Spider-Man #18 Review

Writer: Brian Michael Bendis / Artist: Oscar Bazadula / Marvel Comics

I must admit, this is the most I’ve enjoyed this book, possibly since the opening arc. Through some questionable personality beats and some storylines that didn’t pan out the way we would hope, Miles going dark and being at his wit’s end feels appropriate and poignant right now. While the superhero showing their dark side isn’t particularly unique, the path there for Miles seems to be. The events of Civil War, the stress of trying to find his dad during the Spider-Gwen crossover and ultimately the crushing blow that was his mother finding out his secret and having such a crippling reaction to it adequately set the stage for Miles to lose some perspective. And control. That bubbles over this issue as Miles tests that, but finds that there ain’t no half measures when you go Sith Spidey and has to learn the hard way.

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There’s also a pretty good (mostly) showing from the supporting cast this time. Especially Fabio and Miles’ mother, Rio. Bendis delivers some great dialogue for Mama Morales, offering a firm and wise counter to all of Miles doubts and concerns. This felt more impactful of an interaction to me than the reveal as it held a balance that felt more in-line with the character.

What worked and didn’t was Bombshell in this issue. I like her. I want to like her more, but she doesn’t always feel balanced in her exuberance and nonchalant, ok-whatever attitude in this issue. Still, she is involved in some heartfelt moments that made this issue standout as one of the better narratives in a while, even if it didn’t completely stick the landing.

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Bazadula is pretty damn good in this issue. I’ve thoroughly enjoyed his pencils on Spider-Man thus far as he maintains a versatility between the quiet moments and the action. And there is some great action in this issue. I imagine that Bazadula completely side-eyed Bendis when they got to Goldballs’ arrival and fight, but he still pulls it off tremendously.

Spider-Man turns in a pretty good issue with some real minor gripes. It is nice to see that Miles maturation as a person and hero isn’t a straight line as he struggles with anger and the extent of his powers. Hopefully, we see more of this quality consistently throughout this arc.

9.1 No Jokes, All Chaser out of 10

Reading Spider-Man? Find BNP’s other reviews of the series here.

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