It's Spidey and Spidey versus Spidey in Miles Morales: Spider-Man #25! In the aftermath of Miles' clone abducting a scientist, Miles' support network has questions. Brooklyn's Spider-Man attempts to get the drop on his villainous clone, leading to a clash with the OG Spider-Man. But Miles has more to worry about than just one clone…
Written by Saladin Ahmed and Cody Ziglar
Art by Carmen Carnero, David Curiel, Natacha Bustos, and Rachelle Rosenberg
Lettering by Cory Petit
Published by Marvel Comics
'Rama Rating: 8 out of 10
Writer Saladin Ahmed examines Miles' worsening predilection for violence in the face of stolen identity and misplaced jealousy, while Cody Ziglar celebrates the 25th issue of Miles' current run with a light-hearted backup tale of ruined birthday cake and honey-themed villainy.
Saladin Ahmed tells a competent story of paranoia here, layering Miles' clone hi-jinks with his worsening temper. Frustration and confusion are rife in this classic case of mistaken identity, worsened when Peter Parker rushes into the fray. There's a solid dash of soap opera in Miles' discovery of Ganke and Barbara's relationship, balancing outrageous sci-fi with some classically teenage angst. Ahmed briefly dips into Miles' personal thoughts here, giving him some regret and self-doubt to reassure the reader of his status as the good guy even after his violent outburst. This issue marks an important moment in Miles' current character development, either foreshadowing a future fall from grace or signposting a turning point for the better.
Ahmed usually has a solid grasp of naturalistic dialogue, so it's a surprise that there's a couple of clunky lines here courtesy of a pair of shaken-up scientists. Still, there's lots of fun interaction elsewhere, especially between Miles and Pete. Ahmed has a great handle on the teacher/student relationship, with Peter's insecurity rubbing up against Miles' assertive nature.
All eyes should be focused on Carmen Carnero's menacing trio of clones. The knife-wielding Selim and his two hideous brothers explore the colorful possibilities of cloning in the Marvel Universe – from classic evil twin to unstable blob monster to Man-Spider. Carnero's angular style favors the lean and the mean. His Spider-people cut across the panel, highlighting Carnero's anatomical knowledge and his focused panel composition. Colorist David Curiel keeps things moody and mysterious, accentuating a dark blue backdrop with bright yellows behind the action. Starry skies and mysterious smoke provide an excuse for an attractive smear of rainbow primary color that breaks up the monotony of the blue, making for a low-key, atmospheric look that occasionally screams out with intensity.
Cody Ziglar and Natacha Bustos take the reins for 'Big-Time Buzzkill,' a comedic 10-pager that chronicles Miles' race to get a birthday cake to a friend. Enter: the Bumbler! Ziglar's youthful dialogue complements his snappy and joke-focused script. Bustos' soft and rounded pencil-work seems ripped from an alternate-universe Spidey animated series, brought vividly into full life by Rachelle Rosenberg's bright and breezy colors. The Bumbler himself is an archetypical Spidey Z-Lister: fundamentally harmless and with a poorly thought-out gimmick. He's immediately lovable. Luckily, Ziglar realizes this and leaves hero and villain alike smiling by the issue's end.
'Clone Saga.' These two words are enough to send a shiver down the spine of any Spidey fan, but Saladin Ahmed and Carmen Carnero set off Miles' double trouble with a bang in Miles Morales: Spider-Man #25. The excitable team of Cody Ziglar and Natacha Bustos lighten the overall tone with a fresh and amusing backup story that captures the spirit of teenage super-heroism, while Saladin Ahmed turns up the heat until Miles' personality roils under the stress. Carmen Carnero's distorted trio of clones more than fulfill the heady promises of the word ‘clone' in a Spider-Man context, shrugging off the bad vibes usually associated with this much-maligned combination of concepts.
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