When he was first introduced in the Ultimates: Fallout, fans were initially a little standoffish with Miles being the new Spider-Man, as he was not exactly the Spider-Man they were used to. Often compared to Peter Parker, Miles was someone who needed to prove himself rather quickly to both Marvel fans and the people of his Earth. Like Peter, a genetically enhanced spider bit Miles, giving him unique abilities. Unlike Peter, Miles was bitten at age thirteen, making him younger and more unprepared to cope with his powers and the responsibilities of being a superhero. Miles just wanted to be an average kid, to focus on his new school and the usual life of a teenager, and only reluctantly donned the Spider-Man suit after watching Green Goblin mortally wound Peter Parker, who died in Aunt May’s arms.
However, the community of New York didn’t initially approve of Miles as Spider-Man and felt that it was disrespectful to the memory. Miles found that he was going to have to prove himself a worthy Spider-Man while also showing that he different talent to offer. Curious to know what abilities Miles has that Peter didn’t? Here are 15 Things Miles Morales Can Do (That Peter Parker Can’t).
15. Turn invisible/camouflage
One of the major differences between Peter and Miles is Miles’ ability to use active camouflage and blend into his surroundings. Miles first discovers that he has this ability in Ultimate Comics: Spider-Man when he runs from his arguing father and uncle and realizes that half of his body has blended into the buildings around him. Miles’ camouflage helped him escape from police and S.H.I.E.LD. when they attempted to de-mask him and again when he needed to escape from villains he was not yet prepared to fight.
As Miles grew more confident with this ability, he used it to his advantage and would hide and sneak attack his opponents. One of the more notable uses of this tactic was when he disappeared from Earth 616 Peter and then reappeared on the side of the wall and kicks Peter in the face. This ability has also helped him infiltrate various places to help others, like Spider-Gwen when she was attacked by Doc Ock in Spider-Gwen, #16.
14. Venom Blast
Miles first discovers his venom blast in Ultimate Spider-Man, issue #2. Overwhelmed and confused as to what is happening to him, he flees from his uncle’s house and finds himself vanishing in the middle of a crowd. While attempting to figure out what is happening, a bully confronts him and tries to steal from him. Miles places his hand on the bully and gives him a slight shock. The bully attempts to punch him, and Miles puts his hand on his chest again and uses the venom blast like a taser, and the bully drops to the ground.
This ability comes in handy in battle, especially when fighting high-powered villains such as the Scorpion, who was knocked out using the electric sting, and Green Goblin, who was badly injured by it. At one point, as Earth 616 Peter Parker and Miles are fighting, he even used the venom blast on Peter and briefly knocked him out. Miles’ venom blast has also been useful against villains with tech-based suits, as it has been able to short circuit their armor and allowed Miles to beat them. Miles also was able to separate Venom from his host with a venom blast, which has notoriously been difficult for Peter to do.
13. Energy Burst
Closely related to his Venom Blast, Miles discovers almost accidentally that he is also able to release large bursts of energy that incapacitate those around him. When Miles is under extreme amounts of stress and or close to losing a battle, he can release this energy. This ability makes him a powerful opponent, and also gives him the upper hand as most villains are caught off-guard by it.
This ability first appeared in Miles Morales: The Ultimate Spider-Man, issue #12, before the beginning of the Secret Wars story arc. Miles was kidnapped by Kate Bishop and her Hydra-loving family, who turned him over to Doc Ock. In an act of desperation, he emitted a burst of energy that shocked and left his captors unconscious.
Miles uses this ability again during his fight with Green Goblin as well in Ultimate Spider-Man. However, his energy burst does have two major downfalls; one being that it is incredibly unpredictable and he does not know how to utilize it in regular battle, and the second being that it drains him of most of his energy, making him useless for the remainder of a fight.
12. Communicate With His Best Friend
In the second issue of Ultimate Comics: Spider-Man, Ganke is introduced to readers as Miles’ best friend, who provides Miles with guidance and advice. Understandably freaking out about his sudden new abilities, Miles trusts Ganke to be his confidant as he attempts to show Ganke his newfound abilities. Ganke provides comedic relief, advice and builds Miles’ confidence up while also chastising him when needed.
During the events of Civil War II, Miles feels the most comfortable going to Ganke after he sees a vision of himself killing Captain America. Miles allows himself to be emotionally vulnerable with Ganke, which is not the same vulnerability he has with his parents. Miles is unafraid to cry and hug Ganke while leaving himself vulnerable as he tells Ganke about his deepest fears of a “bad person” because of his family history. Communicating his struggles to a close friend who knows him as both a boy and a superhero differs from Peter, who never had that immediate support while in high school.
11. Be Played By Donald Glover
The 2008 election was the catalyst for the creation of Miles Morales. Brian Michael Bendis and Axel Alonso wanted to create a more diverse Marvel world. Further inspired by Donald Glover, who auditioned for the role of Spider-Man, they decided that the latest reincarnation of Spider-Man would be an African-American and Hispanic teen from Brooklyn. Donald Glover even campaigned to be Spider-Man and then participated in a Community episode with a bit he pops out of bed wearing Spider-Man pajamas, which amused Bendis.
Unfortunately, Donald Glover was not chosen to portray Spider-Man in the movies, but he did get to voice Miles Morales in the Disney XD Ultimate Spider-Man. And although Glover is going to appear in the Spider-Man: Homecoming as an undisclosed character, with the recent announcement confirming a Miles Morales-featured animated film, perhaps he will be able to reprise his role as the voice actor for Miles.
10. Be A Team Player / More Sociable
Peter and Miles were similar in the sense that they were both smart, nerdy teenagers. However, teenaged Peter was more of a loner character who was often highly anxious, Miles managed to be more charismatic with the people in his class, as shown with his established friendship with Ganke and his roommates. Though Peter joined teams, such as the Avengers, he was never a true part of them and had difficulty at times accepting help from other members. Peter also had self-doubts, which affected his relationships with members of these teams.
Miles, however, was more willing to accept help from Ganke, Mary-Jane, Aunt May, Gwen Stacy, and other heroes such as Spider Woman, Cloak and Dagger, and Bombshell in Ultimate Spider-Man. Later in Civil War II, Miles is confident enough in his identity and strength to know that he sides with Iron Man and Ms. Marvel due to moral beliefs. Through this, Miles also trusts that his team will support him. This is unlike Peter, who before being killed in Ultimate Spider-Man, was told by Captain America that he was not ready to be an Avenger– in Ultimate Fallout, Cap admits that they failed to train him properly because they did not view him as a team member.
Wall-crawling is a central feature of being Spider-Man. Without it, both Spider-Men would be unable to travel quickly and easily through the city or get away from danger. Though Miles and Peter have very similar power sets as far as their abilities go, Miles’ ability to wall-crawl differs slightly from that of Peter’s.
Miles’ ability to adhere to various substances is slightly more impressive as he is able to use it to lift and throw literal tons of items as weapons, even though he is still a kid. Miles’ wall-crawling, unlike Peter’s, is mostly centered on his hands and feet, and Miles also discovers that he can use this ability through regular clothing, such as his shoes. Miles can also deactivate and activate the adhesion ability at will. However, at age thirteen he is not quite able to control it as well as Peter, who has the benefit of experience.
8. Maintain A Relationship With Gwen Stacy
Initially introduced as Peter’s first love, Gwen Stacy and Peter always seemed to be star-crossed lovers, as Green Goblin threw Gwen off a bridge and Peter attempted to save her, but she died from a broken neck. Even with a clone of Gwen Stacy, Peter is unable to continue to maintain a relationship with Gwen because he and Mary-Jane rekindled theirs.
Unlike Peter, Miles’s relationship with Gwen Stacy in Earth 1610 is a friend and confidant. Gwen helps Miles work through his feelings about being Spider-Man, and his grief and pain as he copes with the loss of his mother. More recently in the Spider-Man and Spider-Gwen comics, Miles is transported to Earth-65, where she and Miles share a kiss in Spider-Man, issue 12. Like with her 1610 counterpart, Miles establishes an easy rapport with Gwen as they commiserate about being superheroes and having parents who are willing to sacrifice themselves to keep them and their secrets safe.
7. Learn quickly
When Miles was introduced, it was established that he was an intellectually gifted individual with an aptitude for learning. Though Peter was also brilliant (he did create his own web after all!), Miles’ ability was beneficial to him as he could view videos of Peter’s fighting and analyze it for his own improvements, much like a sports team watching game footage. Miles translated that knowledge of Peter to improve his own abilities as a hero at the tender age of thirteen.
He utilized this same method of self-improvement through quick learning in Ultimate Spider-Man, #6, where he studied Norman Osborne before confronting him in battle. Because of this study, he was able to defeat Osborne. Miles translated his knowledge into an ability at thirteen that helped him be a better superhero, even if he stumbled a few times along the way. In Ultimate Spider-Man, issue #6, Miles also tells Norman Osborne that he studied up on him and knew his fighting style, which is why he’s able to defeat him.
6. Speak Spanish
Though Peter Parker was able to appeal to the residents of New York, he had some difficulty connecting to some of the residents in his own city and within his own community. Although Miles’ cultural background is not an ability, Miles can speak Spanish and English, which is important as it gives his character more depth and acknowledges culture and his community.
In Spider-Man, issue #2, Miles is still trying to figure out how to be Spider-Man, and his grandmother comes to visit him at his mother’s request, due to his failing grades. Though Miles does not speak Spanish in this issue, his grandmother does and it’s obvious he understands her. Being bilingual differentiates him from Peter as he is connected to not only family, but another community that would help keep him grounded.
During his time in Earth 65, Gwen Stacy makes a comment about needing a spy name and dubs herself “Tigra La Muerteface,” to which Miles responds with an “Uh, you don’t speak Spanish, do you?” while grimacing at her garbled spy name. Though it is an off-hand comment made by Miles, it is a subtle link back to his heritage and culture.
Initially, Miles’ “Spider-Sense” seemed to be weaker than that of Peter’s. However, in Ultimate Comics Spider-Man, issue 3, Miles dreams of being attacked by Electro, who has come to kill Spider-Man. When he awakens, he is told that Spider-Man was killed. Miles knows that the dream was a warning that danger was coming, and this suggests that his Spider-Sense might actually encompass more than just immediate danger (like Peter’s) and may eventually develop into something much larger and more significant as time goes on.
This Spider-Sense also seems to affect him physically and comes across “louder,” depending on the threat level. In Nova #4, Miles’ Spider-Sense goes haywire, indicating that there is a serious threat and that he and his team need to escape from the battle or risk serious injury.
Another of Miles’ abilities that differs slightly from Peter’s is his ability to heal at an accelerated rate. Though Peter and Miles are similar in this regard, Miles appears to be slightly more durable, and the limits of his regenerative abilities have not fully been explored.
Miles’ regenerative abilities make an appearance in Ultimate Spider-Man, issue 11, where he wakes from being drugged and, instead of being groggy, can burst from his restraints and fight. In the same issue, he is able to withstand several thousand volts of electricity.
In issue 12, he can withstand being tortured by Doctor Doom and still use his energy burst to save himself and his father. His ability to regenerate at an accelerated rate also has helped in big villain battles. One of these battles involved Miles surviving being in the center of an explosion caused by Venom without so much as a scratch on him. His regenerative powers also prove to be useful during his battle with the Green Goblin in Ultimate Spider-Man issue #4, after the Green Goblin lights him on fire.
3. (Alleged) immorality
In Ultimate Comics, issue #3, where Norman Osborn was responsible for killing Peter Parker, Miles discovers that Osborn has come back from the dead and is planning on going after Peter’s family. Miles tracks Osborn to Peter Parker’s house, where Osborn has once again shifted into the Green Goblin.
After a lengthy battle where the Green Goblin escapes and then comes back later to continue the fight, Osborn alleges that the Oz formula that the strain of spider that bit Miles was from had one side effect, and that was immortality. Though Osborn is certifiably insane at this point and believes that he is Miles’ “father” because he created the Spider-Men, he further alludes that Miles will never truly know the full extent of his abilities and the truth of who he is without him.
Given that Osborn initially created the Oz formula to cure disease, and Peter Parker died and came back, there is some merit to this madman’s ramblings which may pose a fun and interesting plot line in the future of Miles.
2. Take serious things seriously
Miles Morales is no stranger to witnessing the unfair treatment of others and has been on the receiving end of unfair, biased and at times, prejudiced opinions of himself and his family. In Ultimate Comics: Spider-Man, Miles’ grandmother has a very low opinion of Miles’ father and uncle. Miles disagrees with his grandmother and verbally defends both of them, despite not knowing all their life details.
Though Peter was no stranger to familial tragedy, he also was raised in a different area where these assumptions were not made of him. Miles further articulates in Spider-Man: Civil War II that profiling is a problem in his household and that it bothers him because his father had been arrested twice due to racial profiling. Peter has only had that experience as Spider-Man and tended to deflect his feelings about the issues by using humor, whereas Miles goes home and speaks to his father about it. He ultimately deciding that doing the right thing trumps his conflicted feelings about fighting other heroes.
Miles himself becomes a victim of Ulysses’ visions and is almost arrested by Carol and Miles expresses his feelings of horror, fear, and disbelief by falling to his knees and crying, instead of making a witty remark like Peter would have done.
1. Stay alive
Considering he has been Spider-Man for less than two years, Miles has faced more than his share of near-death experiences. However, Miles’ ability to stay alive when placed in these situations speaks volumes about his awareness and adaptability, especially considering his age.
When Miles fights the Green Goblin shortly after Peter’s death in Ultimate Spider-Man issue #7, he uses his energy burst to defeat him instead of being killed. During Secret Wars, Miles is also able to use his wits and hides aboard a ship as Earth 1610 and Earth 616 collide, which allows him to survive the initial collision of the two worlds. When he wakes from stasis in Battle World, he befriends Molecule Man and provides him a hamburger that he happened to have on him. Molecule Man saves Miles, and as a sign of good faith and in appreciation of Miles’ kindness, Molecule Man also brings back his mother. So, not only does Miles have the ability to stay alive against foes who just can’t stay dead, but his actions also bring back his loved ones.
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