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Breathes new life into the Spider-Family
on 26 August 2015
The original Spiderman comics featuring Peter Parker are now well over fifty years old, and in that time Spiderman has gained a lot of baggage. Part of why I read this was because I wanted to start from scratch with a new kid, a new origin, and a more modern idea about the trials that kids have. In the 1960s, writing a skinny naive teenager like Peter Parker as a new superhero was Marvel's idea of introducing diversity into comics. Fifty years later, a reluctant hero like Miles Morales, who also happens to be an african american twelve-year-old living in Brooklyn with struggling parents is much more realistic, and a lot more interesting as a cultural snapshot than Peter (RIP), MJ and Aunt May. The book is written beautifully and Bendis obviously loves the whole idea of Miles, his mission and his friends and family. Miles is only a child, and the real difficulties of a child having any kind of independent life away from the glare of parents, school and friends, let alone be a superhero fighting experienced adult adversaries, is dealt with very carefully. His experiments to reveal the extent of his powers, his initial attempts at crime-fighting, and his interactions with other superheroes are all carefully orchestrated to be as realistic as possible, without slowing down the pace too much. Despite being about a twelve-year-old boy, this comic does not deal with trivialities of childhood; Miles has to take on incredible responsibility early on, and the story is action-packed, the writing is charming, and the artwork is superb (but the digital cover artwork is unfortunately not good). This is a perfect introduction to the Marvel Universe for a newcomer, and is an injection of new life into the Spiderman family of comics.