An Un-Calibrated Centrifuge

My dad once said to me, "You give a lot of books three stars." I do.

Ultimate Comics Spider-Man Vol 1

Ultimate Comics Spider-Man, Vol.1 - Brian Michael Bendis, Sara Pichelli

I read this for one of my summer classes. We had to read and annotate 10 comics/graphic novels. Here's the annotation I wrote for that class:

 

Miles Morales is just a normal, New York kid worried about getting into a charter school and trying to navigate his family drama. That is until he gets bitten by a genetically modified spider and suddenly gains superpowers. Though he is reluctant at first, Miles eventually embraces his superpowers and becomes the new Spider-Man.

 

Ultimate Comics: Spider-Man strikes a great balance. It contains many nods, references, and parallels to Spider-Man lore that are likely to satisfy long time readers, and its self-contained arc of Miles gaining and embracing his powers also makes it an ideal starting place for readers new to Marvel comics. This is a book that can be both fantastic—here’s a kid who gains superpowers from a spider bite—and realistic—that same kid has no idea what to do with his powers and knocks himself out on his third outing. 

 

Throughout the story, groundwork is being laid for future issues. The most obvious threads are Miles’s family’s criminal history, balancing school and superhero duties, and Miles’s invitation to work with SHIELD and the Ultimates. Hopefully future issues also delve into Miles’s race and ethnicity. Nothing much is made of them in this first volume, but there is plenty to be explored there.

 

Spider-Man is a classic hero. There should be room in any good graphic novel collection for all iterations of the character, but if there were room for only one, Miles Morales would be a great choice.