The non-stop marketing campaign for Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse has made it certain that the red-clad web-slinger Miles Morales is at the forefront of our minds all day for the last week or so. (In fact, the team behind the film is releasing so many advanced clips that some fans actually asked them to stop.)
For some Spider-fans, however, the constant reminders that Peter Parker isn’t the only Spider-Man seem to be confusing, and it sparked quite a blaze on Twitter last night.
It all started when one user, @Nerdotic, posited that “Miles Morales is Miles Morales,” insinuating that he was only Miles Morales, and not Spider-Man. When pushed, he used an image from an online toy site, which labeled a figurine of him as “Miles Morales.”
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Fans of Miles Morales comics – and of the Spider-Verse franchise that stars Shamiek Moore as Miles – were quick to jump in and point out the flaws in this user’s logic.
One user, @cr_chavez_18, pointed out that Peter B. Parker’s toy doesn’t call him Spider-Man either – in a franchise that’s literally about how many different Spider-men there are, that does seem like an obvious way to avoid confusion.
Another fan, @DiamondSpiderP, pointed out that Miles Morales has all of the same abilities as Spider-Man, such as swinging from webs and sticking to walls – and that all the comics about him were titled “Spider-Man.” They said:
Idk, when he jumps onto a wall, he sticks. When he does the silly hand pose, a web comes out. When he jumps off a building, he doesn’t fall to his death. When you buy his book, it says “Spider-Man” real big at the top. Guys, I kinda think Miles Morales is Spider-Man
Another user, @SinfulBehaviors, cut to the heart of the issue when they said:
Weird how you guys can accept Scott Lang as Ant-Man, Hal Jordan as Green Lantern, and Wally West as The Flash, but SUDDENLY when a black guy uses the mantle of a superhero they CAN’T POSSIBLY be that hero.
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Still other users pointed out that, when the people of New York see Miles Morales coming, dressed as Spider-Man, Spider-Man is what they call him. The name is a mantle that comes with the costume, and whoever uses that mantle to do help their neighbors is Spider-Man.
If that argument weren’t convincing enough on its own, user @SmashTriviaJohn pointed out that even the great Stan Lee believed this. He posted a picture with a quote of Lee that read:
You know one of the greatest things about Spiderman’s outfit, his costume? He is completely covered. So any kid could imagine he’s Spiderman, because no color of his skin shows. He could be black under that, he could be red, he could be yellow, he could belong to any race. And that wasn’t done purposefully, it was done accidentally, but I think it was the best thing we did – making him so that he could be anybody under that costume.
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One can’t very well refute Stan Lee on any matter when it comes to Marvel properties – so in the case of Miles Morales v. Peter Parker, the case is settled: They’re both Spider-Man, and so is anybody else who puts on the suit. That’s part of why the motto of Spider-Man is what so resonant: With great power comes great responsibility.
But anyone can hold that power.
What’s your take on the Spider-Man debate? Chime in in the comments.