Marvel Action: Spider-Man Vol. 2 #1, written by Brandon Easton, illustrated by Fico Ossio, colored by Ronda Pattison, and lettered by Shawn Lee, is published by IDW Publishing in association with Marvel Publishing. After leaving behind their internship at the Daily Bugle, Peter Parker, Miles Morales, and Gwen Stacy continue to fight crime as Spider-Man, Spider-Man II, and Ghost-Spider respectively. They still must juggle superheroism with their studies, as Gwen and Miles prepare for an upcoming test while helping Peter battle the Shocker.
Fans of Spider-Man: Into The Spider-Verse will definitely enjoy this comic, as the dynamics between Peter, Miles, and Gwen are the driving force of the book. Easton manages to give each Spider-Person a specific role in the book; Peter is the leader and the most confident since he’s been Spider-Man for a while. Meanwhile, Miles is the unsure rookie and Gwen is the loose cannon. Easton also writes great dialogue between the trio as they bounce off of each other with rapid-fire quips and observations.
Perhaps the best example of the trio’s chemistry is a group text that occurs between them early in the issue, while Miles and Gwen are in class and Peter is working on fine-tuning his spider-tracers. Miles is worried he doesn’t know enough, while Gwen is busy texting Peter. Peter offers to help Miles with his coursework and apologizes for disturbing Gwen. It’s a neat way of making them feel like authentic teenagers and friends.
Ossio, who has drawn previous issues of Marvel Action: Spider-Man, returns for this issue and once again captures the essence of Spider-Man. Peter, Gwen, and Miles twist and leap through the air with acrobatic grace, swinging off buildings and avoiding the Shocker’s vibration blasts. Pattison uses color to great effect to showcase the differences between the characters. Peter dresses in red and blue in both his Spider-suit and civilian clothes, which tend to be colors associated with leader type heroes such as Superman and Captain America. This is fitting since he is the leader of the team. Miles wears mostly black with red, representing the shadows of doubt that are currently troubling him. Gwen wears white, black, and pink; a clash of colors that best represents her brash nature. Color can reflect mood and personality and Pattison uses that to her advantage.
If I had one issue with the book, it’s that it telegraphs the Shocker’s identity far too early in the book while trying to set him up as a mysterious villain. I understand that the book is for younger readers, but even they will be able to tell who he is by issue’s end which somewhat dampens the surprise. The issue also ends on a cliffhanger that makes it seems like one of the Spiders is in danger. Again, this feels less like a surprise and more like a way to keep the reader coming back next issue.
Marvel Action: Spider-Man Vol. 2 #1 has the feel of a great animated series, and will serve as a great jumping-on point for younger readers and fans of the Spider-Verse.
Marvel Action: Spider-Man Vol. 2 #1 is available wherever comics are sold and via Comixology using our affiliate link.
Rating: 4/5 Spider-tracers
Collier “CJ” Jennings is a freelance reporter and film critic living in Seattle. He uses his love of comics and film/TV to craft reviews and essays on genre projects. He is also a host on Into the Spider-Cast.