Review: Spider-Man (2016) #237


With only 4 issues of Spider-Man left, Bendis is still at peace with his trademark casual pacing.

Writer: Brian Michael Bendis
Artist: Oscar Bazaldua
Colorist: Brian Reber
Letterer: VC’s Cory Petit
Cover Artist: Patrick Brown

Bendis has been writing Spider-Man in one way or another for roughly two decades, but not for much longer. The future Superman and Action Comics writer only has three more issues after this one. Does this feel like the end?

Honestly, no, it doesn’t, or at least not yet. To a very large degree, this just feels like another chapter of his long Spider-Man tenure. The prior reveal that Iron Spider is Aaron Davis, Miles’ presumed-dead uncle, grants this arc some extra gravity that still may pay off big, but so far, this has felt strangely… normal.

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To be clear, I don’t say this as a criticism. I personally quite enjoy of Bendis’ decompressed, dialogue-driven writing style. It doesn’t suit every story equally, but when it works, it really works. While this nearly action-less chapter isn’t the strongest example he’s ever produced, it’s still far from a weak one. The conversations between Miles and Aaron, Jefferson and Rio and Lana and Lori all work in their own ways. Each one effectively depicts where these characters are at, both individually and relationally.

For as slow and simple as this issue is, it does propel the story in a variety of ways. Jefferson and Rio’s reconciliation has been a work in process, but this conversation finally moves them past Jefferson’s mistake. Aaron’s chat with Miles drops some vague hints at why he’s not dead (it’s seemingly Secret Wars-related). Hobgoblin engages Red Hulk, which will likely pay off in a future issue. And finally, a brief glimpse at Danika on the final page could end up majorly affecting Miles’ life going forwards.

Photo credit: Marvel/Spider-Man #237

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Bazaldua’s art depicts all the above with an appropriate dose of personality. Anyone working on Miles Morales other than Sara Pichelli or David Marquez will always be a challenge, but with eight issues of the character under his belt, Bazaldua has proven himself a worthy contributor. His faces land in that sweet spot between expressive and restrained, which certainly fits the tone of this issue.

Spider-Man (2016) #237. B. . Brian Michael Bendis, Oscar Bazaldua, Brian Reber.

Must Read: Review: Ben Reilly: The Scarlet Spider (2017) #13

Looking at this issue, it’s still hard to see what Bendis’ final statement on this character with look like in Spider-Man #240. The story could go in so many directions. Whatever that final chapter ends up looking like, though, I’m happy that Bendis will be bowing out before I got sick of his Spider-Man work.