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Unmasking the Distinct Identity of Miles Morales: Why He is Not Spider-Man

In the vast world of superheroes, there are characters who take on iconic mantles and become synonymous with their alter egos. However, it is important to recognize that not every character who dons a familiar costume is the same as their predecessor. One such character is Miles Morales, a young Afro-Latino teenager who has made a name for himself as a hero. Today  we will explore the reasons why Miles Morales is not  Spider-Man, can he be  a unique and compelling character in his own right?



Miles Morales possesses powers and abilities that differ from those of Peter Parker. While both characters share some common traits, such as wall-crawling and superhuman strength, Miles has additional powers like the "venom strike" and the ability to camouflage himself. These unique abilities showcase his individuality and could demonstrate that he brings something new and different to the superhero landscape. But let's be honest. A Superhero’s powers is like a person walking to a door, opening a door and walking though it. What makes him unique other than the clothes on the persons back?



Miles Morales as Spider-Man doesn't require constant reminders. It's evident that he's not your typical Spider-Man because he goes by the name Miles Morales, not Spider-Man. Despite being around for over a decade, there's limited evidence showcasing his remarkable qualities. In the first ten years of Spider-Man, we witnessed iconic stories like the Green Goblin saga, Gwen Stacy's tragic fate, and the menacing Sinister Six.



However, in Miles' ten-year journey, we haven't witnessed any major defining moments or captivating narratives for his character. He seems like a blank canvas, as Marvel Comics even experimented with different character names for Miles. To understand who Miles truly is, one could simply take Peter Parker, alter his appearance, strip away his problems and intelligence, and voila, you have Miles Morales.



The original idea behind Spider-Man was to create a relatable hero for everyone, regardless of their appearance. However, it appears that Miles must resemble you without the mask for you to find him relatable. His character is primarily defined by his race, unlike Spider-Man, who is defined by his character traits. Miles merely borrows the Spider-Man name without adding any defining or redefining elements to the character. He fails to live up to the legacy and instead uses the name for popularity.




Marvel has the opportunity to grant Miles a unique and intriguing defining characteristic unrelated to his race, yet they persist in checking the boxes instead. Consequently, his comics often fall into the trope of presenting Miles as a lesser version of Spider-Man. People may claim he is Spider-Man, but there is no concrete evidence to support this assertion.



This is a common issue with tokenized characters, where the original character is well-known, and the tokenized character is merely present to fulfill a diversity quota. It doesn't mean there aren't genuine fans of the character, but there is a lack of substance beyond his appearance. Let Miles be his own person with his own distinct identity. He can still possess spider powers, but he doesn't have to be labeled as Spider-Man for people to connect with him. Miles Morales  deserves the freedom to be his own unique individual.


There is a  distinct personality and perspective that sets him apart from Peter Parker. While Peter is known for his quick wit and sarcastic humor, Miles is portrayed as more reserved. His experiences as a person of color and growing up in a different environment contribute to his worldview and the challenges he faces.


Miles Morales borrows his set of supporting characters and villains from the traditional

Spider-Man. To his credit he has his best friend Ganke Lee and  his parents. Almost all his his stories need  interactions with other heroes like Spider-Gwen, Spider-Man 2099 and yes even Peter Parker himself. When has this character has ever stood alone?


Miles Morales problem is he's stuck as a carbon copy of the original Spider-Man; he is a character with no unique origin.  Powers, and personality, May differ and his supporting cast are mostly out of Peter’s roster.


By acknowledging the shortcomings in this character we could build the depth and significance, bring him to the superhero genre. Miles Morales stands as a lesson to the power of individuality and representation. He is not a bad character. He just needs to be his own character. Give him villains that ties then directly to him. This will inspire readers and viewers to embrace him and celebrate the distinct identities that makes Miles, Miles.

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Wilhelm Peters Jr.
Wilhelm Peters Jr.
Nov 16, 2023
Rated 4 out of 5 stars.

If he really was Spiderman we wouldn't be calling him Miles Morales

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