Archive | May 2014

The Amazing Spider-Man 2, Miles Morales, and Following Your Heroes

Sorry for not posting anything here for awhile. Finals have been driving me nuts. If I have to write another academic paper, I will roll into a fetal position.

That being said, I got to see The Amazing Spider-Man 2 opening weekend. As a fan of the character, it left me more than satisfied. As a fan of good superhero stories, again, very satisfactory. It didn’t blow my mind like The Winter Soldier did, but it did leave me biting at the chain for the next installment.

Almost immediately, you hear rumors about what they’ll include next. The Sinister Six. Venom. Black Cat. However, a vocal minority did want to see the arrival of one Miles Morales, Spider-Man’s replacement in the Ultimate Comics universe. However, for better or worse, Avi Arad shot down any chance of Miles replacing Peter Parker, since that would spoil the status quo and spell out certain death for the franchise’s future.

However, that is not to say that Miles WON’T appear.

Let me remind you of another superhero film: The Dark Knight Rises. John Blake is inspired by Batman at the end of the film to take up the mantle, fighting as the new Robin. Or Batman. It isn’t certain, but it is clear that he’s replacing Bruce as Gotham’s protector. It’s a fairly inspirational scene that shows that anyone can be a hero.

That said, if The Dark Knight series continued with Blake in the cowl, it would not have been half as good.

The audiences want to see Batman, Bruce Wayne. That’s the character they’ve become accustomed to, relate to, and any change in that status quo would be a betrayal to his character. This is why Miles will never replace Peter in the films: while some of the audience might respond well to him, the vast majority will feel way too disconnected to the events in the film.

BUT I think Miles appearing will be incredibly important to the Spider-Man film series.

In TASM2, the media is uncertain if there is more than one Spider-Man swinging around New York City. Peter even teases a female Spider-Man to Harry in jest. However, this opens the door up in many ways to multiple Spider-Man inspired heroes joining the forces of their hero. The types of people who are inspired to make a stand.

Each Spider-Man film features a scene where a New Yorker stands up after being encouraged by Spider-Man, to some capacity. In the original, you have the bridge. 2 has the train scene. 3 has Harry Osborn teaming up with Spidey to take down Venom and Sandman (admit it: that scene was kickass). TASM has the cranes, and TASM2 has the little kid standing up to Rhino. It is necessary to show Spider-Man’s impact on the city in each film. This is just the logical conclusion: someone joins Spidey’s ranks.

Already, we have a Venom movie in the works. In the comics, Venom serves almost as Spidey’s dark shadow, a lethal protector with a grudge against the web slinger. If he feels vengeance doesn’t need to be exacted, then he’s content to just stop criminals wherever needed. In the comics, after he and Spidey have a truce, he splits for San Francisco to help an underground colony of wanderers. And…honestly, the early comics are pretty badass.  Venom is a kick-ass character.

Then you have Felicia Hardy’s appearance in the most recent film. Felicia is better known as the Black Cat. She is a cat burglar turned hero who has a ton of sexual tension with Spider-Man. A total badass in her own right who accomplishes a lot with her acrobatics and skills.

So that leaves two characters who might fight on the side of good.

But neither are truly inspired by Spider-Man. Felicia becomes Black Cat on her own, while Venom is more created thanks to Spider-Man. Neither pick up the mantle on their own because neither feel inspired by the webslinger.

But Miles Morales is different.

Miles can represent Spider-Man’s impact on the greater universe. He can stand as proof that Spider-Man makes a difference in the lives of New York. After all the crap Peter will go through in the upcoming films, he needs to know that someone cares. Plus, how awesome would it be if Peter goes against the Sinister Six in an epic team-up? Peter, Miles, Venom, and Black Cat against the Sinister Six? Unlikely and crazy, but still awesome.

If you doubt that this is a probability, look at the excellent Spider-Men miniseries that came out not long ago. In it, Peter Parker crosses over into the Ultimate universe, and talks to Miles Morales. It’s an incredibly touching, albeit simple, story. Also, Ultimate Gwen Stacy and Peter have a really sad moment.

Point is, Miles Morales serves an essential role in the Spider-Man universe. Considering the fact that freaking Alistair Smythe and Dr. Kafka (albeit in name only) have a role in this series but not Morales is kinda…disheartening. It’ll happen, don’t worry. Maybe not until after the biggest names are established, but it’ll happen. People are demanding for diversity in their superhero films. It’s just a matter of time.

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