Reviewed this week, in ascending order of awesome:
Darth Vader #7
Lazarus: X+66 #4
Paper Girls #17
Walking Dead #173
Stray Bullets: Sunshine and Roses #29
-THE FUTURE OF MILES MORALES
News broke this week that Brian Michael Bendis, who has been an architect of Marvel’s identity and direction for about fifteen years, has signed a multi-year exclusive deal with DC. Beyond just feeling strange that Bendis is going to put his distinctive writing style on top of Superman or someone of similar stature, there’s a feeling that some of the characters he’s created have almost never had a voice that isn’t his own. Jessica Jones and Miles Morales are very singularly who they are because Bendis is the only writer who has delved deep into them for their entire existences.
They’re almost to the level of independent creations. Would you want to read The Walking Dead if Robert Kirkman wasn’t at the wheel? Is a Bone story still a Bone story is Jeff Smith isn’t involved? And if we look at examples in Marvel itself, Runaways was so unique that every writer that has followed has had trouble making it feel like a genuine story and not fan-fiction; when Joss Whedon takes the reins of your book and it’s a step down, that’s when you know it was something special.
So will Miles Morales without Bendis be like a Buffy reboot without Whedon, just aping the style it’s meant to without every quite nailing the feel? Probably. But therein lies the rub: since Miles was folded into the Marvel Universe proper from the Ultimate line, it’s been bland. If I wasn’t connected to over a decade of following the Ultimate Spider-Man I likely would’ve dropped the book by now.
So stepping aside and potentially letting someone make the character truly special for the first time in years might be a godsend. Hopefully Morales finds someone who makes their stamp the way Frank Miller did on Daredevil, or Mark Waid did on Daredevil, or the way Brian Michael Bendis did on Daredevil. Maybe the sky isn’t falling. Maybe we’re about to rocket off into space.