“Happy Birthday Miles!” (Miles Morales: Spider-Man #10 Comic Review)

Miles Morales: Spider-Man #10 Comic Review

Writer: Saladin Ahmed

Artist: Javier Garrón

Backup Story Artist: Annie Wu

Colorist: David Curiel

Backup Story Colorist: Rachelle Rosenberg

Letterer: VC’s Cory Petit

Cover: Mahmud Asrar & Dave Stewart

Variant Covers: Humberto Ramos & Edgar Delgado; Ed McGuinness & Laura Martin; Emanuela Lupacchino & David Curiel

Celebration; The Secret Origin of Starling!

“Happy Birthday Miles!”

What You Need To Know

It’s a celebration! Miles Morales celebrates 250 overall issues and is also celebrating a birthday with his parents and best friend. Miles is trying to get past the horrendous experience he had being trapped by the Assessor. Duty calls however, and Miles must put back on the costume, even on his birthday. Miles won’t be facing the run of the mill villain of the week however, as ghosts will confront him from his past, or should I say past life.

What Just Happened

The issue begins at Empire State University, where two security guards discover Ultimate Green Goblin lurking and the Goblin kills both guards. Norman Osborn is instructed by an unseen person to get what they were looking for. Osborn and the unknown person escape with the stolen goods.

Months have passed since Miles Morales was kidnapped by the Assessor and tortured and Miles has had nightmares about his experience. Miles has also been having dreams about his previous life in the Ultimate Universe. Miles has not been Spider-Man since his kidnapping. It’s also Miles’ birthday, and his parents and Ganke plan on throwing him a party to celebrate. While Miles and his father walk to pick up Miles’ birthday cake, Miles’ father explains to Miles that he has his mother’s last name because he did not want Miles’ name to be associated with his father’s name. Miles’ father explains to Miles that his father was not a good person and he wants better for Miles.

Peter Parker visits Miles in his room to wish him a happy birthday and to warn him about the security guards murdered at the university and the tech missing from the school and other places. Miles suits up and follows up on Peter’s tip. Miles investigates a warehouse and finds the Green Goblin waiting for him. Miles realizes Green Goblin looks familiar but he can’t remember him exactly. Just when Miles remembers who the Green Goblin is, Miles is blindsided by a man calling himself Ultimatum. Before Ultimatum can finish Miles off, Ultimatum recognizes him and spares him.

Ultimatum meets with The Kingpin who allows him to control Brooklyn. The way Kingpin talks with Ultimatum is as if they have known each other for years. Ultimatum states Kingpin is his best friend and reveals himself as Earth-616 Miles Morales.

The back up story reveals the origin of Starling. Starling’s father ran out on her and her mother. The Vulture, Starling’s grandfather, leaves money for the family to keep them going. Starling takes to her grandfather who takes her flying. When Starling’s mother dies, The Vulture attends the funeral and gifts her with her own flying suit. Starling moves to New York and lives in an apartment The Vulture is not using. Starling now fights crime and sometimes teams up with Miles Morales.

My Thoughts

The celebration of all things Miles Morales begins in this issue. Saladin Ahmed has been building to this moment, and it feels like an explosive story is just beginning. I appreciate that Ahmed has not just glossed over the pain and anguish that Miles experienced in the last arc. I feel this lasting trauma that Miles has experienced will carry over to this conflict with Ultimate Green Goblin and Ultimatum. The highlight of the issue for me was Miles talking with his father, and his father giving him insight into family history and why he wants to protect Miles from what he experienced growing up. Ahmed is skilled at creating dialogue that is accurate in regards to the real conversations that Black families have.

I’m wondering if Miles having dreams about his life in the Ultimate Universe are connected to the reappearance of the Ultimate Green Goblin. I am also curious to see how this version of Norman Osborn made it into Earth-616. Maybe this will lead to this Norman becoming the main Green Goblin as this Earth’s Norman Osborn is undergoing an identity crisis. I love the design of Ultimatum and the gear he uses. I’m a little disappointed in his identity, but at least Ahmed didn’t drag out the reveal. I hope we get to see how Ultimatum acquired his gear because he is a walking ode to the Ultimate Universe.

Garrón’s illustrations continue to be strong and compliment Ahmed’s script well. Garrón’s glossy style looks great and also is very detailed as characters show emotion and body language that is clear for the reader to understand. Curiel’s colors compliment the illustrations well and contribute to the glossy style, as the colors are bright but not distracting.

The back up story is a quick but fun origin story for Starling. A little background is given as to how Tiana learned of her grandfather’s career as a super villain and how they have remained close despite her father leaving and him being a career criminal. The Vulture is humanized in this short as a distant but caring grandfather. Ahmed characterizes Starling as an ambitious yet guarded young woman who is looking to make an impact on the superhero scene in New York while spinning her grandfather’s legacy into a force for good. I have a feeling we will be seeing more Starling in the not to distant future. Annie Wu’s art and Rachelle Rosenberg’s colors look great and they help to humanize The Vulture as the art illustrates the admiration he has for his granddaughter.

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Marcus Freeman

Marcus Freeman

Bay Area bred, LA livin Blerd. Avid fan of comics, video games, music, wrestling, the Lakers, and the 49ers. Constantly catching up on DVR’d TV shows. Spends a little too much money at movie theaters. Also passionate about serving my community and providing the youth with tools for success.
Summary
The latest issue of Miles Morales: Spider-Man is a celebration of the character. Miles however, looks like he will be given another major test, as he must deal with the return of the Ultimate Green Goblin and the arrival of Ultimatum. Will Miles figure out Ultimatum and Green Goblin’s agenda before they put their plan in place?
Good
  • Exciting beginning to a new arc
  • Ultimatum's design
  • Fun back up story
  • Strong art
  • Miles still dealing with the trauma of the last arc
Bad
  • Ultimatum's identity
9
Amazing
Story - 9
Art - 9
Character Development - 9
Written by
Bay Area bred, LA livin Blerd. Avid fan of comics, video games, music, wrestling, the Lakers, and the 49ers. Constantly catching up on DVR’d TV shows. Spends a little too much money at movie theaters. Also passionate about serving my community and providing the youth with tools for success.

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