Comics : Spider-Man (Vol. 2) #5

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This review was first published on: 11 Sep 2016.

Background...

After having his identity and trust betrayed by Ganke, Miles swings away as Spider-Man to vent his rage. Little did he know that he would end up being ambushed and captured by Hammerhead.

In Detail...

Spider-Man (Vol. 2) #5
Aug 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

Ganke hears a knock on the door of his dorm, only to open it and see Fabio Medina (Goldballs) standing outside. Fabio asks if Ganke was serious about him becoming Miles and Ganke’s roommate, to which Ganke immediately gives an excited response. The two of them discuss what happened between them and Miles in the cafeteria, and Ganke admits that he was wrong in his actions. He states that he is a major fan of Fabio’s, and he wanted to give Miles a friend to whom he could relate. At that moment, Ganke gets a notification from YouTube, alerting him to a new video featuring Miles. Fabio and Ganke watch as they see footage of Miles unconscious on the sidewalk (after the end of the last issue), but they are interrupted when Miles’ mother calls Ganke looking for him. Unable to get an answer from him, Miles’ mother hangs up in anger, prompting Miles’ grandmother to hire Jessica Jones as a private investigator to follow him.

Meanwhile, Hammerhead and Black Cat have Miles unmasked and restrained at their hideout. Black Cat explains that she feels a sense of disdain for him, but Hammerhead implies that she is just projecting her feelings about the “old Spider-Man” onto Miles. Black Cat has a henchman run Miles’ prints, but nothing comes up, causing her to realize that Miles is connected to S.H.I.E.L.D. She orders that Miles be disposed of and that they all immediately move out, but Miles manages to activate a large scale Venom-Blast and break his restraints. He is able to reach his mask and take down Hammerhead, but Black Cat makes a quick escape. When Miles follows her, she gives him a speech about how he doesn’t know what he’s really doing, and she escapes before he can take her down.

Later that night, Miles’ father (Jefferson) is seen talking to Maria Hill. She agrees to help protect Miles, but Jefferson is forced to return as an agent for S.H.I.E.L.D. Miles meets back up with Ganke and Fabio at their school, and Ganke attempts to apologize for his earlier wrongdoings. As they attempt to forgive each other, Jessica Jones is seen in the distance photographing the conversation.

In General...

This issue delivers a major upswing in quality compared to its predecessor. While there are still some loose ends that need tieing up, I think that this comic definitely marks a step in the right direction for getting this series back on track. The characterization is a lot more on-point, and the story itself is actually very fun and entertaining.

Picking up where we left off last time, I am glad to see the comic addressing Ganke's behavior during the last issue. While it doesn't completely wipe away all of the problems that I had with it, Miles and Ganke seem to work toward moving past the incident by the end of the book, so hopefully this will put an end to the out of character BS from Ganke. He tries to explain that he was just nervous around Fabio, and he was trying to find Miles a friend that he could talk to about superheroic topics, but even still it just doesn't come off right to me. It seems to still be too weird of a move for Ganke to make. It’s going to take time and some thorough character-work, but I have faith that Bendis can help put this all in the past.

I really enjoy the scene with Miles' mother and grandma. Not only does it continue the entertaining sub-plot of Miles' grandma thinking he's on drugs, but her hiring a private investigator is absolutely hilarious. Not only that, but I love that it's Jessica Jones that she contacts. Hopefully this can lead to a bit of interaction between Jessica and Miles, as I think that could be thoroughly entertaining.

Moving into the larger superheroic side of the story, I have to say...I kind of enjoyed the Black Cat/Hammerhead plot in this issue. It sucks that Felicia is being portrayed like she has been for the past several years, but on some level Bendis actually makes it work. He attempts to give Felicia a moral center in this book, and she does realize that her dislike of Miles come from her petty hatred for Peter, and she doesn't actually have anything personal against him. On top of that, her dialogue and interactions with Hammerhead are much more suited to the character and how she usually has been portrayed over her history, so she feels a lot more like normal Felicia. I love the speech that she gives Miles as she escapes, and I think it's a perfect example of Bendis using the character's style to work at making her sound normal. I think the scene with Miles breaking away from Black Cat and Hammerhead is pretty well done, and it's a nice fun action sequence to sort of end this story arc.

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

Overall Rating...

This issue is definitely a return to form for this book after its disappointing predecessor. While some of the last issue's problems do still linger a bit, they are very much outweighed by the solid writing and artwork that can be seen throughout the rest of the comic.