Miles Morales: Spider-Man #3
By Saladin Ahmed, Javier Garron & David Curiel
Miles Morales: Spider-Man #3 shows that turning Rhino into a protagonist can lead to entertaining and unexpected results in this issue which introduces Captain America into the equation. Three issues in, Saladin Ahmed is keeping up a remarkably consistent pace with this series that hits all the right beats. The dynamic between Miles, Rhino and Cap is fresh and managed just well with the three characters getting their equal shares of the page-time.
This issue follows up the hunt Eduardo who has gone missing and is mind-controlled into being a thief. Thanks to the help of Ganke utilising the dark web to order kid sized uniforms, both Spider-Man, Rhino and Cap find themselves in the pursuit of Tombstone who represents an interesting antagonist for the three characters. The issue, whilst it does a good job at going some way to continue Rhino’s redemption, also finds plenty of room to allow the audience to hate the antagonist. It’s cool to see Cap trusting Miles, and the two bonding over the fact that both of them came from Brooklyn was a good moment, showing that they can find their common ground despite the multiple-generational difference between them. Ahmed really gets Captain America, with any doubts about the two working together quickly brushed aside. He opts for an old-fashioned portrayal (you totally buy that this character grew up in the 1940s) of the character whilst not forgetting to show his importance, he can inspire people to be better people just by simply being around them, not unlike a well-written Superman story.
The book plays like a detective story where its oddball band of heroes who normally don’t or wouldn’t work together team up to defeat a villain. It’s got plenty of mystery elements and the action sequences are well-detailed by Javier Garron, who makes every page sing, not losing impact when it comes to dealing with the guest stars who are not series regulars. Garron is on inking duties as well as pencilling and he does both to perfection, continuing to bring Miles Morales to life in an iconic way. This is reinforced by David Curiel’s ever reliable colours who get the most out of the action scenes which are always dynamic.
As a conclusion for the first arc of the series, Miles Morales: Spider-Man #3 wraps up a satisfactory story that signifies a bold, consistent and confident new start for Miles working well within the confines of the narrative structure. The story was strong from the word go and the more time we spend with Rhino as a protagonist, the more time the idea sounds appealing and a new, solo Rhino mini-series shouldn’t automatically be dismissed. But never forgetting that this is Miles Morales’ series, Ahmed manages to put Spider-Man front and centre, skilfully preventing Steve Rogers from overshadowing the main character, spending time with his personal life as much as his superhero one which is a balance that’s always nice to see kept and looks set to be the main focus of the narrative going forward.