Writer: Saladin Ahmed / Artist: Javier Garrón / Marvel Comics
One of the biggest differences between Miles Morales and Peter Parker is how their family dynamic works, which is something that writer Saladin Ahmed has highlighted over the past few issues and understands very well. While Peter’s family grew over the course of his time as Spider-Man, with friends and lovers like Harry Osborn and Mary Jane respectively, Miles hadn’t really suffered any major losses. This is mostly due to the fact that the deaths of his uncle and mother where retconned back into existence because you know, comic books. Ahmed makes great use of that family and shows just how crucial they are to Miles’ storytelling.
We take a break from Miles’ seemingly unending torture and testing and find out that he’s been missing for three days. For any parent, dealing with a missing child is a horrifying experience and the mind starts to wander into all the terrible things that could have happened to them. It certainly doesn’t help if your son is a superhero who constantly throws himself into danger. It’s tough seeing Rio and Jefferson scramble and panic at all of the possibilities. The emotion in the opening pages is real and you can feel just how scared they are for Miles’ safety and the desperation at trying to figure out what to do.
That’s where Uncle Aaron comes into the picture with a solution. While I’ve always been on the fence about Uncle Aaron’s return from the dead, Ahmed’s handle on the character is pretty damn good, showing us that there are still plenty of stories to be told with the character. His addition to this storyline is welcomed as it shows that despite how complicated and strained the relationship between Rio, Jefferson, and Aaron is, they can all agree on how much they love and will protect Miles.
The family team-up of sorts leads to the rescue of Miles, and a great chance for Saladin to play with the more colorful past of Jefferson and Aaron. There is a greater exploration of that relationship as the two work together to save Miles. We see the brothers sort of comprise, make sacrifices, and push aside their differences to get the job done. Plus, we get to see Uncle Aaron back in his true form, which makes for some great action and art by Javier Garron as we get to the rescue of Miles.
Overall, Miles Morales: Spider-Man #9 is another great example that Saladin Ahmed knows what he is doing with the character. My only pet peeve with this issue is that no one thought to reach out to Peter Parker about helping find his missing protege. I guess it was a family matter. Either way, there are still more questions left that need to be answered and I’m sure some wild things headed our way.
9.5 Brother’s Keepers out of 10
Reading Miles Morales: Spider-Man? Find BNP’s other reviews of the series here.
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Wow, thanks for sharing that page from the comic. The dialogue is so powerful. I love that Ahmed didn’t shy away from raising the issue of police racial bias against black men. Hopefully comics like this help raise the consciousness of white readers to the realities of white supremacy.