Comic books span quite a large range of tones, from the most serious thing you’ve ever read to the silliest. At their core, comic books are just amazingly fun as a medium, no matter if they are serious or not, and sometimes you just need a really fun colorful wonderful comic book. Say hello then to Peter Parker & Miles Morales Spider-Men: Double Trouble.
This is just a damn, oh sorry, perhaps darn is a better word to use, good series. A whole checklist of things that instantly make this a must-read.
Peter Parker and Miles Morales as Spider-Men hanging out and doing hero stuff? Check! Great writers Mariko Tamaki and Vita Ayala? Check. More amazing fantastic Girihiru artwork? Big-time check. A great silly but serious tone with a number of smart written and visualized jokes in a pretty solid superhero adventure? Check, check, super check!
I loved both of the previous Double Trouble books, and this one brings in both of the Spider-Men that are my favorite characters so this was a slam dunk from my point of view. Beyond my own likes and dislikes, this is just a pretty simple story with the two Spider-Men hanging out on a quest and having a bit of a dispute (surrounding sidekick status) before having to dive right into superhero stuff when some mistakes are made. Subsequent issues are going to introduce more of their villains, but it was so smart to start with just Miles and Peter with a bit of Venom at the start. It gives time and space to really allow the two of them to share the spotlight and set us up for how they interact and what the plan was for their time together.
Tamaki and Ayala are both tremendous writers who are able to hit all the emotional character beats needed in any story on their own, and putting them together is like putting together pasta and cheese for some mac and cheese. Or peanut butter and jelly or chocolate. I’m probably too hungry to be writing this, but basically, I’m saying putting two things together that are great on their own often leads to something that is greater as a whole. The same goes for pairing great writers, artists, or other creative types.
If one is trying to hit the vibe of all-ages light fun but still full of all that superhero goodness, well Gurihiru would be an artist right at the top of the list for that feeling. Good thing that’s who has been bringing each of these Double Trouble series to life so far. There is just something about Gurihiru’s artwork that sets the mind at ease. All the characters are recognizable but not beholden to fitting any proportions or standards that one might assign them. Just look at Venom, who is not only massive but the wide toothy grin upon the symbiote’s face is almost whimsical and fun while also dangerous, a whole vibe that the villain is giving off anytime he’s on the page.
There is so much work put into play here to make the world feel real and still like something outside our window (all the building shots and interiors are pretty standard), but also something lighter and more fun. It’s the characters and what they come up against, as well as visual gags like the L.I.G.H.T.S. switch snafu, that are allowed to be sillier and more over the top both in appearance and execution.
Another element that helps with the lighter but also serious tone mixture is the colors in play here. Again much of the stuff that is more grounded and real here looks that way even more because the colors are pretty standard ones you would see for those elements, given a bit of a toned-down quality to them. While all the hero, villain, and outlandish elements get to be full of the really vibrant super bright wild colors so that they stand apart from the world around them and we keep our focus on those elements and don’t care too much about the more ‘plain’ elements they cruise right past. One of my favorites is the page of them swinging through the city where the city itself is a static background and they are the elements moving through the page in their own little floating white boxes, panels on panels on a panel. Comics are so great.
The melding of more standard and more colorful/wild elements can be found in the way Cory Petit tackles the lettering here. Miles, Peter, and Miles’s family have bubbles that are full of pretty standard text that doesn’t deviate that much outside of them having louder or bigger moments (like Peter’s giant red excited words about the thing he just made up about taking sidekicks to work day), while Venom’s bubbles and words are way more out there since they are not only swapped colors (white on black instead of the other way around) but are more rough and jagged too in order to fit his more anti-hero/villain persona.
All the SFX, there is so much glorious big bold SFX for my SFX loving heart, also gets to be bigger and wilder and more varied in color. Just like the characters themselves, these SFX are the things meant to stand out and be more in-your-face at every turn.
Peter Parker & Miles Morales Spider-Men: Double Trouble #1 is now available from Marvel Comics.
Comic books span quite a large range of tones, from the most serious thing you’ve ever read to the silliest.COMICONRead More