There’s A New Dynamic Duo In Town In Miles Morales: Spider-Man #2

by James Ferguson

Someone is using kids to rob places in Brooklyn and the unlikely duo of Miles Morales and…The Rhino are going to get to the bottom of this. They both have a personal stake in it as Miles’ friend’s brother is caught up in this, as is Rhino’s dead wife’s niece.

The dynamic between Miles and Rhino is equal parts hilarious and touching. They’re both a little uncomfortable in their own skin, trying to prove themselves as something other than what everyone else thinks. Despite living his own life, Miles will always be in the shadow of Peter Parker while Rhino will always be seen as a mindless brute.

Writer Saladin Ahmed creates some choice dialogue that highlights these ideas without beating you over the head with them. There’s also a generational difference between the two, with Miles focusing on more nuanced and technological methods while Rhino is ready to barge right in and get his hands dirty. The two of them make for this fun duo that I’d be happy to see teamed up for some time. They just kind of get each other in this unique way.

While they may seem to see eye-to-eye figuratively, they cannot literally do so. Artist Javier Garron highlights the size difference between the two and it’s staggering. Rhino towers over Miles. The kid is maybe the size of one of Rhino’s arms. There’s a great segment where they’re talking to each other and Rhino is so big he has to be broken up into two panels where Miles barely fits into one.

You kind of feel bad for Rhino at times as he’s just trying to do something good which seems to go against his public persona. His whole body is covered with this gruff rhino suit, but his face is exposed. He’s unshaven and looks a little worse for wear, like he’s down on his luck. This expression changes when he’s in battle, shifting from an uneasy tone to one of confidence.

Most of Miles Morales: Spider-Man #2 takes place at night with a lot of shadows at play. Adding to the dark tones are Rhino’s grey suit and Mile’s black and dark red costume. Despite these shades, colorist David Curiel lightens the mood with some nice effects, giving it the vibrant nature we expect from a Spider-Man comic. For example, Miles’ suit has a sheen to it, so it’s not pitch black. Instead, it’s a little shiny with the light bouncing off of it in such a way as to give it an almost metallic feel.

These touches soften some of the tone of the book, but don’t take away from the serious nature of the crimes Miles and Rhino are investigating. Using kids in this way is pretty messed up and it’s a difficult topic to tackle, but the creative team does it through the super hero lens that puts it in perspective. It will certainly have you thinking about some of the headlines we’ve seen in recent months.

The culprit behind these crimes is revealed and I won’t spoil it here. What I will say is that letterer Cory Petit adds to the evil tone of this character with some uniquely shaped word balloons and a different font. This gives the villain a gruffer tone when he appears on the page, adding to his deadly nature.

Miles Morales was already riding high with the starring role in the stellar Into the Spider-Verse movie. This comic adds to it, quickly making him one of my favorite characters in the Marvel Universe. It hits on all marks, with some great comedic moments, solid character development, amazing artwork, and a top notch story.

Miles Morales: Spider-Man #2 from Marvel Comics is currently available at your local comic shop and digitally through ComiXology and Amazon Kindle.

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