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Miles Morales: Spider-Man #1
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Starting Over
December 14th, 2018

First things first, Bendis is out. We knew there was going to be a shift in the character and a bit of a reset button with a new team, especially considering the movie debuting the same week as this #1. I have read essentially every issue of Miles' solo adventures all the way back to his first appearance in Ultimate Fallout #4. He is, in my mind, the closest thing to a creator-owned character within the MU. Bendis has authored Ultimate Spider-Man since the beginning, but all good things must come to an end. And honestly, it's probably for the best to hand the reigns over after so long.

That being said, I was a bit disappointed in this issue. It's not that I wanted to pick up exactly where Bendis left off and punishing new readers for not knowing his 100~ issue history. But Miles has had an incredibly interesting journey because of one aspect in his character that almost no other Marvel hero has: genuine growth over time.

Miles' perspective on being Spider-Man and a superhero in general developed a lot over time as he grew up. He started eager and hesitant to put himself out there, much like the new film. Then he grew in his skills with some help from other heroes and became confident in his place in the Ultimate Universe. After years of being a hero, he faced tragedy and confusion and started questioning his own motives for being a hero, particularly at the end of Bendis' run. He was on the edge of throwing his costume out. He was developing anger issues and scaring himself, and feeling a little too close to his father's and uncle's criminal past.

This inner torment, questioning himself, and continually growing in his maturity on his perspective on what it means to be a hero is what made Miles so special and so close to Peter's roots. No longer naive, he began to try to learn how to be a hero more than just better fighting. Learning how to endure life under the mask.

Unfortunately, this book hits the reset button a little too hard. We know it's a fresh start, but Miles is back to being fresh and excited about superheroing. His character growth is all but ignored as he falls back into a teenager all to excited to be a hero at all. We have some similar characters and some new faces, and I'm confident some interesting plots will develop. But force-fitting him into another teen trope and social issues on the verge of bubbling out of this story, it feels like we may lose a lot about the heart of who Miles is.

It's a fun read. If you're new to Miles, you might love it. I'm certainly sticking around because this is just the beginning. I'm still eager to see where this new creative team takes Miles. There's a lot of potential in this book, and from my perspective, this is one of the biggest hands-offs creatively Marvel has had in a very long time. Let's just hope they can start their fresh take without losing the Miles Bendis has so carefully shaped him to be.

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