Generations has largely been hit-or-miss. There has been some great issues, like the Wolverine Generations one-shot pairing Logan and Laura Kinney. But for the most part none of them have reached that next level that will make them memorable years down the line. That is largely due to Generations being treated more like a replacement for the yearly Annual issues rather than something that will alter the characters in the present. That all said, I am very interested to see what Brian Bendis will do with Miles Morales trip to the past to meet a more down on his luck version of Peter Parker during the early days of Spider-Man. Will this Spider-Man Generations issue finally be the one to hit it out of the ballpark? Let’s find out with Generations: Miles Morales Spider-Man & Peter Parker Spider-Man #1.
Writer: Brian Michael Bendis
Artist: Ramon Perez
Story Rating: 8 Night Girls out of 10
Art Rating: 8 Night Girls out of 10
Overall Rating: 8 Night Girls out of 10
Synopsis: Miles Morales finds himself in a bathroom with clothes that he does not recognize putting on.
When Miles steps out of the bathroom he runs into a college aged Peter Parker. Miles helps Peter get back up. As they pick up Peter’s books Flash makes fun of Peter for still being a clumsy nerd.
Miles tries to talk to Peter once he realizes who he is but Peter rushes off to see his Aunt May in the hospital.
Flash continues to mock Peter for being a loser to Harry Osborn and Gwen Stacy. Miles overhears this and tells Flash he sucks.
Miles walks outside and once again bumps into Peter. Peter is confused at how he can’t sense Miles. Miles thinks about revealing that he is also Spider-Man but instead runs away.
Peter tries to chase Miles down to figure out who he is. Peter loses track of Miles and breaks down on a rooftop believing he has gone crazy.
Miles ends up swinging himself to his old neighborhood. There he sees the younger version of himself becoming friends with Ganke. Miles approaches his younger self but is stopped from getting closer by his mom. Miles tries to talk to his mom but just stays quiet about who he really is and walks away.
Miles gets on a rooftop. As he looks over the city he questions why he was brought to this time period.
At Aunt May’s house Peter goes to his room and is frustrated that he still does not know May’s condition, blaming himself for all the tragedy around him.
Miles comes in through Peter’s bedroom window. Peter demands to know who Miles is. Miles reveals his name and that he is also Spider-Man, showing Peter his costume. Miles goes over how Peter is the first Spider-Man and that he wears the costume as a tribute to Peter, though there are several Spider-Men and Women in the future.
Miles asks Peter what happened tonight. Peter reveals that he tried to get Doctor Octopus to help him cure Aunt May’s condition but Ock threw a building on him. Peter says that he was able to lift the building up and get himself out of the situation but still does not know if his aunt will live. This all comes to a shock to Miles, as this is the first time he has heard this story.
Peter gets a call from the hospital and the doctors reveal that Aunt May will make a full recovery.
Feeling that he finally got a win Peter is able to sit back and relax for the first time in a while. Seeing everything that Peter has been through Miles admits that he now realizes how personal being Spider-Man is and thanks Peter for sharing the name with him.
Peter ends up falling asleep. Miles decides to leave Peter to sleep and is suddenly teleported back to his timeline.
The next morning Peter wakes up alone in his room. End of issue.
The Good: Brian Bendis deliver possibly his best comic book in the last several years with Generations: Miles Morales Spider-Man & Peter Parker Spider-Man #1. Where this issue lacks in action it more than makes up for in how Bendis does an excellent job writing Miles Morales and Peter Parker.
The best thing that Bendis does is quickly separate Generations: Miles Morales Spider-Man & Peter Parker Spider-Man #1 by not relying on having the two characters interact a lot at the beginning of the issue. Though we see Peter and Miles bump into each other at the beginning of the issue, they are largely kept apart until the last half of the issue. This in turn makes the actual sit down interaction that Peter and Miles actually be special.
By keeping the two characters separate it also allowed Bendis to give Peter and Miles to establish where they are in their lives to the reader. For Peter we are back during his college years right in the middle of one of his most iconic Spider-Man moments and worst “Parker Luck” period. These two instances give us a reminder of how vulnerable Peter is as a character.
For Miles we see his own personal struggles play out as he witnesses a period in his life that was filled with innocence. Seeing the moment he and Ganke became friends in their first meeting showed Miles a completely different life he lived before becoming Spider-Man. This made the fact that his mother was there before their relationship changed thanks to his Spider-Man life even harder to see. Bendis got over how emotional Miles was inside his head and that not revealing who he is was an incredibly tough decision for Miles to make.
This all set-up Peter and Miles sit down meeting to be even more impactful. Having just come off an emotional moment with his mother Miles was even more open to finding out what is going on in Peter’s life. Peter going over how he was tricked by Doctor Octopus in his search to save his Aunt May was made stronger by how Miles reacted. It’s a reminder that while they share the same superhero name that this was one of the first real personal interactions that Peter and Miles have had. In spotlighting that fact Bendis creates the opportunity to make future meetings between the two to be even more meaningful in the present.
It was also good to see how Bendis used this to really show Miles what being Spider-Man means. Given that Miles just sort of took over the mantle when Ultimate Peter Parker died, he never got to see how much a struggle being Spider-Man was to Peter. In getting this eye opening meeting Miles finally learned that being Spider-Man is something Peter created out of a personal tragedy rather than just being gifted.
That realization makes the fact Peter has given his blessing to Miles to also be Spider-Man mean even more now as he is part of a legacy that is personal to both of them. It’s especially special given that Miles is the only one that has actually asked for permission to be take on the Spider-Man mantle. It’ll also make future team-ups even more interesting since we may see both Peter and Miles interact more on a personal level than just being Spider-Buddies.
Ramon Perez does an excellent job invoking the art style from the Stan Lee-Steve Ditko era of Spider-Man. Everything from the look and the way characters react felt like being thrown back to that era of Spider-Man. It helped add to the drama of this talking heaving issue and made it easier to look past the lack of action from the comic. Perez’s artwork is especially at its best in the last half of the issue with how he draws Peter’s emotional state and how Miles is getting to understand that personal struggle.
The Bad: As much as I enjoyed the story of Generations: Miles Morales Spider-Man & Peter Parker Spider-Man #1 I have to admit that it was odd to see the setting look like Miles was transported to the 60s rather than early 2000s. I understand that there is a nostalgia factor to picking this look for this Spider-Man era but at some point we need to see Peter’s origin updated a bit in terms of when he went to school.
This would’ve been a good chance at that since at this point Peter would’ve gone to high school and college in the early- or mid-2000s. Having the clothing and technology reflect that fact helped this Generations issue stand the test of time more than it will. That said, this is only a minor complaint for what was otherwise a strong comic.
Overall: Generations: Miles Morales Spider-Man & Peter Parker Spider-Man #1 is easily one of the best Generations comics. Brian Bendis and Ramon Perez did an excellent job making this meeting between Miles Morales and the college version of Peter Parker meaningful. After reading this issue I now want to see Miles interact with Peter much more in the present. If you are a Spider-Man fan this is a must read.