Marvel's Spider-Men series quickly made an impression on fans, but does the sequel live up those lofty expectations?
Spoilers incoming for Spider-Men II #1, so if you haven't read it yet you've been warned.
Two things are quickly apparent in the opening pages. No. 1 Brian Michael Bendis has a knack for handling Spider-Man and proves it time and time again throughout the issue. No. 2, it bears stating that Peter is at times a complete putz.
The opening pages illustrate an annoying habit Peter happens to have, in which every situation is somehow his fault or the result of some decision he didn't make. Everyone gets it Peter, more power more responsibility Zzzzzzzzz. While that self-deprecation is fine in humorous circumstances, it's a little overkill in others.
If there's a No. 3 here though, it's that Bendis is at home when writing Miles, and he shines all throughout this issue. Miles has all the charm of Peter without all the guilt weighing him down, and both Spider-Men play off each other immensely well.
It also helps that the book is genuinely funny, from Peter's lament of Armadillo themed villains to his unfortunately convoluted take on alternate dimensions.
On the art front, there's a certain magic when Bendis teams up with Sara Pichelli, and her pencils are a critical part of the book's success. She even managed to make the Armadillo intimidating (no small feat) and has an ability to make the supporting cast pop as much as the two main stars.
The major downside to this book is Parker's characterization. The self-deprecation and witticisms are classic Spider-Man, but Peter's soliloquy about his terrible life is a bit, well, unbelievable. Sure his life is always a bit chaotic, but he's still currently the head of a successful billion dollar company and is still considered an Avenger. Seriously, how bad can things really be?
Parker eccentricities aside, Spider-Men II #1 sets up what promises to be an entertaining adventure, and the last page manages to deliver a worthwhile hook for future issues. If you're a Spider-Man fan, you'll want to hop on board.
Rating 4 out of 5 Stars.
Spider-Men II #1 is written by Brian Michael Bendis with art by Sara Pichelli. The official description is listed below.
THIS IS IT, TRUE BELIEVERS! The moment five years in the making is finally here! The first time Peter Parker and Miles Morales met ended with a question — WHO IS THE MILES MORALES OF THE MARVEL UNIVERSE?! Now that the Miles you know and love is with Peter in the Marvel Universe, you're finally going to get that answer to who the OTHER Miles Morales is! And that's just the tip of the iceberg as Brian Michael Bendis and Sara Pichelli
Spider-Men II #1 is in stores today.