Celebrating Ten Years In Style: Reviewing ‘Miles Morales: Spider-Man’ #30

by Scott Redmond

Overview

It’s a big-time anniversary for the web-swinging hero that has hopped dimensions and mediums, brought to life for a handful of amazing creators who showcase their love for the character and world across every single page. It’s a Miles Morales world and we are wonderfully allowed to be living within it.

Overall
9/10
9/10

They say time flies when you’re having fun, and it most certainly has regarding Miles Morales as the character has now officially existed in comic books for ten years. Therefore, it was only right that Miles Morales: Spider-Man #30 feature several stories to celebrate this milestone for the fan-favorite character who has risen through the comic book ranks to a hit movie to a very popular video game series.

There is a lot of discourse in comics about how the change to longer arc stories and bigger action/blockbuster stories can at times leave out some of the smaller moments or issues that used to be quite common in the medium. Miles Morales’ title has turned to those smaller more characters/world-focused issues at times and does so again for this anniversary issue.

The regular creative team of Saladin Ahmed, Carmen Carnero, Erick Arciniega, and Cory Petit kick it all off with a very fun story of basically a day in the life of Spider-Man.

Ahmed has shown through the run to have a very solid voice and direction for Miles, and we see that continue here as events from all the events of this series continue to have little impacts on the present day and how far Miles has come. The continued use of the journal as a framing device is still a great touch, and the burgeoning romance of Miles and Starling and their trying to make it work around their superhero lives has that good typical Spider-Man essence to it. These smaller character moments are what helps us connect with a character like Miles and allows them to continue to have life a decade or decades after their debut.

To be honest, I wasn’t certain about the new costume when we saw it debut in the previous issue. Miles costume has become quite iconic, and while heroes shift costumes all the time the iconic classics generally are that for a reason. Seeing it in action in this issue with Carnero and Arciniega going to work, I am quickly coming around on the costume.

While it’s very different than what we’ve had, there is definitely some flare and different energy to it and it fits Miles personality in the book currently in a lot of ways and actually helps him stand a bit more apart from the other Spider-Man. In the action panels, the parts of the costume that one would expect to move and flow with the actions do so perfectly.

The first page with him swinging in the costume, and the city being upside down from our point of view, really set the tone for the issue story and just looks pretty darn great. The altered shape and style of panels just enhances the compact nature of the action and the overall scenes, allowing for some fun bits like a hunt for a dog in a part of the neighborhood.

Petit makes those aforementioned journal captain framing devices work, giving them that old paper feel to them. Also doing great work with the dialogue for the various characters and dropping in some eye-catching fun SFX along the way. We get a heart dialogue bubble and some fun SFX from a self-sniff test (we’ve all been there before), that’s some good stuff.

Alongside this main story, which sets stuff up for the next issue, we get a piece that teams up the Spider-Man: Into the Spiderverse team of Phil Lord, Christopher Miller, and Kemp Powers with writer Jeff Loveness Miles co-creator and artist Sara Pichelli, colorist Rachelle Rosenberg, and Petit. While it never states this fact, the story seems to be about a Miles similar to the animated film who comes from a world where Spider-Man (the Peter Parker version) was a celebrity. I say this because the issue is about Miles discussing why being a hero is great while showcasing his time hosting SNL and throwing out first pitches and other celebrity-like things.

It’s a fun story that ends on a high note about how the small things such as inspiring people to do the right things are what makes being a hero great. There are some great references, and the writers are clearly having fun in this mostly light-hearted tale, especially on a page with a lot of hot dog vendors and a callback to a famous line from the first Sony-era Spider-Man film.

This is brought to beautiful life by Pichelli, still doing one of the best renditions of Miles Morales, and Rosenberg. Their work on the pages of Miles in action is great in all aspects, but the pages where they perfectly capture social media page looks was top notch. Those pages looked like they could be lifted screenshots of any given day on social media.

Wrapping up the issue is a small story set in a potential future from Cody Ziglar (who will be working on the new run of Amazing Spider-Man alongside Ahmed and others), Anthony Piper, and Petit. Here we get a much older Miles, who still drops a lot of the slang and speech from when he was younger (a very nice touch, in reference to most of us as we age) as he tries to talk down some youths making a poor choice. Having Miles drop the wisdom imparted on him to another brings the character into the full circle kind of arc, and it’s nice.

Piper has a really detailed and fun/unique style to his artwork and coloring. The panels are very dark befitting of the story’s nighttime setting with some flashes of brighter colors here or there. While there is a serious tone to things, there is an energy to the overall arc that brings the aforementioned fun vibe. It’s a style that is very fitting for a Spider-Man book and would be really great to see more of it.

Petit just nails it across these two backup stories just like the main story, doing little small things that make the dialogue bubbles and captions fit the tone of each story and the same with the SFX. Just a master of his craft.

Miles Morales: Spider-Man #30 is now on sale in print and digitally from Marvel Comics.

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