The look into the past of Jefferson Davis continues as he attempts to explain his past to Miles in the ninth issue of Miles Morales: The Ultimate Spider-Man.
Bendis caps off the two issue look into the past of Miles’ father with this issue, giving readers some background as to why Jefferson has the reaction he does to Miles’ powers, and what makes this character tick. Bendis writes some solid scenes featuring Miles and his father, and these pages really are the heart of the issue. The bulk of this issue is looking back at Jefferson’s time with The Kingpin that was alluded to in issue #8, and the things he had to do in the name of assisting S.H.I.E.L.D. For the most part, this look in the past is more of the same, and for that reason it feels rather stale. Jefferson doing things he objects to in the name of the greater good is all fine and dandy, but after the last issue this feels like a lot of rehashing a point that has been made already. The pages featuring Miles and his father are very well executed, but the flashbacks belabor the point too much for this issue to really soar.
David Marquez and Justin Ponsor are a solid team as always, and I was impressed with how the duo changed their styles dramatically for the look into the past. This is prime material for a fill-in artist, but rather than do that Marquez and Ponsor simply change their style to signify a time gone by. Marquez’s pencils are much looser and grittier, especially where The Kingpin is involved, and Ponsor’s palette delves into more muted tones. The effect works as it is extremely easy to differentiate between the past and present, and when we return to present day from the flashback, Marquez’s pencils leap from the page. He handles the emotional aspects of this issue very well and I’m excited to see him cut loose in some more action sequences like we saw in the first arc going forward.
Miles Morales: The Ultimate Spider-Man #9 helps flesh out a primary player in Miles’ life, gives readers an emotional exchange they’ve been looking for and showcases the diverse talents of David Marquez and Justin Ponsor, but in the end I couldn’t help but feel like I’d read this comic before…just last month, to be more precise. Issue #9 feels like it could have been compressed into a one-shot with issue #8 without much loss of impact, and for that reason this one fell somewhat flat for me. Is it a bad comic? No, it isn’t, but compared to what we’ve seen in this series so far it pales in comparison.
The Verdict: 7.0/10