Fans get a double-dose of Saladin Ahmed this week in Miles Morales: Spider-Man #33 and Amazing Spider-Man #81. In both, Miles has a central focus, but be sure to read Amazing Spider-Man first. In Miles Morales: Spider-Man, Miles realizes something he discovered in Amazing Spider-Man may connect to a villain from his past.
This issue opens with Miles and Ganke reading a cease and desist from Beyond Corp for using the name Spider-Man. It’s a way for Ahmed to catch us up on that drama as well as the fact that Peter Parker is not the main Spider-Man right now. You get just enough from what happened in Amazing Spider-Man #81 to carry the story forward on a bit of a reconnaissance mission. A device was found, but where will it lead? This opening is a bit long, especially if you’ve read Amazing Spider-Man #81 and already know what’s up, but it’s a refresher some readers might need.
Much of this issue involves Shift, Miles’s shape-changing clone who now lives in the sewers. He’s an emotional character but one who means well and follows Miles’s lead. They team up to figure out what is going on at the location a monster controlling device came from. From a character perspective, Ahmed does well to explore this new dynamic while also revealing how Shift may need a bit more watching over than Miles’s usual team-up partners.
This issue is filled with action drawn well by Michele Bandini. There’s a poster-worthy full-page splash of Shift and Miles clinging to a bus on their way to their mission location that’s to die for. Action is dynamic and MIles’s new costume looks great too. It’s functional and a bit like a ninja’s garb thanks to how the mask pulls up on the face. Shift looks super cool too, as he’s bulky and hugely muscular in the arms and neck.
Colors by Erick Arciniega give the scene a nice mood thanks to the colors in the sky and lights on the bus. The red in both Miles and Shift’s costumes look sharp and there’s good detail to great volume to the muscles in their arms and chest. The color adds a lot to the complicated nature of Miles’s ruffled sweater, and yet it never looks wrong or strange. Props must go to Arciniega and Bandini for the full-page splash that ends the book. The holographic effects and futuristic look stands out well.
As an extra, there’s a backup by Ahmed, Gustavo Duarte, and Cory Petit involving Shift. He may live in a sewer, but he’s gotta eat. He’s not very vocal, but happens by an Afghan kebab salesman who offers him a snack. The salesman is bullied by some racists, but soon they run away thanks to Shift. There’s a nice message in this story thanks to a story the salesman tells Shift which is wholesome and good. Shift may be brutish and large, but he’s clearly got good influences in his life.
If you like action, you’ll dig Miles Morales: Spider-Man #33, which uses Miles Morales and his new clone Shift well. The implications of what these two heroes find could be huge and the new dynamic set up between them is interesting and complex, making for good character-focused entertainment.
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