider-Man #8

Background

Miles Morales/Spider-Man revealed his identity to his father during the events of Cataclysm. He hadn't seen him since then... until he arrives in her room the night after Miles defeated the Green Goblin!

Story Details

  Miles Morales: The Ultimate Spider-Man #8
Executive Producer: Alan Fine
Publisher: Dan Buckley
Chief Creative Officer: Joe Quesada
Production: Irene Y. Lee
Editor: Mark Paniccia
Assistant Editor: Emily Shaw
Writer: Brian Michael Bendis
Artist: David Marquez
Cover Art: David Marquez, Justin Ponsor
Lettering: VC's Cory Petit
Colorist: Justin Ponsor

25 years ago in Newark. Aaron Davis takes his brother Jefferson along to a meeting with Turk (a gangster who owes Aaron money) to look intimidating. The meeting quickly moves to another venue, under the order of Turk. Things quickly turn sour and Jefferson is left to defend himself again Turk's men! They fight, with Jefferson gaining control until the police show up and arrest him!

The following day, Jefferson's bail is posted and he walks out to be met by a younger Nick Fury! Fury tells him that he is going to be given a job offer by Turk. Jefferson doesn't believe him but Fury tells him he has to take the job... as he wants to recruit him for SHIELD!

Jefferson returns home to be yelled at by his disappointed mother. He leaves soon after and is met by Turk's men.

They take him back to Turk's club where he finds both Turk and Aaron. Turk was impressed with his skills last night and offers him a job working for him! Jefferson needs time to think...

Jefferson is met again by Fury who explains that he has to take the job. He has to immerse himself in a life of sickening crime. He has to be outstanding at it. He has to be so good at it that when the next guy comes along, Wilson Fisk (The Kingpin), he is going to work for him too. When working for Kingpin, Jefferson will then find out how he is endangering the whole world and how Fury can stop him!

Now: Jefferson asks Miles if he understands everything that he's said so far. Miles is ready for the story to continue so Jefferson asks him if he's man enough...!

General Comments

I wanted more character development and I;ve got it here. It is only one character, and a character that we've not seen in a long time and a character I don't have a great emotional investment in but character all the same!

Brian Michael Bendis chooses to fill-in Jefferson's back story here and weaves in some well-known character to bring a bit of gravitas to him as a character. Dropping in SHEILD and Kingpin are clever moves and make his instantly more interesting. How this plays out with Miles over the course of the next few issues is what will really interest me, but I suppose we need to know the whole story first. Saying that though, this isn't the story I feel I've been waiting for. Yes it has brewed since day one of our story with Miles, but it doesn't feel like such the mystery and crucial part of the puzzle that Bendis is setting this issue up as.

What the flashback allows David Marquez to do is to flex his stylistic muscles and boy do they flex! These pencils are not polished and as detailed as we usually expect but instead rely upon heavy, chalky inking and stippling along side blockier shapes and faces to portray both a slightly fuzzy memory and the darkness of the subject matter. There's a sense of aged style and underworld about these panels, particularly the ones that aren't overcomplicated. The double-page of the three landscape panels (depicting Jefferson's immersion into the criminal world) sum up what I mean: heavy, simple and effective beyond belief.

It's strange but even with this veering off to new territories, this title still has the problem that the writer's direction is only made palatable because of the artist's ability.

Overall Rating

A lot more character and amazing art.