If you have been paying attention to pop culture at all in the last week, you probably would have heard about the fact that Spider-man will now be in the Marvel Cinematic Universe!
This is huge news that has rocked not only the MCU, but the entire genre of Superhero Movies. Not only will he appear in Captain America 3: Civil War, but he will also get his own solo movie, slated for 2017. After the Andrew Garfield-led Sony reboot of the series was a flop in the theatres, Kevin Feige has reported that Marvel will be rebooting the series, without the previous star. But what does this actually mean?
For one thing, it could mean an entirely new Spider-man! Well, he is not entirely new per-say; in fact he was established in 2011. But who is this character, you may be asking? None other than Miles Morales.
Now, if you don’t know who Miles Morales is, that’s perfectly fine, not many people do. But they should as he is the first ever black (and Latino) Spider-man. (Minor spoiler alert). In the comic book series Ultimate Spider-Man (Which is in the Marvel Ultimate universe, not the 616 universe that most comics take place in), Miles was introduced in the final story arc “The Death of Spider-Man”. In this storyline, Peter Parker dies, and Miles Morales takes over the mantle of Spider-Man.
It’s undebateable that Spider-man and Peter Parker are linked to each other. In most people’s minds they will always be the same person, and it has been that way since 2002. But it is no longer 2002. It’s the decade of superhero movies, and if a talking raccoon and his tree-friend has taught us anything, it’s that Marvel can do no wrong.So if ever is a time to change people’s understanding of superheros, it’s now.
Miles Morales is new, and refreshing. If Marvel decides to keep Peter Parker as their Spider-man, they risk everyone everywhere comparing him to all of the previous Spider-men. But with Miles Morales, they can start again. Do whatever they want with him. His backstory is linked to Peter Parker, so Marvel can do literally anything they want with him. The Marvel movie studio would have full creative control, and that’s every director’s dream.
Miles Morales has the same narrative as Peter Parker. He is just a kid trying to fit in, while also doing what he can to make the world a better place. He has faced the same struggles, trials and tribulations that Peter Parker faced as Spider-man, yet he isn’t a carbon copy. He also has the humour of Spider-man that all of his fans know and love, so he really can’t do any wrong.
This also allows for the suggestion to the audience that a superhero isn’t a person, but a name and a mask. It has been rumoured that there may be a death coming in the MCU, and it is believed that, much like in the comic books, when one superhero dies, looses their powers or ‘retires’, another one will take their place. It’s happened to Captain America (twice), Hawkeye, Thor, and Iron Man just to name a few. The suggestion to the audiences that a certain ‘human’ (i.e. Tony Stark) isn’t the superhero is an important one that Marvel will need to set up for the future.
All of these valid points above, and we still haven’t touched on perhaps one of the most important one, the issue of representation in Hollywood. Most people can agree that there is an abundance of white male superheroes on our screen right now (many of them coincidently named Chris) We are no longer in the 1960s, and there should honestly be more representation on our big screens. There are currently only three major black characters in the MCU movies, and they are more often than not thought to be ‘sidekicks’. Marvel only has only 1 planned person of colour lead, and that won’t happen until 2018 And Marvel can’t even us the excuse that it can’t be done, Fox Studios cast Johnny Storm in their upcoming Fantastic Four reboot with black actor Michael B. Jordan , just because they could. Marvel really has no excuse.
Those are all just some of the reasons Miles Morales is the Spider-man we need. And really, if I have to see uncle ben die again, I might just kill him myself.
Miles Morales: I’m telling you… you’re right. You were totally right. I am Spider-Man