Writer: Brian Michael Bendis / Artist: Sara Pichelli / Marvel Comics
While this arc began in a promising fashion (and still could be in its final issue), Spider-Men II issue number 4 stalls out, becoming a rehash of the first issue. While we knew that this issue basically served as the catch-up issue to where the series began, the retread is heavy. Very few story insights move this book beyond the very first panels that show the motivation for grown-up, evil Miles.
The profound and elaborate last issue that explored the friendship between Wilson Fisk and evil (maybe wrong place, wrong time) Miles did a lot of set-up work for our villains. That rarely feels capitalized on in this issue. The conservation that gives Miles the idea for all of this is somewhat out of place and weird in its timing. However, it’s still not the most middling conversation of the issue, as Peter and Miles have a moment while tracking Taskmaster that doesn’t result in much. While Miles having an existential crisis regarding his place in the multiverse makes a lot of sense, Peter’s attempt at comfort falls flat.
It’s not that the issue is bad, it’s just that nothing really happens. Almost at all. Everything in this issue could’ve been accomplished with an extra page or two in the previous three issues.
What does shine in this issue is Pichelli’s art, which should come as no surprise. While she’s always great in the many different set-pieces of the book, the character work and conversational panels really shine. She does well to build that atmosphere and tone of Miles going through it in addition to the weirdness of what Misunderstood Miles wants.
This wasn’t a bad issue, just not much happened to move the story that couldn’t have been done in another way. Some cool possibilities were left on the table or at least punted for the conclusion. We’ll see if things tie up nicely in last issue or if the slow movement of this issue will benefit the story’s ending.
Reading Spider-Men II? Find BNP’s other reviews of the series here.