How Could This Kid’s Life Get Any More Stressful In Miles Morales: Spider-Man #14?

by James Ferguson

The stress of Miles’ dual lives is starting to get to him. He’s balancing helping his parents out at home with his new baby sister with academic probation at school, not to mention tracking down Ultimatum and this new Goblin drug he’s been trafficking through Brooklyn. Needless to say, his hands are full and all of this is coming to a head at once.

All of these aspects of Miles’ life have been bubbling up separately and in Miles Morales: Spider-Man #14, they all come together in a big way. Writer Saladin Ahmed has paced this very well, turning all these disparate threads into an awesome bow. I wasn’t expecting how they would intersect so it came as a nice surprise to see them connect like this.
It’s clear that Ahmed has a lot planned out for this series, dropping pieces here and there to build towards a larger plot. He even covers off on smaller items that bothered me in the past, like how Miles ran out of web fluid and seemingly couldn’t contact Peter Parker to get a new batch in an emergency. That’s addressed with a quick throwaway line and it ties up a loose end at the same time.

Since we know the identity of Ultimatum and the Ultimate Green Goblin, there’s a good amount of tension in Miles Morales: Spider-Man #14. We’re just waiting for a big reveal and Ahmed keeps us on our toes, wondering how and when the truth will come out. Just in case there wasn’t enough excitement in this book, we have that percolating in the background. Something the thugs say to Miles in the early pages of this issue stands out to me too. Their entire demeanor changes when they realize that Wilson Fisk’s cops will be coming to pick them up. It implies they’ll be back on the streets by the next day which opens up the idea of further corruption for the former Kingpin.
The artwork in Miles Morales: Spider-Man #14 is rather uneven because it’s split between three different artists. Ray-Anthony Height, Ze Carlos, and Belen Ortega all contributed work to this issue. Fortunately, they worked on separate scenes so it’s less of a jarring experience, although their styles are different enough that there’s an initial adjustment when a switch is made.

Of the three, Carlos is a stand out with some top notch detail work. These pages take place at the school with Miles out of costume. I would love to see more of Carlos’ work for the action-packed scenes, but these are great because of how expressive his characters are. There are subtle moments, like when Miles and his best friend Ganke catch up for the first time in days that just warm your heart. Contrast this with the look of terror Miles has when he realizes he’s lost a very valuable item.
Colorist David Curiel creates some consistency throughout the issue, handling the colors throughout the whole thing. I particularly like the night time scenes when Miles stalks the thugs dealing Goblin in a cemetery. When Miles goes invisible, he takes on a ghost-like appearance, which is rather fitting given the setting. It even plays into how he confronts these bad guys. Letterer Cory Petit adds a nice, spooky touch in Miles’ big move, furthering the paranormal comparison.

There are countless troubles in Miles’ life and more are added in this issue. This book finishes with a huge cliffhanger that could be game-changing. As stressful as his life is now, it could be even worse very soon. Miles Morales: Spider-Man juggles the action and adventure of super heroes with the struggles of normal high school life in the present day. It’s a solid book through and through.
Miles Morales: Spider-Man #14 from Marvel Comics is currently available at your local comic shop and digitally through ComiXology and Amazon Kindle.

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