Comics : Spider-Man (Vol. 2) #8

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This review was first published on: 18 Sep 2016.

Background...

Miles has been called to meet Tony Stark at the Triskelion, but he’s been intercepted by Jessica Jones and Luke Cage. Jones was recently tasked with following Miles as a private investigator, and she’s learned a bit about him.

In Detail...

Spider-Man (Vol. 2) #8
Nov 2016 : SM Title
Writer:  Brian Michael Bendis
Artist:  Nico Leon
Cover Art:  Sara Pichelli and Jason Keith
Lettering:  VC's Cory Petit
Colorist:  Marte Gracia
Executive Producer:  Alan Fine
Publisher:  Dan Buckley
Chief Creative Officer:  Joe Quesada
Editor In Chief:  Axel Alonso
Editor:  Nick Lowe
Associate Editor:  Devin Lewis
Assistant Editor:  Allison Stock
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Issue
Review

Miles is shocked to see Jessica Jones and Luke Cage standing in front of him, but he is even more shocked when Jessica calls him by his real name. Miles tries to deny his secret identity, but Jessica is having nothing of it. Jessica and Luke state that they are there as a “professional courtesy,” and Miles expresses his discomfort regarding their sudden appearance. Jessica admits that she was hired to follow him around, and she tells Miles how quickly she learned of his dual identity. Miles inquires as to who asked her to investigate him, but Jessica forces Miles to keep quiet about this meeting before admitting anything. Miles agrees, and Jessica reveals that Miles’ grandmother hired her. Miles is understandably angry at this, but Jessica and Luke reassure him that they are only looking out for him. They instruct him to try and take better care of his secret, and Miles swings away a little bit more at ease .

When Miles arrives at the Triskelion, he finds that he is one of many heroes that has been called to assemble. Stark and Carol Danvers brief everyone on the mission they are asking everyone to volunteer for, detailing the situation with Dr. Banner and the Hulk. Miles agrees to go along with confidence that everything will be fine, but he is proven wrong when Dr. Banner is subsequently impaled with one of Hawkeye’s arrows (See Civil War II #3). After witnessing this, Miles decides to side with Stark, along with his friends Nova (Sam Alexander) and Ms. Marvel (Kamala Khan). On the jet home, Tony Stark is consoled by Steve Rogers over Banner’s demise, and all are left shaken by what they have just witnessed.

In General...

I find this issue to be very similar to its predecessor in terms of quality. It’s not a terrible comic by any means, and it has its genuinely strong moments, but it takes a noticeable hit by having to fulfill tie-in obligations.

Starting off on a bright note, I really love the conversation between Jessica, Luke, and Miles that takes up the first half of the issue. Jessica's method of dealing with Miles and his family drama is absolutely in-character for her, as is Miles' reaction for him respectively. It's a nice way to bring some progression to Miles' personal stories, and it's also a good way for him to interact with other members of the superhuman community. Seeing Miles and Jessica, two polar opposite characters, play off of each other is a fun time because they have an interesting dynamic. My favorite moment is when Jessica refuses to go along with Miles denying his identity. My only criticism of this scene is that it feels like Luke Cage has a little too much humor, but that could be just me. I'm not very familiar with his comic counterpart.

Just as a little bit of a side note, I love the moment when Miles uses Nova as a way to water-ski. I don't know why, but the image of them doing that just makes me laugh very hard.

Conversely to the positive remarks I have given above, the second half of this issue is problematic for me. That is mainly because it becomes a completely different book. It no longer feels like a Miles Morales title, and it feels like an issue of Civil War II. It's not that what is written here is necessarily bad, but it's just out of place. This belongs in the main event title, not in the Miles Morales book. Heck, you could even put it in the Iron Man book, because Bendis also happens to be writing that. Why did he stick this big emotional moment here instead of somewhere else? Miles lost the spotlight for the entire ending of the book, and it's just odd.

Lastly, Leon and Gracia deliver high-quality artwork once again.

Overall Rating...

This is yet another very mixed issue. The first half is very strong with the Jessica/Luke/Miles interaction and plot progression, while the second half belongs in another title altogether. I'd say that the two just about cancel each other out, giving this a pretty solid "middle of the road" mark.