After growing into a breakout star of Marvel Comics’ Ultimate universe, Miles Morales finally made the leap to the main Marvel universe in the wake of Secret Wars. But, fans likely noticed one major change. So, what’s the deal?
Not to get too deep into the minutia, but here’s the Reader’s Digest version: If you read between the lines of Secret Wars, the Molecule Man said he owed Miles Morales a favor, after Miles gave him a (very old) cheeseburger. It seemed almost like a silly, little throwaway comment — until we get a peek at Miles’ life in the new Marvel universe.
One of the big storylines in the original, Ultimate Universe-set run of Miles’ comic found his mother tragically killed, which drove a major wedge between Miles and his father that lasted quite a while. So, fans were understandably surprised to find Miles’ mother and father happily reunited in the new continuity — while Miles’ father still knows he’s Spider-Man, while his mother is still oblivious to his double life.
In an interview with Vox, creator Brian Michael Bendis noted the flexibility of Secret Wars (where reality itself was reset, allowing for easy changes if the creative team sees fit) seemed like a good point to shake up the dynamic within Miles’ home life:
“Though Miles had lost his mom a couple of years ago in the book, in the event of Miles coming here [to the main Marvel Universe], he got her back, because Miles did something good and the universe rewarded him. What we're getting out of that is his father knows he's Spider-Man but his mother does not. We have a very interesting family dynamic brewing in Miles's household. As far as in reality, Sara and I had a baby named Miles Morales. Mommy went away for a while, and now she is back.”
Bendis went on to talk about how they spun Miles’ new Spider-Man book out of the larger story of Secret Wars. Miles seems to be about the only Ultimate character to survive and make it over to the new continuity, so it’s obviously a big deal in that respect. But, Bendis said they didn’t want to weigh it down under the massive weight of that event.
Instead, they took the concept back to its core elements, to make sure Miles didn’t lose the things that made his older ‘books so fun in the first place:
“The gorgeousness of it is that the Marvel Universe is as complicated as you want to make it. A book like this, you open it up and here is this boy named Miles Morales, who is Spider-Man, and he is having a hard time, and that's all you need to know. He's got a very interesting backdrop. He goes to a charter school with his friends. He is really struggling with his grades and paying attention to his civilian life, because his life as Spider-Man is obviously much more pulse-pounding, and the effects of Spider-Man are much more immediate.
As far as picking this up, all you need to know is he is really struggling to balance his life because of what he's witnessed. It always comes back to — and I think what Stan Lee's genius was — is that it comes down to the universal truth of how hard it is to balance your life. Particularly when you're a teenager and you think you've seen it all, you know it all, and you just want to get on with things. Yet you're still stuck in high school for two years.
I think that is the universal truth. Miles's unique place in the Marvel Universe now is the extra-good stuff. What we pride ourselves on is not punishing anyone for not having read something else. You open up this book and you know he never goes, 'Wow that Secret Wars was hard.'"
The first issue of Spider-Man is currently on comic store shelves.