With all the excitement and fanfare surrounding the recent Into The Spiderverse film, Miles Morales has swung into the spotlight and become just as mainstream, if not more mainstream than the old spider he got his mantle from. With this newfound power comes the age-old debate, who is the better spider? Well, this article may not give a definitive answer as to which Spider swings highest, but it will point out just what makes these two spectacular spider-men unique and dangerous in their own way.
Miles may be the new kid on the block with some new additions to Peter’s old powers, but Peter has been around the block a few times. With that experience comes knowledge and self-development in a way that Miles can barely begin to grasp at this point in his crime-fighting career. So let’s dive into the spider-verse and see where these twin heroes find their greatest strengths.
10 Miles Morales: Venom Blast
While Peter Parker may be the original spider, the one who started it all, Miles has brought a fresh take with both his spider-garb and spider-powers. An ability that is entirely unique to Miles is his Venom Blast, which allows him to temporarily stun most opponents and even short-circuit electronic devices. Despite what the name implies Miles does not actually inject any sort of venom into his adversaries, be they electronic or otherwise.
Rather, Morales emits a bioelectric current capable of shorting anything from an iPhone to destroying the better part of a Hydra lab. He’s also been shown to use this ability to create tendrils of energy from his fingertips that can be used much like the webs from his shooters. They even have comparable tensile strength. Looks like SHIELD can hold back on developing his electric webs.
9 Peter Parker: Genius-Level Intellect
There is absolutely no doubt that Miles is an incredibly intelligent and resourceful kid who will likely become an even greater hero than his predecessor someday. However, with an IQ somewhere north of 250, Peter Parker is one of the most brilliant and inventive minds in the whole of the Marvel landscape. It’s no secret that Peter’s mind for science has helped him (and many others) throughout the course of his long and arduous career.
When you’re regularly teaming up, clashing, and besting some of the most brilliant minds in the Marvel Universe (Tony Stark, Reed Richards, Otto Octavius, Norman Osborne, and Professor X, just to name a few) that’s a clear sign that you’re doing something right. Not to mention the fact that Peter engineered his suit and all its components before even graduating high school. Does whatever a spider can? Nah, spider-fam. Let’s see a spider manage all that.
8 Miles Morales: Active Camouflage
While his powers of invisibility may not be on par with someone like Susan Storm, Miles’ powers of camouflage sure give him a leg up on Peter’s stealth suit. While this power initially manifested as a sort of flight-or-fight response to dangerous situations, Miles has learned to control this ability and use it for both stealth and subterfuge.
Fortunately for Miles, he doesn’t have to remove his clothing and swing around New York revealing more than just his position to adversaries and allies alike. Take that Jessica Alba’s Sue Storm.
7 Peter Parker: Endurance & Mental Fortitude
Ever since Peter took up the mantle of Spider-Man and accepted the responsibilities as the hero that New York deserves, he has really been put through the wringer. Pete has been hunted, broken, vilified, and broken again, yet somehow he always manages to get up and continue fighting. Peter has continued to fight long after the point that any human (or even Spider-human hybrid) would continue fighting.
Peter has fought with broken hands, ribs, and heart while still managing to come out on top. In comparison, Miles is still rather young and early in his career, so much so that a headbutt via Hammerhead and a couple of broken ribs is enough to render the young hero unconscious and lethally vulnerable. Peter may be the older spider, but he’s also the most reliable. Unless we’re talking about showing up for class....or paying rent...or coming to work...or showing up for a date...or saving Gwen Stacy…
6 Miles Morales: Keeping Gwen Stacy Alive
Gwen Stacy has come a long way (spider-powers and all) from those days when she was dependent on Spider-Man to save her from any number of villainous foes. While she may not need saving like she used to, having a similarly super-powered friend around when you need back-up is objectively a good idea.
While Peter may not have been able to save Gwen when it mattered most, due to a web-fluid formula that was...not as elastic as it could’ve been. Meanwhile, Miles has been there time and time again when Gwen needs some back-up.
5 Peter Parker: Engineering Prowess
As mentioned previously, not only is Peter intelligent, he’s inventive. While Miles may have the upper hand when it comes to the abilities he’s been granted, Peter has always made it a point to not only develop his powers, but also his mind. For every power that Miles received, Peter was there years ahead of him developing and inventing methods to make up for these omissions.
Miles may have his venom blast, but Peter has developed electric webs for dealing with foes like Hydroman. Miles may have his camouflage, but Peter has his stealth suit. We’ve already mentioned that Peter developed the web-fluid that both he and Miles use, and how it’s gone through many iterations to get to where it is today. Peter may not have all the flashy powers that Miles has, but he’s got the greatest power of all backing up his already impressive power set - brainpower.
4 Miles Morales: Making True & Lasting Friendships
A major hallmark of who Peter Parker is as a character is his introverted nature. Growing up, Peter was bullied frequently and left to his own devices. This upbringing had a major influence on how he dealt with his newfound abilities. His first instinct was to make sure that they were kept secret. Miles, on the other hand, is a confident young man with many friends.
Not only do many of Morales' friends know his secret identity and help him with his web-slinging side hustle, but he also has the benefit of growing up around many up-and-coming superheroes. While Peter had other heroes like Iron Man and Captain America around, they were more role models than his peers. Much like Peter is to Miles. Miles, on the other hand, has peers like Ms. Marvel, Amadeus Cho, Gwen Stacy, and many more.
3 Peter Parker: The Way Of The Spider
Much like when Peter was first beginning his hero career, Miles is more or less just winging it and hoping things work out for the best. He hasn’t spent the time training his mind, body, and spirit the way Peter has. While Miles is competent enough with the training he’s been given, Peter has developed a fighting style all of his own.
With the help of Shang Chi, a martial arts master on par with Danny Rand, The Immortal Iron Fist, Peter developed The Way Of The Spider as a way to completely utilize his spider abilities. Or as Peter might say it, “Just like Shang Chi trained me. No long-range attacks. Up close and personal. Targeting nerve clusters! Pressure points! Striking with spider-speed. Hitting with spider-strength! And that, my friends, is what we call -- the Way of the Spider.”
2 Miles Morales: Learning From Spiders Past
Miles may have been granted new abilities. He may be more confident than Peter was at his age. He may even become a better hero than Peter himself one day. But the greatest thing that Miles has going for him is Peter. Miles is lucky enough to have an older, more experienced, intelligent, and kind teacher who is willing to help him along his path to becoming a better hero.
While Miles’ original Peter had to die in order for miles to pick up the mantle, ever since he dropped into Earth 616, Miles has had a friend and mentor to look up to. Miles may eventually surpass Peter as the greatest Spider-Man to have ever worn the mask, but when he does it’ll be because of the groundwork Peter laid down to help the young hero take the next steps.
1 Peter Parker: Get Mephisto To Annul His Marriage
Nothing says, “I love you, Aunt May.” like magically annulling your marriage to the girl of your dreams. Peter, surprisingly enough, has played the field almost as much as Tony Stark himself. Okay, maybe not that much, but he’s definitely been popular with the women of the Marvel universe. However, not one of them has ever managed to tie old spidey down and get a ring on that finger.
No one except Mary Jane, that is. While Peter did manage to hit the jackpot and seal the deal with Mary Jane, although not everyone was a fan of settled down spidey. Which explains why when Aunt May was about to say hello to the great spider-spirit in the sky, Pete’s marriage was the first thing on Mephisto’s chopping block. Apparently, even the powerful interdimensional demon just couldn’t stand to see Spidey out of the game or happy. Basically, Peter has sacrificed a lot over the years.