Miles Morales’ Spider-Man may not be as well known as Peter Parker’s, but with his own movies, video games and comics, he’s here to stay.
Everyone knows Peter Parker as the friendly neighborhood Spider-Man, but what’s the deal with his successor, Miles Morales Spider-Man? He’s swung into the limelight lately, taking center stage in Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse and now his own video game, but what are his comic book origins and how do they differ from his movie and game counterparts?
Created by writer Brian Michael Bendis and artist Sara Pichelli, Morales made his debut in 2011 in the pages of Marvel’s Ultimate Fallout #4. The original Spider-Man had recently been killed by Norman Osborn’s Green Goblin when a new wall-crawler arrives on the scene, going into battle against the Kangaroo. With New York still reeling from the original Spidey’s death, many onlookers wonder aloud if it’s in poor taste for this new hero to be sporting the signature red and blue tights. After winning the battle with Kangaroo, the new Spider-Man lifts up his mask, revealing a Puerto Rican/African-American teenager who also wonders to himself if the costume choice was a bad idea. Taste is subjective, but the black and red suit he eventually dons instead is way cooler looking anyway.
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It turns out that, when Miles was just 13 years old, his uncle Aaron, aka The Prowler, snuck into Oscorp HQ to steal some tech. Unbeknownst to Aaron, a genetically-modified spider had crawled into his bag during his robbery. At a family visit, the spider reemerges and bites Miles, imbuing him with the super strength, agility, and Spider Sense Marvel fans have known for the better part of a century. What’s more, because this was an enhanced version of the spider that bit Peter Parker, Miles also gains the ability to turn invisible, as well as bioelectric capabilities. While initially uninterested with using his newfound abilities to fight crime, Miles is spurred into action following the death of Peter Parker, racked with guilt for not having come to his aid in the first place.
In Spider-Verse, Miles is still with Uncle Aaron when he gets bit, though this time the spider doesn’t come from Aaron’s bag and they’re in an abandoned New York subway as opposed to Aaron’s apartment. In the 2018 video game, he’s bit after the spider catches a ride on Mary Jane after she’s done some snooping in Osborn’s penthouse/research facility. A post credits scene in the game shows Miles revealing his new skills to Peter, who, in turn, shows off his own abilities. The game’s DLC even has Miles frequently asking for Peter’s help to train him to become a hero himself, a departure from his comic book counterpart’s initial hesitance.
Miles would get his own solo series with Ultimate Comics: Spider-Man, which opens before the events of Ultimate Fallout and fleshes out the character while also detailing his origin story. While this Spider-Man originated in Marvel’s Ultimate Universe as opposed to its primary Earth-616 continuity, Morales resonated with fans and would later be absorbed into the main Marvel Universe in the fallout of 2015’s epic “Secret Wars” event. Currently, Miles is a member of the Champions, a group of young Marvel heroes who may soon be seeing their own civil war, with Miles already embroiled in the conflict.
Between his ongoing comic appearances, his new game and a sequel to Into the Spider-Verse expected in 2022, fans can expect to see plenty more of Miles Morales Spider-Man in the future.
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