Miles Morales: #Spiderverse Epicness!!!
Spider-Man is America’s favorite hero. Within my lifetime the character has had four movie screen adaptations, at least five television shows, starred in multiple video games, and is still the most popular costume choice for any convention. Growing up, my cousin was obsessed with him, and to this day kids tell me enthusiastically that Spider-Man is their favorite hero. I was able to see the movie during opening weekend and I was blown away! The visuals are stunning, the soundtrack fits perfectly, and the voice actors put forth their best work it, and the story was nothing shy of amazing. I cannot put into words how much I loved this movie, I give that honor to my friend Josh Brafman, but what I can do is talk about how amazing a journey it has been to see the rise of Miles Morales, our newest Spider-Man.
I remember when Miles Morales was first introduced in 2011. Obama was re-elected for a second term, and Spider-Man was black! Looking back, it seems crazy that we thought both of those things were impossible. People lost their minds at the idea that the mantle of Spider-Man would not be Peter Parker and instead given to an Afro-Latino youth from Brooklyn. During this time black people could truly be anything they wanted to be. As Miles gained popularity in the comic book world the fans wanted to see him in other media. There were even rumors that Donald Glover would play him in a live action version. People flipped their collective minds again with their racist notions spewing forth from the darkest corners of the internet. It’s always strange to see how fans want change in their heroes, but will fight it tooth and nail when the time for change comes. Spider-Man was always touted with the idea that it could be anyone under the mask. It was merely time to give him the face that reflected that change in our country.
It has been fascinating to see Miles Morales’ journey from the comic page to the silver screen within the last ten years. Most can remember when Community was everyone’s favorite show to watch and Donald Glover was the fan’s favorite for many young black superhero roles. That rumor payed off in Spider-Man: Homecoming, when we saw him play Mile’s uncle Aaron for a few brief moments. I’m grateful to that callback and also grateful that America is branching out when it comes to casting choices for more young multiracial actors and actresses. Disney XD showed Miles Morales for the first time on the small screen in Ultimate Spider-Man, and from there I can say his popularity grew among younger audiences.
Into the Spiderverse by Sony Animation Productions demonstrate that it doesn’t have to be Disney to make a great Spider-Man film. Sony has a history of missing the mark with many Spider-Man films, but they knocked it out the park with this movie. At the time of writing this, Into the Spiderverse has been ranked number 1 in box office sales and has received a score of 100% on Rotten Tomatoes. Additional comic-book movies that ranked that high this year were Black Panther, and Avengers: Infinity Wars. Into the Spiderverse is a love letter to all Spider-Man fans young and old. I’m grateful to be living in a time where it’s not outlandish to see a superhero with my skin tone on the big screen and bringing in the big bucks. It’s an indescribable feeling seeing a character you can truly imagine yourself being. Miles Morales has come a long way for what is a remarkably short time frame from the printed page to the big screen. It gives me hope for the future of comic book movies and other entertainment platforms when the right positive energy is harnessed for good. This has been truly a blessed year for comic book fans of color and I cannot wait to see what 2019 brings.