(WARNING: This post contains spoilers for the Ultimate Spider-Man comics and other Miles Morales-related Spidey adventures)
Miles Morales, the second Ultimate Spider-Man, is possibly Marvel’s greatest innovation of the 2010s. Making his first steps in the Ultimate Universe, a darker and more serious version of the Mainstream Universe, Miles took over the iconic mantle after Peter’s tragic passing and assumed the role of the web-slinger, becoming a fan favorite.
The character was so popular among fans that he actually found his way into Earth-616. Soon enough, he started patrolling the streets of NY alongside Peter Parker. At last, #Marvel returned to the successful formula of the ‘60s, creating a teenage hero who still goes to school. The spot has been available for many years, since Parker graduated a long time ago.
All of you who might think that Miles isn’t as amazing (pun intended) as the original Spidey, you obviously haven’t read even one story with the latest version of #SpiderMan. He might seem shallow or boring, however, the complexity of his character actually matches Parker levels. That doesn’t mean he is a carbon copy — a cheap rip-off. No, although he shares some common traits with the classic Spider-Man, he surely is one of a kind. Let’s take, for example, his superpowers — he actually has some extra abilities, like the power to paralyze almost anyone with just a touch (the Venom Sting, as he calls it) and the gift of camouflage — the ability to "merge’’ with the environment and get out of sticky situations. So, in a way, he’s actually even stronger than his predecessor.
Apart from his multidimensional personality and his spectacular (again, pun intended) personality, Miles also has an impressive rogues gallery. Yes, you guessed it: We’re going to talk about villains!
If Marvel intends to create a successful movie with the young African American superhero, they should use some very menacing bad guys and some very talented actors to portray them. Having a threatening villain in your film is the real blueprint for success; it’s the most important element of the movie. What would The Dark Knight be without the Joker? What would Star Wars be without Vader? Since Miles isn’t nearly as well-known as Iron Man, Cap, or the Hulk, Marvel should really bring out the big guns.
So these are my top three suggestions — the best baddies I could think of, the malicious evil-doers who have the potential to incite the most epic rivalry of Spider-Man’s cinematic history. Jon Watts, sit down and take notes.
We kick off our list with the greatest nemesis of the traditional Spider-Man (apart from the Green Goblin and Doc Ock). The version that Miles encountered is neither Eddie Brock nor McGargan, but the biochemist Conrad Marcus. You probably don’t know much about him; he’s relatively new to the comic book world. However, that doesn’t mean he isn’t as intimidating as the others. This incarnation of the symbiotic menace is a beast of raw strength. Just look at him — he’s even larger than Brock’s version. He makes Topher Grace look like Mary Poppins.
Jokes aside, Miles holds a personal grudge against Venom (just like Peter did), since the monster actually killed his mother in front of him. When it realized that a new Spider-Man was in town, the symbiote thought to drop by and murder some innocents. After possessing the biochemist, Venom went on a revenge quest, trying to find and destroy the imitator. The monster proved to be quite the genius, concluding that Spider-Man is a member of the Morales family. At the end of the story, Morales actually gets devoured by his enemy and manages to defeat him from the inside, thanks to the help of his Venom Sting — that power that Peter doesn't have!
Who Should Portray Him: Idris Elba. The guy sure has quite the acting chops. I know that he’s already in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, but come on! In all honesty, who is the most important out of these two: Heimdall or Venom? Elba’s got the skills, he’s got the looks, so, why not?
Hold your horses! Before you let the hate flow through your veins and transform into Darth Reader, I’m aware that the clones aren’t exactly villains. Actually, the female clone of the Ultimate Universe Jessica Drew gave her permission to Miles to become the next Spider-Man after realizing what a great job he does.
But wouldn’t it be awesome if Miles battled some of Peter Parker’s clones (like Tarantula or Kaine), proving that he’s actually more than a copycat — he’s actually something different, something better? I imagine many possible scenarios with the clones getting the upper hand, cornering the young hero after an epic final showdown and bragging about their superiority. Right out of nowhere, Morales suddenly proves his worth by using his camouflage, Venom Touch or some other power that the Parkercats aren’t aware of, defeating them, and proving that he’s a worthy heir to Peter Parker’s legacy.
I know that the Clone Saga of the Mainstream Universe is a huge mess, but the equivalent event of the ultimate comics is way easier to follow. I know that Miles had nothing to do with the story, but just take a look at all the incredible characters involved — it would be a shame not to use it for a cinematic adaptation.
Who Should Portray Them: Tom Holland — simple as that. If Marvel wants to go with someone older, I would suggest Tobey Maguire and Andrew Garfield. (Bring all the Spider-Men together!)
Peter Parker encountered Prowler for the first time during his early crime-fighting days. Since then, the antihero (and occasional ally of Spider-Man) has been pushed aside by the comic book writers, stepping out of the bigger role he once had.
So, what did Brian Michael Bendis do with this "forgotten" character? He reinvented him in the coolest way possible by completely changing his origin and secret identity. This Prowler is Aaron Davis, Miles’s uncle and a corporate spy wanted from the police. Basically, he is the reason Morales got his powers, with the radioactive spider he stole from the OsCorp labs biting his nephew and gifting him with great power (as always, pun intended). After realizing how much potential Miles had, Davis started exploiting the kid by using him to destroy the criminal empire of a rival gangster. Miles finally stood up for himself and got into a fight with his uncle, which resulted in the accidental death of Prowler. With his final breath, Aaron accused the teenager of being just like him. After the incident, Miles’s father held a vendetta against Spidey for the murder of his brother, depriving Miles of the opportunity to confess his secret. Miles really has no one he could talk to, no one to understand him and help him create a balanced life.
So, why this relatively unknown character so perfect for a Miles Morales movie? It’s because Prowler has been there from the beginning; he plays a key role in Miles’s transformation from confused teenager to glorious hero. And, apart from being directly linked with Spidey’s origin story, he is also a pretty menacing supervillain. Don’t think that he treated Miles with respect just because he is family; he is a vicious killer, an opportunist — a real scumbag. He attacked the underage son of his brother with his full firepower, using Vulture’s wings, electric gloves, and many more weapons. Aaron is a guy you wouldn’t want to mess with, and that’s why I’m giving him the No. 1 spot.
Who Should Portray Him: I’m going to go with Michael Jai White. He knows how to be menacing, he’s a skilled martial artist, and, plus, he’s got the superhero film experience. Is it just me, or does Spawn’s costume kind of look like Prowler’s?
While we wait for Miles to don the suit, check out some of the heroic highlights from our other friendly Spideys:
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Which Spider-Man Villain Should Marvel Use For A Miles Morales Movie?