Miles Morales: Spider-Man #4 is published by Marvel Comics, written by Cody Ziglar, art by Federico Vicentini, colors by Bryan Valenza, and letters by Cory Petit. Miles is facing an ultra-intelligent foe who is out for revenge against him and knows who he is, so she can use his friends and family against him.
This comic has a plot that is all of the sudden moving at an intense pace. It’s a confrontation with a lot at stake, in a small space as well. On top of New York buildings, Miles is learning the history of the new villain, but the exposition is quick and chaotic. This is not a bad thing at all, as it matches the panic of the whole book. The whole issue is frantic. It flips standard comic formats by starting with a fight, taking a small break in the middle. But even that is an attempt at restructuring, recoiling from the magnitude of the fight. The intensity of the book, with explosive action and loud attitudes, is intoxicating. Ziglar is throwing some big punches in this run, starting to really challenge the heroes. And the final page may present the biggest challenge so far.
The first half of Miles Morales: Spider-Man #4 is so noisy and explosive that Miles’ dialogue is more reactionary than anything. The bulk of the conversation in this first part comes from the person attacking him, Rabble. She is pretty scary as a villain, with an unrelenting rage and an intellect to do something with it. Her rants can be repetitive and whiny, but Ziglar brilliantly acknowledges that within the script. For Miles, he is fantastically written in the second half of the issue. When things get tough and he’s panicking, his ranting tones and selfless attitude remind us how being a hero is in his blood. The conversation he has with a character that has become his mentor is a brilliant pep talk, containing both reality and extremities.
The art is brilliant. Even on a rooftop, the action seems claustrophobic and penned in, ramping up the tension and that skittish feeling that Miles is encompassing. Where one fighter goes, the other follows, creating a swirling mass of limbs and powers. With the motion lines added superbly, the non-stop action moves at speed and looks to be losing control. Then come the finishing touches; huge explosions that are used as a full stop. Towards the end of the issue, there is a brief lull in which Miles tries to gather himself. The angles of the panels and the facial expression keep the drama ramped up before the intensity is unleashed again.
The colors are fascinating, with bright pastel tones obscuring the background. But most of the time, the only red brought in throughout the comic is on Miles and other heroes. Then there is the bright blue of Rabble’s energy that cuts through everything else. The SFX is as big and dynamic as everything else in this issue.
Miles Morales: Spider-Man #4 is a burst of frantic energy. Miles is thrown through the wringer and is absolutely brutally tormented. In a way, I saw this issue as Morales’ version of the Coming Home storyline, where he’s tested to his absolute limit. But everything about the situation is 100% focused on Miles’ corner of the universe. The villain is a terrific counterpoint to Spider-Man, bearing both similarities and tragic differences. The pace is non-stop and extremely fast at points, making it a breathless ride to the finish.
Miles Morales: Spider-Man #4 is available where comics are sold.
Miles Morales: Spider-Man #4
Miles Morales: Spider-Man #4 is a burst of frantic energy.
William is a screenwriter with a love of comics and movies. Once referred to Wuthering Heights as “the one with the Rabbits.”