Comics : Spider-Man (Vol. 2) #3

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This review was first published on: 7 Sep 2016.

Background...

Due to his responsibilities as Spider-Man, Miles has been forced to allow his academics to fall to the wayside. That decision is about to come to haunt him, as his grandmother has a few things to say about it.

In Detail...

Spider-Man (Vol. 2) #3
Jun 2016 : SM Title
Writer:  Brian Michael Bendis
Artist:  Sara Pichelli
Inker:  Gaetano Carlucci
Cover Art:  Sara Pichelli and Justin Ponsor
Lettering:  VC's Cory Petit
Colorist:  Justin Ponsor
Executive Producer:  Alan Fine
Publisher:  Dan Buckley
Chief Creative Officer:  Joe Quesada
Editor In Chief:  Axel Alonso
Editor:  Nick Lowe
Associate Editor:  Devin Lewis
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Review

Miles returns home only to find his parents and grandmother waiting to meet him. His grandmother is incredibly displeased with the fact Miles’ grades have been slipping, and she states that she is there to “straighten [him] out.” Miles attempts to convince his grandmother that everything is fine, but she is having nothing of it. She asks Miles if he desires to end up like his Uncle Aaron, which greatly upsets Miles’ father. She also decides that Miles does not deserve to keep his cell-phone any longer, which sends Miles into a panic given that it’s how he communicates with the Avengers.

Miles goes to his bedroom and angrily thinks about how his life has taken a hit due to his heroic career. He considers just letting his family know his secret, but he becomes scared of their reactions. Meanwhile, Miles’ grandma and parents argue over the grandmother’s assertion that Miles is on drugs. At that point a young girl from Miles’ school knocks on the door to see him, only to be scared away by his grandmother.

As Miles lies on his bed depressed, Ms. Marvel (Kamala Khan) appears at his window, and he allows her to enter. She explains that they were supposed to go on patrol together, but Miles explains his current situation. At that moment, Miles’ grandmother comes in, having heard the sound of talking, but Ms. Marvel manages to escape before she is seen. Miles’ grandma asserts that she loves him and is only doing this for his own good.

Meanwhile, the Black Cat meets up with Hammerhead to discuss teaming up against Miles. He is hesitant at first, but she eventually convinces him to see things her way. The next day at school, Miles and Ganke discover that Fabio Medina, otherwise known as Goldballs, will be joining their class.

In General...

After a fairly disappointing turn-out last issue, I find this particular comic to be a very strong return to form for this series. It deals with a lot of great character drama, but it also helps to delve into the problems that Miles has not just as a superhero, but as a teenage superhero.

To start, it’s worth noting that this issue has absolutely no Spidey-action whatsoever, and most of it is taken up by Miles getting yelled at by his grandmother. Is that a problem for me? In all honesty, it's actually the reason why I think it's absolutely wonderful. First of all, I have seen "parental figures" like that in real life, and let me just say that they make me even more appreciative of my own grandmother and how kind and sweet she is. Second of all, I find her multiple assertions that Miles is on drugs to be hilarious, but I also find it to be a bit unnerving due to its semi-realism. Again, I have friends with family members who are almost exactly this way, and it's something that I can definitely imagine them saying.

I also like the Ms. Marvel scene for the added conflict it brings to the situation between Miles and his Grandma. It's a classic trope for this type of situation to have Miles be visited by someone, only to have his grandmother hear him talking and coming knocking at the door. Plus, I just enjoy the friendship between him and Kamala. I think they have a generally good dynamic, and I think they really work well together personality-wise. I’m not going to say that I am a “shipper” of them as a couple, but if they were to start that kind of relationship, I do think it could be interesting.

The Black Cat scene at the end does not bother me one bit, and I will say that I honestly don't know why that is. I genuinely don't like what Black Cat is doing right now, but for some reason she just felt more..."on" in this issue. I guess she feels a bit more in-character, and maybe that's because of the lack of over-the-top villain dialogue. She isn't as openly diabolical in this issue, so maybe that's why I don't dislike it as much.

Lastly, Pichelli, Carlucci, and Ponsor deliver high-quality artwork once again.

Overall Rating...

I really like this issue, and I think it is an absolutely brilliantly-told story. It is very simple, but at the same time very effective in doing its job. It makes you feel a bit of sympathy for Miles, and it also has plenty of humorous moments.