Setting Up The Setup: Reviewing ‘Miles Morales: Spider-Man’ #33
by Scott Redmond
While there are some big things going on in the other Spider-Man book, Miles’ own book continues to spin its wheels heading towards a potential overarching storyline conclusion. Some really good action scenes from a solid artistic team help keep the book in a solid neutral spot overall.
Sometimes a single issue of a comic book can feel like there is a ton that is happening, the twenty or so pages feeling like double at times. There are other times that the same number of pages can feel like utterly nothing at all happened.
Somewhere right in the middle is where Miles Morales: Spider-Man #33 falls.
Just getting right to the point, it’s not a bad issue. It’s also just not a relatively notable one either in many respects.
Saladin Ahmed writes a good Miles Morales. There are beats of a good Spider-Man story here, but honestly, the long overarching plots all tied back to this Assessor being playing some part in most of the stories is just feeling a bit old. This arc seems to promise a final reckoning might be on the way, we would be so lucky if that was the case. We’ve had issues that tease a more fun and heroic run for Miles, and then we’ve had issues that sort of just amble along with.
Remember how the beginning of this series heavily focused on Miles’ life at school and his friends and life? Outside of them using it as a place to do some research, that school and supporting cast is practically non-existent since the Ultimatum/Goblin attack. Ganke is the only one that appears the most, with Miles’ parents and sister now very sporadic. While there is promise and some good beats, it also feels somewhat hollow, like the stories stand alone in their own empty rooms.
Visually the issue at first seems to be somewhat standard in appearance (though it retains some of the intriguing paneling styles that make many books very different these days), but then come the action pages where Michele Bandini, Erick Arciniega, and Cory Petit show what they can do together.
During some of the fight scenes, there are some full double-page spreads showcasing Miles and Shift taking on various armed guards. What makes it cool and stand out is how the two heroes take up the center of the page and the various webs being slung around create circular panels within the overall panel. Within these web panels, we see some of the other moments of the fights, and it’s pretty darn cool to see. It’s got a very smooth dynamic energy to it.
Arciniega has a style of coloring that hits that middle spot between bright and dark, with some of the backgrounds taking on a sort of almost watercolor-looking texture which just works. Petit is one of the veteran letterers around and always brings it to each issue, making all the dialogue slide around the pages to fit whatever the panel style is. Dropping in some colorful and impactful SFX along the way.
It’s clear this issue is the start of an arc with how it feels 100% like setup, but it’s great to look at as it does that setup.
Miles Morales: Spider-Man #33 is now on sale in print and digitally from Marvel Comics.