Miles Morales: The True Superior Spider-Man?

The original blog can be found here:

Mention the word Spider-Man in these parts and you’ll be subject to a rainbow of opinion regarding the events of Peter Parker’s Freaky Friday sequel, Dying Wish; there’s no pot of gold at the end, though, just a lot of tears and ruined childhoods. Amidst the hype and excitement regarding Otto Octavius’ debut as the new superior, and a tad sociopathic, Spider-Man, it is easy to forget that Bendis’ own Spider-Man, written under Marvel’s Ultimate imprint, has been humming away quite nicely in the background. He’s overcome family crises, saved the life of a president and had the nerve to check out giant-girl’s boobs; is Miles Morales the true Superior Spider-Man?

-Those- are big…

This is a superhero book, and superheroes are defined by their powers. Miles is no different, but has a skill-set that’s a pretty big improvement on Peter’s traditional array of talents. Taking cues from Peter’s powers, which were proportionate to those of a spider, Bendis has equipped Miles with spider-powers from some of the more obscure corners of the arachnid family tree. These new powers take the form of a powerful venom strike and, perhaps less strangely to anyone who doesn’t study spiders, an ability to blend in with his surroundings; he can effectively become invisible. Coupled with that, he has Peter’s proportional strength and agility of a spider, his spider-sense, and, as of issue 14, a pair of Peter’s web-shooters. It’s therefore, if you ask me, a no-brainer; Miles’ powers, borne of Norman Osborne’s weird experiments on spiders, are an improvement upon those of the original Spider-Man.

The Amazing Hollow Man, written by Kevin Bacon.

Time is on my side, sang the Rolling Stones, and the same rings true for Miles. He’s squished the Scorpion, punished the Prowler, grappled with Giant Girl, wrangled with the Rhino and united the Ultimates… and he’s thirteen! Not only has he obtained his powers at such a young age, and not only has he achieved all manner of wondrous feats already, but he is now to be trained by Captain America. I’d say that he’s got an awful lot going for him, and an awful lot of time to hone his talents. Peter Parker was without martial training, and received his powers later than Miles; Otto Octavius is reliant on Parker’s muscle memory. In terms of prowess in combat, Miles may end up with the upper hand. ‘But what about right now?!’, I hear you cry. It’s true, Miles is nowhere near the superior fighter at the moment, but it has been suggested that there will be a time-jump associated with the up-coming Spider-Man No More story-line. An older, stronger Miles might well end up thwipping across our pages sooner than anticipated.

Poor Jessica Drew.

Spider-Man has long been associated with crazy tech’ and superb sci-fi, from Horizon Labs to Spider-Bots or that Space Marine-esque suit from Ends of the Earth; Peter Parker’s, and recently Otto Octavius’, genius is a staple of the series. Miles Morales is no genius. Don’t get me wrong, he’s a sharp kid, but he is not a scientist. Does that make him the inferior Spider-Man? It’s possible, but I’m not so sure. Firstly, we’ve seen Aunt May pass down Peter’s web-shooters and the formula for his web-fluid; these are the two most important pieces of any Spider-Man’s tech’ arsenal. He may not have Peter’s brain, but with these tools, and with Tony Stark sticking up for him in the Ultimates, Miles may find a way to circumvent the issue.

For the Empero- I mean, Avengers Assemble!

Ultimate Peter Parker had experience, as did the Peter Parker of the 616 universe; the latter’s experiences are now in the hands of Otto Octavius’ Spider-Man. Miles, it could be argued, is therefore at a disadvantage; he doesn’t know who these villains are, and he’s never fought them before! Maybe he should just quit, right? Wrong! In this tech’-savvy society in which we live, people have taken to recording Ultimate Peter Parker’s fights to YouTube. As seen in various issues, and most recently in Miles’ conflict with Venom, Miles has studied these tapes and effectively managed to imitate Peter’s approach to besting the individual villains. This might not be quite as good as having a memory of previous battles, but at least he won’t have as many scars.

Venom… have you been drinking again?

So, why am I writing this? Why is it relevant? The Superior Spider-Man is in the 616 universe, and Miles operates under the Ultimate imprint. Well, firstly, because it’s cool. Who doesn’t want to compare a pair of Spider-Men? Secondly, as we saw in the limited series, Spider-Men, Marvel seem to have developed a propensity towards crossing characters between universes for the sake of a good story. With a Spider-Men 2 already confirmed by Bendis, it will be interesting to take an older, stronger Miles, with his unique power-set, into Peter Parker’s world and see how he fares when he is no longer a wide-eyed newcomer to the superhero scene. It may well still be Otto under that mask, in which case this study becomes even more relevant!

This has better not be another -Clone Saga-.

Ultimately (Geddit?), though Miles lacks Peter’s practiced wit, pretty girlfriends, experiences and brilliant mind (Is that all?), he is, in my opinion, the superior Spider-Man. Not yet, I stress, but with his powers, his age and his mentor(s) taken into account, he has the potential to make a lasting impact in whichever universe he may end up. Long live Ultimate Spider-Man, long live Miles Morales.

What do you, the people of ComicVine, think?