On the surface, Miles Morales looks like any other alternate reality version of Spider-Man, but the truth is far more detailed than that. Miles Morales, the hero of Spider-Man: Into The Spider-Verse and one of the most popular characters in comics today is much more than a variation on the popular character created in the early ’60s and stands alone as an entirely new character. Since he was first introduced in Ultimate Fallout #4, written by Brian Michael Bendis and illustrated by Sara Pichelli back in 2011, Morales’ Spider-Man has set himself apart from Peter Parker, but not because he’s younger and or because he’s mixed-race; there are actually a lot of things he can do that Peter Parker can’t.
Morales was an interesting addition to the Marvel Universe specifically due to the changes made to the character. In most of the alternate universe incarnations of Spider-Man, the character has the exact same set of powers, is another version of Peter Parker, and has only some slight change to his origin story. Most of them arose from Marvel’s What If…? series of books that imagined Spider-Man had Uncle Ben not passed or what may have happened had Gwen Stacey not lost her life. Whatever version the creators at Marvel dreamed up, it was almost certainly going to possess the same abilities as the Earth-616 Spider-Man. Miles Morales is different; he is Spider-Man, but there are new and different powers he possesses that Peter Parker doesn’t, as well as character traits that separate the two.
Updated on January 19th, 2022 by George Chrysostomou: The Spider-Verse is expanding thanks to an Into The Spider-Verse sequel as well as the events of the cinematic saga. Miles Morales continues to play an important part in the future of the web-slinger, but it’s important to revisit all of this iteration of Spider-Man’s most unique qualities.
Speak Fluent Spanish
Both Peter Parker and Miles Morales are exceptionally intelligent people, but there’s one aspect of expanding knowledge that Parker has yet to explore: language. Sure, Pete can program and code in more languages than fans can count, but he never showed an aptitude toward speaking another language other than English.
Miles Morales’ intellect isn’t as refined as Parker’s, but his ability to learn and understand languages doesn’t stem from his smarts per se, but from his mother. Miles’ mom is from Puerto Rico and taught her son the language. Amongst the many things Miles can do, he has been noted to speak and understand the language in the comics as well as Into The Spider-Verse. Seeing as though a high percentage of New Yorkers speak the language, this is certainly an advantage for Miles over Peter.
Blend In With His Surroundings
Spiders aren’t generally masters of camouflage, but some have adapted to fit in with their surroundings. Miles acquired an incredibly useful ability to do the same and this power puts him in a league above Peter Parker any day of the week. Miles doesn’t just disappear into his surroundings like a normal camouflage works; he completely disappears.
This ability is clearly useful and it isn’t limited to just his physical form. Anything he is carrying, including his clothing and backpack, disappears along with him. When thinking about it, Peter Parker never really tried to do this– with his bright red and blue costume. Perhaps this does showcase that Miles is the best wall-crawler though.
A More Refined Wall-Crawling Ability
The first superpower Peter Parker discovered after jumping out of the street was the ability to stick to walls. Wall-crawling has become Spider-Man’s signature superpower and Pete’s gotten particularly good at it. Anyone who calls themselves a Spider-Hero has to be able to do this to some extent, but Miles’ ability to stick to surfaces differs somewhat from Peter’s.
To be fair, Peter’s ability has been refined through years of use, but Miles’ can use his through anything he wears, including his shoes. He also can turn it off and on at will, but his best use of the ability is to pick up and throw items weighing in at several tons, whereas Peter would have to lift those up and throw them like anyone else. It’s more refined and will likely improve with use adding to the collection of things Miles Morales can do.
Adapt Faster Than Peter
Peter Parker has always been the kind of guy who leaps into a fight, gets his butt kicked, learns from the experience, and comes back with some new trick or device to win the day. Miles is different, in that he tends to take the time to study up before a challenge, which is certainly a smarter way to fight. His ability to watch videos of his predecessor to learn his moves and improve upon them shows an ability to adapt.
When he went up against Norman Osborne in Ultimate Spider-Man #6, Miles studied his enemy prior to engaging him. He was able to learn his fighting style and create moves to counter it. He even told Norman this prior to winning the day, which just goes to show how confident he was that he could take him out.
A Far More Powerful Spider-Sense
Both Peter Parker and Miles Morales have a Spider-Sense. It’s one of the signature moves of being Spider-Man. It’s an incredibly useful skill seeing as it keeps Spider-Man from getting shot or having a car thrown into his face. Parker’s Spider-Sense is pretty well-tuned thanks to his many years of using it. Miles’ appeared to be weaker initially, but it turned out to be somewhat different than Peter’s.
Miles’ Spider-Sense has been shown to act faster than Peter’s. It warns him earlier but also appears to be “louder” in his head depending on the danger. Prior to Peter’s passing, Miles dreamed of the event, which suggests his Spider-Sense may be completely precognitive and spread to threats outside his immediate area.
When exploring healing factors in the Marvel Universe, most people immediately jump to Wolverine, but that mutant is hardly the only superhero gifted with that power. Spider-Man has always had a healing factor, which has helped him to recover from many beatings over the years, even if it takes a day or two to get him back on his feet. Miles has a healing factor as well and his healing is more accelerated than Peter’s.
Throughout the books, Miles has been shown to heal much faster from wounds that would take longer for Peter. Also, he appears to be far more durable, capable of recovering from being dosed faster, and can withstand more intense electric attacks.
Venom Blast Power
Another power Miles has that Peter could only dream of is his Venom Blast. This ability enables Miles to channel electric energy from his body through his hands and into a target of his choice. He first used it accidentally on a bully who tried to mug him but has since learned to employ it as an incredibly powerful weapon against some of his foes.
The Venom Blast has been used to separate the Venom symbiote from its host, which is not an easy thing to do. He has also seriously injured the Green Goblin with it, but can use it as a sort of Taser to stun someone of lesser power if the need arises. Miles even used it against one of his most powerful allies, Peter, when he arrived in Earth-616 and knocked Spider-Man briefly unconscious.
Venom Strike Power
Venom Strike is a power closely associated with Miles’ Venom Blast power. It certainly works well for Miles whenever the need arises. Instead of sending out a shock of energy from his fingertips, Miles uses his Venom power alongside his rather damaging punches to deliver a striking blow to his enemies.
Miles often uses this power when he goes up against his bigger enemies. While it is more of an extension of his Venom Blast power than a separate power in and of itself, this tactic has saved his life on more than one occasion while taking out a significantly deadly enemy. Miles’ unique power-set has helped him in and out of situations, Peter would have far more trouble handling.
Another power tied to the Venom abilities that add to the long list of things Miles Morales can do is his use of Energy Threads, which he can project from his fingertips. Instead of projecting electric energy to stun his enemies, Miles can project golden threads of energy from his fingers he can use to snare and grab enemies. He has used this ability to snag enemies and pull them into the ground, but they came in handy when his web-shooters broke.
Miles’ energy threads act much like a spiderweb and have the same tensile prehensility of the web-fluid SHIELD developed for him. He can use it to web swing or trip up an enemy in much the same way as his web-shooters, but like those running out of fluid, he can expend too much energy and not be able to use them for a time.
Releases Large Bursts Of Energy
Miles clearly has the ability to channel energy from his body into an enemy or his energy web, but that’s only a small indication of his power. When under extreme stress, Miles can expend all of his energy in an incredibly large explosive release all at once. Doing this consumes all of his energy and requires recharging before he can do it (or use his other energy-based powers) again.
He has been able to use this power through intense focus and concentration so it isn’t entirely limited to stress. When he was trying to escape from Black Cat, he triggered the explosive superpower. The explosion is intense and once destroyed a Hydra Laboratory when he used it while being held there.
Miles was bitten by a spider enhanced with a formula created by Norman Osborn. He created the formula to try and cure diseases, but due to some distribution hiccups, a couple of Spider-Men were created instead. When Norman eliminates Peter and heads to his home to take down his family, Miles moves to stop him and they get into a fight. During the battle, Norman lets Miles know of a side-effect from the formula.
Norman said the only real side effect was immortality, which may have some merit to it, seeing as Peter perished and later returned. Norman was completely mad at this point so his ramblings could have been nonsense, but it seems unlikely that this was the case. It did set up the possibility of eliminating Miles only to have him return, which isn’t a stretch in comics.
Confide In His BFF
When looking back through Peter Parker’s books, there are more than 50 years of him talking to other superheroes (and villains) while building relationships with various women, but it’s hard to find him with a close friend. Think about it: who is Peter Parker’s BFF? It isn’t Tony Stark, it’s no longer Harry, and it can’t be Aunt May, which means the poor guy only has his wife (when she is his wife) and a few heroes to relate to. The same cannot be said for Miles.
Miles’ best friend, Ganke Lee, is his closest confidant and the one person he shares his most vulnerable insecurities with. Ganke knows Miles is Spider-Man and helps him by providing comfort and guidance. Sadly, Peter didn’t have a person like this in his life when he was a teenager through his formative years as Spider-Man.
Relate To Teenagers
When Peter Parker first became Spider-Man, he was a teenager attending school and trying to make it in the world. He quickly became embroiled in battling against villainous adults, as well as working alongside them at the Daily Bugle. He was also a complete and total nerd, which made him something of an outcast among people of his own kind– namely, other teenagers.
Miles is completely different from Peter in this regard. He’s a teenager who acquired his powers at a young age, but while he is also something of a nerd, so are the other kids in his school. Not only is he on the same level as his peers, but he isn’t a repressed teenager who keeps his friends at a distance. Miles easily relates to his peers and this helps him get through the difficulty of becoming Spider-Man.
Benefit From The Example Of Another Spider-Man
Miles didn’t become Spider-Man until the previous Spider-Man of Earth-1610 passed, which meant that he wasn’t able to get some tutoring in how to be Brooklyn’s Friendly Neighborhood Spider-Man. What he did have was a ton of material depicting his predecessor, which helped him immensely to learn how to be Spider-Man.
By the time Miles gained his newfound Spider abilities, there were countless videos online of Spider-Man fighting against a variety of foes. Miles’ ability to learn and adapt from anything he observes helped him to build a base of knowledge from Spider-Man’s example. This helped him to literally emulate Spider-Man’s moves in such a way that he could become the new Spider-Man of his universe.
Work Better In A Team
Looking back through all of Spider-Man’s book demonstrates that he is a superhero who sometimes teams up with other people, but almost always prefers to go it alone. Even when his worst enemies teamed up to take him on as the Sinister Six, Spider-Man usually still handles the situation on his own. He works best as a solo superhero, but the same cannot be said for Miles Morales.
Pretty much right away, Miles knew he needed help and guidance. He went to Ganke for help and has teamed up with other superheroes multiple times. In the film, Into The Spider-Verse, the whole plot is about him teaming up with other versions of Spider-Man to take on a serious threat. Not only does he not balk at the idea (like Peter B. Parker does initially), but he begs for their help.
Maintain A Sensible Continuity
Peter Parker’s Spider-Man comics have been around since 1962 and in all the time those books have been coming out, the character has gone through a number of changes. Most of these changes have been loved by fans, but there are a few weird storylines that have made Spider-Man’s continuity incredibly confusing for those that haven’t gone to the trouble to read the thousands of books that have featured the characters.
Miles’ history is relatively new when he debuted in the Ultimate Universe and while he has gone from Earth-1610 to Earth-616, he has remained the same guy throughout. No clones are running around who are actually Miles, there aren’t any major costume changes (yet), and his continuity is easy to follow. Granted, he’s still getting going and with another few decades, things may go awry, but for now, his continuity is easy to follow.
Take Things Seriously
If there’s one thing everyone knows about Spider-Man, it’s that he uses humor to deflect and confuse his enemies. This ability to randomly insult everyone and comment on everything has built up a sort of armor for the wall-crawler, but it also labels him as something of a jokester who can’t take anything seriously. Peter is always cracking jokes during serious situations, but Miles is completely different.
When things are serious for Miles, he gets serious and doesn’t take the time to come up with silly one-liners. Miles analyzes a situation and tackles it as necessary without passing off insults and quips to his enemies. While he doesn’t stay entirely silent during combat, he is nowhere near Peter’s level and takes the time to be serious when he needs to be. It’s clear that there are many things that Miles Morales can do, but quipping isn’t really one of them.
Be Nominated For A Golden Globe
To be fair, Peter Parker is in Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse, but the movie follows Miles Morales as the central protagonist. That distinction is important given Into the Spider-Verse is the only Spider-Man film to be nominated for a Golden Globe. Miles Morales is simply better at getting major award recognition than Peter Parker.
Miles’ movie was nominated for an award for the 2019 Golden Globes before it even hit a wide release. It was nominated for the award for Best Animated Motion Picture alongside other hit films including Isle of Dogs and Ralph Breaks the Internet. Seeing as Peter Parker was already featured in six films before this point, Miles’ ability to grab a nomination sets him apart from Peter.
Be Related To The Atlanta Cast
It’s hard to know it when simply watching the film, but Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse has a lot in common with Donald Glover and his television show Atlanta. Donald Glover actually helped inspire Miles’ look thanks to an episode of Community in which his character wakes up wearing Spider-Man pajamas. He later went on to voice the character in the animated Ultimate Spider-Man and played his uncle Aaron (aka the Prowler) in Spider-Man: Homecoming.
Glover had a cameo in Into the Spider-Verse when the aforementioned episode of Community was seen briefly on a television screen. Another link to Atlanta was the casting of Brian Tyree Henry to voice Miles’ father. Henry plays Alfred “Paper Boi” Miles on the series alongside Glover. It’s unclear who will be cast in the MCU as Miles now Glover is in the universe separately.
Hug His Parents
It’s not nice to point out, but Miles can go home to his mom and dad while Peter can’t. This major difference between the characters completely separates their particular origin stories. Peter was already an orphan being raised by his aunt and uncle when he got his powers, but Miles still had his parents– at least until a storyline in 2013 resulted in the passing of his mother, Rio.
Despite that casualty, Miles still has his father and spent years building his identity as Spider-Man while his mother was still alive. Sadly, Peter never had his folks to turn to, but he did have his Aunt May who helped him tremendously. She also found herself in constant peril, but that’s beside the point.
Gotham City Trends After Police Department Sends Test Emergency Alert
About The Author