For many Marvel fans, there’s no bigger selling point for the upcoming Playstation 5 than the newly announced Spider-Man: Miles Morales. This upcoming spinoff of 2018’s Marvel’s Spider-Man puts gamers in the shoes of the rookie hero as he learns the tricks of the superhero trade and works to define his own path as Spidey.
Marvel’s Spider-Man is notable for drawing a great deal of inspiration from the comics for its meaty, ambitious story mode. We assume Spider-Man: Miles Morales will be no different. Read on for six key Miles Morales comics that could influence Insomniac’s new game.
Warning: Beware of some spoilers for Marvel Spider-Man and Marvel’s Ultimate Spider-Man comics!
With the first Spider-Man game having already showcased Miles’ origin story, the most logical place for this followup to draw from would be Miles’ sophomore adventure in the pages of Ultimate Comics Spider-Man. The “Prowler” arc really set the tone for the character and his universe going forward, dealing heavily with the antagonistic relationship between Miles and his cat burglar uncle, Aaron Davis. While Miles generally tends to grapple with the same villains as Peter Parker, Uncle Aaron is the closest thing he has to an arch-rival.
Bearing that in mind, we would be surprised if Aaron and his costumed alter-ego Prowler don’t have a big part to play in the new game. This comic storyline sheds a lot of light on Aaron’s background and his shared, checkered past with Miles’ father Jefferson (who died in the first game but still lives in the comics). After discovering his nephew’s secret, Aaron tries to manipulate Miles to help him eliminate a rival crime boss, forcing Miles to choose between family and morality. The tragic ending to this story is something we’d especially like to see play out in the game.
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When Miles originally debuted in 2011, he didn’t exist within the traditional Marvel Comics universe. Rather, he was introduced as a replacement for the Ultimate Universe’s Peter Parker when that character died fighting Green Goblin. That’s basically the example 2018’s Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse followed for its take on Miles, but the Insomniac game took a different approach by having Peter and Miles coexist in the same world from day one.
The comic book Miles didn’t have his first interdimensional crossover with the classic Peter Parker until 2012’s Spider-Men, which featured the two heroes joining forces to battle Mysterio. The game doesn’t need to dig into any of the convoluted multiverse baggage of Spider-Men, but that comic did basically lay the foundation for the relationship between the veteran, adult-aged Peter and the rookie Miles. We hope that humorous, heartfelt dynamic continues to influence the Insomniac series. And if the company wants to make Mysterio the main villain of this spinoff, we certainly won’t complain.
While the first Spider-Man game touched on many corners of the Spidey franchise, one element was conspicuously absent throughout most of the game. There’s no trace of Venom to be found during the game’s story mode, with not even an alternate black costume as an option. However, a post-credits scene featuring the absentee Harry Osborn bonding with the Venom symbiote at Oscorp suggests this villain will eventually have a big part to play in the series.
Given the new game’s status as more spinoff than full-fledged sequel, it’s possible Spider-Man: Miles Morales won’t address the Venom question. But we hope it does, especially considering the history between Miles and his universe’s version of Venom. In the Ultimate Universe, the Venom suit isn’t an alien symbiote, but a strength-enhancing medical device created by the parents of Peter Parker and Eddie Brock. It’s a highly desirable piece of tech that has a bad tendency of falling into the wrong hands. That’s something Miles learns the hard way in the “Venom War” storyline.
Ideally, the game could tee up a larger Venom storyline in Spider-Man 2 by pitting Miles against one of Venom’s hosts. Not necessarily Harry, since that needs to be Peter’s fight, but maybe a character like Conrad Marcus. Venom War portrays Marcus as a scientist partly responsible for giving Miles his powers, and the latest and most dangerous Venom host. The battle that ensues is one of the most difficult in Miles’ young career, and the heartbreaking finale shows readers the terrible cost of being Spider-Man.
Spider-Man: Life Story/Superior Spider-Man
Marvel stirred up a fair amount of controversy in 2013 by relaunching the flagship Amazing Spider-Man series as The Superior Spider-Man and introducing a status quo where Doctor Octopus’ mind hijacked the body of Peter Parker. Given how much the first game deals with the relationship between Peter and Otto Octavius – and how much it draws from the work of Superior Spider-Man writers Dan Slott and Christos Gage – this seems like another plot point Insomniac might eventually run with. Especially given that the Superior Spider-Man suits were conspicuously absent in the game’s alternate costume lineup.
What does this have to do with Miles? Well, the recent limited series Spider-Man: Life Story features an alternate universe take on Spidey where Peter and his supporting cast age in real-time. Towards the end of the series, an elderly Peter discovers a dying Otto Octavius has swapped bodies with Miles, resulting in a condensed take on the Superior Spider-Man saga.
Basically, there are ways of integrating Miles into this body-swapping conflict between Peter and Otto. One particularly intriguing possibility is that an Otto-possessed Peter could serve as the main villain of the new game. What if the plot revolves around Spider-Man crossing over to the dark side, forcing Miles to redeem the Spider-Man name and uncover the truth behind Peter’s downfall?
This pick isn’t based on any one specific Miles Morales comic, but rather a running subplot in the pages of Ultimate Comics Spider-Man that predates Miles himself. The series re-imagined a minor villain named Bombshell, transforming her into a mother/daughter supervillain duo. But though young Lana Baumgartner inherited her powers and her mission from her mother Lori, she slowly comes to realize she has the potential to be a hero. Her encounters with Miles play a key part in her redemption.
Along with Prowler, the Bombshells would make for fitting antagonists in the new game. The game’s tagline alone – “Be Greater. Be Yourself.” – argues for including these characters. Just as Miles sets out to define himself outside of Peter Parker’s shadow, the game can contrast his journey with that of the morally conflicted Lana Baumgartner.
Heck, it’s entirely possible Miles is battling one of the Bombshells in this image:
The Sinister Six Reborn
Thanks to cosmic shenanigans too complicated to get into here, Miles Morales and his supporting cast now exist in the classic Marvel Universe, effectively creating the same young Miles/adult Peter partnership that exists in the Insomniac series. In this new era, Uncle Aaron eventually resurfaced to claim the Iron Spider mantle and spearhead a new version of the Sinister Six specifically aimed at tormenting Miles rather than Peter.
It would be fitting if the new game echoed the original by pitting Miles against a united Sinister Six. And given that both Aaron and Lana are members of this team, this would be a great way of paying off on earlier conflicts with the two characters. The Sinister Six reborn is where Aaron evolves from just being a tragic piece of Miles past into one of his greatest foes, and maybe that’s the best way to frame the game’s climax.
If you need more reason to be excited about Spider-Man, find out what Into the Spider-Verse’s Phil Lord thinks of the new game. And gear up for the impending release of Marvel’s Avengers by learning everything we know about the game and what you get in each edition.