We’ve known for quite some time that Miles Morales would be spinning his webs in the Prime Marvel Universe after the events of Secret Wars and the destruction of the Ultimate Universe. In fact, Miles has been swinging around his new universe for a while now, having made appearances in other books, namely All-New All-Different Avengers for the past 3 months.
Which brings us to today’s release of Spider-Man #1. Marvel has been staggering their new releases post Secret Wars for many reasons. One, though they will downplay it as much as possible, the lengthy delays of Secret Wars itself. Two, they wanted to spread their new number ones out so that they weren’t clobbering each other ala DC’s New 52 (and it looks like their upcoming
Reboot Rebirth project.) But third, and maybe most inportantly for this book, they wanted to get the band back together. What I mean by that is Spider-Man #1 sees the reunion of Miles creators Brian Michael Bendis and Sara Pichelli.
As for the issue itself, I found it a bit uneven. If you are a fan of Miles you will likely be happy with it, but several aspects of it came off a bit strange to me. I’ll dive into them more after the cut as things will get a bit spoilery.
There is no indication but I am going to assume that this story picks up approximately 8 months after the conclusion of Secret Wars, like the other relaunched books in the Prime Marvel Universe.
A large portion of the beginning of the story has Miles dealing with the fallout that being Spider-Man is having on his personal life. He misses a date with a hot girl that he had begged repeatedly to go out with him. His mom, dad and teachers are all on his case about his failing grades. All very typical Spider-Man type stuff that we’ve been seeing since the early days of Stan Lee writing about Peter Parker.
Sara Pichelli’s art is strong but there was one thing that scratched at my brain. This could very much be artistic license, but right from the get go, Miles and his friend Ganke look much older than they usually do. They have aged since Miles and Ganke first appeared, I get that. And I’m sure I changed a lot from when I was 13 to when I was in high school. It just seemed that had grown up too much.
And speaking of Ganke, he’s obviously managed to make his way to the PMU as well. We already knew from the finale of Ultimate End that Miles mother is alive and well after being killed by Venom in the Ultimate Universe. And she’s not shown, but it appears that the Ultimate version of Miles’ Ulimates teammate Boomshell has crossed over as well. Does the original 616 Boobshell still exist? What/who else have made their way over from the Ultimate Universe?
The Spidey part of the story finds Miles going toe to to with Mephisto’s son Blackheart. He has already taken out the Avengers (and She-Hulk), so it is up to the new resident Spider-Man to defeat him. Battle ensues, I’ll let you read about the rest.
As the issue ends we have Miles standing over a destroyed New York neighborhood and a lot of unconscious Avengers. Before he even has a chance to think, the Amazing Spider-Man shows up with his awful green glowing spider emblem. He gives Miles a stern, “What did you do?!”
It’s not that surprising for Peter Parker to show up in a “handing the baton” type of situation, but I did find it to be an odd creative choice to even bother here. For one, Miles has been Spider-Man since 2011. He has had adventures in the 1610, 616, Battleworld and Prime Marvel Universes, with and without Peter at his side. Do we really need a “baton passing” moment? It just feels kind of forced. I also found it unnecessary from the stand point that if any book needed an Amazing Spider-Man guest appearance to potentially boost sales, it wasn’t this one.
Also, Miles has been a part of the PMU for at least 8 months, as mentioned above. In fact, with the blurred history of the PMU, Miles has probably been around a lot longer than that. While it is unclear how much of his pre-Secret Wars life he remembers, it’s pretty obvious that he has a backstory in the PMU that goes back, probably to his birth. This is the kind of stuff that would make your ears bleed if you think too much about it and Tom would tell you not to. The point I was trying to make though is that if Miles has been around for an extended period of time, even if it is only the 8 months, it kind of seems odd for Peter to show up as the disappointed father figure. If it was Miles first day on the job or something, fine.
In the end, these were minor…I wouldn’t even call them annoyances, but just things that made me go “Hmmmm?”
Also, remember Spider-Men? It was a 2012 mini-series that featured the first cross-dimensional meeting of 616 Peter and Miles. There is apparently a long rumored sequel in the works…but does that even make sense now that they both reside in the PMU? As we see in this issue, if we want a story featuring both Spider-Men, just have them both show up in one of their own books. Maybe Bendis will morph the greenlit sequel into a Spider-Man storyline, or maybe we never hear of it again. The biggest draw of the book was having these Spider-Men from different universes in the one place…which can happen all the time now.
There was one big question though that came out of Spider-Men that has yet to be addressed. When Peter returned to the 616 he Googled “Miles Morales” and was shocked by what he found. What that was has never been revealed. And maybe becomes the stuff of legend. This melding of the 616 with select parts (i.e. whatever Bendis needs) of the Ultimate Universe makes you wonder if there would be two Miles Morales kicking around. Our hero Miles, and whatever it was that Peter discovered. That just seems way too much trouble to even get into. But, these are comics and complicated things that invalidate continuity and make no sense are common occurrences.