Miles Morales: The End
Sometime in the decades to come, the world is ravaged by monsters, germs, and the germ-monster-men they become! But one last bastion of humanity remains… in Brooklyn, New York! Its mayor and protector? None other than MILES MORALES, SPIDER-MAN!
Marvel’s “The End” one-shots are meant to bring the one thing their characters’ ongoing titles, set in the never-ending Marvel Universe, can never do: close the book on beloved characters’ lives. A byproduct of that is creating a kind of final statement on said character. Miles Morales: The End definitely attempts that, but unfortunately, any poignancy in the story is lost in a wash of by-the-numbers post-apocalyptic clichés and storytelling tropes.
Stop me if you’ve heard this one: In the future, humanity lies in ruins! But there is one last city that’s humanity’s last hope, and it is guarded by the world’s last hero! And the antagonist is a twisted version of a fallen iconic hero! Sadly, that’s the plot of what’s supposed to be the final statement on Miles Morales. It’s vastly disappointing that Miles, a character who shattered so many ceilings when he broke onto the scene, couldn’t be afforded a more original story than this.
It’s not all bad, though. Miles, as mayor of Brooklyn, is older, greyer, and wiser, but sticks true to his history and always puts community first. His little bubble of paradise isn’t just about surviving on scraps, but rounding up toys for children, operating a school, and thriving on the spirit of togetherness. It’s in this way that the story does right by Miles; it’s a shame that such a strong character beat is lost in a mish-mash of end-of-the-world clichés, like the unkempt raiders led by a “Captain Last” hellbent on taking Brooklyn’s supplies for themselves.
The art is a bit of a mess, though. Damion Scott does a style that’s somewhere between latter-day Humberto Ramos and Rafa Sandoval, all wild and spiky and ultra-exaggerated. It’s a style that’s a seriously acquired taste; I’m personally not so sure it necessarily fits this story so well. It’s hard to make out what’s even happening in some panels. His Miles, though, has a likeable spark to him: a hip old guy who can still hang with the young crowd with a twinkle in his eye and a big heart to match. The pencils are well-complemented by Dono Sanchez-Almara’s colors; they’re bright and neon and mesh well with Scott’s particular style, lending a brightness not commonly seen in post-apocalypse fare.
Miles Morales: The End has a good head for its lead character, but that’s ultimately lost in a hodgepodge of post-apocalypse tropes and clichés readers have seen countless times before. If you’re looking for a definitive final statement that closes the book on a beloved character, sadly, this one-shot doesn’t measure up.
Miles Morales: The End #1: Saving a Smile for the End of the World
Writing - 7/107/10
Storyline - 3/103/10
Art - 4/104/10
Color - 6.5/106.5/10
Cover Art - 8/108/10
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