SPIDER-MEN II #2
SPIDER-MEN II #2 from Marvel Comics reveals that the original Miles Morales from the 616 universe might not be such a nice guy after all. Written by the man who knows more about Miles Morales than anyone, Brian Michael Bendis, this second issue picks up with both Spider-men confronting Taskmaster at the site of the dimensional portal the brought them together in the first place. Taskmaster proves too much for them to handle in battle but he does let it slip that the man he is working for is none other than Miles Morales himself. This sends the younger Miles and Peter into a whirlwind of doubt while launching an investigation to get to the bottom of the mystery. Even with the assistance of Jessica Jones the two Spider-Dudes cannot find any trace of an older Mr. Morales in this universe. Regardless of what they can determine the scarred man behind the employ of Taskmaster is indeed Miles Morales and it is clear that he wants the younger Spider-man dead, at any cost.
I feel like I should like this book more than I do, but I don’t. I have read every single issue of Bendis’ Ultimate Spider-man and I loved the original Spider-men cross over but something is seriously missing in this second volume. We are two issues in and there are no stakes. Like this first installment this issue was 20 pages of wasted time and banter only to land our two protagonists in the exact same spot where they started in issue number one. All that being said there is still a solid story underneath all the fluff I just hope Bendis gets to it sooner than later, and the image of the cover for issue number three would indicate that he is. The idea of an malevolent Miles Morales that already existed in this world is a great vehicle for storytelling and I want to see it explored. Another good note about this issue is the excellent use of Taskmaster as a villain. He is ruthless and efficient and proves to be more than capable of taking out both Spider-men as they endlessly quip into oblivion.
As usual the art from Sara Pichelli is amazing and her young Miles Morales is still the best around. I love her redesign of Taskmaster and the fact that she makes him look dangerous and deadly as opposed to a guy badly sporting Skelletor cosplay. Despite my misgivings I still think this is a series people should be picking up for no other reason than to get to the end of the mystery and find out who this doppelganger is. Bendis has proven himself as a great storyteller so I have confidence that he has a trick up his sleeve to pull this one out of its slow start and deliver something that fans will talk about for years to come.