Miles Morales: Spider-Man #4 Comic Review
Writer: Saladin Ahmed
Artist: Javier Garron
Colorist: David Curiel
Letterer: VC’s Cory Petit
Cover: Marco D’Alfonso
“Miles Morales’ Day Off”
What You Need to Know
After Miles’ team-up with Rhino and Captain America led to the rescue of missing children, Miles puts his focus back into school. Miles’ friends have other things in mind. This do-gooder breaks the rules to have fun with his friends. Will Miles have a good time and get closer to Barbara in the process? Little does Miles and his friends know is that Vice Principal Dutcher is on to them and wants to catch them red-handed.
What Just Happened
This issue plays out as 2 branching stories merging into one by the end of the issue, all taking place during a normal day of school at Brooklyn Visions Academy. Vice Principal Dutcher believes that Miles Morales is skipping school and he plans to prove it. Earlier in the day, Judge informs Miles that the Brooklyn Museum is holding a Hip-Hop exhibit and wants to skip school to go see it. Miles is hesitant but agrees to go when Barbara also says she will go. The group plans to use Ganke’s sickness as an excuse to say they are sick and skips class. Little do Miles and his friends know is that Vice Principal Dutcher plans to pay Miles a visit to ensure he is in class. Dutcher visits the class and is informed that Miles is sick and did not attend class.
Miles, Judge, and Barbara attempt to ride the train to the museum and the train almost runs off its rails until Miles saves the day. Barbara seems to be suspicious of how Miles is always missing when trouble occurs. Back on campus Vice Principal Dutcher plans to visit Miles in his room to see if he is there. Ganke covers for Miles by saying they are all sick, but Dutcher insists on coming in. Luckily, Principal Evans arrives to take Dutcher to a meeting.
Miles and company make it to the museum and take in the exhibit. Miles and Barbara have a moment and almost share a kiss, but are interrupted by the Frost Pharaoh who is looking to steal an artifact in the museum. Miles dispatches the Frost Pharaoh with ease. Miles, Judge, and Barbara decide to go see a movie instead. Miles and Barbara finally share a kiss. Ganke texts Miles and warns him that Vice Principal Dutcher is on to them and they need to return to campus. Miles, Judge, and Barbara race to beat Vice Principal Dutcher and Principal Evans back to campus. Dutcher arrives at Miles’ room and finds him in bed.
This issue seems to be Saladin Ahmed having fun with Miles Morales and his supporting cast. The issue chronicles the typical high school ditch day but with super heroics involved. Ahmed creates a fun narrative with dueling storylines involving Miles and his friends and Vice Principal Dutcher trying to catch them in the act. I found it amusing that Dutcher is the only staff member on campus that has a problem with Miles. Teachers and staff seem to love him and that is very cool for me due to knowing the reality of how students of color are labeled as problem children on campuses across the country. I also enjoy the development in the relationship between Miles and Barbara. The “will they or won’t they?” aspect of this young series seems to be heading to a quick resolution and that would be for the betterment of both characters. Ahmed seems to be trolling us with the villains he uses for this book. Outside of Tombstone, all the villains seen in this book are silly non-threatening caricatures. The Frost Pharaoh will not go down in history as a memorable villain.
The most amusing aspect of this issue is how Vice Principal Dutcher may be the Flash Thompson to Miles Morales’ Peter Parker. Dutcher worships Spider-Man but thinks Miles is a slacker. That’s a development that I’m excited to follow throughout this series. Another highlight is cartoon/anime influenced race between Miles and company and the principal and vice principal to get back to campus to fastest. This splash page shows the strengths of Javier Garron as an artist. Garron continues to depict Miles as a mature young man and his art has overall been a plus for this book.