SPOILER WARNING: This article contains minor spoilers for Spider-Man #239 by Brian Michael Bendis, Oscar Bazaldua, Brian Reber and Cory Petit, on sale now.
When you're a young superhero, you tend to look up to the veterans who came before you as inspiration, and also as a fan of their work. For Marvel heroes like Miles Morales, that can include mentors like the adult Spider-Man (Peter Parker), Captain America, Iron Man and others.
But what happens when a Marvel hero breaks the fourth wall to admit he's a fan of a DC Comics character? While your first thought would be to label Deadpool the culprit of such an act, we learn in Spider-Man #239 that Miles is a big fan of DC's Dark Knight.
After breaking into his Uncle Aaron's apartment to look for clues regarding the Sinister Six's stolen S.H.I.E.L.D. helicarrier, Miles takes a beeline to a wall panel where he begins to use detective skills honed from following Batman's adventures to deduce this being the most likely place for the new Iron Spider to hide his belongings.
Of course, Miles finds a hidden safe and uses his spider-powers to rip it out of the wall and smash it open, where he finds Aaron's burner phone. Miles is impressed with his investigative abilities, as he says out loud, "I'm like Batman."
In the past, we've seen references to Batman comics, TV shows and movies in the Marvel Universe. How else would Miles be aware of the Dark Knight's existence? Franchises like Batman and Spider-Man transcend pop culture into the general public's consciousness, so it makes perfect sense for both heroes to exist in some fashion in each other's respective universes, and even more sense for a person raised there to look to his or her fictional hero for inspiration.
Of course, another logical reason for the Batman Easter egg has to do with writer Brian Michael Bendis' move from Marvel to DC Comics, where he will pen Superman and Action Comics. Bendis has one more issue to go before he completes his run on Miles Morales' adventures, so readers can keep their eyes out for any more DC shoutouts.