Comic Book Convo: Spider-Men II Review of Issues 1 & 2

    Peter Parker and Miles Morales team up once again in the long-awaited Spider-Men II mini-series. Written by Brian Michael Bendis, with beautiful artwork and colors by Sara Pichelli and Justin Ponsor respectively, the cover of issue one asks the question; Who is the new Miles Morales?   

    The first page shows the web-headed dynamic duo in a perilous situation.  Theyre ensnared in webbing; their signature comedic banter has now turned to bickering.  Morales, seemingly all too consumed with worry and concern for Peter Parker, his thoughts, his pointers, his health and his approval, hesitates at a critical moment, allowing their assailants to depart.  

    Parker is disappointed with himself for not following through with trying to convince Miles to give up the mantle of being Spider-Man. Miles is heartbroken.  

    We turn the page to see how this tumultuous scene came to be.   

    Parker appears to be in a whiny, complaining mood throughout much of issue #1.   As Parker easily dispatches a minor annoyance, Miles is at school trying to live the life of a normal kid.  But if weve learned anything from Peter Parkers school daze, being Spider-Man and being a normal high school kid are virtually impossible. 

    Just as Miles is getting up the guts to reach out to a young lady he’s had his eye on, a cosmic phenomenon reminiscent of the one that brought Miles to this reality five years ago occurs..  Both Morales and Parker, being very familiar with the situation, are simultaneously drawn to it.

    Parker immediately asks if Miles had anything to do with the portal, to which Morales says no.  Amid their investigation into the portal, Parker politely suggests that Miles go back to class. 

    A brand new, older and battle-scarred Miles Morales is revealed at the end of issue #1 but we still dont know who he is or where he came from. The first page of issue #2 reveals Spider-Man seemingly having a civilized conversation with one of the most dangerous men on Earth, but which Earth? Seemingly powered up, he easily thwarts young Miles, but Parker is still throwing hints at him to get back to class.   Miles believes he overhears Taskmaster refer to a person with his name before he was bested by the guile of the veteran combatant.  

    The issue ends where issue #1 began, with Miles in pursuit of a departing Learjet.  On the inside, Taskmaster is bragging about their escape. However, elder Mr. Morales is onboard the plane as well and he insists that Taskmaster return and dispatch both Peter Parker and the younger Miles immediately.

    In the first two issues, I feel really bad for Miles Morales, the young version.  Just five years ago he witnessed Peter Parker die at the hands of the Green Goblin of the Ultimate universe.  Now, here we are in the post-Incursion era on Earth 616, and Peter Parker is alive, but seems to be trying to do everything in his power to convince Morales not to be Spider-Man.   

    Fans of Spider-Man can attest to the fact that Peter Parker has taken more near-death lumps than just about every top-level superhero character you can think of.  Perhaps its this experience with being beaten up thats making Parker so overly protective, or perhaps its because Miles seems to make mistake after mistake, even in situations in which he had been forewarned by Peter.  

    I know all of this is happening for character building and a big chance at eventual reconciliation, but its still tough not to empathize with Miles. Especially considering that his entire universe doesnt exist anymore.  More details are sure to be revealed in issue #3, and I cant wait to see whats REALLY the deal with this older Miles Morales and why hes so anti-Spider-Man.