Howdy my friends! Welcome to one of our newer segments, where I take a character I love and put them on display for a few minutes in order to gush. And I figured I’d start with a character that I feel deserves all the recognition and more.
It might come as a surprise to many, but I’m a big fan of Spider-Man. Peter Parker has always been my number one hero and it’ll be pretty hard to dethrone him from that. But something I always found pretty interesting about him is he never really had someone to pass on the mask as soon as he was no longer able to swing across the city. (Contrary to what the movies might think, Peter does age past high school/college.) He couldn’t be the idol forever, after all.
In comes Miles.
Miles, like Peter, was a kid when he gained his spidey powers. Like Peter, he’s kind of an awkward nerd. But there are some pretty interesting differences between the two.
Miles had a pretty run-of-the-mill family life, as far as he knew. Mom and Dad went to their jobs, he went to school and later started to spend his free-time fighting crime on the streets of New York. Later, in the comics, he discovers his dad is actually an agent of shield while his uncle is a hardened criminal known as the Prowler.
And here we have something that really sets Peter and Miles apart. Uncle Aaron in the comics is a real piece of shit. For a while, he does what he can to bring Miles to his side. After all, someone with web crawling abilities alongside cloaking and electric shocks? Wouldn’t be hard to figure out how to place him in a life of crime.
Of course, Miles rejects this in order to be a hero. He doesn’t want to follow in his uncle’s footsteps, and he does make that known. But it eventually leads to Uncle Aaron’s death at which point he lands what is possibly the opposite of an Uncle Ben moment. In a last ditch effort, he tells Miles that he’s just like him. A line which could sink in and make the poor kid question if he’s actually a good person or not.
This is something all heroes go through at one time or another. But what really drives this one home is that Miles isn’t hearing it from someone mourning a loved one he couldn’t save. Or a newspaper article from a man very against vigilantes. He’s hearing it from someone who knows him. Sure, by this point he knows Uncle Aaron is kind of the worst. But he’s still Uncle Aaron. Someone he looked up to. Someone who he thought cared about him.
Plus, I'd like to drive this home, he’s a kid.
Now, a lot of this was kind of retconned in Into the Spiderverse. We still see Miles as kind of a nerdy kid, but his introduction is something extremely relatable. A good kid, likes to do art, can be kinda spacy, packs haphazardly last minute. This time his dad’s just a straight shooting cop (the kind that doesn’t turn on his sirens just to get through red lights.) And his uncle, while still a criminal, is not a narcissistic piece of shit.
Into the Spiderverse did an amazing job introducing Miles Morales to people who might not have known about him before this. It still stands as my favorite Spider-Man movie and I know I’m not alone in this. But…
I would very much like to see Miles be able to step out from Peter’s shadow. Right now, it’s hard to talk about Miles without bringing up Peter. And that really isn’t fair to who Miles is and what he represents. Each time he was hinted at in the MCU(The Prowler partial cameo/the talk between Peter and Electro), I got excited at the idea of him appearing. Maybe someday, he’ll have that MCU movie. Until then, I’ll have to settle for the superior spider-man movie and wait until the next one comes out in October. At which point, expect me to be posting more about it and, hopefully, refining it into a proper analysis.
Thank you so much for stopping in! I hope you enjoyed the few minutes of Miles Morales. Come join us next time!
Fare Thee Well!