Miles Morales: Spider-Man #26 pushes its title character and the entire series to the limits with a dramatic, emotional, and brutal storyline bolstered by gorgeous detailed, and dynamic art. Room is left to develop every single character alongside the main story beats, giving us one of the best Peter Parker and Miles Morales moments in recent memory. A truly engaging issue that continues to shrug off the usual traps that come when skirting close to any piece of nostalgia.
Quite often in life, it’s easy to say that one’s worst enemy can end up being themselves. Luckily for most though they don’t have to contend with three very different, more powerful, and very angry cloned versions of themselves. That’s the reality Miles Morales faces as his very own ‘Clone Saga’ continues with Miles Morales: Spider-Man #26.
As mentioned with the last issue, this updated take on Spider-powered clones easily avoids many of the pitfalls of the original run. Namely, there is no mystery or ‘who is the real version’ back and forth of the long-drawn-out 90s version. Here it is clear that Miles is the original, but his clone brothers believe that they are superior to him in every way possible. Their story goes much deeper with this issue and a few poor choices by Miles puts them and himself in the greatest of danger.
Carmen Carnero, David Curiel, and Cory Petit bring this story to fantastic life bring a powerful energy and tense/dangerous feeling to every single page. The fights are just as brutal as they would between five enhanced Spider-powered characters (Peter Parker helps Miles in this fight), especially a spectacular double-page spread in the middle of the issue. The time-lapse nature of the fight is so great to see and the giant impactful SFX along with the attention to detail that enhances everything.
A lot of work was done to make sure that all three of the clones, who have different looks and abilities, not only look different but move differently and interact with the world around them differently. They are Miles in the sense of being clones of him but they are all uniquely their own.
Alongside the really great brutal battles and movement forward of the clone story are truly wonderful quieter moments, there is a really great montage sequence near the end that would look great blown up as a poster on the wall. The exhaustion and pain are seen and felt from Miles and those around him that just want the best for the struggling younger Spider-Man.
Saladin Ahmed embraces those moments and draws from the supporting cast like Ganke (who still cares about his friend despite their personal issues at the moment) and Peter. The moments between Miles and Peter are golden, as Ahmed gives us a truly grown-up feeling Peter that imparts his wisdom from his own past struggles upon his younger friend. Peter feels just like Peter with the quips and other stuff but doesn’t feel like he’s been stuck as a regressed individual here like he often can in his own stories.
While the series has had a number of different arcs and a lot of side stuff has happened, the frantic nature and the clear overall exhaustion that weighs upon Miles and the book itself is very clear. That’s a very good thing by the way. Even as the story moves in various ways, the stress and exhaustion that one would feel after going through all that Miles has isn’t brushed away as if each new arc is a renewal period. Miles is young and the world is upon his shoulders and it’s taking its toll, as such things tend to do in reality.
Miles Morales: Spider-Man #26 is now on sale from Marvel Comics in print and digitally.