This past week was pretty big if you are a Spider-Man fan. On Monday, Marvel announced that Miles Morales, the Ultimate Spider-Man, will become the web-slinger of the main Marvel Comics Universe following the events of Secret Wars. He will even be a member of the All-New, All-Different Avengers, which features one of the most diverse lineups we’ve seen in years.
Also this week, it was announced that actor Tom Holland will be taking over the role of Peter Parker as he transitions into the MCU next year with a role in Captain America: Civil War, before starring in his own film in 2017.
If you were on the internet at ALL the last few days, there are many people upset with the casting of Holland as Parker, and even with the choice of Peter Parker’s Spider-Man as a whole. We HAVE already seen this character, origin and all, FIVE other times. Why couldn’t Marvel take a chance and make Miles the first MCU wall-crawler?
Well, I say fear not. There is NO reason to stress that the possibility of Miles Morales in the MCU is just an afterthought. In fact, this actually opens the door WIDER for his eventual appearance! Here’s why.
Consistency and the “Uncle Ben Moment”
Let’s go all the way back to Amazing Fantasy #15, with the classic scene of Peter realizing who killed his Uncle Ben.
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It was in that moment where Peter realized that “with great power comes great responsibility.” This was also the turning point of both 2002’s Spider-Man and 2012’s Amazing Spider-Man respectively.
These three versions of Spider-Man’s origin, while different in some aspects, all maintain the same consistency: Peter’s irresponsibility, which causes Uncle Ben’s death, leads him down the path to becoming the hero he is today.
This is why we believe this Peter Parker can lead to Miles Morales. Because Peter can be that moment — in emotional resonance — for Miles. For those of you unfamiliar with how Miles became the next webslinger, in his origin story he too was bitten by the same type of Oscorp genetically enhanced spider that gave Peter his powers.
Unlike Peter, Miles has no desire to keep his powers, and does his best to hide them from everyone. However, that all changed when the Ultimate version of Peter Parker was killed, and Miles felt like he had a chance to stop it — much like Peter did with his Uncle Ben. The look in his eyes from Ultimate Comics: Spider-Man #4 says it all.
Miles believes that if he had taken responsibility for his new powers, he could have done something to prevent Peter’s death, creating, in essence, Miles’ own Uncle Ben moment. (Since his actual uncle was, y’know, a thief that stole the spider that bit him in the first place.) Even in the cartoon Ultimate Spider-Man: Web Warriors, Peter Parker travels to an alternate dimension and actually meets Miles Morales, and the story is very similar.
So even with two versions of Miles Morales, the same consistent moment — the death of Peter Parker — is what turns him, officially, into a hero.
And it’s that consistency that can now be transferred into the MCU. Thanks to Age of Ultron, (SPOILER ALERT) we now know that not every hero that is transferred from the comics is necessarily safe. There ARE stakes. A teenage Peter Parker dying to save New York, giving way to a Young Miles Morales that feels somewhat responsible? THAT’S a movie I would enjoy seeing.
The Garfield Conundrum
Now, a lot of people might argue, “but why not use Andrew Garfield’s Peter Parker and do the same thing with Miles? Why do we need a new Peter Parker at all?” Well, Sony Pictures is still in charge of the Spider-Man films even though he’s coming over to the Marvel Cinematic Universe, which means a lot of legal mumbo-jumbo. Still, if Miles needs that “Uncle Ben Moment,” why not use Andrew Garfield’s version and do something similar to what they did with the 2008 Incredible Hulk, where they caught everyone up in the opening credits?
The answer to that question is continuity. If they were to use the Andrew Garfield version of Spider-Man, they would have to explain in about three minutes where he was during the Battle of New York, or where the Avengers were when The Lizard was turning the city into reptile people. There are too many loose ends that would have to be cleared up, and would not make for a smooth movie-making experience.
With Tom Holland as a brand new Peter Parker, this Spider-Man gains a clean entry into the MCU with no unnecessary exposition is needed (Even though Marvel still provides it to us from time to time ).
Do I want Miles Morales in the MCU? OF COURSE!! Would he be a fantastic addition to the Avengers? DEFINITELY!! Does Peter Parker need to exist first? Yes. From a narrative standpoint, Miles Morales’ rise to Spider-Man directly relates to his following Peter Parker. You can’t have Miles without Peter. Sure, you could just erase Peter and replace him with Miles, but not only would that destroy Miles’ origin story, it’d probably anger more than a few Marvel fans out there. Without Peter’s death and Miles’ epiphany, he’s not the same character. Sure, anyone could play Peter Parker and the narrative would still work. But for the emotional resonance and overall universe Marvel looks to be building towards, this feels like the best way to go.
I believe that Miles Morales will eventually make his way into the MCU, regardless of what leaks may have occurred from Sony. If I want to see the Miles Morales that I’ve been reading in the comics since 2011, then I need to see the Peter Parker that inspires him first.
What do you think, though? Do you feel that Peter has to appear first, or could Miles could handle things on his own? Let me know on Twitter or in the comments below.
IMAGES: Xionce/DeviantArt; Marvel; Sony Pictures