Monday, September 25, 2017

Spider-Men II #3 Review - Marvel Monday

Spider-Men II #3

Writer: Brian Michael Bendis
Art Team: Sara Pichelli, Elisabetta D’Amico, Justin Ponsor
Marvel Comics
Release Date: September 25, 2017
Cover Price: $3.99

To say Spider-Men 2 is heading nowhere fast after two issues would be a supreme understatement.  This has been one of the most disappointing, hyped books, of the year so far and that's saying something for Marvel’s output of late. Now the art is decent and the writing quality isn't Spectacular Spider-Man level bad, but that's also not saying much.  Anyway let's see if issue three picks up a little bit of steam the series has been lacking, and changes at least my mind going forward, into reconsidering buying the trade version, if things improve.  

The issue starts with a flashback of a younger version of ‘Kingpin” being hauled off to jail and experiencing the general highlights, one may or may not have the pleasure of, at the start of prison life. During mess hall, Kingpin starts catching shit, from some dude named ‘Small Hands’, for the crime family he reps.  Small Hands ends up paying dearly for being a douchebag, as the Kingpin literally bites the dude's nose clean off, for starting trouble.  

After Kingpin serves a little time away from everyone for what he's done he is introduced, through a few connections that came through, to his new roomie, the 616 Miles Morales pre-scars.  Long story short, Kingpin is now protecting Miles for the debts he’s currently paying doing hard time, until they both get outside.  Kingpin tells Miles to stay by his side and hang tight, more strings are pulled and manipulated, and somebody will have them out ASAP. During this introduction Miles offers Kingpin money Small Hands paid him to kill Kingpin, but KP tells him to keep it, he respects Miles straightforward honesty.   

One day, prior to getting out, Kingpin is alone in the prison showers, where nothing good ever happens, when he gets snuck up upon by Small Hands, who taken Mutant Growth Hormone to gain temporary abilities, and attempts to kill Kingpin. Miles steps in, stabbing Small Hands from behind, who in turn slash's Miles across the face. Small Hands is snuck up again from behind and is killed by a naked Kingpin, while busy with Miles. Hell of a way to go for Small Hands but we discover he's ultimately responsible for 616 Miles’ scars.

Years later, outside jail, we see as Miles first meets a girl who he likes and begins to build a life with. This transitions to another scene, some time later, of Miles as he works together with Kingpin to take over the various crime families of New York, anyone getting a ScarFace vibe yet? Then finally, we see Miles and Kingpin as they discuss Miles getting away from the life of crime and jobs wanting to just disappear of the map, and just be a ‘family man’.  Kingpin agrees to this proposition, after all they’ve been through, and even offers up the services of someone who can make Miles disappear as the issues concludes. Obviously hinting this is the reason Peter Parker’s Starkle search turned up literally ‘nothing’.  

Overall this was a decent one shot issue that provided a little insight into who the 616 Miles is, and what he has done to get to where he currently is in this story, however as an overall story being told Spider-Men 2 still has a lot to do to turn me into a fan, or make me feel this was ever necessary to begin with.  The Miles reveals and backstory may have been a more effective overall after issue 1, but in the middle of this story it feels oddly placed, and Ive yet to be hooked by this book and its story after three issues ... three issues into a five issue mini series.  Bendis doesn't do much here or in previous issues to intrigue the reader to keep buying this comic which makes it hard to recommend to anyone remotely curious.

The art is decent, but I've seen the group of Sara Pichelli, Elisabetta D’Amico, Justin Ponsor do better work on Miles Morales books before in his main title, which fails to make this mini series or ‘event’ title feel special even a little.

Bits and Pieces

Spider-Men 2 #3 continues to tread water and is still looking for a purpose as a whole three issues into a five issues mini series.  This idea for this title feel strangely rushed, and five years too late all at the same time, this is nothing I'd recommended even to the most loyal Spider-Man fans.


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