My Connection with Spider-Man
With the 2019 Golden Globes around the corner and Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse being
Let’s be honest, this film had me the moment the Approved by the Comics Code Authority logo appeared on the screen. But seriously though, let me begin with why Spider-Man and this film has had such a great impact on me. Spider-Man has been my favorite superhero since the moment I even learned what superheroes were. I’m not just talking about Peter Parker, Spider-Man. I’m talking what Spider-Man, the character represents. What separates Spider-Man from other superheroes is that he was a typical flawed kid. He wasn’t this indestructible being, he wasn’t this rich kid, and he didn’t definitely didn’t always have his life together. He went to school, he dealt with bullies, he worked a regular job, helped his aunt may. He was fumbling about prior to getting bit by a spider and it continued even after obtaining his abilities. No matter what though, he was a kid who always just tried doing the right thing, even if it didn’t go his way. Spider-Man felt like someone I could personally connect to.
Spider-Man felt like a character anyone could be. You, Me, Male, Female, anyone. As Lee explained in
You bet, I followed Spider-Man throughout the
Now throughout the years, we’ve seen multiple characters take on the “Spider-Man” moniker. No matter the situation, or story arc, or one-off’s, in the end for the most part Peter Parker has been front and center as the primary Spider-Man. Then in 2011, Brian Michael Bendis and Sara Pichelli introduced the world to Parker’s successor in the Ultimate Universe, his name was Miles Morales. Miles is a half African-American, half Puerto Rican teenager living in Brooklyn who was bit by a spider similar to Pete. He was a kid, going day by day, similar to Peter when we first meet Peter Parker. One of the big differences in their stories is Miles just wanted to live a normal life and despised his abilities early on. In this universe, Peter dies during a battle between the Green Goblin and it is after Miles witnesses Parker’s death that Miles decides to take up the mantle. The big similarity between the two was their internal struggle and trying to figure out who they were a person, as a superhero.
First of all, this story was absolutely brilliant. Yes, I was in tears reading as my favorite hero of all time had fallen and was in Mary Jane’s arms. At the same time, Marvel manages to cushion the blow by introducing this fresh face to this ever-expanding universe and despite early backlash from some critics, it ends up being a hit. Similar to Parker, Miles goes on a journey of learning how to control his
Not only that, but Miles is a minority, which was another reason why I felt this personal connection to the character. Of
Don’t worry, I’m almost done… Let’s move on to the film…
Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse, for the unengaged or if you weren’t listening, is a film about Miles Morales journey to becoming Spider-Man. We have seen in numerous
In the film, he meets Peter Parker, along with Spider-Gwen, Spider-Man Noir, Spider-Ham and Peni Parker all of which hail from different universes and are brought together when Kingdom activates a world altering device that threatens everyone’s livelihood. So not only are we seeing Miles on the big screen for the first time, but we are introduced to an even larger group of diverse individuals all taking up the Spider mantle in their respective universes. One of which is Peni Parker, who is an 9-year-old Asian girl from the future. The actress behind the character, Kimiko Glenn says it best in a video regarding the vast representation in Spider-Verse:
This is what I mean and I am sure Stan Lee meant by Spider-Man could be anyone. Representation absolutely matters, and seeing it so clearly in a film such as this one, with a character I looked up to as a child is truly something.
What I guess I’m saying is, I’m thrilled thanks to films such this one, more and more fans young and old can hopefully look at Spider-Man the same way I always have and find that connection the way I did.
As the film wraps, Miles Morales states as he is swinging throughout New York City, “Anyone can wear the mask. You can wear