Written by Eve Ewing
Art by Kevin Libranda
Colors by Matt Milla
Letters and Production from VC’s Clayton Cowles
Cover by Stefano Caselli and Matt Milla
Edited by Alanna Smith
Up to now this series has had as its focus the disappearance of Riri’s friend Daija, a disappearance that led to a face to face confrontation with Midnight’s Fire. This issue sees a departure from straight progression of that storyline with a tale based around another missing person, only this time it is Miles Morales.
There is initially a high degree of connectivity between this issue and issues 1-4 of Champions written by Jim Zub. That series has been progressing a storyline involving a “do over” of time following an apparently no strings attached agreement between Miles and Mephisto (a character who has popped up a few times in recent Marvel titles). While it might help slightly with context to have been reading the Champions story, it isn’t essential and Ewing does a good job of bringing the reader up to speed. However, if you have been reading Champions the space-time continuum aspects of this book, along with Miles being caught up in the time loop, might send you off on a Mephisto red herring in relation to the villain of this book.
That aside, Ewing continues to bring Riri’s dialogue to new heights with some hilarious exchanges between both Riri and Kamala (or Ms Marvel as Riri pointedly calls her in the exchanges here) and Riri and Miles. What I have enjoyed about this series so far is how Ewing leans into some of the traits which people complain about when it comes to Riri. Ewing really plays on how socially awkward and rude she is, while all the while showing the deeply kind side to the character in other parts of the issue (“we all need someone to come after us sometimes’). I also laughed aloud when Kamala advises Riri that Miles “won’t respond to someone fawning over him, acting all warm and fuzzy. So you’re perfect for this mission”.
The art is brilliant in this issue, the colors vibrant and really modern looking. The depictions of Miles and Riri both show humor and tenderness where required. The main reservation I have on the issue as a whole is that the time loop plot point is a little complicated and not really shown to have had any real long term purpose. There is a confusing aspect between Riri’s first entrance into the cabin, and her second entrance on time loop. I’m happy for this to be explained away by Star Trek references (which is a nice little nod back to the first issue in the series), but others may want more clarity around this. Elsewhere the villain of the issue is allocated almost a cameo appearance (five pages) with little explanation of motive.
This issue continued to show Ewing’s skills with dialogue, and as far as that aspect of the book is concerned I think she elevates the character of Riri to new heights. Likewise, we are seeing more and more of Riri as a multi-faceted character who is starting to interact in her own awkward and funny way with the rest of her peers. The plot for this issue is something of a trifle however, and it won’t leave the reader with much of an impact. So maybe best avoided for the casual reader, and one for those invested in the series to take in their stride as a character driven piece, light on plot development and with some top quality artwork.