Captain America once tried to stop Miles Morales from becoming the next Ultimate Spider-Man, believing him to be too young and inexperienced.
Miles Morales and Captain America have had an interesting relationship over the years. This Spider-Man and original Avenger have been at odds with each other, predicted to kill another, and yet they’ve fought side by side in the Avengers or together against powerful Marvel villains. It’s interesting to see Miles being in a position to give orders to Steve Rogers considering in another time and technically universe, he was against Miles being Spider-Man in the first place.
In the Ultimate Marvel Universe, which is a parallel dimension meant to appeal to new audiences by introducing different or unique interpretations of classic Marvel characters, Peter Parker died and Miles is his web-themed successor. With his own costume and permission to operate from Nick Fury, Miles is dealt with the death of his Uncle Aaron Davis aka the Prowler, whom Miles may or may not have been responsible for. At the same time, Captain America returns from his self-imposed exile to help the Ultimates and the newly-appointed President to bring the fractured United States back together. In this time, Steve Rogers learns of Miles’ existence, shocked that a new and younger Spider-Man was even approved by Fury and seeks an audience with him. He finds and tracks Miles where he interrupts a meeting between Miles and Peter’s May Parker and Gwen Stacey, interrupting a metaphorical passing of the torch by declaring that Miles will no longer be Spider-Man.
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In this issue by Brian Michael Bendis with art by David Marquez, Captain America ignores insults from Gwen Stacey and states that Miles can not be Spider-Man, citing that he is too young, inexperience and unprepared to handle the dangers of this lifestyle. When he brings up Peter, Mary Jane Watson appears and points out that he is taking out his feelings on Miles, his failure to train Peter and that he blamed himself for his death was not fair to Miles who is a completely different person. Steve doesn’t deny this but remains unchanged on his stance when the discussion is interrupted by a call. Having to run off to deal with an incident, Steve warns Miles that the matter is closed, saying that disobeying him will result in him being incarcerated and his secret identity exposed to his parents.
Bendis takes this issue and combines it with Marquez’s detailed artwork to tell a story that remains in line with his work on Ultimate Spider-Man as well as the current Ultimate Marvel stories. America’s top superhero, whom Miles respects enough to defend even when he’s trying to take his title away, is telling him he can’t be Spider-Man. When he’s called off to deal with something, Miles finds inspiration in Peter’s Aunt May, who encourages him to prove Captain America wrong and not do what Peter would do, but what feels right for Miles to do. Armed with Peter’s web-shooters, Miles gets through the learning curve to find Cap having issues fighting one of Peter’s old foes, the Rhino. Disobeying Cap’s orders, Miles willingly puts himself in danger by engaging the rampaging mechanical villain with the usual banter and webbing Rhino saw from the original Spider-Man.
With the help of his Venom Blast, Miles is able to push past his current trauma and use the power to explosively shut down the Rhino with a little help from Captain America. Having watched Miles in battle, Steve is convinced enough to change his mind although on the condition that Miles gets proper training. Spider-Man would later be seen working alongside the Ultimates against Hydra and it would not be the last time Miles Morales would work with Captain America albeit in the mainstream Marvel universe. Although they’ve moved past it, its interesting to consider one of Miles’ strongest allies used to be one of his biggest critics.
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