“They’re going to kill him.”
Miles is missing.
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
ASSISTANT EDITOR: Allison Stock
ASSOCIATE EDITOR: Devin Lewis
EDITOR: Nick Lowe
STORY: After Ulysses had a vision of Spider-Man (Miles) holding the impaled body of Captain America (Steve Rogers) on the devastated steps of the Capitol in Civil War II #6, Miles went on the run. Nova and Ms. Marvel search for clues at Miles’ apartment, and run into Jefferson, letting him know what’s going on. Bombshell and Goldballs team up to do their own lookout. Ganke goes to MeTuber Danika Hart to see if she knows anything and she puts the word out. Jefferson goes to S.H.I.E.L.D. and Maria Hill is of no help. Everyone finds out simultaneously that Miles is in Washington, D.C., with Ganke believing everyone is going to kill Spidey.
THOUGHTS: Where to begin? It’s been two months since the last installment, presumably due to tying in with Civil War II and this issue felt like a placeholder, leaving me with a sense of, “I waited for this?” For starters, the cover by Pichelli has NOTHING to do with the contents inside. Not only does Miles NOT confront Venom, but Venom is not in it, period. Furthermore, Miles himself only appears in one panel that is not a flashback or recorded image. So, anyone hoping to see this Spidey face a version of the villain who killed his mom once upon an alternate earth is in for a big bag of disappointment.
David Marquez and Justin Ponsor actually open up the issue with a two page spread that was previously used as their interior art from Civil War II #6. It’s beautiful art and I was happy to see Marquez return to the character, albeit only for one image. His Miles looks like he’s grown quite a bit since he last depicted the character.
Handling the rest of the art chores once again was Nico Leon. I’m still not sure where Pichelli is at (other than covers), but Leon continues to be a good fit for this book. His cartoony style is fun, yet still manages to convey the appropriate emotions. For example, check out Ganke fraught with worry at the issue’s end or Jefferson’s frustration with Maria Hill.
If you love Bendis and his way with talking heads, you’ll be…mildly satisfied with this issue. It’s definitely not his talkiest entry into the annals of Comicbookdom, but there’s not a lot going on action wise either. I’m not sure how Bombshell and Goldballs came to be partnered up, but it’s probably the most awkward exchange in the book, and that’s counting Ganke checking out Danika.
Speaking of, Ganke going to Danika was an interesting choice. Not only does it reflect his desperation to find Miles, but also depicts his caution in trying to preserve some confidentiality after blowing Miles’ secret to Goldballs. I’m not sure Ganke pulls off incognito as well as he hopes, but he does his best. Danika keeps trying to get any clues she can out of him and to his credit, he holds fast. I wonder if Danika is going to reverse-stalk Ganke when this is over to find out either more about him or get closer to Miles.
The best part of the issue was at the end, when all the characters realized where Miles was. Bendis has Leon cut between the different cast members, with the scene returning to Ganke and Danika in-between reveals. It helped give a sense of tension in an otherwise blase book. Sure, everyone is WORRIED about Miles, but they just sit around and discuss it. Seeing their searches all culminate at once finally gave the issue the sense of urgency it needed.
Again, urgency is what this book sorely needed, be it in the story itself, or in the publication. It certainly didn’t have it based on its shipping schedule. There was nothing about this title that would’ve spoiled the next chapter of Civil War II, due this coming Wednesday. We certainly get no insight into why Miles would go to the scene of the possible future crime, either. It just felt like filler, nice to look at filler, but it was still just spinning plates all the same. Thankfully, we have only one more issue tying into Civil War II and then we can start to put this long, dragged out mess behind us. This wasn’t a horrible comic, but it didn’t exactly move things forward or fulfill the promise of excitement on the cover. It was just…there.
MY GRADE: C
JAVI’S HUH?: Do all the S.H.I.E.L.D. agents just have to sit in the dark whilst Jefferson talks to the hologram Maria Hill?