Review: Becoming A Leader In ‘Miles Morales: Spider-Man’ #20

by James Ferguson


With his city in danger, Miles steps up big time. Fortunately, he’s got some friends helping him out.


Miles and his uncle Aaron are facing off against a horde of Goblinoids with the fate of Brooklyn hanging in the balance. Fortunately, they’ve got some help as Captain America, Starling, Bombshell, and Miles’ own father come in to lend a hand. Will that be enough to stop Ultimatum’s sinister plan?

Miles Morales: Spider-Man #20 consists almost entirely of one ever-increasing fight scene and it’s glorious. This battle flows though different parts of Brooklyn as Miles looks for a moment to catch his breath and figure out his next steps.

What really stands out in this issue is how Miles is thrust into a leadership role, first with his uncle and then with Captain America. This is his home and this is his enemy so he’s the one that gets to make the call. He doesn’t feel entirely up to that challenge though so first he has to fight back his own self doubt and fear to rise up. It’s pretty inspiring.

This culminates in a great action shot where you’d think a familiar Avengers catch phrase would be uttered. Instead, we get something for the modern age. Letterer Cory Petit delivers this in a fun manner, heightened by Captain America’s quiet remarks immediately afterward.

Writer Saladin Ahmed brings all that out in Miles in a number of key moments. I love how each character challenges the web-slinger along the way. For example, his uncle (aka The Prowler) points out that Miles has goals but not a plan. It pushes him to think differently and come up with a new way of tackling these foes.

The family dynamic is once again key to Miles Morales: Spider-Man. It does help that his dad is a former S.H.I.E.L.D. Agent so he knows his way around a laser cannon, but it’s more than that. Miles’ mother is supportive of this too. While she will always worry about the safety of her son, she knows that he has to do what’s right and what will keep all of their friends and neighbors in Brooklyn safe. It’s beautiful.

The Goblinoids are pretty creepy in appearance. Artist Marcelo Ferreira gives them an unsettling look that becomes almost suffocating in nature due to their sheer volume. It’s like a zombie apocalypse, only instead of the undead, it’s a horde of little green people. Ferreira is joined by Wayne Faucher on inks to give the Goblinoids a hideous rendering.

They all pale in comparison to the big Goblin though. He’s a monster through and through, delighting in the carnage he’s unleashing on this world. He towers over Miles in a way that really drives home how intimidating he is, yet our hero doesn’t miss a beat. He leaps into battle in an impressive series of attacks. Ferreira delivers some of the best work of this issue in this sequence, showing just how far Miles is willing to go to put a stop to this madness.

Although this issue takes place at night, there’s a further darkness over the entire story. Colorist David Curiel sets the tone well, creating a fiery sky that serves as a harbinger for the destruction unleashed by the Goblinoids.

So much of this series has built to this moment. This is the penultimate chapter of this story arc where the Miles Morales of each world come face to face in explosive fashion. (Ultimatum is Miles from Earth-616 in case you didn’t know.) I have to wonder what else this might mean for the Ultimate Universe and if glimmers of it may be returning. For now, we’ve got a knock-down, drag-out fight with the whole Morales family in the thick of it and I love every minute of it.

Miles Morales: Spider-Man #20 from Marvel Comics is currently available at your local comic shop and digitally through ComiXology and Amazon Kindle.

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