Miles Morales’ anniversary issue dives into the realms of nostalgia but brings its own unique style and twists to the 90s plot that it’s paying homage to. Deeply engaging and energetic art hits the right notes to carry this dramatic and emotional storyline while making each of the action scenes stand out and feel as heavy as it should. A delightful and lighter backup story caps off the issue and showcases why Miles Morales is such a beloved character.
Just like every single other piece of entertainment that has continuously created new entries over the decades, there are quite a few things that one can mention that might cause division with Spider-Man fans. Those that made it through the ’90s might have varying degrees of reaction if the words ‘The Clone Saga’ are mentioned. The divisive storyline ran for almost two years straight, 1994 to 1996, and introduced the world to Ben Reilly/The Scarlet Spider who briefly replaced and was revealed to be a clone of Peter Parker.
Because nostalgia is a powerful tool and brand onto itself these days, Miles Morales is getting his own Clone Saga which kicks off in Miles Morales: Spider-Man #25. This is actually also the second time that Marvel has returned to that ’90s storyline as the original run of Ultimate Spider-Man had its own quite long ‘Clone Saga’ story.
In all honesty, when Marvel announced this event storyline it was one that was quite easy to mock and bemoan on Twitter. Yet, here we are with the first issue out and it actually was quite interesting. It avoids the trap that the original one had of it dragging out the “which one is the clone?” plot line, as Saladin Ahmed just dives right into putting Miles on the trail of his trio of clones.
There has been a whole lot that has gone down in the series over the previous 24 issues and with this storyline, Ahmed seems to be bringing some of the threads even closer together. Another thing that sets this apart is that unlike the original one where Ben and Peter were basically identical outside of Ben’s dyed hair and their experiences over the years, Miles’ clones are unique. Each has their own gimmick and unique look and powersets that are variations of Miles own abilities.
There have been some really good art teams over the months but having Carmen Carnero and David Curiel back on the last few issues and this one is really nice. There is great energy to their work and a more detailed realness to the depictions of each character that is always enjoyable. Especially for a story that is this detailed and calls for so many various action sequences and effects.
Curiel nails it with the colors that easily shift from bright to shadowed depending on the exact moment, most notably in a really trippy gas scene further into the issue. There is a really dramatic scene featuring Ganke and Miles that truly works because of the grounded and dramatic nature of the art. It has the weight and emotional impact that it should. It’s a typical teenage-type moment but it has major implications for Miles going forward.
Cory Petit does what he does best with the lettering, changing the sizes and styles of the lettering for the most impact in various scenes. Dropping in the SFX that hits but doesn’t intrude on everything else going on around the panels.
This first issue of the new ‘Clone Saga‘ leaves the impression that this event storyline potentially could be one of those cases where returning to past nostalgia can pay off.
Because this is the 25th issue in a run, it comes with a backup story from Cory Ziglar, Natacha Bustos, Rachelle Rosenberg and Petit what is quite fun. It’s a typical Spider-Man type story where Miles is trying to hurry to an event with friends and a villain arrives to spoil things. Miles getting some of his own silly villains has been a bit of a highlight of this series, and The Bumbler is a fun one even if it seems he’s just a one-off type ‘villain.’
The art is really fun and colorful and it’s just the perfect type of breather issue to follow up the more serious story that kicks off the issue. Miles, Judge, and Ganke just getting to be pals is always a good time.
Miles Morales: Spider-Man #25 is now on sale from Marvel Comics in print and digitally.