#ComicBytes: What makes Miles Morales the Ultimate Spider-Man?
For many years, Peter Parker was the most recognizable Spider-Man in Marvel. But, since the entry of Miles Morales, things have changed. Peter Parker's successor in the Ultimate Marvel Universe (an alternate universe on Earth-1610), Miles' Spider-Man shot to popularity after the 2018-Oscar-winning animated film Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse. But what makes Miles the 'Ultimate Spider-Man'?
The seed for the character was sown around the time Barack Obama was set to become the first Black president of the US. The son of an African-American father and a Puerto Rican mother, his character faced anti-diversity rhetoric about how Marvel should create new heroes of color instead of replacing the originals. Miles Morales first appeared in the Ultimate Comics: Fallout #4 (2011).
Although Miles also got his powers from a radioactive spider, he never had the 'with great power comes great responsibility' sensibility like Peter. His universe already had a Spider-Man and he always planned on being a normal teenager. But after witnessing Peter's death, Miles steps up. His mother's death has him doubting his role as a Spider-Man but Miles eventually becomes a full-time vigilante.
Just like Peter and other Spider-people, Miles possesses the spider-sense and superhuman strength, speed, stamina, durability and reflexes. Additionally, Miles can turn invisible, has bio-electrokinesis powers and can easily stun his enemies with a "venom blast". The reason behind these extra powers is the spider that bit him. It was the one genetically engineered by supervillain Norman Osborn to defeat Spider-Man.
Spider-Man always fights creative villains. But in Peter Parker's narrative, these are his regular foes (like the Green Goblin) and their many iterations. After Peter's death on Earth-1610, Miles not only takes on these familiar spidey-enemies but some new ones as well. This boy, who started his career by defeating his uncle Aaron, aka the Prowler, is now fighting cosmic beings like the Galactus.
Even after the entire Ultimate Universe was destroyed during Secret Wars, Marvel saved Miles and brought him into the main continuity, thanks to the popularity of his comics. Currently, he is working alongside Earth-616's Peter Parker, the Avengers, S.H.I.E.L.D, and the Champions. Wearing that iconic black suit, Miles Morales has become a bankable brand with an Academy Award and multiple video games.