Graphic Novel Review: Spider-Man: Miles Morales: Civil War II

Spider-Man Miles Morales: Civil War II

Spider-Man Miles Morales: Civil War II - Credit: Archant

Is the young webslinger’s destiny to kill Captain America?

(Panini Books)

Just when we thought we’d seen the back of Civil War II, along comes another crossover title to prove otherwise. Fortunately because this book is penned by the same writer, Brian Michael Bendis, it’s heavily immersed in the events of that series, with major implications for Miles’ future.

Although I often have cause to criticise Bendis’ writing on other titles, he never fails to disappoint with the former “Ultimate” Spidey, perhaps because he’s been instrumental in shaping the career of Miles Morales from its inception, and therefore has a perfect grasp on his character and motivations.

The emergence of Ulysses, a new Inhuman capable of foretelling future events, has polarised the superhuman community, and when he receives an emergency call from Iron Man warning of an impending conflict, Miles is forced to consider the need to choose a side. The threat of profiling potential criminals has a personal implication for the mixed race teenager, as his own father has been unjustly arrested on several occasions in the past, and he finds it impossible not to draw comparisons.

Tensions escalate following the assassination of Bruce Banner, aka the Hulk, and when Ulysses has a vision of Miles killing Captain America on Capitol Hill he finds himself on the run from his former colleagues in the Avengers…

The strength of Bendis’ writing in this book is exactly what is frequently missing from his other series: the moments of humanity and mundanity found in between the explosive battles and dramatic revelations. He never forgets for a second that Morales is a teenage boy often out of his depth in a world of Asgardian gods, armoured geniuses, world-eating cosmic beings and mutants by the multitude.

Most Read

In many ways there are parallels to be found with the early years of that other wall-crawling hero, Peter Parker, as he juggled school, home-life and personal relationships with his costumed career as the Amazing Spider-Man. Miles has different challenges and problems, for sure, but at heart the concept is very similar.

Another strong instalment from the revitalised and adjectiveless Spidey book, which continues to stand out as Bendis’ best work.