Spider-Man Is Totally OK With Letting Someone Else Be Spider-Man

Spider-Man Is Totally OK With Letting Someone Else Be Spider-Man

The original wall-crawler is a little salty about Miles' costume, though. Because even he has to admit that it's cooler.

Spoilers follow.

Spider-Man Is Totally OK With Letting Someone Else Be Spider-Man

For those who may not know who Miles Morales is, he's a teenage Spider-Man from a now-dead alternate universe. He started webbing up bad guys after the death (and eventual resurrection) of that universe's Peter Parker and became part of Marvel's main Earth-616 reality in the aftermath of the publisher's big Secret Wars event.

One of the big questions surrounding Miles' integration into the mainline Marvel Universe was how the publisher was going to handle the relationship between Peter and Miles. Spider-Man #2 gives readers a look at the two Spider-Men's first meeting. Written by Brian Michael Bendis, with art from Sara Pichelli, Gaetano Carlucci, Justin Ponsor and Cory Petit, it shows Peter both endorsing and kvetching about the new web-slinger.

Their initial encounter gets presented in a flashback as a random run-in. There's no mention of Miles' Ultimate Universe history. As far as Peter seems to know, this is just another kid with spider-powers and web-shooters who jumped in to help.

Spider-Man Is Totally OK With Letting Someone Else Be Spider-Man
Spider-Man Is Totally OK With Letting Someone Else Be Spider-Man
Spider-Man Is Totally OK With Letting Someone Else Be Spider-Man

What I enjoyed most about this issue is that you can get a sense of how Miles is going to be different than Peter. He quips a bit, as his predecessor does, but comes across as less angsty and more earnest than Peter did in his earliest adventures. Bendis writes Miles as a kid who gets to follow in the footsteps of his idol, which builds sympathy for the new Spider-Man. But that sympathy isn't universal. When a nervous cop points a gun at Miles after he saves the day from rampaging demon prince Blackheart, saying he doesn't know who he is, Peter Parker's response says it all. (Click the below image to enlarge.)

Spider-Man Is Totally OK With Letting Someone Else Be Spider-Man

The difference in melanin levels between the younger and older Spider-Men doesn't go unnoticed in the fictional Marvel Universe. In a sequence showing clips of a reaction video, a young fan waxes enthusiastic about the world's increasing superhero diversity. However, Miles isn't exactly OK with all of what she says.

Spider-Man Is Totally OK With Letting Someone Else Be Spider-Man

Other parts of Spider-Man #2 show more cantankerous media reactions to Miles' world-saving debut and push forward the idea that Miles will be filling the Spider-Man void left in Manhattan, since Peter is now the jet-setting CEO of a high-tech company. Spider-Man #2 deftly does the necessary work of making it feel like Miles Morales belongs in the Marvel Universe. The driving tension is all set up: he'll have to reckon with Peter Parker's legacy and deal with the public's perception of him, with context that Peter never had to confront. So far, this series is off to a very good start.


    That looks like some pretty impressive writing. And the way many of those poses are held... the writer and artist seem pretty in-synch. I should be reading this.

    Oh no, Tony is thinking in that last panel of the second last pic. That never ends well.

    That's utterly superb. I'm definitely going to start reading. Though I've always been DC predominantely I don't deny Marvel has been slaying it when it comes to the writing the last few years. I wish DC would get it's shit together. When their writers hit gold, they really make it work but by and large they're struggling atm, bigtime :(

    But lately almost every single Marvel comic I've read has been utterly fantastic and engrossing, well worth the praise and utterly deserving.

    doesn't want to be called black spider-man. wears a black outfit.
    C'mon mate.

      Lol. For what it's worth though, in context she is actually referring to his skin-colour. See: this.

        Wow... that is actually pretty discriminative, Somewhat.

        This guy should get a costume change from a red and black suit to something else or a redesign...

          It's a great way to point out the discriminatory angle ascribed to many people when their skin colour is either 'discovered' or 'recognised'.

          It's like when Sam Wilson was designated Captain America (great series, utterly great), as he said, paraphrasing, he's the 'black captain america, not captain America', everyone looks at him as 'black first, then Captain America'. I get what they mean, it's an interesting situation that they're putting forward, with Miles not wanting to have to carry the burden of 'being a whole culture'. Peter Parker isn't 'the white Spiderman' representing 'all the whites' so he doesn't see why he has to be 'the black spiderman' representing all blacks.

          Add to that her utterly horrendous 'ghetto' comments when she realises he's black "Spiderman represent!", which she hadn't done prior to that... she's a pretty on the nose character, unfortunately indicative of many celebrities and well meaning but tragically misguided people out there.

            I definitely agree with you, but I can also see why when you have a new take on an established character, race and/or sex is used as an initial identifier when people don't know a thing about said character to differentiate from the other character they do know. Everybody knows Peter Parker Spider-Man, but the only thing the layperson knows about Miles Morales Spider-Man until they get a chance to know him better is that he appears to be black, hence black Spider-Man. Same thing goes for the current Thor (everybody knows Odinson Thor, but the first thing people are going to see about new Thor is that she is female), current Captain America (although I imagine Winter Soldier would've done a small amount of work towards raising awareness of Sam Wilson/Falcon), X-23 taking up the mantle of Wolverine, Spider-Gwen, etc. I'd posit that we'd have a similar reaction to a male Black Widow, or an asian Cyborg. I'm certainly not saying that certain people use this in a purposefully discriminate way to discount these different takes on established characters, but I am saying that this isn't what most people are thinking or feeling when they have their first experience with these characters.

            That being said, the way this issue has been written (from what I've seen here) is very clever in how it makes you think about the situation by representing the situation in ways that people may actually see it, and how people of different races and experiences react to such things, and particularly whether they're on the receiving end of it or not. You have Danika Heart, who is clearly excited and supportive of a new Spider-Man 'of colour' (I'm loathe to use the term, but it's reasonably accurate with how she feels), but doesn't realise that our new hero, Miles, sees this as focusing more on the fact that he's (half) black, rather than what he does. His friend, while trying to be supportive, doesn't truly understand how Miles feels, as he's not the one on the receiving end of this (and possibly hasn't been before). Miles will absolutely be seen as more than just a black Spider-Man as time goes on (particularly if Marvel doesn't chicken out and just revert to the status quo in 6-12 months from now), but people aren't wrong either for initially using the one identifier they can recognise on first contact that allows them to differentiate between OG Spidey and the new Spidey on the block (although granted, young/teen Spidey would absolutely work too).

            Pointlessly long story short; I completely agree with you. This issue was very cleverly handled, and I'd certainly have it on the pull list if I didn't already spend far too much a month on comics as is. :-)

              It was great in how it presented 'the wrong way to react to the right thing'. Should he be proud of being the 'black spiderman'? Yes of course. Should she be excited? Oh of course, absolutely. But reverting to bad stereotypes, like I said, the ghetto 'represent' type comment, was ridiculous (and so well written, because that's utterly exactly how people DO react by and large). However like Miles says, he's just as proud of his complete culture rather than one aspect. But that's the tragedy of the Superhero, they don't get to mostly dictate to the public how they can react to them even positively.

              Either way, I think it's brilliant writing tackling a very real societal topic, the ascribing of stereotypes and cultural biases, and it's being handled damn well. I just hope that at some point, DC gets its shit together and starts writing this sort of thing too. Marvels always been more culturally and socially aware than DC and I fully acknowledge that and this sort of issue is where that shines.

    Pete has had no problems with Miguel running about calling himself Spider-man as well, prety sure he even gave him the new costume he's wearing.

    I love that section of diversity. Taking a poke at the current 'PC' brigade of people on the internet. Where it's for some reason more important to white people than it is to PoC.

    Spiderman saying both of Spiderwoman's costumes are cooler than his? No, just no. The newest one is good, but the first one looks horrible.
    Now if he had've said Spider-Gwen's costume was cooler I would totally believe it. That outfit is amazing in its contrast.

    I actually just downloaded this two issues of Spider-Man the other day. Since I'm reading all All New All Different Avengers, I wanted to read Miles' solo book too just to see how he faired. And after this write up, I can't wait to jump in this weekend.

    Marvel seems to love hammering the idea into people's heads they do not want Peter Parker in the Spider-Man role anymore. They've tried so hard to get the swap to happen (switching Peter out and using Miles in the main role) and Everytime they've had to bow to fan backlash... Which is weird since they don't seem to care with the backlash from changing Captain America, Thor or other characters.

    The original plan coming out of Secret Wars was that Peter was going to retire now that he had his family back and have Miles as Spider-Man, but the plans got leaked and a fan revolt happened. So they just changed Peter to being 100% invested in his company with no family (they moved MJ to the Iron Man book) and shares the Spider-Man role with Miles.

      Biggest mistake was when Disney brought Marvel. That is why you're seeing all this social justice nonsense in their comics

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