Written By: Saladin Ahmed
Art By: Carmin Carnero
Colors By: VC’s Cory Petit
Cover Art By: Taurin Clarke
Cover Price: $3.99
Release Date: March 24, 2021
In Miles Morales: Spider-Man #24, Miles and Kamala Khan get together to hang out for a little friend time after the events of Outlawed and King in Black. They make plans to get ice cream and stop for an impromptu basketball game when a building collapse spurs them into superheroics. Unfortunately for the buildings landlord, he’s going to have to deal with an angry pair of superheroes, a lot of unhappy tenants, and a totaled car before the day is out.
Oh, and the last panel preludes the start of this next version of the Clone Saga. Hooray?
Was It Good?
I didn’t care for it.
The art is very good. It’s energetic and very eye-catching, especially Petit’s coloring.
The story, however, leaves a sour taste specifically because it somewhat proves Kamala’s Law, the concerns of C.R.A.D.L.E., and the whole premise of Outlawed was basically correct. Young, hot-headed superheroes without supervision are a liability.
I don’t believe that. Nobody believes that. Why would Marvel write a comic that essentially glamorizes their recklessness? It’s like some bizarre form of activist porn, and it’s incredibly off-putting.
What’s It About?
Miles Morales and Kamal Khan meet in NY’s Chinatown for a hangout afternoon, partly to decompress over the big events of the last months and maybe a little fun. This isn’t a date… or is it? There a few glances that hint something might be developing, but let’s leave that to the future.
As the stroll down the city streets, they take in the massive destruction left in Knull’s wake. Whole buildings are reduced to rubble or at least left unlivable. There’s a sense of distance in their conversation that makes it feel like Knull and Outlawed happened so long ago when it was so recent. Ahmed does a good job infusing their dialog with a feeling of decompression, as if the constant stress and tension has been given a much needed breather.
Amid the rubble, Miles spots a basketball court that’s still intact and a ball sitting in the middle of the court. Kamala challenges Miles to a game in costume so they can use their powers without getting noticed. The depiction of the game is some light fun as each hero uses their powers to play a little dirty.
During the game, they hear a teeny, tiny rumble followed by shouts for help. When they check it out, they find an entire apartment building collapsed into a pile of rubble. And here’s where things get a little sour.
If an entire apartment building collapses, why is the sound so small and the shouts for help much louder? And why did they hear the shouts for help before the rumble from the building collapse? I don’t understand the lettering choice here.
Miles and Kamala leap into action to find an entire apartment building reduced to rubble down to the sidewalk. They use their powers to clear what they can and free a mother and child trapped in a lower level. Now, the sourness turns up another notch.
One of the tenants approaches them and tells them the collapse is all the landlord’s fault for not fixing the floor under the stairs.
What? A damaged floor doesn’t cause an entire apartment building to collapse into rubble. Not at all. Not even a tiny little bit. Miles and Kamala spent the entirety of the first few pages touring buildings near Chinatown irrevocably damaged from Knull’s attack on Earth. Yet, it makes perfect sense to them when a complete stranger tells them an entire apartment building randomly collapsed into loose bricks and wood because the floor under the stairs was damaged.
Of course, the right thing to do would be to report this incident to the police or the public housing authority. But of course, no, Miles and Kamala decide the best thing to do is find the landlord, assault him, and destroy his car.
After a fun afternoon of rescues, assault, and intimidation, Miles and Kamala warp the day up with ice cream and long walks in the sunset. When Miles gets home, his frantic parents show him something he didn’t expect to see him today — news footage of Spider-Man kidnapping a scientist.
There’s nothing wrong with using comic characters as avatars to highlight social ills in a creative way, but this plot was just reckless, nonsensical, and foolish.
Miles Morales: Spider-Man #24 mixes great, beautiful art with a story that suggests C.R.A.D.L.E. should have stuck around longer to finish what they started. This is a skip.