In 2011 writer Brian Michael Bendis and artist Sarah Pichelli introduced readers to Marvel Comics’ newest Spider-Man, a teenager named Miles Morales who thanks to a spider bite would embark upon an epic journey that would take him across dimensions and lead to encounters with larger-than-life heroes and sinister villains. A pivotal chapter in Miles' initial journey was 2012's Spider-Men series where Bendis and Pichelli teamed Miles, who was then the Spider-Man of the Ultimate Universe, with the Peter Parker of the Marvel Universe.
In the aftermath of his reality's destruction in the 2015 Secret Wars event Miles and a number of his friends and family were relocated to the Marvel Universe where he continues his fight against crime as Spider-Man, with Peter Parker's blessing. But is carrying on the legacy of Spider-Man the correct path for Miles? And what role will Miles' Marvel Universe counterpart play in the character's journey moving forward? Bendis and Pichelli are currently tackling those questions and more in the five-issue sequel mini-series, Spider-Men II where Peter and Miles team up to investigate the mystery of Miles’ Marvel U counterpart.
Bendis spoke with CBR about the series, how his protagonists reconcile the fact that they hail from different dimensions, the mystery of the Marvel U's Miles Morales, and how Spider-Men II is a major chapter in the long-form Miles Morales story that Bendis will tell throughout the year and beyond.
CBR: One of the big comic book moments for Miles right now is Spider-Men II a series that re-teams him with the original Spider-Man, Peter Parker. This series was originally teased back in 2012. Has it changed at all over the years?
Brian Bendis: Yes -- one of the reasons I was so excited about doing it was because of how much it changed. That also spoke to how much growth Miles had been through. He's a different age. He's living in a different universe. A lot of things have changed, but there's a much bigger question embracing the book right now.
We're exploring it in Spider-Men II, and some of it was even brought up in the last issue of Spider-Man. The question is: Peter Parker said Miles is Spider-Man, but if Peter hadn't been Spider-Man first, what would Miles have been? Is there more for him? Is there something beyond this? Is this just a stepping stone to something else? Those questions are things a young man would ask and it's a journey we're going to embrace fully this whole year in Spider-Men II and beyond.
One interesting aspect of Spider-Men II that we don't often see in Miles' regular series is the fact that he's aware he's originally from the destroyed Ultimate Universe. In issue #1 we saw that Peter still occasionally wrestles with that fact, but can you talk a little more about how Miles feels about that at the beginning of the series?
It will be brought up very clearly in an upcoming issue of Spider-Men II. It's an enormous feeling of responsibility. The shape of the universe is something that's out of his control, but he knows something about it and it's so enormous his brain just has to go, “Hey!”
You hear about people who lived through horror or something that's beyond their comprehension. They just put those experiences in a little box and put it on a shelf. That will be discussed. We'll also look at how it's affected him, and how it's affected the choices they're making going forward.
In these first two issues, we've only caught a brief glimpse of the Miles Morales that originated in the Marvel Universe, but he appears to be a wealthy figure with connections to illicit activities. What can you tell us about the character and your inspiration for him? How dangerous is he?