Unfamiliar with Miles Morales?
Saw that trailer of Spider-man: Into the Spider-verse, but you do not know much about Miles? I got you, fam.
Okay, this is going to be really thorough because Miles is under the pen of Brian Michael Bendis. If you are unfamiliar with Bendis’ style of writing, then I’ll explain it to you. Bendis is not a fan of the complete comic book. What I mean is that he will not wrap up a story in one or two issues because he focuses on developing aspects of the plot such as characters, their motivations, and the overall nuances to the world around him. Bendis displaces immediate action in favor of overall plot. He sacrifices pacing for development and most critics of his point out that sometimes they aren’t getting a complete comic book instead it just feels like a part in a story. I say “buy volumes, asshole” or just appreciate how well defined the world is.
Anyways, here we go.
Miles is a Black Latino American born in Brooklyn and is the son of Rio Morales and Jefferson Morales, formerly known as Jefferson Davis. Miles has an Uncle Aaron who does not get along with Jefferson nor Rio for reasons I won’t specify at the moment. Miles’ story begins when his mom and dad drag him to a Lottery. What kind of Lottery, you ask? Well…
A lottery that poor inner city kids enter into to receive private school education so that they actually have a chance at a decent life instead of thrust into Public School Zoning where they will most likely get shot at, join a gang, do drugs, and/or receive poor education. This is not made up. This actually happens in real life. Notice how there is a lot of people of color here? And before some asshole makes the remark that this is a handout, these kids are gifted and had to take a test to be entered in the lottery. Miles and a lot of these kids passed so they do possess the intellect to get in these schools. They don’t possess the money however. Anyways, Miles gets his lucky number drawn, 42(Jackie Robinson’s Baseball number if you don’t realize the symbolism), and he becomes enrolled in Brooklyn Visions Academy.
You’d expect Miles to be happy, but no one wants to be that jackass to be happy during someone else’s funeral or will reading. Not a great analogy, but you have future? Great. Everybody else is just screwed though? …Okay? Yeah. So Miles decides to tell his Uncle Aaron the news and he is proud of him. He mentions that he has an opportunity that he and Miles’ dad didn’t have when they were growing up and tells Miles that this is a ticket out of this cesspool a.k.a the hood…not what culture appropriating white people call the hood or I’m talking motherfucking get your shit janked Hood.
Miles sits down on a couch while he and Aaron are talking and he notices a pack with a mysterious red case.Aaron decides to get his nephew a Popsicle and notices that Miles is messing around with his stuff. Aaron acts all sketchy and quickly tells Miles that it is nothing when prompted and takes the case while handing Miles the Popsicle. Of course, Miles completely ignores the sketchiness of his Uncle because fucking Popsicles, man. His Uncle leaves him for a bit and Miles just chills out on the couch eating his swirl orange and lemon flavored treat. Oh yes, this is the life. Your parents are proud of you because you did something. People giving you popsicles and shit. Nothing can ruin this moment. He woke up this morning feeling like he got to thank God. He don’t know why, but this day was feeling kind of odd. 5-Oh did not even do no flexing. Sheeeyat, they did not even look in a brother’s direction. No Stop and Frisk in this bitch! Today was a good day.
That is right. A mysterious spider with the number 42(symbolism) on it’s thorax bites Miles. He freaks out and flings that eight legged fuck large motherfucker off his hand. Miles then trips over his Uncle’s coffee table and begins to have a seizure. His Uncle Aaron finds him on the ground as Miles begins to pass out. Miles wakes up and finds his Uncle tending to him. Apparently, Aaron had to call daddy Morales and Papa was about to stomp his foot up in Aaron’s ass.
Miles freaks out while Aaron and Jefferson are arguing and he decides to runaway from the commotion. Jefferson notices that Miles and missing and decides to go after him. He heads out the apartment and sees a swathe of people, but no little Miles. He heads out into the crowd, but there is a faint voice calling out to him that he doesn’t notice. As Jefferson keeps looking, Miles stands up and notices that something changed in himself.
Miles panics and begins to run away. He sees a pair of handymen carrying a T.V. in front of him and he is going full speed at them.
Motherfucka got hops like MJ. That is like a 72 inch leap. 6 feet in the air. Kobe be like, “Dayuum.” The crowd impressed with the nastiness stops and looks at the boy only for him to turn invisible. People freak out and Miles gets away from the crowd. He eventually meets up with a bunch of teenagers who are standing in front of an apartment. One of them tries to rob little Miles of his bookbag. Miles, not having their shit, grabs him by the arm and clings to his belongings for dear life. Something happened when Miles grabbed the little bastard and the bully stepped back in feeling something is wrong. All of the sudden, a surge of electricity courses through his body and the asshole is knocked out. The other teens watched the event and Miles feeling all big and bad yells out the teens to leave him alone…and then he runs away like a dork.
Eventually Miles meets up with his best friend, Ganke(pronounced Gain-Key). It also might be a nickname for Gankeyama. Regardless, Miles tries to show Ganke his power to turn invisible and well..
Ganke is not too impressed. Failing at the task, Miles inadvertently touches Ganke’s Lego construction that he was working on before Miles arrived at his place and…
This nigga did not just…
Oh hell no. No joke, I would have fucked Miles’ shit up if I were Ganke. Anyways, Ganke is impressed with the display in spite of Miles wrecking his hard worked on Lego construction. A really fucking impressive Lego boat. With sails and everything. Miles lucky that he is a friend because shit would have gone down.
Miles is not particularly thrilled that he has these new abilities. You see, in the Ultimate Universe having powers or even being a mutant sucks after Magneto and Dr.Doom decided to flood New York. Think like being a Muslim after 9/11. Yeah that bad.
Ganke and he are talking until Papa Morales arrives and takes Miles away. He is a little peeved that Miles ran away from him earlier, but they have a little father-son talk in New York Central Park. Jefferson tells Miles that Uncle Aaron is a bad person and is a cat burglar. He also tells Miles that Aaron has been and jail…and so has he.
Could you imagine telling your son that? They are raised to believe that only bad people go to jail and police are their friends. Then you have to tell them that you were a criminal. You were a bad guy. It is a conversation that you never want to have with your kids, but they have to know. Miles is amazed, but Jefferson is annoyed. His words?
So Papa Morales hates Mutants or people with super powers in general. Miles thinks he is a mutant and he knows he has super powers. Oh shit, character dynamics. Miles gets taken home by Grumpy Morales and then he gets a text from Ganke at night.
Miles has spider powers. And then the plot thickens…or thins…or lengthens? Whatever. Anyways, Ganke immediately comes over after Miles presumably texts back telling him what he just did and wants to see it from himself. Miles shows him.
Of course, Ganke is stoked that his best friend is Spider-man. After discussion, Miles and Ganke decide to go to Aaron and ask where the spider came from. They go to his apartment only to find the place emptied out.
Well that is not strange or peculiar for a man to empty out his apartment after a day? Anyways, that is not important to you right now.
They head back out and then they see a building on fire and the fire department trying to rescue a woman in distress.
In an act of heroism, Miles saves a woman and a little girl. He should be really proud of himself right?
So yeah, Miles doesn’t become a superhero because he rationalizes that there is already a Spider-man around. He can see the writing on the wall with how dangerous it is. He is scared. He is afraid. So Miles decides to live a normal life and goes to school. He does his homework and just lives his life.
And then, he gets a nightmare that Electro shocks him to death.
His Resident Assistant wakes both Ganke and Miles up and tells them to go to the auditorium. They get the news.
Well shit, man.
Miles decides to help Spider-man. Someone busted a cap in Spider-man red and blue ass and it also turns out Spider-man is fighting the Sinister Six while shit is going down in New York for reasons that I won’t bother explaining. Miles eventually arrives in Queens, in front of Peter’s home.
But it is too late.
Miles feels bad because he feels like this is his fault. He feels that he was coward for not trying to reach Spider-man. Maybe he could have helped him. He was given these powers for a reason and he chose not to use them and now Spider-man is dead because he was scared of his dad. He was scared of what others would have thought. He didn’t take responsibility and now Peter Parker is dead.
Damn. Of course, Ganke puts in a different perspective.
Miles and Ganke go to Peter Parker’s funeral where there are hundred of people gathered around. And they witness the impact, Spider-man had on people. They witness Aunt May and Gwen are stopped by a little girl who tells Aunt May that Peter rescued this little girl from a fire and she did not die because of him.
Miles calls over Gwen Stacey and asks why he did what he did. She shrugs him off at first still visibly upset. But eventually Gwen Stacey gives him this answer.
This is the connection between Miles and Peter. Through people who knew Peter, Miles becomes inspired just as Spider-man hoped his message of Great Power, Comes Great Responsibility. Just as that message was passed onto to his fans, the message is passed onto Miles. We will never personally know Peter Parker, but we are inspired by him all the same.
So Miles decides to redesign a costume and try his hand at crime fighting. Of course, Miles can’t sow so Ganke buys him one.
So Miles has the costume, the powers, and now all he has to do is just walk out there and do it, right?
Of course this doesn’t deter the little guy and he decides to keep at it until he gets a better costume. Although there are still people pissed that Miles is wearing Peter’s costume.
Spider-woman is pretty pissed that someone just decides to take up the mantle. So she confronts the new Spidey on top of a building. She accidentally knocks him out, captures him, and takes him to SHIELD headquarters. Miles wakes up to Iron Man, Hawkeye, and Nick Fury, with Spider-woman of course, watching him behind a force field.
That is right, Miles. Plead the fifth.
Nick Fury goes on to tell Miles that Aaron is also the Prowler. He also tells him that he needs a new costume if he wants to keep doing this. Of course, this interaction gets interrupted when fucking Electro busts out of prison, again. Seriously, why do they still keep villains in the same place where SHIELD headquarters are? Did they learn nothing?
Iron Man, Jessica Drew, and Hawkeye engage Electro to no avail. Electro is hellbent on killing Nick Fury so instead of trying to escape, he sticks around for his own personal headhunt. Of course, he is shocked(see what I did there) to see Spider-man still alive.
He subdues Electro. Kid is a G. So next day, he tells Ganke what happened and then they are confronted by a girl holding a suitcase.
And I’m ending this right here. By the way, this is the first 5 issues of the comic. I intentionally left out details as to where the spider came from and how did Peter end up getting shot and what exactly is the deal with his Uncle Aaron.
So this is Miles Morales.