In Brooklyn, Miles’ mother Rio is having trouble sleeping. She explains to her husband how she confronted the private eye, Jessica Jones. Jefferson was alarmed, and asked what Rio learned about their son. She reveals that Jones refused to tell her anything, admitting the detective was a better person than she assumed and did the right thing. Jessica was forced to gently remove Rio from the Alias offices, though, and, in the process, revealed she had powers. This worries Rio, who is certain that the detective knows something she is not sharing.
Meanwhile, Miles is having trouble sleeping. He is plagued by recurring nightmares after having experienced one of Ulysses’ visions along with a number of other heroes. They all saw Bruce Banner murder everyone, and Miles is having trouble coping with this. He goes out to patrol when he encounters the young hero and his friend known as Bombshell. They talk for a bit while they go out and do the super hero thing but Bombshell can tell this Ulysses stuff really has Miles bothered.
She encourages the young man to stay out of the whole mess, but he isn’t so convinced. It’s clear Miles agrees with Tony on some level, and doesn’t want to say no to a man he looks up to. Bombshell dismisses him as just another rich white guy with ego issues, and points out that Miles must be troubled because some part of him knows he is about to join a war that isn’t his. She kisses him and says not to do what rich people tell him to do. After she leaves, Miles observes that Tony didn’t tell him to do anything… all he did was ask.
In class the next day, the teacher speaks on the idea of authorship. A writer can only go by what they know to be true. Their experiences define their limitations, but that is not the whole truth of a work. It all comes down to perspective. This important and oddly relevant sentiment is lost on Miles, who is asleep, until he wakes up, startled by yet another dream of the Hulk. He is excused from class, and goes to the school’s roof to clear his head. There, he gets a call from Tony, asking the young man to join him at the Triskelion. They’ve figured out how they’re going to deal with this whole Hulk situation. Before he can go, two figures leap on the roof beside him. They introduce themselves as Jessica Jones and Luke Cage.
Well, this was pretty great, overall. A rather unique trait about the Miles Morales character is that writer Brian Micheal Bendis, has, to date, retained almost exclusive control of the character. To that end, most comics featuring Miles have maintained a certain level of quality to them. It’s basically been a continuous, fluid story, with a major shake-up following Secret Wars, sure, but still going along this ongoing thread and pretty much always being this fun story of a young, new hero.
That’s great, because it means the art and writing have stayed on point for years. When it comes to this issue, there is no change in this format, and, considering that I like these comics, it becomes an enjoyable and reliable series I can always come back to. This issue is light on action but heavy on character development and exploring some ideas behind Civil War II, just like last issue. It, ostensibly, has very little to do with the Civil War, taking place between issues two and three and featuring few other characters involved in that conflict. But the ideas being explored here – about why Miles is coming over to Tony’s side and the concepts fronted by the teacher concerning authorship really have a lot to say about the bigger themes of Civil War II.
That teacher really nails things on the head in a rather obvious way but, hey, it works just fine because the message is important and relevant. This entire war is really about bias and perspective. Specifically Ulysses and how his visions aren’t just simple predictions, but informed by the kid and his experiences. So it was good to touch on this a bit, and hilarious when you consider how Miles slept through the entire lesson. It’s clever writing that also has meaning in a meta sense, too. Bendis himself seems to be acknowledging his own limitations as one writer. He’s always done a good job with Miles, but yeah, he can only go so far by his own experiences. Does Bendis know what it’s like to be a black superhero in modern day New York? No, nobody does, obviously, but that’s the fun of fiction. Him not being black doesn’t invalidate his opinion.
I wouldn’t couch Bendis as being just another writer who somehow feels compelled to write about the plight of minorities when he himself knows little about such things. He’s being fair, exploring different ideas and perspectives, even if they aren’t his own. I think it says a lot when he has Bombshell take the typical, “fight the power, both sides are wrong attitude” and shows that Miles doesn’t agree with this sentiment nor is it necessarily right. This is a real issue with real consequences that merits sides being taken. That’s the whole point of this war to begin with.
So this comic gets an easy recommendation. It’s well made, thoughtful, nicely done, and has a lot to say about the Civil War. Which is good, because with Civil War II delayed, a good tie-in like this can help hold us over until the next issue. Meanwhile, in spite of all this crossover stuff, more than anything else, this comic is pulling me into Miles and his current story. When it comes to this series I’m mostly now interested in how all this detective stuff with Jessica Jones is going to resolve itself more than anything else. And that’s the sort of thing a good tie-in should do – bringing readers into a series which they haven’t been reading before. Let me know what you think is going to happen next in the comments section below. Is Miles’ mother going to find out about all this stuff? And how exactly is this meet-up between Jessica, Luke, and Miles going to go? I’m curious where this is going.