The Wonder Years: Spider-Man - Miles Morales Volume 2
Spider-Man: Miles Morales Volume 2
Release Date: April 11, 2017
Writer: Brian Michael Bendis
Artists: Nico Leon, Sarah Pichelli
Collects: Spider-Man: Miles Morales #6 - 11
Released in mid-spring of this year, Spider-Man: Miles Morales is the ongoing that maps Miles Morales' mythology into the 616, maintstream, Marvel Universe, following he events of Secret Wars / Battleworld. It is our first (as far as I know) opportunity to see Miles interact with the regular running heroes of the MU on a continuing basis. And it's a pretty wonderful thing to see. If you are not a Bendis fan, and there are some out there, he has a feel for this character that he created that is like no other. And I am not sure that we will ever see someone else write this character. Miles has a charm that is decidedly ethnically diverse, and yet full of boyish wonder and amazement at the world he has come to make his mark on. Of particular note in these issues, we get to see Miles courted by Tony Stark, bullied by Carol Danvers, and interact with all tons of his similarly-aged friends. This new generation of heroes, most of whom were teamed together in Marvel's Champions ongoing, Miles, Nova, and Ms. Marvel in particular, are a nice fresh coat of paint on a Marvel Universe that has definitely become accustomed to wearing the same old hat over and over again. Miles' story, like many others of the younger generation of heroes, centers on the notion that they are involved in Civil War II and other MU events, but their idealism and spirit are not sullied by some of the less savory choices that other heroes, heroes that they have looked up to, make.
One of the best issues in this collection is issue #11, where, at the end of issue #10, we start seeing Miles' father, Jefferson, being recruited back into SHIELD. We get to see a sharply rich expression of Jefferson's love for his son, and how far he is willing to go to protect him, even though the son is forging a cleaner legacy than where his father began. Even though Miles is, technically, the more powerful and significant of the pair in the Marvel universe. Still, it's great getting to see this new character, a father to a super-hero, interacting with the likes of Dum Dum Dugan and Maria Hill. In fact, it's just nice seeing these SHIELD agents in a Marvel setting where their actions are not supposedly the pendulum on which the entire survival of the MU hinges.
Spider-Man: Miles Morales is a wonderful collection full of the kind of stuff that made many of us get into comics in the first place. After the dark, weighty days of 2016, it is representative of a sliver of Golden Age resurgence in the Marvel Universe. One of the few mainstream trades I have read this year, I definitely went into it with trepidation at an impending disappointment, as many Marvel comics of late have left me bereft of that feeling of amazement that I used to get when reading one of their creations. But Miles Morales is not the norm of the Marvel Universe. This trade represents the recent age of Marvel at its best, and is a shining beacon of what it can be. At my age, I am getting a little dissociated from the teen-oriented drama in some cases, but Bendis does a good job of not beating you over the head with that stuff. Feel free to not carry a jacket on this one; the weather is just fine.