This week Miles Morales joins the Marvel Prime universe, and we check in on Magneto’s team of mutants in Uncanny X-Men!
Spider-Man #1 (Marvel Comics)
Finally, Miles Morales joins the main Marvel Universe. It’s a move that’s been on fans of the star of Ultimate Comics Spider-Man’s minds since he first made his debut, and now that Secret Wars is over, Brian Michael Bendis and Sara Pichelli are able to have Miles join the Avengers, Inhumans, and the OTHER Spider-Man in the all new all different Marvel Universe. While it doesn’t answer all of your questions, Spider-Man #1 still serves as an action-packed, if light, adventure for Marvel Prime’s newest hero.
Brian Michael Bendis’ script drops us right into the action, with Miles operating as Spider-Man in New York City for the past 8 months. He’s still attending the Brooklyn Boarding School, and his best pal Ganke survived the Battleworld Purge. Everything’s going okay for the new wall crawler, except when his mom gets his midterm grades and wants to know why his A’s and B’s are now D’s. And when a major explosion rocks the city, Miles to has to bail out of class and take on a new threat that’s taken out almost all of the Avengers…..
So yeah, there’s no explanation into how Miles fits into the new Marvel universe, or if he remembers anything about the Ultimate Universe. While that’s a little annoying, Bendis makes up for it with his characterization of Miles, which is as on-point as it always is. Miles’ struggles and worries are very reminiscent of the problems that plagued Peter Parker in both his regular series and the Ultimate one, but Bendis gives them a new modern spin. Amazingly, for the first time since early Ultimate Spider-Man Bendis is able to make Miles and Ganke sound like normal kids, and not like they’re written by an adult trying to sound like a teenager.
Also on-point is Sara Pichelli’s art. The long time Bendis collaborator is fantastic this issue, even with a slightly looser take on her usual style. Pichelli’s able to move from huge action set pieces to hilarious facial expression and sight gags with ease, and it makes the book flow wonderfully. Her talents continue to impress, and hopefully with this book she’ll become a superstar at Marvel.
While Spider-Man #1 won’t answer how Miles fits into the All New All Different Marvel Universe (or explain how two characters will both be called Spider-Man), it’s both a solid start and great continuation of the Miles Morales saga. Next issue brings us Miles and Peter teaming up, and will hopefully explain what (if anything) Miles remembers about his “home” universe. But for now, the fun is in seeing Bendis and Pichelli take this character in a bold new direction, and I can’t wait to see what they have planned for him.
Uncanny X-Men #3 (Marvel Comics)
The latest run on Uncanny X-Men reads a lot like a sequel to Cullen Bunn’s Magneto series, which was a very underrated look at the X-Men’s sometimes villain. However, even though Bunn is now writing the flagship Marvel Mutant book with some elements from the Master of Magnetism’s solo series, that doesn’t mean that new or lapsed X-fans will be lost reading this. In fact, the latest volume of Uncanny X-Men, featuring art by Greg Land, is a solid intro for fans of the darker side of the X-Men universe.
Issue three continues the overarching story of Magneto and his team trying to prevent a group of Mutant and Inhuman terrorists from hunting down mutant healers and executing them. This time, Magneto and Psylocke visit a healer right as they are attacked. Naturally, this leads to an awesome fight scene where Magneto is allowed to cut loose and unleash his full fury on his enemies.
While there isn’t as much time for Cullen Bunn to dive into Magneto’s mindset like in his solo series, Bunn’s still able to show that he’s got an awesome take on him. Now more than ever, Magneto is on a mission to eradicate any and all threats to his people, even when some of his methods are questioned by his own team. Bunn has great interplay between Magneto and Psylocke this issue, and it’s made even better by the fact that it plays out while Magneto is doing battle with their attackers.
Greg Land’s art is certainly divisive, but so far his work on this title has been very good. Land uses some pretty cool angles and penciling choices to depict Magneto’s powers. Of course, there are sill a few awkward moments here and there, but when put against some of Land’s other work, Uncanny X-Men stands as some of the best so far.
If you’re looking for a darker spin on the X-Men, or are a fan of older mutant series like Kyle Yost’s X-Force or Rick Remender’s Uncanny X-Force, then you should definitely give this new relaunch a try. While the main story has been a little slow going, there are plenty of great character moments to make up for it. Cullen Bunn has been on a hot streak lately writing “villainous” characters, and giving him a team of them has been a blast to read.