Ganke Lee co-creator Brian Michael Bendis has given his opinion on the similarities between his creation and Ned Leeds, Peter Parker’s friend in “Spider-Man: Homecoming.”
“I’ll be very honest right now. I have not talked about this publicly, but it feels very bizarre,” Bendis told the Ultimate Spin podcast. “Most of the time the characters that I’ve had a hand in creating that have made it to the screen, from Jessica [Jones] all the way to Maria Hill and Quake, the level of quality of the adaptation and care in which they bring the character forward past the adaptation into its new life has been uniformly amazing — my luck in this area has been second to none.
“I’ve not seen ‘Spider-Man: Homecoming,’ so I’m gonna wait until we see what we see. But, yeah, it was bizarre and flattering,” Bendis continued. “I don’t even know if Ganke was the inspiration, or they just got to their own place with a character like this on their own. I don’t know. It does seem like it might have been, but no one’s told me either way. There’s so much else in that trailer that’s from ‘Ultimate Spider-Man’ that I would assume that, yes, it is… It’s weird only because Ganke wasn’t part of Peter’s story — he was part of Miles’ story.”
While Bendis’ attitude towards borrowing elements of “Ultimate Spider-Man,” in which Miles Morales and Ganke first appeared, for “Spider-Man: Homecoming” seems generally positive, some fans are frustrated that pieces of Miles’ story have been re-purposed for Peter Parker. Then there are those who were initially disappointed that they wouldn’t get a film featuring Miles, so seeing what they see as parts of Miles’ life given to Peter hasn’t sat well.
Ganke first appeared in Bendis and Sara Pichelli’s “Ultimate Comics Spider-Man” #2, which was released in 2011. The young Korean-American student is best friends with and the confidant of Miles Morales, who took on the mantle of Spider-Man after Peter Parker’s death. When the Ultimate Universe was destroyed in 2015, Miles and Ganke were brought into the regular Earth-616 Universe along with a few other characters.
While there is a Ned Leeds in Peter’s story, his relationship with Peter is much different than Ganke’s with Miles. Ned debuted in Stan Lee and Steve Ditko’s “Amazing Spider-Man” #18 in 1964. A reporter for the Daily Bugle, Ned was Peter’s rival, though he was just a supporting character for much of his life. Ned eventually became the Hobgoblin and was subsequently killed by an assassin.
“Spider-Man: Homecoming” follows Peter after the events of “Captain America: Civil War.” The movie will follow Peter attending a high school for gifted kids, his relationship with Tony Stark, and the threat of the Vulture, played by Keaton. The movie swings into theaters on July 7. Directed by Jon Watts, the film stars Tom Holland, Michael Keaton, Marisa Tomei, Robert Downey Jr., Zendaya and Donald Glover.