In 2011, Brian Michael Bendis and Sarah Pichelli introduced readers to a new incarnation of Spider-Man whose brand of web-slinging was both classic Spidey and brand-new at the same time. That’s because this Spider-Man, Miles Morales, was an Afro-Latino adolescent from Brooklyn trying to balance the responsibility of his spider powers and a normal teenage life with parents, friends and school.
That combination of quintessential, contemporary and new Spider-Man elements made Miles a comic icon and showed that there’s room for both an adult and adolescent Web-Slinger in the Marvel Universe. Filmgoers will get a chance to discover what's great about Miles and how well he works with Peter Parker in the animated film Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse, which teams him with both Pete and a whole host of alternate reality Web-Spinners, opening Dec. 14.
That same week sees Miles kick off a new era of solo adventures with the launch of the new Miles Morales: Spider-Man comic series from writer Saladin Ahmed and artist Javier Garron. CBR spoke with Ahmed about his take on Miles, how he'll pit his protagonist against both classic Spidey foes like the Rhino and brand-new ones, as well as the role Captain America plays in the series' initial arc.
CBR: With Miles Morales: Spider-Man you're taking over the adventures of a character with a lot of history, which is something you've done before. Miles, though, is one Marvel's newest icons. He's become that in a relatively short amount of time, and his profile is about to become even bigger thanks to Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse. So, how does it feel to be writing Miles? What's your sense of what he means to people?
Saladin Ahmed: It's a delight to be writing him. He hasn't been around a terribly long time, but he's built up this goodwill with and zeal from fans over that time. So, that shows you what a special character he is. He's a lot of readers, especially younger ones, favorite Marvel character. It's wonderful to see that kind of enthusiasm.
When you create a new character it's always hit or miss... You never know what will take and what won't. And with Miles, Bendis and Sarah Pichelli created someone who spoke to a lot of readers and really won a place in their hearts in a very short time.
When you kick off a run, you want to be welcoming to new readers, but right now there's a pretty big Miles story unfolding over in Spider-Geddon, where he's found himself in a leadership role and a voice of moral opposition to Otto Octavius' Spider-Man. How do you feel that's impacted Miles? And what kind of shape will he be in when you pick up with him?
When we join Miles in Miles Morales: Spider-Man #1, he's got the sort of mileage, [Laughs] no pun intended, of having been through the events of Spider-Geddon. We're not a direct lead off of that series, though. This is very much intended to be a new start for the character and an introduction for folks who have not read his adventures before.
Which of Miles' character traits are of immediate interest to you?
His decency. It sounds like something we almost take for granted with superheroes. Miles is a really cool guy. He's popular and dresses nice, but at the same time he's a really kind and selfless person.
I don't want to say that's a contrast, but we're very used to seeing superheroes who are sort of nerdy and misunderstood, and they find their empathy through that. I think Miles is a different kind of hero, though, in terms of personality. It's a lot of fun to write him.