While it may be some time before we see Miles Morales (the young man that took over as Spider-Man in Marvel’s Ultimate Universe after Peter Parker was murdered by Green Goblin) on the big screen, Bard Tales Productions in association with Lucky 9 Studios has given us a glimpse of what that may look like. Check it out:
For those unfamiliar with Miles, he was given powers when he was bitten by a genetically altered (versus radioactive) spider, similar to the one that bit Peter Parker. Perhaps more importantly, he has the distinction of being the first African American to bare the Mantle of the Spider. His father is African American, while his mother is Puerto Rican.* In a cinematic universe where every movie as of yet has been headed by a white male lead, the addition of a more diverse list of characters would be welcomed, at least by this Spider-fan.
It’s an exciting time for Marvel as Black Panther is set to get his own movie after first appearing in Captain America: Civil War, while Luke Cage will get his own Netflix show after showing up in Jessica Jones. Other characters like War Machine and Falcon have had larger roles and may follow suit. The introduction of a mixed-race Spider-Man may be several years off, as Tom Holland has been cast as the MCU version of Spider-Man, but isn’t so far-fetched anymore.
For now, however, we have Spider-Man Lives: A Miles Morales Story, written and directed by Ivan Kander. The film begins with Miles and his family eating breakfast and watching news reports on the death of Spider-Man. They took several queues from the comics, with the tension between his father, who seems to be a meta-human bigot and the “boy” (who is played by a much older actor then he’s shown in the comics) who has just recently received powers that he’s afraid will cause his father to hate him.
Miles is forced to decide how he is going to deal with his great power and whether or not he’ll accept the great responsibility. Luckily for one unlucky hostage, he does. It’s at this point that Miles is allowed to shine, showing off his powers, including some that Peter Parker probably wishes he had, while taking out Kangaroo (a nod to the comics, as Kangaroo was the first villain Miles faced) and his gang.
While the acting isn’t stellar and the movie doesn’t exactly follow the story of the comics, it is obvious that the filmmakers really wanted to show viewers the heart and spirit of the character and more than anything else they nail that. Here’s hoping that at some point in the future we get to see Miles Morales put on the black and red suit of the Ultimate Spider-Man in a theater near you.
* Note: he is not the first Latino Spider-Man. See Spider-Man 2099 (Miguel O’Hara) for that.