Marvel’s main universe has two heroes called Spider-Man, but the way in which Miles Morales was brought to it is one of Marvel’s biggest mistakes.
As one of the handful of characters to survive the death of the multiverse, Miles Morales continued his superhero career as another Spider-Man in the main Marvel continuity. He didn’t actually start out in the main marvel universe, but instead made his way there as a reward for helping out a distraught Molecule Man. Marvel could have played this out as a heroic act for Miles, but the publisher opted to have this be a moment of dumb luck and pure coincidence.
2015’s Secret Wars sees the creation of a new Battleworld by God Emperor Doom using fragments of destroyed universes. At one point near the end of the story, Miles meets Peter Parker’s Spider-Man and the two discover Molecule Man suspended upside down in blank space and very, very hungry. He tells Miles and Peter of his plight, and Miles just happens to have a burger in his pocket, which he gives to the malnourished villain. Molecule Man told Miles that he was in his debt, and when Doom was defeated, Miles awoke in the new Earth-616, back together with his family and friends.
The issue is that this coincidence is contrasted against Doom, who neglected to sustain the Molecule Man despite him being the source of Doom’s god-tier powers. It’s clear that the comic invites readers to compare Doom and Miles’ response to Molecule Man’s hunger, but there’s a big problem with that. Miles’s actions are not the opposite of Doom’s. Miles didn’t know that Molecule Man even existed, nor did he go on some quest to gain food. It was just a stroke of dumb luck that changed Miles’ life forever and perhaps is even what turned the tide in the battle against Doctor Doom’s most powerful form.
It would have been easy to make this a moment where Miles actually earns his fresh start. If Marvel had actually put Miles on a small little side quest to get Molecule Man something to eat, it would have been Miles’ compassion that allowed him to start over and gain his new life back as a reward. This also would have made Miles a proper foil to Doom, even if just for this one small instance.
Marvel choosing to have this play out as random chance is a strange decision given how major the consequences are for not just Miles, but the Marvel Multiverse as a whole. Marvel in general has been misusing the multiverse and variants lately, and this is no exception. They could have made it something epic, like Miles Morales’ final act of defiance against Doom, but instead left it up to mere coincidence. Mile Morales‘ version of Spider-Man has quickly become one of Marvel’s most important young heroes, which is why it’s so unfortunate that his coming to the main Marvel universe wasn’t handled better.
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