Miles Morales: Spider-man #24 Review

by Charles Martin on March 24, 2021

Miles Morales: Spider-man #24 Review
Writer: Saladin Ahmed
Artist: Carmen Carnero
Colourist: David Curiel
Letterer: Cory Petit
Publisher: Marvel Comics

I didn't plan this, I swear. I requested the latest issue of Miles Morales sight unseen, solicit unread. I had no idea it was going to be the "guest-starring Kamala Khan, woo woo!" issue.

But, since it is: Wow, this is guest-starring Kamala Khan, woo woo!

Jersey City comes to Brooklyn for a decompression hangout after the gauntlet of events and crossovers the young heroes have been through lately. Sure, Miles is scheduled for a Clone Saga, but that's next issue.

(Surely that's gonna be the Assessor creep, right? Saladin Ahmed couldn't have spent all those months foreshadowing and previewing him and then pivot into an entirely different clone-happy villain. Right?)

For today, Kamala is visiting Miles and it is awesome. There's basketball at the beginning and ice cream at the end. And in between, because this is a Marvel comic, by God, there will be heroing.

Visually, this hangout is gorgeous. Carmen Carnero goes above and beyond in every aspect of her craft. Her backgrounds are particularly impressive here; she invests a ton of effort in portraying Brooklyn realistically. Some leftover battle damage from Knull is shown off where called for, but mainly, the borough is vibrant with life and detail.

David Curiel's colours also do a lot to conjure this world into reality. Maximum intensity is reserved for the characters, but the softer environmental colours have tons of texture, further amplifying the detailed settings.

I know I harp on faces when I'm reviewing art I like, but there's a method to my madness. Facial expressions are just so important, guys! An artist who can produce realistic, engaging faces that pick up on the script's emotional cues has gone most of the way to fusing the creative team into one storytelling voice. And Ms. Carnero demonstrates that she's a master of doing exactly that. 

Those faces combine with the script's naturalistic dialogue to paint an utterly believable portrait of two teen heroes. Miles and Kamala may already have been through a lifetime of adventure, but they remain optimistic and youthful in practically everything they say. 

And a lot of what they've been through, they've been through together. Their words in this comic reflect a great friendship, forged in adversity and running bone-deep. The opportunity to follow along as they steal a day to simply enjoy each other's company is priceless.  

Let's cut to the chase: Is this romantic? Is this a date? Miles and Kamala try to shoo that elephant out of the room before the end of the comic. They're both coming out of relationships and dealing with a ton of hero stuff and are really not interested in exploring that frontier again.

But we've all read enough stories to know that "oh, neither of us even want to date right now" is the opening gambit in tons of romantic tales. And it could well be here. There has been at least a spark of romantic potential between Miles and Kamala ever since they were Avengers together.

A quick aside: Even in this fluffy sunny one-off adventure, Miles's character retains admirable complexity. There's still great anger simmering within him, and Saladin Ahmed lets just a hint of it come out in this issue's heroics.

Another cool facet to examine in Mr. Ahmed's script is the distinctive approach to heroing these young champions (who are also Champions) share. Even after all the C.R.A.D.L.E. nonsense they've been through, they operate on a more socially-conscious level than the previous generation of heroes.

You've heard about Golden Age Superman, who clobbered plutocrats and slumlords as often as gangsters and fascists? Miles and Kamala operate on similarly egalitarian principles. They don't just rescue civilians from a collapsing tenement; they ask why the building was so decrepit and try to do something about it.

Before Miles Morales's life gets Complicated again, we get this gorgeous, sunny moment to appreciate the finer things in his life, like his friendship with Kamala Khan. Brooklyn, Spider-Man, and Ms. Marvel have weathered the crossover storms, tested but unbroken. It's pure pleasure to see two teen heroes enjoy their time together. Thanks to tremendous expertise in visual and verbal storytelling, it's just as natural and engaging as it could be.

Our Score:


A Look Inside


Charles Martin's picture
Carmen Carnero did not invent "Kamala embiggens her ear to hear better," but she draws it with wonderful, creepy distinction.