Peter Parker needs no introduction. Everyone already knows that he is Spider-Man, and how he earned this nickname has long been the talk of the town. Even the movie relaunch and Marvel’s Spider-Man (2018) game did without its origin story. Miles Morales is a different matter. His character is a very recent comic-book character (just nine years ago), and the public – especially outside the US – is just getting to know him. And although he has already managed to light up in many games and cartoons, the scriptwriters who constantly change the details of the hero’s biography do not facilitate this acquaintance.
In light of the release of Marvel’s Spider-Man: Miles Morales, we decided to take a look at the original comics and figure out: who is this Miles Morales after all?
Initially, Spider-Man was created with the expectation that the target audience could easily identify with a superhero: he was, in fact, not a superhuman ideal, but the most ordinary guy. But the average student in the United States is now not at all the same as in the 60s: in 2012, more than half of the newborns in the States were ethnic minority babies . And the geek community as a whole is becoming wider every year and involves more and more people from a wide variety of cultures and backgrounds, which means that the comic book audience is also changing.
The leadership of Marvel regularly keeps its finger on the pulse: the idea of creating a dark-skinned Spider-Man on the sidelines of the company began to be hatched back in 2008. And in 2011, thanks to the efforts of screenwriter Brian Michael Bendis (creator of Jessica Jones) and artist Sara Picelli , Miles Morales appeared on the pages of the Ultimate Comics Fallout # 4 – the son of a Latin American and African American, a black Spider-Man originally from Brooklyn.
One fine day, fate gave the unremarkable 13-year-old teenager Miles two surprises at once. In the morning he won a lottery place in a prestigious charter school and got a chance for a good education, and in the afternoon he was bitten by an experimental spider, who was accidentally dragged from the Oscorp laboratory by his uncle – Aaron Davis, a mercenary and a thief. As the comics teach us, such a bite is a direct road to the superhero club, not otherwise. The symptoms of the mutation were not long in coming, and by the evening Miles blurted out everything to his best friend, a fat and cheerful Asian Ganka Lee.
Together, the buddies quickly figured out that Miles received the same abilities as Spider-Man, but with a couple of bonuses. In addition to great strength, dexterity, ability to climb walls and a spider’s instinct, invisibility and the ability to attack opponents with bioelectricity, barely touching them with your fingertips, were added. And these are just those of the skills that manifested themselves immediately.
Remember Ned Leeds – Pete’s best friend from the new Tom Holland movies? So Ganke is his prototype
It would seem that when fate throws a cornucopia over your head, you need to jump for happiness, but Miles, on the contrary, reacted gloomily: after all, now normal life is over. Extraordinary abilities often come with a price tag, and the universe did not delay collecting debts. Shortly after Miles gained superpower, his idol and role model – the original Spider-Man – died fighting the Green Goblin.
These events took place in the Ultimate alternate universe (Earth-1610). Peter Parker from the classic Earth-616 at that time did not blow his mustache, fought with Mister Negative and did not hear about any Miles.
Miles watched the tragedy with his own eyes and quickly realized that he would have to become the new Spider-Man. And if he wants not only to get out of the shadow of his illustrious predecessor, but also to avoid his fate, he needs to become even better.
The large family of a young fighter against evil began to thin out rapidly. Uncle Aaron put two and two together pretty quickly and guessed that the new Spider-Man was a nephew bitten by a creeping experiment. A prudent and cruel mercenary, known in criminal circles as the Tramp, immediately showed his true face. He tried to blackmail Miles to work for him, but did not calculate his strength and died from the explosion of his own faulty gadget in a battle with his nephew. Miles blamed himself for his death for a long time.
Soon, the mother of the newly-made Spider-Man, the kind and caring Rio Morales, also died. She was trying to save her son when Venom swallowed him, and came under heavy fire from the fearful police officers. The father, Jefferson Davis, fled altogether when Miles told him about his secret, not forgetting to blame his son for all the misfortunes that befell their house.
For some reason, the writers cannot agree on the only correct “Uncle Ben” for Miles. In Marvel’s Spider-Man (2018), a teenager lost his father, in “Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse” – Aaron’s uncle, and in the canon his mother died altogether
Overnight, Miles Morales was left completely alone – and all his losses were somehow connected with a great power, which he did not ask for. Such a burden and blows of fate can crush anyone, and Miles almost renounced the superhero life. But moral support from Spider-Woman Jessica Drew and a call to a sense of duty were crowned with success: Miles put on the suit again – and, as it turned out, for good reason. His father realized what his son needed, reconciled with cockroaches in his head and returned. And after the merger of the universes – Miles’ native Earth-1610 with the classic Earth-616 – the young hero got his family back in full force!
He deserved it because of the habit of carrying fast food with him – well, thanks to his kind heart, of course. During the events of the Secret Wars crossover, Miles encountered a Molecular Man capable of manipulating reality. The almost omnipotent creature was suffering from unquenchable hunger, and Miles, without hesitation, offered him a burger lying in his pocket. Molecular did not remain in debt: restoring the universe after the catastrophe, he moved Miles, all his friends and family to a new world (almost all other inhabitants of Earth-1610 died) and made it as if Miles’s mother and uncle had never died.
Here it is – the fateful act, thanks to which Miles’s relatives rose from the dead. Batman and Superman can only bite their elbows with envy
Cheater or just a capable guy?
Since then, a rare fight ended in defeat for Miles – and this despite the fact that the guy was just learning to use spider agility and flexibility. The fact is that, among other things, he always has a universal trump card up his sleeve – and this time it is no longer a burger.
Sleight of hand and no fraud!
This trump card is Toxic Touch: The charge of bioelectricity that Miles expends through his fingertips instantly pacifies almost any monster. Including, oddly enough, Electro, which is immune to electricity. Where the previous Spider-Man had to study the enemy’s weaknesses and think over a plan of action, Miles only needs to get within arm’s reach – and the outcome of the battle is predetermined. Rare heavyweights like the Green Goblin (on Earth-1610 this is a huge demon-like beast), of course, are able to withstand several such touches, but they also weaken more with each subsequent discharge.
And even the highly experienced Spider-Man from Earth-616 fell for this trick! But Peter from Earth-1610 (it turned out that he still survived), on the contrary, knocked out Miles himself with a technical blow. In a sense, it’s a draw
The Spider Disguise helps the hero even more: it allows Miles to become almost invisible and get close to opponents. And if you need to attack strictly from afar, the bioelectric thread, which Miles has learned to release from his fingers, helps out. It works the same as the usual one, only cooler: no web shooters are needed for its production, and caught enemies can be shocked by launching a charge of Poisonous Touch.
But that’s not all! Once, being captured by Hydra and Doctor Doom, Miles became nervous and erupted into a Poisonous Explosion. Since then, in stressful situations, he can create a powerful burst of energy that damages electronics, shocks opponents and frees them from physical shackles no worse than Houdini’s tricks.
Bioelectric Web and Poison Blast in Action
Boy snapped up
Defeating one old enemy of Spider-Man after another, Miles impressed everyone with whom fate brought him. Nick Fury, Spider-Woman, Captain America, Mary Jane and Gwen Stacy are just a few of those who managed to bless a teenager for superhero activities. Aunt May handed over the web shooters of the alleged deceased Peter to Miles as a sign of approval and support. And even Spider-Man himself in two of his incarnations (Peter from Earth-616 and Peter who was considered dead, but survived from Earth-1610) recognized Miles as his equal.
Galactus is one of Miles’ few rivals against whom Venom Touch proved useless. However, the superhero did not even try …
The rumor about his phenomenal success reached even Tony Stark himself – the famous lover of attracting fragile minds to participate in superhero feuds (in the name of justice, of course). Immediately after Miles lost his home universe due to an interdimensional cataclysm and moved to permanent residence on Earth-616, Iron Man invited him to become part of completely new, completely different Avengers ( All-New, All-Different Avengers ). The team really came together as unlike as we are used to seeing on the screen. Of the old people, only Vision, Iron Man and Sam Wilson remained. The latter took the place of Steve Rogers, becoming the new Captain America. The rest, like Miles, are newcomers: the woman Thor, Nova and Ms. Marvel (the same Kamala Khan that appeared inMarvel’s Avengers ).
Completely different Avengers
Morales, despite all his youth and inexperience, quite successfully coped with the responsibility assigned to him, but … the Second Civil War broke out. And Miles managed to be in the very center of her events.
Discord began because of the dilemma in the spirit of the movie “Minority Report” : a new subman Ulysses, able to predict disaster and crime. Captain Marvel decided to use it to prevent misfortune ahead of time – including arresting potential criminals before they even commit crimes. Iron Man stood up in opposition, declaring that the future is not a foregone conclusion, and Ulysses’ visions are only a forecast of future events. According to Tony Stark and the heroes who supported him, if there is even a small probability of error or that the criminal will change his mind, his life cannot be ruined. Simply put, if you didn’t steal it, it’s not a thief.
True, in this story, the new Spider-Man acted as an object, not a subject of actions. In the midst of the conflict, Ulysses, with the gift of a seer, sent down a vision to the heroes: Miles would kill the first Captain America (Steve Rogers). It was precisely because Iron Man and Captain Marvel were unable to amicably agree on what to do with Miles that the final battle of the Civil War II crossover took place .
Killing Captain America is also a kind of indicator of greatness! What kind of spider Captain America will not kill …
It’s time for the young spider to realize his true position in the Avengers team. It turned out that adult supers did not care about the opinion of a teenager: the most that Miles could count on was an illusion of choice. So, when Captain Marvel invited Spider to volunteer to go with her (actually under arrest), Tony Stark made the decision for Miles. He surrounded the guy with a protective energy cocoon, in which he stuck all the time, while the heroes, with the help of fists and rockets, found out whose side was the truth.
Not wanting to be a puppet in the hands of his adult “colleagues” anymore, Miles left the Avengers. Together with Ms. Marvel and Nova, they organized a team of young champions of justice “Champions” with the basic principle proclaimed by Kamala Khan: “Do justice without abuse of force, without beating, without killing!”
Gwen Stacy from Earth-65 never liked Peter Parker. She liked Miles, though.
In 2018, Brian Michael Bendis, Miles’ daddy, left Marvel for DC . The studio was forced to take a break from publishing the superhero’s solo adventures, but Bendis gave his character what seems to be the brightest and most serene streak in his life. The prophecy did not come true: Miles, of course, did not kill Captain America, even if he was asking for it (he turned out to be an agent of Hydra). In personal life, everything is just fine! Ganke’s best friend is always with him, at school the attractive Barbara Rodriguez casts languid glances at him, and on Earth-65 spider-Gwen awaits, remembering a fleeting kiss on the roof. The whole family of Miles is alive and well, knows his secret and accepts him for who he is. And even the recidivist Uncle Aaron seems to have repented and embarked on the path of correction.
But the superhero is too popular to live happily ever after. In 2019, Marvel put his fate in the hands of screenwriter Saladin Ahmed and launched a new comic book series: Miles Morales: Spider-Man . A game with Miles in the title role came out the other day. The next step is the continuation of the full-length cartoon ” Spider-Man: Into the Universes “, which is scheduled to premiere in the fall of 2022. Chances are high that Miles will soon appear in the MCU: insider Jeremy Konrad claims that the studio has allegedly already found a suitable actor.
One thing is clear: studio bosses have big plans for the superhero, which means that we will see projects with him more and more often.