Only one character held the mantle of Spider-Man until 2011 – Peter Parker. Stan Lee’s favorite character became the most popular superhero of Marvel Comics, but like most of the characters, even Spider-Man mantle needed to be refreshed. The Ultimate series was a perfect opportunity for Marvel Comics to introduce a new Spider-Man, and Miles Morales was a perfect candidate. The Afro-Latino teenager immediately became a fan favorite, whose origins made him the wielder of the Spider-Man mantle. However, since Miles joined Peter Parker on Earth-616, there has been some confusion around his name, which we will discuss in this article. So, what is Miles Morales’ superhero name?
Miles’s superhero name is Spider-Man. When he first appeared in Ultimate Marvel Comics, in Earth-1610, Peter Parker died and passed over the mantle of Spider-Man to the teenager. However, after the ending of the Ultimate series, Miles Morales transferred to Earth-616, the universe of the original Peter Parker’s Spider-Man, which prompted some Marvel executives to think about other superhero names for Miles. That didn’t happen, and the fans accepted Miles Morales as Spider-Man in the Marvel Comics. Interestingly enough, The Ultimate Spider-Man cartoon named Miles Morales Kid Aranchid, but the nickname didn’t catch on to other media.
Miles Morales is the second Spider-Man in Marvel Comics, and some fans suggested that Marvel Comics should change his superhero name since he transferred to Earth-616. We will discuss this in more depth, and if you are interested, stay with us until the end.
Is Miles Morales working under the mantle of Spider-Man?
Peter Parker was always the original Spider-Man, first appearing in the Silver Age of Comics in 1962, and since then has been the face of Marvel Comics. The post-WWII era was interesting for its regular-guy-saving-the-world trope, but with the addition of social justice and rebellion that circulated during the 1960s.
Peter Parker was an orphaned boy from Queens who “racked” a hundred stories in his repertoire, and even though he was loved by the fans and on record as one of Stan Lee’s favorite characters he ever created, the 2000s sought the change and something new to the Spider-Man name.
The Ultimate Marvel series was announced in the early 2000s, which featured our favorite characters but in a different universe, Earth-1610. Of course, this series was the direct competitor to DC and its better sales at the end of the 1990s. Nevertheless, new comic book series was created in the new universe, providing us with great stories that will lead to one character being “born” ten years later.
Brian Michael Bendis and artist Sara Pichelli created Miles Morales, the new Spider-Man that will replace Peter Parker in the Ultimate Universe. There were no discussions about Earth-616 Peter Parker potentially “retiring” or something worse because the character was too popular, so Miles Morales was part of Earth-1610.
His whole origin story relies on the fact that he was bitten by a genetically-enhanced spider, which changed his life completely and made him start questioning whether he’s a good person. Miles’ uncle, Aaron Davis, tells his nephew a story of his father and him being criminals in their youth, with only Jefferson getting better and turning his life around to eventually become a police officer.
This makes Miles insecure since he thinks the crime runs in the family and that he is not a good person despite his efforts to help people. Miles Morales doesn’t want to be a hero and wants to leave Peter Parker to continue his job as a Spider-Man of his world. However, Peter dies at the hands of Green Goblin, the world loses Spider-Man, and Miles feels guilty because he couldn’t help the hero.
Initially reluctant, Miles gets inspired by Gwen Stacy, which propels him to become Spider-Man to protect the citizens of New York and the world. So yes, Miles Morales most definitely works under the mantle of Spider-Man.
However, things get complicated, and the Secret Wars event erases the Ultimate Universe, and suddenly, Miles is part of Earth-616, the same universe as the original Peter Parker and Spider-Man.
Should Miles Morales change his superhero name?
The Secret Wars didn’t erase Miles Morales and his origins, and besides small details, the Spider-Man of Earth-1610 is suddenly a Web-Slinger of Earth-616. The main continuity and universe have two Spider-Men, which never happened before unless you count the time when Jackal cloned Peter Parker and created Ben Reilly and Kaine Parker.
This is where the fans are divided in their opinions. One side feels that there is room for one Spider-Man on Earth-616, or even better, in the city of New York. It’s a strange situation, and some feel that Miles should change his name. The other side of the fandom disagrees with this notion, feeling that Miles proved tenfold his value as Spider-Man and should never let go of the mantle he worked so hard for.
There were some speculations that Miles Morales would have a different name now that he is part of the main continuity, and some of the rumored names were an abomination.
One rumor from 2018 suggests that Marvel Comics considered changing Miles’ superhero name from Spider-Man to Spy-D, which was a really bad suggestion, to say the least.
When the departure of Brian Michael Bendis to DC occurred, in the comic, Miles Morales was struggling with his superhero identity. The creators and writers tried convincing us that Miles always felt Spider-Man was Peter Parker’s thing. Few conversations and teases in the comics propel that idea.
However, the release of Into the Spider-Verse movie postponed any possible name changes for Miles Morales. The movie only strengthened Miles’ identity as Spider-Man, which fans also accepted.
Besides Miles Morales movies, the character even got its own PlayStation Exclusive game called, symbolically, Spider-Man: Miles Morales, only adding more to Miles’ status as a hero.
Animated series decided they would call Miles differently, establishing in The Ultimate Spider-Man cartoon that Miles Morales’ superhero persona is Kid Aranchid. Spidey and His Amazing Friends cartoon for children airing on Disney+, titled Miles Morales with the name Spin, to help kids differentiate between Peter’s and Miles’ superhero personas.
I believe it’s absolutely unnecessary to change Miles’ superhero name to something else; there are many instances in mainstream comics where superheroes share names but are easily distinctive and unique. There are numerous versions of Green Lanter, with six carrying the same mantle, and fans don’t mind that one bit.
There have been three Flashes as well, which didn’t cause any confusion whatsoever, and that character arguably has more influence in the comics than Peter Parker’s Spider-Man. Marvel has their own instances, like two of Hawkeye’s, two Scarlet Spiders, three Captain Americas, and more.
Name sharing isn’t an issue because each character is their own – Peter Parker is unique and has a vast history since the 1960s, while Miles has “only” twelve years in Marvel Comics and already has so much influence on popular culture. Some things are better left alone, which doesn’t mean the change isn’t great.
A great example of a successful superhero name change is Dick Grayson, who took over the Nightwing mantle after being Robin for forty years. A fresh start is great, but Miles Morales doesn’t need refreshing at this moment because his carrying the mantle of Spider-Man is a breath of fresh air.