Miles Morales was actually first introduced in 2011 in the now-defunct Ultimate Marvel universe. He became Spider-Man, replacing that universe’s Peter Parker who died heroically during the Ultimatum storyline. Quickly becoming a fan-favorite, Miles was introduced into the Earth-616 regular, mainstream universe and has since appeared in several series – by himself, in teams, and with other Spider-people.
Now, with Miles Morales as the main protagonist in the PlayStation 5’s upcoming game Spider-Man: Miles Morales (c’mon, it’s in the title!), this is a good opportunity to revisit some his key story arcs from the comic books.
Ultimate Fallout (2011)
Ultimate Fallout #1-6
This is where it begins: how Miles Morales became Spider-Man. Ultimate Comics: Fallout was a limited series that dealt with the aftermath of the “Death of Spider-Man” storyline. It explores how Peter Parker’s death as Spider-Man affected those around him. Miles is introduced wearing the original Spider-Man’s costume, fighting the Kangaroo. However, Miles is told off for wearing wearing Peter’s costume because it seemed “disrespectful.”
All-New Spider-Man (2011)
Ultimate Comics Spider-Man #1-5
Miles’ story continues in Ultimate Comics: Spider-Man. As the star of his own solo series, Miles comes into his own as a superhero and tries to live up to Peter’s legacy, despite initially not wanting to be a superhero. We are shown Miles’ origin and how he gets his own black-and-red suit and his different power set (which includes invisibility and “venom stings”). We are also introduced to his supporting cast: namely his parents and especially Ganke, his best friend who inspired the Spider-Man: Homecoming movie version of Ned Leeds.
The Prowler (2012)
Ultimate Comics Spider-Man #6-12
Taking a different twist to the Spider-Man archetype, we are discover Miles’ Uncle Aaron who is the opposite of Peter Parker’s Uncle Ben. Instead of being a positive example, Uncle Aaron is actually a supervillain known as the Prowler. He blackmails Miles to serve him, threatening to reveal Miles’ secret powers to his parents and tear his family apart. The resulting confrontation between them leads to Uncle Aaron’s tragic death; which shakes Miles, convinces him to keep hiding his secret life as Spider-Man from his parents, and to truly understand what responsibility means.
Venom War (2012-2013)
Ultimate Comics Spider-Man #16, 19-22
In this story arc, Miles encounters Venom for the first time – and experiences his first real, tragic loss. Since his uncle Aaron’s death, Miles has struggled with telling his parents about his life as Spider-Man. Unfortunately, in the course of this, he encounters Venom leading to his mother Rio’s death. With her dying breath, she reveals that she knew he was Spider-Man all along and begs him not to tell his father about this. His mother’s death becomes Miles’ “Death of Gwen Stacy” moment, traumatizing him and leading him to abandon his role as Spider-Man, declaring, “Spider-Man no more!”
Spider-Man No More (2013)
Ultimate Comics Spider-Man #23-28
This story arc begins one year after “Venom War”. Following his mother’s death, Miles has given up on being Spider-Man for over a year, though his father has since learned about his secret life as Spider-Man. Miles is pressured to return to superheroics by by S.H.I.E.L.D. and is finally convinced to do so by Ganke and Spider-Woman.
This five-issue special miniseries introduces Miles Morales to the Earth-616 Peter Parker. Similar to how things unfolded in the 2018 animated film, Spider-Man: Into The Spider-Verse, the two of them experience some initial conflict but then come together quickly to take on Mysterio. “Spider-Men” set the stage for the mentoring relationship between the younger Miles and the adult Peter, which remains till this day.
Miles Morales: The Ultimate Spider-Man #1-7
Miles’s second solo series, rebranded as “Miles Morales: Ultimate Spider-Man,” brings us to the second anniversary of Ultimate Peter Parker’s death. During this arc, Miles inexplicably encounters a very much alive Peter and the Ultimate Norman Osborne/Green Goblin, who had also perished earlier. We also learn a lot more about Miles’ personal life and his supporting in new and interesting ways. The story arc ends with a happy ending for Peter and passes the torch to Miles as a worthy successor.
Spider-Man: Miles Morales Vol. 1 (2016)
Spider Man (2016) #1-5
Miles Morales has now been incorporated into the mainstream Earth-616 Marvel Universe and the series is now just called “Spider-Man”. Miles has become an Avenger rubbing shoulders with Iron Man, Thor, and Captain America, while facing faces the challenges of being a teenaged superhero: standing alone against a villain with the power to destroy the universe; facing the Black Cat and a new mutant; managing his grades; and even… his grandmother!
After 18 years, Miles Morales’ creator finally called it a day with this issue of Spider-Man. It’s worth a read for the Brian Michael Bendis’ “farewell” to the character he created. The story follows the aftermath of an Avengers battle; Miles has been seriously wounded and hospitalized, clinging on to life. It’s a heartfelt issue that sees Miles’ family and friends rally around him, with a truly lovely payoff on the last panel for Miles and his best friend, Ganke.
Are you excitedly looking forward to more of Miles Morales like we are? What other Miles Morales story arcs should we read? Send us a tip or leave us a comment!