Wednesday, February 11, 2015

The Strange Case of the Spider-Men: Peter Parker or Miles Morales?

Let's focus on a topic that recently popped into everybody's minds. Judging by the picture above and the title of this post I think you all know what I'm talking about.

Who should play Spider-Man?

Currently it's a tie between Logan Lerman and Dylan O'Brien (two guys from movies I have never seen) as to who will portray him in the now Marvel Cinematic Universe backed Spider-Man series of films. However there's some people out there who believe that seeing another Peter Parker onscreen this soon after the last one (Andrew Garfield) would either be boring or just make no sense. So they've decided that they want Miles Morales instead.

What's that? You don't know who Miles Morales is? Well here's the short story:

After Peter Parker/Spider-Man dies in a heroic final battle with Norman Osborn - a.k.a the Green Goblin - another young man named Miles Morales is bitten by a spider similar to the one that bit Peter Parker, and as you'd expect he too gains superpowers because of it. And soon he picks up where Peter left off, carrying on his legacy as the new Spider-Man.

Also he's black. Or more accurately he's half-black, half-Latino. Not that it's important or anything, but I figured that it was worth mentioning given what I'm about to delve into.

Now when people say that "We've seen enough of Peter Parker in the movies. Bring on Miles Morales", I can understand where they're coming from. When Miles made his debut back in August 2011, it was a pretty big deal. Mind you it wasn't in the main universe continuity of the 616, it was in the much beloved Ultimate Universe, but still like I said it was a pretty big deal. Of course some were against the idea initially, but the majority of us were actually kind of into it. So as you can imagine there's a lot of people who want the same thing for the movies too. However the thing that most people seem to forget is that Miles Morales is a legacy character. Much in the vein of characters like Scott Lang (Ant-Man), or Terry McGinnis (Batman Beyond) is. Basically what a legacy character is is that he or she picks up where their predecessor left off, and carries on their legacy. Sort of a passing of the torch if you will.

Now imagine putting his story first before Peter's. How would it turn out exactly? Well some would say it'd be fine either way, however I'm not exactly sold on that idea.

One of the elements that makes Miles Morales so great is the fact that he picked up where Peter Parker left off. It took time for the people around him to accept him as the new Spider-Man, but eventually (much like the readers) they did. And has since then established his own unique story within the Spider-Verse. So putting him in the movie first kinda takes away what made Miles special. It'd be like doing Ben Riley (Peter's clone) or Miguel O'Hara (Spider-Man 2099) first instead of Peter. It just wouldn't make sense. 

And don't even think about pulling the racist card. Because Miles is easily in my top 5 Spider-Men list. Now I like Miles, don't get me wrong. I've read his books, and for the most part they're great. But I want his character done justice just as much as I would Peter, or any other Spider-Man related character. Race is not the issue for me. It's the execution of that character's story.

I get that some people want change, I get that. And I'm all for the idea of Spider-Man can be anyone. But I'm a stickler for continuity when it concerns the Spider-Man universe, and to me, going with Miles first wouldn't seem as natural as it does in the comics. And when Miles does make his debut in the MCU, I want it done the right way. I don't want it to feel rushed or forced in any way, I want his story done justice. Miles has earned his place in the pantheon of Spider-Men in the Marvel Universe. And I want his story to be told the right way. Not the way mainstream audiences want it. The way it should be.

Nuff said.