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Spider-Man #238 Review

by Harlan Ivester on March 07, 2018

Writer: Brian Michael Bendis
Artist: Oscar Bazaldua
Colorist: Brian Reber
Publisher: Marvel Comics
            Yeah, I know. Another Bendis book. I’m not gonna harp on it anymore, I promise! I just want to be clear, any time I rag on something of his, it’s nothing personal. I have a lot of respect for some of his other stuff. Ultimate Spider-Man, the majority of Infamous Iron Man – I just think that in order for things to get better, constructive criticism must be given. I think Miles is a great character that unfortunately is not being done justice by his own creator. All I want is for him to get the quality title that he deserves.  With that out of the way, let’s hop right in!
            The dialogue is bad. I understand that Bendis tries to simulate realistic conversation flow in his work, but it honestly comes across as pretentious to me sometimes. Yet, every single thing that every single character said in this issue is generic and by the numbers. It just feels so witless. It almost distracted me from the fact that the Sinister Six’s plan depends on the helicarrier being completely unguarded for almost thirty mintutes! Half an hour! I just don’t see any one living in a world of super heroes with the resources to build something like a helicarrier being stupid enough to leave it unguarded for one second. It’s at least nice to see the SS finally doing something together, and the Bombshell family drama does give Sandman a nice moment. It’s just a shame that it’s only one panel. It was by far the most intrigued I’d ever been, but it doesn’t get to grow while it has my attention. Seeing the preview cover for the next issue, I have a really hard time caring about any of this. At all. I’ve ranted before about Aaron’s resurrection. Frankly, I’d be shocked if anyone told me this story sounded like a good idea (but apparently Bendis would?). I know covers can be misleading, but that’s a big “can”.
            The art really didn’t help the script like it has before. Oscar Bazaldua’s faces felt like there were some corners cut in their development, with the exception of Red Hulk and Sandman. Younger characters just don’t seem to have any lines that highlight their facial structure, which results in faces looking rather plain. I will at least commend the consistency of physiques all around. Action sequences also could have used a few more panels to depict the transitions between poses. In the scenes that are supposed to be well lit, I think Brian Reber could have done better on the colors, too. I’ve loved his work before, but here, skin tone changes don’t look natural. They’re abrupt, in a way that almost looks like the characters are wearing a heavy layer of makeup.
            I think I’m going to take a break from this book. I simply can’t imagine anything being done in the remaining two issues that will make this boring and costly endeavor worth the trouble. Miles Morales is a character I genuinely like, but it is way past time for him to have a new writer. Until that issue rolls in, I’ll get my fix from Champions, which is also getting a new writer. I’m going to recommend that everyone skip on this book. It didn’t have enough redeeming qualities to make it enjoyable now, and the future doesn’t look good enough to invest in. Pass.

Our Score:


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