Written by: Brian Michael Bendis
Art by: Sara Pichelli
The day has finally arrived when Miles Morales makes his debut in the mainstream Marvel universe. It’s a moment that’s been long overdue, with the character’s popularity only growing since his 2011 debut, but his now finally been called up to the big leagues in a title set in the good ol’ 616. With Bendis and Pichelli also on board, there’s a sense of reunion to the new Spider-Man and a very familiar tone for fans who’ve stuck around. While not the best issue of the series, it offers a nice return for fans and a good jump on point for potential newcomers.
The comic opens with a glimpse at an upcoming disaster with a new villain at the centre, before cutting back to focus on Miles and the gang and their continuing social adventures in Brooklyn visions academy. The majority of the comic features a very old school Spidery style setting, with Miles trying to juggle the pressures of Spider-Man with the responsibilities of life. It’s nothing to extraordinary or new, but for people who have been following Miles’ story it’s fun to see how much he’s developed into the role of a traditional Spider-Man. He also looks noticeably older under Pichelli’s pencils, which is very cool to see as it shows how the character has grown and developed since his introduction. The supporting cast also get nicely reintroduced for newcomers and as a trip down memory lane for fans, although anyone who skipped out on Ultimate End but has been following Miles’ comics is sure to be a little confused.
What works less well is the main villain and confrontation at the end of the book. The superheroing is fun and shows how much Miles has become a competent hero, however the flashforward at the start of the book seems pretty pointless. The fight at the end plays out pretty much exactly the same as every other fight in the series, so feels a little anticlimactic after all the build-up. If the villain reappears that’d be a different story, but right now it just feels like hype without reason. The comic also still manages to be pretty slow pace, however that’s been pretty consistent with the series thus far as the character work has been the true highlight of the story, which takes a while to unfold.
What’s really the stand-out feature of the book however is the absolute gorgeous art of Sara Pichelli. Her style is exactly what comes to mind when I think of the Marvel Universe, and she makes absolutely everything look bombastic, cinematic and utterly dynamic. It’s got a little bit of a sketchier quality to it which absolutely works, and as stated Miles and the cast have got realistically older as the series has progressed. Her art has a lot of charm and personality, perfectly fitting the fun banter and hijinks of a Spider-Man comic. Her art is definitely worth the price of entry alone and I really hope she stays on the series as long as possible, there’s no better person to chart Miles adventures.
Overall, Spider-Man #1 is a comfortable return to a great series that fans should feel happy returning to. Miles’ playground has expanded tenfold with the Marvel Universe to run around in, so the sky’s the limit in terms of new stories. As long as the characters still maintain their charm, and Pichelli keeps spinning gold between the panels, Miles’ future is in safe hands.