Who is Miles Morales, the Ultimate Spider-Man?

Spider-Man: “Listen: This is complicated and not gonna make a lot of sense, but I’m from a parallel world.”
Ultimate Spider-Man: “Makes total sense. So you chased the Goblin from your world to this one and since he’s Goblin, he’s probably after my DNA.”
Spider-Man: “Exactly. You’re pretty good, Spidey.”

– Ultimate Spider-Man “Spider-Verse Part 3” (Season 3, Episode 11)

A villain rampages through  a city. He charges at a group of police officers, but trips. Glancing at his legs, the villain finds them covered in webbing. “Webs?! How can this be? He’s supposed to be dead!” The villain frees his legs and is kicked by a black clad figure as he stands.

The figure electrocutes the villain with a touch. The villains struggles to stay conscious. “Damn you, Parker!” he snarls before passing out. The figure tilts his head and says “I’m not Peter Parker. I’m Spider-Man!”

The Ultimate Spider-Man is a wallcrawler from another universe. He replaced that world’s Spider-Man, survived an apocalypse, and is the first alternate Spider-Man featured in a movie. So who is he? How did he join the main Marvel universe? Why did he replace Spider-Man? Does the Uncle Ben tragedy show up yet again? Let’s find out.

The Ultimate Universe: Spider-Man’s Backstory

Ultimate Spider-Man: “Peter Parker saved the world. I was there! He sacrificed himself and saved us all. (touches Peter’s tombstone) I’d just gotten my powers. Maybe I could’ve saved him. But I was scared.”

Ultimate Spider-man “Spider-Verse Part 3” (Season 3, Episode 11)

The Ultimate Spider-Man’s backstory requires context.

Marvel launched a series called Ultimate Marvel in the year 2000. It was intended to be an entry point for new readers. The series was a success, especially the Ultimate Spider-Man series.

The Ultimate Spider-Man debuted in Ultimate Fallout #4 in 2011 after Peter Parker’s death. He is bi-racial, half African-American and half Latino. Series writers said that his ethnicity was inspired by Barack Obama’s election.

Miles Morales was a normal child until he was bitten by a mutated spider. Don’t stop me because you’ve heard this before. It changes. The spider had escaped from the lab where Spider-Man was created and gave Miles similar powers. Those powers horrified him, and Miles hid them for years. Miles even witnessed Peter Parker’s final stand against his enemies, but was too scared to save him.

An inspired Miles became the new Spider-Man after watching Peter Parker’s sacrifice. Several heroes hated Miles for stealing Spider-Man’s name and legacy. He eventually proved himself worthy of the mantle and and even joined  The Ultimates, his universe’s version of The Avengers.

Spider-Verse: Spider-Man’s History

Spider-Goblin: “Spiders from other worlds? Here?”
Spider-Man: “What’s more fun than one friendly neighborhood Spider-Man? How about seven!”
Spider-Ham: “Seven Spideys. Tell me there’s a reasonable explanation for this.”
Ultimate Spider-Man: “A pig in a Spider-Man costume wanted a reasonable explanation. And it was the best day ever. Look at this.”

– Ultimate Spider-man “Spider-Verse Part 4” (Season 3, Episode 12)

The Ultimate Spider-Man finally met his predecessor in the story Spider-Men. Marvel’s main Spider-Man (called Peter henceforth for simplicity) wound up in the Ultimate Universe after a fight with Mysterio. Peter was confused by everyone knowing his secret identity and attacked Spider-Man to get answers. Spider-Man won and explained what was going on. They managed to get Peter home after a battle with the Ultimate Mysterio, a robot they discovered that Mysterio controlled.

Peter sought out Spider-Man again during the series Spider-Verse. The Inheritors were slaughtering every Spider-Man, Woman, and Child throughout the multiverse. Peter recruited Spider-Man into his Spider-Army to battle the Inheritors.

Almost immediately after Spider-Verse, the Ultimate Universe was destroyed in the series Secret Wars. Miles survived because he was fighting the Inheritors in another universe at the time. The Ultimate Spider-Man has since joined the main Marvel Universe and helped create a team called The Champions.

Electric Arachnid: Spider-Man’s Powers and Personality

Ultimate Spider-Man: “You’re barely two years older. I’ve watched universes die and I can’t get into a club!”
Gwen Stacy: “Yeah, well, I have an ID. How were you gonna get in?”
Ultimate Spider-Man: “I’m Spider-Man! I’ll kick their stupid door down!”Spider-Gwen #16

Ultimate Spider-Man’s powers are similar to the original version’s. He has superhuman strength, speed, durability, agility, can stick to walls, and has a spider sense that warns him about danger. His spider sense is notably weaker than Peter’s and only warns him of immediate danger. He also inherited Peter’s Web-shooters, which let him web swing and restrain enemies.

Ultimate Spider-Man has two unique abilities. He can camouflage himself, which is cool, but his killer app is the Venom Strike. Spider-Man can charge enemies with time-delayed energy by touch. A series writer compared the pain to getting kicked in the groin. Ouch.

The Actors who Play Miles Morales / Ultimate Spider-Man

Miles Morales debuted in Ultimate Spider-Man, during an adaptation of Spider-Verse. To prevent confusion, Miles used the name Kid Arachnid after his first appearance. He was voiced by Donald Glover, but was later voiced by Ogie Banks. He next appeared in Marvel’s Spider-Man, voiced by character actor Nadji Jeter.

Miles also exists in the Marvel Cinematic Universe and is mentioned in a deleted scene in Spider-Man: Homecoming. His uncle, a petty crook, calls Miles after an encounter with Spider-Man.

Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse features Miles as the main character with Shameik Moore voicing the hero.

Didya Get All That?

A Spider’s a spider, no matter how ultimate.

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