SPOILER WARNING: The following article contains major spoilers for Brian Michael Bendis, Sara Pichelli, Elisabetta D’Amico, Justin Ponsor and VC’s Cory Petit’s Spider-Men II #3, on sale now
One of the Marvel Universe’s biggest mysteries of the past few years has centered around the identity of the 616 incarnation of Miles Morales. The original Spider-Men miniseries — which took placed back when the two arachnid-themed heroes occupied separate universes — ended with Peter Parker searching for information on his world’s Miles, and while we didn’t see what he discovered at the time, it was something that was enough to shock the well-traveled hero.
In the first issue of Spider-Men II, we learned that the shocking discovery Peter made was, literally, nothing — there is no public record in the Marvel Universe of a Miles Morales, or at least a counterpart to the Miles Morales from Earth-1610. While that might seem like an underwhelming reveal, Spider-Men II #3 revealed a very interesting reason for that, tying 616 Miles — or Prime Universe Miles, if you want to be pedantic — to one of Spider-Man’s biggest enemies.
Spider-Men II #3 reveals that many years ago, Wilson Fisk — not yet The Kingpin but instead known by the nickname “The Undertaker” — was sent to prison where he shared a cell with Miles Morales. Miles was in prison for a crime he didn’t commit; he was covering for his cousin, and in doing so he was doing Kingpin’s boss, Don Rigoletto, a huge favor. Fisk entered the prison solely to keep an eye on Morales and make sure that he made it through his prison stint, as which point he would be compensated for his troubles by the Don.
However, Fisk and Rigoletto have their own enemies, both in and out of prison, and one criminal had paid Morales a hefty sum to kill Wilson Fisk in his sleep. As sign of good faith and of trust in that what Fisk says is the truth, Morales chose to give this information — and the money — to Fisk. The future Kingpin accepted the gesture, but told Morales to keep the money as a thank you from Don Rigoletto.
While they were only in prison together for a short time, Morales and Fisk bonded deeply. Thus, when an attempt was made on the latter’s life by an MGH-addled inmate seeking revenge, Morales came to the rescue, taking a knife across the face for his troubles. After dispatching the would-be assassin, the two friends help each other to the infirmary, a new bond forged in the heat of battle and with Wilson Fisk pledging an eternal debt of gratitude to Miles Morales for saving his life.
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