Even if you haven't actually read any of his adventures, by now you're likely familiar with Miles Morales, the Black Hispanic teenager who took over the role of Ultimate Spider-Man in 2011, after the death of the Ultimate Universe Peter Parker. In part because of his appeal to diverse audiences, and in part because his comics are just plain fun, Miles became a fan-favorite character almost instantly, and he's still so beloved that many fans lobbied (unsuccessfully, it seems) for him to be the new big-screen Spider-Man for Marvel and Sony's partnership.
Miles' popularity also means that, even though the Ultimate Universe is gone thanks to the incursion event that kicked off Secret Wars, he'll be sticking around in the Marvel Universe proper, joining the All-New All-Different Avengers alongside fellow diverse fan-favorite Kamala Khan (Ms. Marvel). For the moment, it looks like Miles is set to make a big and lasting impact on the main Marvel continuity, but it wasn't so long ago that Marvel almost introduced a different Miles Morales to the main Marvel universe.
Back in 2012, writer Brian Michael Bendis and artist Sara Pichelli (the co-creators of Miles Morales) launched Spider-Men, a five-issue miniseries that featured the Marvel 616 version of Peter Parker traveling through a rift and finding himself in the Ultimate Universe, only to discover that the Peter Parker of that universe was dead and Miles was the new Spider-Man. The two have a fun adventure together until Peter finally makes it back to his own universe, where he does an Internet search to see if his universe has its own Miles Morales.
Unfortunately, whatever Peter found in his search is still a mystery, and though Bendis has said multiple times that a Spider-Men sequel will eventually happen, it hasn't materialized yet. According to his new book Words for Pictures, though, which includes a copy of his original Spider-Men pitch, Bendis actually intended to introduce a main Marvel universe Miles Morales in the book.
"In his original pitch for the series, Brian Michael Bendis had two notable ideas that never came about," Brian Cronin wrote in a new installment of his Comic Book Legends Revealed series. "One, he wanted to use the series to introduce Miles to Ultimate Mary Jane Watson to start up a friendship between the two. And two, he wanted to introduce the Marvel Universe version of Miles Morales, with the intent that he would become Peter’s best friend and an instant supporting cast member over in Amazing Spider-Man."
Both of those ideas ended up not making it into Spider-Men, and now Ultimate Miles is on his way to being the main Marvel continuity version of Miles himself. We'll see exactly where Miles ends up, and how he got there, once Secret Wars has unfolded, but for the moment it's interesting to think about what might've happened if we'd had two of him.
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