Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse’s main character Miles Morales was introduced back in 2011, replacing the Peter Parker of the alternate, “Ultimate Universe” who had died heroically. Miles was created by writer Brian Michael Bendis and artist Sara Pichelli, along with Marvel’s then-editor-in-chief Axel Alonso. He was inspired by President Barack Obama, who grew up reading Amazing Spider-Man comics, and actor Donald Glover, who once was a favorite to replace Tobey Maguire’s Spidey on the big screen.Instantly catching on with readers, Miles survived the end of the Ultimate Comics universe, and then joined the regular Marvel Comics universe. He even became a member of the Avengers for a time. In his seven years on the scene, he has appeared in several series of his own, as well as in team books and team-up titles with other heroic Spider people. Ahead of his starring role in Spider-Man: Into The Spider-Verse, we present to you five of the best Miles Morales story arcs, specifically for readers just now discovering New York’s other wall-crawler.
Ultimate Comics Spider-Man Vol. 1 (2011)
After more than 100 issues of a modern take on Peter Parker in Ultimate Spider-Man, writer Brian Michael Bendis killed the character and introduced the Afro-Latino teenager Miles Morales as the second Spider-Man. Miles gained his Spider powers after being bitten to a similar spider to the one that gave Peter Parker his abilities. In his very first solo series, Miles begins his superhero career in earnest, and tries to do justice to Peter’s heroic legacy, even though Miles had no desire to be a superhero initially. This volume, which collects the first five issues, also introduced us to Ganke, Miles’ best buddy who is the inspiration behind Ned Leeds in Spider-Man: Homecoming.
This long anticipated mini-series sees Miles meet the adult Peter Parker, in this first ever crossover between the Ultimate Marvel Universe and the classic one. Now having been Spider-Man for some time, Miles meets the Earth 616, adult version of Peter Parker (that’s the “regular universe” Peter, created by Stan Lee and Steve Ditko). The two heroes take on Mysterio, and Peter realizes how much better a Spider-Man Miles is than he himself ever was at the same age. The idea of an adult Peter mentoring a teenage Miles, something core to the new movie, is pulled from this series. This volume collects Spider-Men #1-5.
With the Ultimate Universe now established as part of a much larger Marvel Multiverse, Miles joins up with the adult Peter Parker and dozens of other alternative versions of Spider-Man that have appeared not just in comics, but in other media as well. The Spider people all join together when they are attacked by the villainous Morlun and his family, the Inheritors. The idea of a larger Spider-Verse was introduced here.
Miles Morales: Ultimate Spider-Man (2014)
This storyline opens the second volume of Miles’s solo series, now called Miles Morales: Ultimate Spider-Man. On the two year anniversary of Peter Parker’s death, Aunt May holds a special memorial service, and Miles is there to honor the hero whose legacy he carries. That is, until Peter shows up alive and well. Not only is Peter alive; so is Norman Osborn/The Green Goblin, and things get pretty hairy from there. Despite Peter’s surviving, this volume also focuses a great deal on Miles’ personal life, and fleshes out his supporting cast members in new and interesting ways. This one is collected as Ultimate Spider-Man: Revival.
No more “Ultimate” or “Miles Morales” in the title, this series is simply called Spider-Man. This is the first Miles Morales story which occurs after the Ultimate Universe was destroyed and Miles is incorporated into the regular Marvel Universe. (He’s also a bonafide Avenger now as well.) Sara Pichelli changes her art style to show that this universe is different from the Ultimate universe, but it all still looks gorgeous. Miles is an older teenagers here, about sixteen, so his perspective on things in this series is slightly different as well. The trade paperback name for this is Spider-Man: Miles Morales Vol. 1 and collects the first five issues of Spider-Man.
Images: Marvel Comics