Ever since making the jump from the Ultimate universe to the main 616 continuity, Miles Morales has been mostly forgettable. While he’s still a wildly popular character, hes not the important figure we thought he would be. Did Marvel ruin Miles Morales?
After Peter Parker was killed in Ultimate Spider-Man, it was a monumental achievement in comic book history when Miles became the new web-slinger.
Miles quickly became a gloriously tragic and complicated character, Brian Michael Bendis really struck gold with the character. Every issue of that run was a gut wrenching, trail blazing experience. It was truly an addicting read. Then Secret Wars happened.
When Miles became a fulltime member of the 616 universe, all of his depth and tragedy was stripped away. Marvel launched the new Spider-Man series with Bendis still writing.
This new series had hit a reset button on everything in Miles’ life except for how long he’s been Spidey. Without any clarification or much of an explanation, that’s pretty messy but could be easily ignored if the stories are compelling.
Seventeen issues into this run and nothing has met the standard set by Ultimate Spider-Man. From too many consecutive Civil War II tie-ins, to a lackluster Spider Gwen crossover romance, nothing noteworthy has happened.
The closest thing to entertaining drama came in the form of Black Cat and Hammerhead establishing their NY territory and butting heads with Miles. The dullest duo in villainy has continued to show up in this book seemingly every other issue. Each time becoming less and less relevant.
Instead of a kid in over his head trying to do the right thing, we’re given mopey Miles and the husk of his relationship with Ganke. They used to be the most heart warming friendship in comics, where did that go?
Mark Waid is providing the best Miles right now in his Champions series. Even so, that’s mostly a hive mind of teenage angst. It’s not a team that Miles particularly shines on or even stands out much in.
The only Miles moment that carries any weight, since making the jump to 616, is his alleged murder of Steve Rogers. That single image of Spider-Man holding a lifeless Captain “America” that Marvel proceeded to cram down our throats for the rest of Civil War II.
His potentially big character moments go by without warranting a second thought. Basically everybody but his grandma know he’s Spider-Man at this point and not a single one of those coming out moments carried any weight. His relationship with Ganke used to be so tight and real, now seeming like a parody of itself.
There’s potential for him to play a predominant role in Secret Empire going forward. One would assume he’s going to be more than just another kid hero lumped together for the teenager missions. Everybody, including Rogers, saw that vision of him holding Steve’s body.
The upcoming Spider-Men II could also be an opportunity to turn the character around. One would assume picking up the thread from Spider-Men‘s conclusion will provide a significant story.
Has the character been established enough for Bendis to hand him over to a new writer entirely? Is Bendis the actual problem? The only thing I know for sure is that something needs to change or Spider-Man is going to start shedding readers.
When an injection of Goldballs into your book doesn’t bring it to life, you’re in trouble. Hopefully Marvel, or Bendis, or both, recognize this underachievement and set forth a plan to fix it.
This should be one of the most popular comic books right now. Stop wasting the potential before you lose the audience.