Review:’Miles Morales: Spider-Man,’ Issue #17

Reading Time: 3 minutes

Miles Morales: Spider-Man #17

Miles Morales: Spider-Man #17 is published by Marvel Comics, written by Saladin Ahmed, with art by Carmen Carnero, colors by David Curiel, and letters by Cory Petit. Following the events of Outlawed #1, teen superheroes have been ordered to not participate in crime-fighting without direct supervision. When Miles decides to go for a little swing around Brooklyn, he learns just how serious the government is about its newest law.

One of the things that I think has always drawn people to the Spider-Man character is the image of him being a man of the people. A street-level hero that makes time for the individual whose problem would generally not be noticed by the likes of the Avengers. Whether it be Peter, Gwen, or Miles, this has remained a staple of the character’s identity. In this issue, it is utilized to not only show the down to earth nature of Miles but as a great juxtaposition to what C.R.A.D.L.E. is so dead set on fighting.

Miles Morales: Spider-Man #17 opens with Miles taking a morning swing on his way to school. While enjoying some air time he happens across a kid who is crying. Upon talking to the youth he discovers the kid is being bullied about his clothes, which he designs himself. Miles takes the young man for a swing and records a short video with him calling out how awesome he is. This sets a heartwarming tone that is shortly crushed by unwelcome company.

After dropping the child off Miles runs into Dum Dum Dugan, who is leading a C.R.A.D.L.E. capture team. Wrapped in steel gray, these troops give off more the appearance of angry mercenaries than law enforcement. And their tactics of intimidation and anger only go to further highlight how far the mentality of these “keepers of the peace” is from the kindness we saw Miles displaying just a couple pages earlier.

This passive comparison of intent and actions really hits home. Ahmed’s approach to writing the characters in Miles Morales: Spider-Man #17  only reinforces this theme even further. Dugan speaks in short, clipped, no-nonsense terms. He addresses Miles like he is a criminal. Even if his words say that he’s there for his protection. Miles, however, even when faced with this coldness, retains a more authentic sense of concern. It is clear who is there out for the good of others.

Anyone who has followed my coverage of Captain Marvel isn’t going to be surprised by what I have to say about Carnero’s art in this issue. Carnero’s ability to highlight emotion in her panels is on full display here. Her wonderful lines further emphasize the shifting tone of the book. While I love how she handles the opening sequence, capturing the youngster’s sheer joy about getting to swing with a hero, her greatest moment here is her treatment of Dugan.

While Dugan states that he is there for Miles’s safety, and even implies an amount of regret in his words, these emotions never quite reach his eyes. He is there because he’s been given an order, and has had a target identified to him. Dugan’s coldness is chilling.

Miles Morales: Spider-Man #17’s art is further heightened by wonderful colorwork by Curiel. The light and shadows present here is really striking. It complements Carnero’s lines excellently.

The final touch on this issue is Petit’s letters. Every dialogue box and conversation bubble is handled wonderfully. The story flows in an easy to read fashion that never gets in the way of the art.

When all is said and done, the entire creative team on Miles Morales: Spider-Man #17 takes what could’ve been a fairly routine story and infuses it with enough emotion to make it something much more. This was my first time picking up a Miles Morales comic in a while, but if this is the quality I can expect in future issues it certainly won’t be my last.

Miles Morales: Spider-Man #17 is available June 10th wherever comics are sold.


Miles Morales: Spider-Man #17
4.5

TL;DR

When all is said and done, the entire creative team on Miles Morales: Spider-Man #17 takes what could’ve been a fairly routine story and infuses it with enough emotion to make it something much more. This was my first time picking up a Miles Morales comic in a while, but if this is the quality I can expect in future issues it certainly won’t be my last.