Everyone knows Spider-Man’s origin story, it’s a cult classic! Everyone also knows that Spider-man has a looooong history that contains a whole host of oddities and strange stories ranging from clones to vampires to multi-dimensional team-ups. Not to mention the whole host of spin off series based in other universes than our beloved Earth-616, most notably the tale of Ultimate Spider-Man and Miles Morales.
Spider-Men saw both Peter Parker of 616 and Miles Morales of the Ultimate universe teaming up to take down Mysterio in a buddy-cop style mash up. Featuring the classic Marvel humour and an interesting “world-collide” storyline it left readers with one question, just who is Miles Morales of 616? Peter returns to his home reality and hits Google to find out and we’re met with a single frame and the ominous “Oh my god.”, finally it’s time for answers and with Spider-Men II #1 we’re sure to get them!
Issue #1 opens with our two heroes tied together, hanging upside down from a crane and trying to pass the blame across each other. Miles saves them both by unleashing one of his unique special abilities in order to chase down a plane with a mysterious stranger aboard. The flight takes off and they get away leaving the two disappointed and Peter saying that Miles has no business being Spider-Man and that this should have never happened.
Then flashing back a week to Brooklyn in Miles’ home universe, he’s late for school and dealing with some typical high-school drama. Next we see Peter in HIS home universe dealing with some kind of Armadillo-man before being rudely interrupted by an oddly familiar looking inter-dimensional light-show, reuniting the two arachna-lads once again. The two make their way over just in time to be greeted by the infamous Taskmaster!
But that’s not the big reveal of the issue, that comes with the final panel and the reveal of 616’s Miles Morales! A scarred and scary looking fella who apparently has beef with The Taskmaster and some serious reasons to stay away from New York.
So, we finally have a face to the name for Miles Morales-616 and what an interesting one it is! Just how is these scarred and sinister looking man associated with Peter Parker? What was it that made Peter recoil in fear when he Googled the name? We still don’t know and we won’t know until Issue #2 at the earliest.
The panel shows Miles-616 talking about how he swore not to but has to finally return to New York, so now we’re left wondering what drove him away in the first place? Has he previously tangled with the wall crawler and that’s what gave him his scars? Although he seems to be walking around quite freely with some form of assistant waiting to greet him when he returns home.
As we kind of expected, we weren’t likely to receive any real answers from the first issue in the 5-issue arc. If anything we’re left with yet more questions, most of which are the same as when we were first teased with the question: “Who is the other Miles Morales?”.
The other important question that is undoubtedly related somehow is that of the Taskmaster; What is his role in all of this? How does he have access to the dimensional transfer technology that was destroyed during the fight with Mysterio? It’s possible that Mysterio has escaped within Miles’ home universe where he was incarcerated by S.H.I.E.L.D. at the end of the original Spider-Men arc. Then he returned to his home reality to employ Taskmaster to send through and wreak havoc.
We’re also left wondering just what lead Peter and Miles to be hanging up by their ankles on the flaming airfield and who is the mystery man on the jet that Pete seems so intent on catching, then so defeated and disappointed when he got away from them. Could it be the OTHER Miles? Or the Taskmaster without his suit? Questions and more questions yet to be answered!
Bendis, Pichelli and Ponsor’s touch are apparent throughout the issue and it’s great to see the old hands returning. The writing really captures both characters and shows how their relationship has developed since the original arc, subtly highlighting the differences between the two heroes while simultaneously making you aware of their similarities. Despite Miles’ wider range of skills, powers and abilities, Peter has years of experience wearing the webs to balance the scales. Even so both heroes remain the same snarky, spandex clad Spider-Men we’ve come to know and love.
I can’t wait to see what Issue #2 holds!
Seeya next time, True Believers.