Miles faces off against…himself?!?! Twice?! Several plot threads come together in this issue, so how does it stack up?
Miles Morales comes face-to-face with…Miles Morales?! In the midst of Kamala’s Law going into effect, prohibiting underage heroes from…heroing, the villain known as Ultimatum (the Miles Morales of Earth-616) has put his plan into action. What does this mean for the other Miles and the rest of Brooklyn?
You’ve undoubtedly seen Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse so I don’t have to explain how multiple dimensions work. This is something that writer Saladin Ahmed has been building towards for some time in this book and it has some pretty exciting ramifications. What is most impressive is how Ahmed ties this together with the current Outlawed event, plus the regular stuff going on in Miles’ life, all in a seamless fashion.
The possible return of the Ultimate Universe has been hinted at not just in Miles Morales: Spider-Man, but in Venom as well, so I do wonder if we’re in for something big in the near future. In the meantime, we get a compelling story as Miles has to fight his way out of Ultimatum’s clutches alongside his uncle Aaron (aka Prowler). It’s a tense exchange, made even more so by the traumatic experiences we’ve already seen Miles go through in this place.
One of my favorite aspects of Miles Morales: Spider-Man #19 comes in the creepy nature of Miles’ adversary. I’m not talking about the Miles of this world, although he’s rather unsettling on his own. There’s a weird clone of sorts, designed to die off within a day or so. This thing looks and fights like Miles, but he looks deranged. Artists Carmen Carnero & Marcelo Ferreira drive home the frightening nature of this creation, to the point where it’s pushed past its limits and starts to crumble. Imagine seeing a vision of yourself fall to pieces.
I’m not sure which artist did which page as it’s not credited that way, however the artwork is pretty consistent throughout this comic. Inks from Carnero and JP Mayer give the pencils some great texture.
This comes to a head in a terrific action sequence and one powerful image in particular. Letterer Cory Petit amplifies this shot with some great sound effect work. You understand Miles’ strength, but internal and external, as well as the fragile nature of his opponent.
This issue takes place at night, so the color palette is a little more muted. Colorist David Curiel creates a cool atmosphere that’s interrupted by Miles and Prowler’s escape. It’s like an explosion of energy that lights up the page.
While the action and storytelling with Miles is great, my absolute favorite scene in this book comes with Captain America. The super soldier is called in by a local congresswoman to help out with C.R.A.D.L.E. overstepping its bounds and imprisoning kids in cages. It’s a great sequence because Cap uses his position to do what’s right, while also being humbled, however it’s also an incredibly relevant series of events. As a reminder, kids at the border are still kept in cages and this is a powerful parallel to what’s going on in the real world. Unfortunately, we don’t have someone like Captain America to come in and help.
It’s great to see how all these plot threads are coming together in Miles Morales: Spider-Man. It’s led to a high stakes showdown with a ton of potential and a whole lot of heart. This is the stand out Spider family book right now.