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Film/TV Spiderverse

Published on March 28th, 2019 | by voxx

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How ‘Into the Spider Verse’ fixed Miles Morales

‘Into The Spider Verse’ was released in 2018, and centres around five spider-people – Peter B Parker, Gwen Stacy, Peter Porker, Peni Parker and Miles Morales. In this story, Morales gains his powers and must take on the responsibilities of the Spider-Man before him.

Despite this being his first film appearance, Miles Morales has actually existed since 2011. Created by Brian Michael Bendis, he was mostly inspired by Donald Glover before ‘The Amazing Spiderman’ reboot took place. Fans thought Donald Glover would make a great Peter Parker after seeing a photo of him in Spider-Man pyjamas, and liked the concept of an African-American Spider-Man. And thus, Miles was created.

Miles’ motivation for becoming Spider-Man is the same on film as in the comics. After he stood by as Peter Parker was killed, he vowed to follow in his predecessor’s footsteps. The problem with his character, however, is that his concept was only that of an African-American Spiderman, meaning that even once he was fully developed his personality was way too close to that of Peter’s, so much so that from description alone you could hardly distinguish between them. Thankfully, as different writers got hold of Miles’s character they were able to incorporate a few of his own personality traits that would somewhat separate him from Peter.

When ‘Into The Spider Verse’ was released, we saw bigger changes to Miles, and from the first scene he appears in he is shown to be a completely different character, one who is proud of his culture and the area. He is shown to be smart, able to get into school despite feeling he doesn’t belong among clever kids. While he mirrors his comic self in the way he tends to think “what would Peter do?” he soon changes his mind-set and begins thinking for himself.

And of course, you can’t talk about Miles without talking about his uncle, Aaron Davis. In the film he is shown as a supportive character, a father figure that allows Miles to express his creative side. However, when Miles finds out Aaron is the Prowler, he is suddenly scared. The person he knew who helped and supported him is not the person he thought he was. Similarly, Aaron is shocked to discover that Miles has powers of his own, and refuses his orders to kill him. Upon Prowler’s death, he shows remorse for his actions, which gives Miles his last burst of motivation to truly be Spider-Man. This is a contrast from his story arc in the comics, which depicts Aaron manipulating Miles with threats of telling his father about his new powers in order to rise through the crime ring. In the comics, his parting words are, “You’re just like me,” suggesting that he sees Miles as a murderer, a criminal, nothing more than a Prowler.

‘Into The Spider Verse’ was a great development for Miles Morales, transforming him from a racial swap of Peter Parker to an interesting character in his own right and who can stand on his own two feet, and it’ll be interesting to see how much further he can be taken in the future.

- By Jack Hardwick


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