by Saladin Ahmed(Author), Carmen Carnero(Illustrator),
Natacha Bustos(Illustrator), David Curiel(Color Artist),
Cory Petit(Letterer), Cody Ziglar, Rachelle Rosenberg (Color Artist)
My rating: 3/3.5 of 5 stars
For me as a reader of comics, as a long-time fan of Spider-Man and someone who has enjoyed the Miles Morales character pretty much from when he came blazing onto the scene, this entire by Saladin Ahmed has been an absolute blast and I’ve enjoyed it at most every step.
That is until we got to this set of issues.
To allay any misunderstanding, this is not to say that the story is a bad one – in fact, the very nature of it being just a few issues long and with a clearly defined start and finish already puts it miles ahead of its namesake Spidey-story. The original gave us some major fan favourite things like Ben Reilly and all, but the spider-franchise and cloning have often been highly divisive and rarely (if ever) been high-points and that seems to be a continuing trend with this arc.
Overall the writing is brisk and tight and we even get another cameo from Peter Parker in the story, but overall its all about Miles and this time HE is the cloned one.
The saving grace to a small extent is that the story when it hits is in its own way a more plausible path and hearkens back to the early arc of this series – which was for me also one of the best and more grueling Miles stories I’ve ever read, wherein the horrific new A.I called The Assessor, hands down one of the most creepy and macabre-ly interesting villains in a while. It makes sense that an A.I whose purpose is to test their subjects limits and to push the boundaries would have taken the samples collected from Miles and grown more as backups to do even more varied (and vile) tests on just to see what happens.
So the premise was a one that I rate higher. But I did feel it lost something by coming back quite so fast. I mean it’s not even 10 issues between the capture of Miles by Assessor and this explosion on the scene of his dopple-gangers.
The art however, continues to be a major winner with the team having a real feel for the source material and for the Spider-action – I particularly enjoyed the designs and visual representations of the clones themselves, it was nicely handled.
The short run-time also does have the negative side effect of being one that is unable to develop any but one of the clones and with the way the story ends, it is kind of… deflated…? I can’t think of a better word but that seems to hit what I’m aiming for here.
It’s like a short and intense story that felt oddly out of placed and perhaps a tad premature. The art saves the day and there is a nice touch for Miles in the aftermath but overall it was a mediocre story that is unlikely to be memorable or a major touchstone at all for Miles except for the connection to Assessor who I anticipate being a good villain in the future of the 616 universe.
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