I just can't get enough of David Marquez. He excels on the action scenes, having his characters do things that are physically amazing but not impossible. Their poses always look natural, and the progression and choreography of the fights are similarly realistic and well-planned. The bus explosion also felt real, the heat and smoke of it warping or distorting the rest of the page. And even just Prowler simply standing on a rooftop in the very beginning is made gripping and imposing in Marquez's hands.
But literally none of that is as strong as when he's just drawing Miles talking to Ganke. There's so much fucking heart in that scene, and it really sells Brian Michael Bendis' over-the-top dialogue. Miles' honesty and earnestness borders on the unbelievable, but when Marquez draws him, there's no doubting his sincerity. It's remarkable, stellar work. If anything else in the issue comes close, it is the final page. The close-ups on Aaron's burned face are disturbing, leaving us to imagine the majority of what Miles sees yet understand the horror of it. And then there is Miles' own crushing sadness, mostly covered by his mask (save for his mouth and one eye), but no less moving for it. This is why Marquez is a damn champion, these raw emotional scenes. With another artist, this script could've easily felt like sappy nonsense, but Marquez makes it click. Not just every page, but every panel.
As far as the story goes, this was little more than the inevitable battle between Miles and his uncle, and I thought it played out logically while still ending unexpectedly. And I do appreciate the twist on the dead uncle story of the original Spider-Man. Peter Parker always blamed himself for letting Ben's murderer go, but now Miles may very well blame himself directly for killing his uncle. It's an intense heightening of the old concept, and one I expect will be a lasting, significant detail in the Miles' formation as a superhero.
Seriously, though, I need to stop talking about the plot in order to say one more time how pitch perfect David Marquez's art is on this book. He's nailing it, and as incredibly talented as she is, it almost makes me wish Sara Pichelli would stay gone. Almost.