One of the best parts of fictional media is how it reflects and is inspired by real people and events. Comics were always aware of the happenings in the real world, which propelled some great storylines and characters as well. Marvel comics are full of superheroes who real people inspire, and one of them was Miles Morales, the Spider-Man from ‘the Ultimate’ series of Marvel comics. This article will discuss whether Donald Glover inspired the character Miles Morales, another version of the famous Web-Slinger.
The actor Donald Glover, whom we know in the Marvel Cinematic Universe as Aaron Davis/Prowler, indeed inspired the creation of Miles Morales’ character. From 2009 to 2014, Glover played Troy Barnes in the popular American sitcom ‘Community,’ who inspired Brian Michael Bendis, the writer for Marvel comics, to create Miles Morales, the first black-Hispanic Spider-Man in the Marvel comics. The season two premiere episode called “Anthropology 101,” where Glover’s character references the actors’ unsuccessful online campaign to audition for the role of Spider-Man in the ‘The Amazing Spider-Man’ movie.
Donald Glover is more than an actor – he is also a comedian, singer, rapper, writer, director, and producer. His portfolio is impressive, and his works on TV, comedy, and music really propelled him into a Hollywood star. It’s also cool that his character dressed in the Spider-Man suit inspired Miles Morales’ character in the Marvel comics. Let’s discuss this further in the article.
Did Donald Glover ever play Miles Morales?
As we already mentioned, Donald Glover is a talented artist. Besides his work on TV, Glover is also a talented musician who won five Grammy awards under the name of Childish Gambino. In television, Donald Glover is famous for his work on the popular TV series ‘Atlanta,’ and most notably in the context of this article, the sitcom ‘Community.’
‘Community’ is important for Glover’s comedy career but also for the character of Miles Morales in the Marvel comics – at least what notable writer Brian Michael Bendis suggested when asked about the inspiration for Miles’ character.
In the season two premiere of the show, Troy, portrayed by Glover, wears a Spider-Man costume, and later it was confirmed that the writers wanted to reference the then-online campaign for Glover to become a new Spider-Man in ‘The Amazing Spider-Man’ movie that eventually went to Andrew Garfield.
Brian Michael Bendis watched the episode and thought it would be cool to create a comic book story starring black Spider-Man. Of course, the year 2011 saw Marvel debuting Miles Morales in their ‘Ultimate’ series of comics, and Bendis ensured that Glover was the one who inspired the character.
Miles Morales quickly became popular among comic book fans and started appearing in animated shows for children like ‘Ultimate Spider-Man,’ where he portrayed Miles Morales in two episodes.
Of course, being one of the inspirations for the character, Donald Glover got cast as Aaron Davis, known as criminal Prowler, in Sony’s then-new reboot of the Spider-Man franchise, specifically the movie, ‘Spider-Man: Homecoming.’
The writers initially planned to introduce Miles’ uncle in the MCU to hint at the younger Spider-Man existence, but Glover’s character eventually became more than the reference and easter egg in the Marvel Cinematic Universe – he became the staple and prologue of what is waiting for us in the future of the MCU.
Donald Glover inspired the character and eventually played Miles Morales in 2015, but his portrayal of Aaron Davis, Miles Morales’ uncle, became more important than we expected.
Was Donald Glover in Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse?
Glover portrayed Aaron Davis in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, confirming that there is a version of Miles Morales living on Earth-199999. There was also a deleted scene where Davis talks with Miles Morales on his phone, which only propelled the teenager’s existence in the MCU.
However, with the release of ‘Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse’ in 2018, Miles Morales became even more popular among comic book and casual fans. The ‘Spider-Verse’ event introduced us to the Multiverse even better than the Marvel Cinematic Universe did then, where we met multiple versions of Spider-Man, and saw the origin story of young Spider-Man from Earth-1610.
Glover doesn’t portray the character in the animated masterpiece, but his presence in the sequel, ‘Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse,’ as Prowler from MCU, kickstarted so many possibilities for Sony-Verse and Marvel Cinematic Universe.
In the movie, Miles meets Miguel O’Hara (Spider-Man 2099), the leader of the Spider-Force, who is tasked with saving the Multiverse from the villain Spot. We discover that Spider-Force has been working hard to capture villains from various universes and return them back to their respective ones to prevent the collapse of timelines.
In the context of ‘Across the Spider-Verse,’ Canon Events are extremely important, and if they are disrupted, the universe will collapse on itself. Spider-Force is there to prevent that, and they hunt villains to return them where they come from, hence why the Spot is so dangerous in the movie.
During the scene where Miles meets several criminals from the Multiverse, we see none other than Donald Glover’s Prowler. Some people suggest that this is a character variation, but it was confirmed that it was truly Aaron Davis of MCU.
This moment is monumental for the future of MCU, which is already building towards the biggest event of the Marvel comics in the last two decades, ‘Secret Wars.’ There are two versions of ‘Secret Wars’ in Marvel comics, one from 1985 and another from 2015. The first event followed Beyonder transporting Marvel superheroes to a remote planet called Battleworld, where they needed to battle it out and survive, while Doctor Doom becomes the true threat to everyone, even the entity that “organized” the whole thing.
The ‘Secret Wars’ from 2015 is the peak story of Jonathan Hickman’s Avengers saga, which follows the Marvel Multiverse collapsing due to a series of incursions destroying everything, leaving only Battleworld, constructed from debris and “leftovers” of wiped-out universes.
Marvel Cinematic Universe will most likely combine both storylines, with one big bad (assuming Kang) to play the role of Beyonder, and all Marvel Multiverse characters, including Sony’s Spider-Verse and Venom movies. Marvel Studios and Sony seem freer with letting their characters appear in each other projects, and Aaron Davis’ appearance in the ‘Across the Spider-Verse’ only propels this notion – mentions of Doctor Strange and the nerd from Earth-199999 only add more to that speculation.
Nevertheless, Donald Glover’s role in the lore of Miles Morales’ character was important for his creation, but it seems that the actor will be indirectly responsible for the full introduction of Miles Morales to the MCU.
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