Miles Morales is currently one of the most popular Marvel superheroes worldwide, thanks to the success of Sony’s ‘Spider-Verse’ movies that impressed the audiences and showcased how animation can tell the story of comic book characters in quite a remarkable way. Of course, despite ‘Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse’ not featuring all characters from Ultimate Comics, one character got a brief cameo in the ‘Spider-Verse’ sequel, and Spider-Man fans were really excited. In one scene in the movie, we see Miles’ dorm roommate lazily lying in bed and playing video games, and it turns out that was actually Gank Lee, Miles’ best friend from the comics. This article will discuss the origins of Gank Lee and the significance for Miles’ character.
Gank Lee is Miles Morales’ best friend and one of few people that know about his secret superhero life as Spider-Man. Just after the Oz Formula spider bit Miles, Gank Lee immediately recognized that his friend had similar abilities as Peter Parker’s Spider-Man. When Miles went on to save the world, Ganke always covered for his friend and ensured his secret identity stayed hidden. He also supported Miles in joining superhero groups like Ultimates and was one of the few people from Earth-1610 that was saved after the incursions almost destroyed a whole reality and continued his life in the Earth-616 universe. In the ‘Across the Spider-Verse’ movie, we see a brief cameo of the character.
Gank Lee is a great, supportive friend who always covers for Miles and someone who inspired a character quite known in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Let’s find out who!
Who is Ganke Lee (Spider-Verse movies & comics)?
Ganke Lee first appeared in Ultimate Comics in 2011 and was created by writer Brian Michael Bendis, who drew inspiration for the character from his son’s classmate, Ganke.
Of course, from the beginning, Ganke Lee was set up as being a quirky, funny, and a great supportive friend of Miles Morales. They met when Miles started attending Brooklyn Visions Academy, designated for talented skills, and Ganke’s intelligence focused on his computer skills.
Ganke Lee is a Korean American, who came from New York as Miles, and that’s about it regarding his origins. However, as a supporting character to Miles, Ganke is mostly showcased as Miles’ best friend and his biggest support – especially when he learns that his friend is Spider-Man.
He was one of the first and rarest people who knew of Miles’ newfound abilities and was actually the one who pointed out that his friend has similar powers as Peter Parker’s Spider-Man. Ganke speculated that Miles might be a mutant but later realized that a newfound hero’s genetics were tampered with by a genetically-enhanced arachnid.
Ganke later becomes Miles’ main confidant and supports Miles in using his powers for good and becoming a new Spider-Man. After Ganke, Aunt May, and Gwen Stacy encourage Miles to become a protector of New York after Peter Parker’s death, Miles accepts his fate and becomes a new Spider-Man.
Ganke’s support doesn’t stop there and offers Miles a piece of advice on how to deal with the difficult situation a teenager encounters. Miles’ issues with his uncle, Aaron Davis, and his criminal background became so bad that the teenager didn’t know what to do – Ganke tells him to face his uncle because that’s the only way he will deal with his dilemma.
After Miles establishes himself as the new Spider-Man of New York, Ganke motivates his buddy to join the Ultimates (Earth-1610 version of Avengers) and expand his duties further from New York.
However, the biggest test for Miles and Ganke is the incursions resulting from a contraction within the Multiverse timeline that kickstarted the destruction of many universes, including Earth-1610. Ganke and Miles were the rare people that survived and eventually ended up in the world composed of the remnants of destroyed realities called Battleworld.
Miles helps Molecule Man, an omnipotent being that is indirectly connected to the incursions, and later repays Spider-Man for his kindness – he transports Miles, his parents, and friends to Earth-616 to continue their lives there.
‘Secret Wars’ was an intense affair, with only Miles remembering what happened to Earth-1610. Nevertheless, Ganke survived one of the biggest destructive events in the Marvel Universe, which says much about his importance to Miles’s character and lore.
Regarding big screens, Miles Morales hasn’t been featured much until the release of the animated masterpiece, ‘Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse’ in 2018. The critically acclaimed movie produced a sequel that was released at the start of June 2023, ‘Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse.’ In one scene, we see Miles Morales entering his dorm and briefly speaking with his roommate, Gank, who lazily plays video games. Interestingly enough, fans noticed that Gank isn’t playing something random, but an Insomniac Games’ future project, ‘Marvel’s Spider-Man 2,’ which will be released in October of 2023 as a PlayStation exclusive. The movie is full of popular culture references, and seeing Ganke playing an upcoming IRL PlayStation exclusive game, really puts in perspective how significant this movie was for Sony and MCU.
Besides being a great supportive character, Ganke inspired one MCU character. Who was it? Let’s find out.
Ganke Lee was seemingly an inspiration for Ned Leeds’ character in MCU.
Tom Holland’s Spider-Man was a refreshing change from the older and more serious Peter Parker we saw previously on big screens. The teenage naivety and exploration of young Peter Parker’s character brought us many great characters, including Ned Leeds.
This quirky computer nerd and Peter’s best friend closely resembles Ganke Lee – they are Asian and have a similar appearance, computer skills, and sense of humor. When asked about this occurrence, the writer and creator of Miles’ and Ganke’s characters, Brian Michael Bendis, told the press that he didn’t know if Marvel Studios and writers intended for Ned Leeds to be similar to Ganke Lee.
However, even if they deny this “accidental” occurrence, I still believe Ganke Lee really inspired Ned Leeds. As his comic book inspiration, Ned is quirky, nerdy, and, most importantly, a great support for Peter Parker.
Did you like Ganke Lee’s cameo in ‘Across the Spider-Verse?‘ Let us know in the comments below.