“Eventually…You’re going to have to tell your mother the truth about…you. And the longer you wait, the harder it’s going to be.”
Iron Man wants Spidey to choose sides as Jessica Jones stalks on!
WRITER: Brian Michael Bendis
ARTIST: Nico Leon
COLOR ARTIST: Marte Gracia
LETTERER: VC’s Cory Petit
COVER ARTISTS: Sara Pichelli & Jason Keith
TITLE PAGE DESIGN: Nicholas Russell
ASSOCIATE EDITOR: Devin Lewis
EDITOR: Nick Lowe
STORY: Fabio and Miles continue to get to know each other as Jessica Jones spies on. Jefferson and Rio discuss the situation they are in. Ganke, Miles, and Fabio bond over talking girls until Iron Man calls for Spidey. Miles and Tony discuss the future. Miles and Jefferson discuss Tony discussing the future and profiling. Rio pleads to Jessica Jones to drop the case.
THOUGHTS: The dreaded (by me) line wide crossover issue! With the logo and giant Iron Man and Captain Marvel heads on the cover, it’s hard to miss that this issue deals with Civil War II. Pichelli’s cover reflects the upcoming conflict and has Spidey stuck in the middle. We’re not off to a bad start!
Bendis opens with Fabio and Miles at a lunch table outside at their school. Right off that bat I noticed that Pichelli’s contribution stopped at the cover. Nico Leon is filling in and that is not a bad thing at all. I typically balk at these fill in issues, but I really like the style Leon brings to the table. At times I see influences from Pichelli, Bagley, and manga and I’d welcome his return to this title if the need arises.
Fabio reveals why he came out and he’s pretty much expressing how Bendis feels about people on Twitter who post nasty things whilst not using their actual names. Miles starts to talk about why he doesn’t like people knowing the color of his skin, but we don’t get to hear the conversation as the scene switches to Jessica Jones’ POV and she gets interrupted by the school’s principal, who shoos her off. She vows to call the cops, but I doubt that will amount to anything as Jessica’s car didn’t have a licence plate.
The story cuts to the Coffee Bean (established in 1962) where Jefferson and Rio are discussing Gloria’s actions. The scene further makes me feel that Gloria is a caricature used for plot device, but I liked seeing Rio and Jefferson talk and work things out, whilst at the same time seeing him squirm due to the secrets he’s keeping also.
Going back to Miles, Ganke, and Fabio, I appreciated seeing them getting used to their new dynamic as they discussed being placed in “the friend zone” and just going for it when it comes to asking someone out. Ganke again brings up his insecurity about being chubby and once again Miles doesn’t see it as he doesn’t see his friend that way. Miles takes a small shot over Ganke blurting things out and I like the honesty the characters have with each other. Miles is on the way to being cool with the faux pas, but he’s not quite there yet. Still, that doesn’t stop him from giving advice, even when he can’t take his own when it comes to asking Ms. Marvel out.
A call from Iron Man interrupts male bonding time and as anyone who has seen a movie or read a comic knows, Tony Stark comes first. Miles is still a little star struck when it comes to other big time super-heroes, even though he himself realizes he should be cool with it by now. The thing is, he’s still a kid and I appreciate that he still feels this way. He’s not as inexperienced as he used to be, but I seem to recall even Peter Parker feeling that way on occasion. As Miles swings through town for his rendezvous the art by Leon really reminded me of Bagley’s Ultimate Spidey.
I was surprised that Tony admitted he came to Miles for his perspective! Things must be really bad if he can’t figure out a solution by himself! Miles just wonders why they can’t just talk it out. Clearly, he doesn’t understand he’s in a Marvel comic and everyone needs to fight first before they can make up and be friends!
Now it’s Tony’s turn to get across what feels to be Bendis’ thoughts on profiling. It’s definitely a hot topic given current events and Miles has to ask if Iron Man uses the word profiling because he’s not white. Miles may be a kid, he may be still in awe of these older, more experienced Avengers, but he’s very smart and perceptive and I think he knows how Tony can operate. My experience with Bendis’ Tony Stark is that he is very much patterned off the Robert Downey, Jr. version and tries to charm his way into things. Whilst Miles doesn’t give him a definite answer, he says he will think about it.
One of the best parts of the issue for me was Miles telling all this to his father on the doorstep of their building. It’s refreshing for a hero to have a parent to talk things over with, particularly a Spidey. You can’t see Jefferson’s face, but I’d imagine he’s pleased that he and Miles are having this discussion as he points out that this is the first time Miles has come to him with a “super hero dilemma”. He also points out that Miles will have to tell his mom the truth, foreshadowing things to come?
It may be too little, too late for Miles to be honest with his mom as she visits Jessica Jones, in an attempt to get her to drop her investigation. Rio clearly cares about her son and how he’ll react when he finds out what his grandmother did, but Jessica won’t give in to Rio’s request. Jessica’s appearance doesn’t remind me of what I’ve seen her look like in Alias, but I wouldn’t say she resembles Krysten Ritter, either. She’s obviously not a good poker player as what should’ve been her parting expression causes Rio to cry from worry, ending this issue with a cliffhanger as Rio begs Jessica to tell her Miles’ secret.
Despite no action, this was an exceptionally good issue, focusing a lot on character interactions, both in and out of costume. For being a crossover, it didn’t interrupt Miles’ story all that much and Leon was a happy surprise on pencils. Here’s hoping this direction continues next time as the title once again deals with Civil War II!
MY GRADE: A
JAVI’S HUH?: The letters on Miles’ laptop screen are all backwards! Maybe THAT’S why his grades are falling!
What’s that goop Miles is pulling off the steps???