Peter Parker might be the traditional incarnation of Spider-Man, but Miles Morales is currently the best. Miles is a throwback to the old Peter, the one most readers remember. Miles is a high school student struggling with both being a superhero and with growing up. And Brian Michael Bendis, who has a multi-ethnic family, shows he is truly in touch with not only modern day issues of diversity but with the struggles of a kid growing up in our world today.
I had to write this review of Spider-Man after reading issue #6 because I felt like Bendis so accurately related to what Miles’ life would be like as a child with mixed racial heritage growing up in the city. He brought up profiling in a way that was easy to understand and which someone who might not have encountered it would be able to connect with. Bendis made the Civil War summer event more than just a superhero problem, but a problem for everyone.
I also love that Bendis deals with real problems that kids (and some adults) struggle with. Miles’ best friend is a chunky Asian dude (I can totally relate) named Ganke. And Ganke is talking to Miles about what it’s like to be in the “friend zone” with a girl and how specifically that’s a problem for big guys. It’s the kind of book that I would be happy to let my daughter read because it treats teens as people with real issues and doesn’t make light of them.
It’s also great that Miles has a series of mentors like Iron Man and even the original Spider-Man. Peter Parker returns and spends time not only endorsing Miles but giving him some friendly advice on what it means to be a hero. Those touches establish Miles in the superhero community and add depth to his character while also giving us insight that Miles is still new at this. Honestly, this is one of the most well written books being put out today. If you get a chance pick it up and give it a chance. THIS is the real Spider-Man!