It’s time to meet your new friendly neighborhood Spider-Man, but his name isn’t Peter Parker. There have been three Peter Parkers, so three different Spider-Man origin stories in the past 16 years. That’s a lot of Spider-Man turnover in a relatively short amount of time. Into the Spider-Verse even has two Peter Parkers. Miles Morales is his universe’s Spider-Man, though. There are six universes featuring six different Spider-People in Into the Spider-Verse, it’s ultimately Miles’s story though.
Teenager Miles Morales (voiced by Shameik Moore) is an Afro-Latino kid from Brooklyn who was raised by his mom Rio Morales (Luna Lauren Velez), who is a nurse, and his dad Jefferson Davis (Brian Tyree Henry), who is a cop. At the beginning of the film, he had just transferred to a charter school, which he doesn’t like. He enjoys making graffiti art, which his policeman father obviously doesn’t approve of. Morales looks up to his Uncle Aaron (Mahershala Ali) who gives him dating advice and seems to be involved in some sketchy dealings, but those aren’t made clear.
Everything changes when Morales gets bit by that pesky spider. He ends up pulling half of Gwen Stacy’s (yes, that Gwen Stacy) hair out at school, because he can’t control how his hands are sticking to everything. After a page of a Spider-Man comic book lands on his face, he realizes he’s experiencing what Peter Parker encountered when he turned into Spider-Man.
But Morales isn’t Parker. When Morales goes in search of the spider that bit him, he inadvertently stumbles upon a giant machine that classic Spider-Man villain Kingpin commissioned to open up the Multiverse. Spider-Man is there to stop his evil plan, but everything goes badly. The original Spider-Man aka Peter Parker is killed. He speaks his last words to Morales, telling him that he has to destroy this machine before it’s too late.
That’s the beginning of Morales’s origin story. The problem is that being Spider-Man doesn’t come naturally to Morales. He can’t figure out what his powers are or how to use them. He doesn’t have the same skills as the Spider-People from the other universes, so they don’t really know how to help him. Morales can turn invisible … sometimes, and he can send bursts of electrical energy out … sometimes. The one thing he can for sure do is sling web and jump from great heights.
Morales was first introduced in the comic book Ultimate Fallout #4 in August 2011, so he’s been around for a while in the comic book universe. Just don’t expect him to be like Peter Parker. He’s not. That isn’t a bad thing, though. He’s unique, captivating, and heroic in his own way.
Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse comes out on December 14.