Spider-Man: Into The Spider-Verse hits theaters this week, and if you’re craving more Miles Morales after the film, Marvel Comics has you covered with Miles Morales: Spider-Man #1 written by Saladin Ahmed, with art by Javier Garron, and colors by David Curiel.
Ahmed has the tough task of introducing new readers to Miles Morales and building out a new series. The result is perfect for new readers, but very bogged down for established fans of the character. Instead of hitting the ground running with an action-packed story, Ahmed introduces the entire cast of Miles’ world before getting to the juicy parts of the story. The first part of the book almost feels like an agent of S.H.I.E.L.D. is giving Nick Fury a powerpoint presentation on Miles Morales, and it is very thorough.
What works in the first issue is Miles’ search for purpose. Every teenager in the world can relate. Also, the fact that Ahmed uses real-world issues helps to solidify that sense of being overwhelmed that high school kids feel. The problems of the world seem too big or outside your realm at that age.
When the story does get going, it is fast-paced and had me wanting more. Reading Miles Morales: Spider-Man #1 directly after seeing the film, there is a difference in tone when it comes to Miles. This is expected, but it will be interesting to see where Ahmed takes the character without repeating previous Spider-Man storylines.
Garron’s artwork is gorgeous and his version of the Rhino is magnificent. You can also tell that Garron pays attention to the little details in the Spider-Suit so that Miles doesn’t look like a clone of Peter Parker. There is more brow movement here than Peter has. Garron also doesn’t “phone it in” when it comes to clothing. Every piece of clothing looks like something you could buy in a store, and has a New York City flair to it. The panel layout gives the action a bit of extra movement. Garron also makes sure the Rhino doesn’t get mistaken for every other hulking big guy in the Marvel Comics Universe by they stance and the arm placement of the Rhino. Every character in Miles Morales: Spider-Man #1, no matter how small a part in the book, Garron makes sure they are unique and has personality.
Curiel’s color palette is the soundtrack of the issue. As the first issue covers a lot of ground the colors used in the books support Miles’ emotional ride. Corey Petit’s letters compliment the story and action. He’s been doing this for a while and he knows how to not cover up the action. The panel with the “WHOMP” is a clinic on ‘How to letter and add to the story.’ Spider-Man is all over the place so a letterer has to be agile with his or her decision making.
Overall, the first issue is a very beautiful but heavy-handed retread, but Ahmed gives the last third enough to compel me to want to read the second issue. Below is the most powerful line from the book. Let me know what you thought of the first issue, comment below.