Miles Morales: Spider-Man #6
Who is STARLING?! …And is she single? Er, we mean, is she going to help stop Tombstone, or is she about to make the .45-thousand-caliber war for Brooklyn even deadlier? The last thing he needs is another complication at school. Good thing high school is, like, a very chill, logical place — oh wait.
Hard to believe we are already six issues into Miles Morales: Spider-Man, but here were are! After the last issue introduced Starling into Miles’ life, it was really only a matter of time before we got her origin story and issue #6 goes right in without a moment’s hesitation.
This series so far has functioned as an ongoing look into Miles as he balances his own personal life with being Spider-Man, but we now share the spotlight with Tiana Toomes aka Starling in issue #6. Miles takes a backseat, and although he is unfortunately reduced to a reactionary role in his own series, we learn all about where Starling came from and who she’s after. Kudos to the creative team for diving right into these character components. Even though it’s a straightforward revenge story, her history gives the character an interesting anti-hero twist.
While these are steps in the right direction, the issue ultimately underwhelms for one key reason. That is, there is almost no emotional connection to Starling’s struggle because we as readers are discovering her past alongside Miles. After all the action, we get a couple pages of dialogue that opens her story up, but it’s too little too late. In order for an introduction like this to really succeed, we need to be have a better understanding of the anger that drives her. One panel featuring Starling saying “he killed my best friend” just isn’t enough when the issue is built around her exacting revenge for that accusation.
The most redeeming aspect of this issue is Spidey’s interactions with both Starling as well as Tombstone and his goons. He is essentially the only hero there, so he is caught between stopping Tombstone and also stopping Starling from crossing the line and killing someone. It’s an interesting dynamic that even plays into the quickly developing chemistry between Miles and Tiana. These types of stepping stones that build to something greater are something that the creative team has utilized really well so far, so I’m curious where Starling’s story will take us next. The flirting between them will certainly come back into play, but I’m willing to bet we see Tiana Toomes return as a real villain before any sort of team up occurs.
While the artwork is expectedly great for most of the issue, I couldn’t help but notice that a few panels felt off. Specifically, the very first panel featuring Starling standing on top of some knocked out baddies. The anatomy just doesn’t seem right for anyone involved, especially the guy with his arm awkwardly held in the air. Otherwise, it’s a visual-heavy issue that takes advantage of Starling’s nighttime flight against a full moon backdrop really well.
Starling’s explosive issue is here and while there is a lot to get excited about, it never really manages to achieve greatness. There is potential for a really cool character though. Let’s hope next issue is more of a step in the right direction.
All the ingredients are there for an interesting and engaging story, but ‘Miles Morales: Spider-Man #6’ ultimately comes up short in terms of emotional investment. Hopefully better things are in store for Starling!
Miles Morales: Spider-Man #6: You Can Call Me Starling
- Writing - 5/105/10
- Storyline - 6/106/10
- Art - 6/106/10
- Color - 8/108/10
- Cover Art - 7/107/10
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