Miles Morales steps up as Marvel's new Spider-Man

Miles Morales, the half-black, half-Hispanic Spider-Man introduced in 2011, is set to take a more prominent role in the Marvel Comics universe this fall.

Peter Parker, the original Spider-Man character, to be the younger Morales' mentor

Miles Morales, the biracial character introduced in the Ultimate Spider-Man comic series, will take Peter Parker's place as the main web-slinger in Marvel's comic books. (Marvel)

Miles Morales, the half-black, half-Hispanic Spider-Man introduced in 2011, is set to take a more prominent role in Marvel Comics this fall.

Morales is poised to take over as the wise-cracking super-hero, according to the New York Daily News, replacing Peter Parker, who has been the web-slinger's alter ego since the title was introduced in the early 1960s. 

Morales will reportedly be featured on the cover of a relaunched Spider-Man comic book, due out this fall. 

Cover art for the rebooted Spider-Man No. 1, with art by Sara Pichelli, due out this fall. (Marvel)
Morales first appeared in 2011 in the Ultimate line of Marvel's comics, which depicts an alternate universe with updated or reworked versions of well-known characters. Morales, a pre-teen with an African-American father and Puerto Rican mother, inherited the mantle of Spider-Man after that universe's Peter Parker was killed. 

(That's the Ultimate version of Peter Parker, not the original Peter Parker, who is still alive in the "main" Marvel Comics Universe. We know, it's confusing.)

With this summer's Secret Wars storyline, however, Marvel is collapsing its sprawling multi-verse into a single world, cleaning up the alternate-version-character clutter and rebooting many of its comics series in the process. Some Ultimate universe characters, including Morales, will live on in the rebooted Marvel universe.

Peter Parker, the original Spider-Man, will still be around according to Brian Michael Bendis, creator of the Morales character and writer for the upcoming comic. But Parker will be more of a mentor to Morales. 

"Our message has to be it's not Spider-Man with an asterisk, it's the real Spider-Man for kids of colour, for adults of colour and everybody else," Bendis told the Daily News. 

Promoting Morales as the "main" Spider-Man follows a string of shake-ups to Marvel's superhero lineup, at least in print. The company has drawn attention — and sales — with several recent revamps of classic characters, including:

  • a female Thor, who was later revealed to be Jane Foster, the original Thor's sometimes-love interest.
  • promoting Carol Danvers, a.k.a. Ms. Marvel, to Captain Marvel, who will star in a movie in 2019.
  • introducing Kamala Khan, a Muslim-American teenage girl, as the new Ms. Marvel.
  • promoting African-American hero Falcon to succeed Steve Rogers as the new Captain America.

The news also follows some negative reaction to Sony Pictures' supposed contractual obligations for the on-screen portrayal of Spider-Man. The notes, originally posted by Gawker, revealed a strictly traditional profile for Spider-Man, and even stricter guidelines if his on-screen alter-ego is Peter Parker.

A list of mandatory character traits for Spider-Man in film as outlined by a licensing agreement, according to Gawker. It should be noted that these guidelines don't prohibit Sony from portraying another character, such as Miles Morales, as Spider-Man. (Gawker)
Further guidelines for the portrayal of Peter Parker, the original Spider-Man, in film. While Parker must adhere to these gudelines, there's no indication they would apply to another alter-ego. (Gawker)

Tobey Maguire and Andrew Garfield both played Peter Parker in Spider-Man films in recent years. When Sony and Marvel announced a partnership that would allow Spider-Man to join The Avengers on the silver screen, some fans clamoured for them to use Morales. Marvel later clarified that Parker would be Spider-Man in film for the forseeable future, though he'll be younger — probably a teenager, or roughly around the same age as Morales in the comic.

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