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Comic Book / Spider-Man (2016)

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The adjectiveless comic book "Spider-Man" released in 2016 starred Miles Morales, and it was his first solo comic in the Marvel Universe, instead of the Ultimate Marvel one. It takes place after Secret Wars (2015), where the Molecule Man showed gratitude to him by transferring his family and friends to the prime universe, the only universe restored immediately after it.

The series is written by Brian Michael Bendis, with Sara Pichelli on art, the same creative team as in Ultimate Spider-Man. The comic is the second volume of the adjectiveless "Spider-Man" comic, and by the time of issue #22, it resumed the original numbering as #234. The comic lasted until issue #240.

In this comic, Miles interacts with the Avengers and the Champions, and faces the fallout of the Civil War II. His family and friends are also there, including his mother Rio Morales. He also met Spider-Gwen, the Spider-Woman from another universe. Eventually, it is revealed that his uncle is also back...

Spider-Man provides examples of:

  • Aborted Arc:
    • Towards the end of this run, as well as in Spider-Men II and Generations (also written by Brian Bendis), Miles finds himself having a personal crisis where he comes to believe that "Spider-Man" will always belong to Peter Parker first and foremost and that perhaps he should make a different identity for himself. However, when a new version of the Sinister Six emerges, he's forced back into the suit before he can consider it fully. In Miles' next book, which has a completely different creative team, none of this is brought up and Miles proudly bears the Spider-Man mantle.
    • In issue #21, Jefferson meets up with, of all people, Cable, who'd been watching Miles from a distance during his adventure in Tokyo. According to Cable, Miles has an important role to play in the future of international espionage. In the last issue of the run, Rio and Jefferson tell Miles that this man wants to talk to him about something important, but Miles asks them to reschedule, as he made a promise he needs to keep to Ganke. What exactly Cable wanted remains to be seen, and any connection between Miles and spycraft is dropped. These appear to be remnants of an idea for Miles' future character development that ultimately fell through: building on the above idea that Miles wants to be his own man instead of "the other Spider-Man", it was suggested that Miles change his codename to "Spy-D" and follow in his father's footsteps as a secret agent. Again, this was dropped when Marvel decided to continue the "Legacy Hero" angle with Miles.
    • Miles also develops an unexpected new power during the book that seems to be an extension of his Venom Blast. Distinct from his mechanical web-shooters, Miles can conjure long gold strings from his fingertips, not unlike a shinier version of Silk's organic webs. Miles has no idea what to make of this, and he and Ganke plan to learn more about it, but then the new Sinister Six emerges and it has to be put on hold. The power hasn't been used since the final issue of this particular series, and it's implied that it was "cured" when Dr. Claire Temple was tasked with treating him for both his injuries and a viral infection.
    • The interpersonal madness detailed below under "Love Dodecahedron" was simplified when the new creative team took over. Miles and Barbara are now in the early stages of their romance, Ganke and Danika have broken up and Danika hasn't been seen again, and Fabio has been completely written out of the book, so he has yet to act on his feelings for Lana.
  • Abusive Parents: Lori Baumgartner, mother of Miles' friend Lana / Bombshell, was never a stellar parent, but she's at her worst in this series, and Lana is visibly afraid of her at several moments. After S.H.I.E.L.D. fell, Lori was released from their custody, and while Lana is initially happy to see her mom again, it doesn't last, as Lori tries to force her daughter back into the life of crime. Since Lana's powers amplify Lori's, she forces her daughter to join the Iron Spider's new Sinister Six, and has no qualms with letting the other villains harass Lana. As far as Lori is concerned, until Lana is eighteen, she owns her and Lana must do what she says, or she will destroy everything her teenage daughter has managed to build for herself.
  • Adaptation Personality Change: In Ultimate Spider-Man Jeffeson was the helicopter parent, and Rio was the oblivious parent. Here, their roles are exchanged.
  • All There in the Manual: It may be confusing to read the Ultimate Spider-Man comics, then Secret Wars and then this comic. Miles is already an Avenger, he already knows Ms. Marvel... that's because, after Secret Wars but before this solo, he has already been in a 616 book in All-New, All-Different Avengers.
  • Always Someone Better: Played for laughs. Peter is annoyed that Miles, a new and younger Spider-Man, has a costume way cooler than his.
  • Apron Matron: Miles' grandmother is a strict woman who will not accept low school grades and will get his life straight with an iron fist!
  • Are You Pondering What I'm Pondering?: Peter asks Miles if he remembers the thing he told him when first they met, expecting him to remember that "With Great Power Comes Great Responsibility". Instead, Miles remembered that he told him "Baby powder in the private area will reduce costume chaffing". And with the other Avengers and the police standing right next to them.
  • Art Shift: In a flashback to the time Peter allowed Miles to share the Spider-Man name, it's drawn in the wacky style of Spidey's thought scenes in the Ultimate Spider-Man (2012) animated series.
  • Atop a Mountain of Corpses: The cover to #2.
  • Back from the Dead:
    • Rio Morales, who'd been killed by Ultimate Venom some time ago, lives again in the Marvel Universe thanks to Molecule Man. However, she, Miles, and everyone else around them don't recall her death, and the only real reminder is that Miles passionately despises symbiotes.
    • Miles' uncle Aaron Davis, previously the dead villain Prowler, has returned to life in the Marvel Universe, though unlike Rio, he and those around him remember his passing. Not even Aaron himself can explain how it happened; he simply recalls dying in front of Miles, then waking up in his own home some time later.
  • Big Bad: Out of all of the enemies Miles faced thus far, Black Cat seems to be at the top of his list. Spider-Man #234 introduces a new contender: Ultimate Aaron Davis!
  • Both Sides Have a Point: Inverted. As far as Miles is concerned in Civil War II, neither side has a point. Captain Marvel is getting increasingly intense in pursuing her goals, and Iron Man is deteriorating into a hysterical, reactionary mess. It comes to a head when Ulysses, the Inhuman precog who has indirectly caused this divide, gets a vision of Miles apparently killing Captain America. Captain Marvel tries to take Miles into custody for his and Steve Rogers' protection, but Iron Man has, without telling Miles, put a force field around him to protect him triggered by Carol making physical contact. Miles is left standing helplessly in his "protective" bubble while two of Earth's mightiest nearly beat the life out of each other in front of him. Tony Stark is comatose and nearly dead, Carol Danvers is horrified as she finally realizes what she's done, and Miles Morales is left cynical about even being part of the superhero community.
  • Break Them by Talking: Jefferson returns to S.H.I.E.L.D. in order to protect his son. To make sure that his time as a civilian hasn't made him go soft, the higher-ups orchestrate several tense confrontations designed to test his resolve to his fullest, like telling him that Rio will walk out on him once she learns the truth (provided a villain doesn't kill her first), or that Black Cat has figured out his cover and his holding an unconscious Miles at gunpoint.
  • Captain Ethnic: Discussed. Miles' suit covers his whole body, but thanks to Clothing Damage a Youtube fan discovered that he is black. Miles is not amused by this: he wants to be Spider-Man, not "the black Spider-Man".
  • The Cloud Cuckoolander Was Right: Ganke is shocked when Miles tells him that the Inhuman precog showed all the superheroes a vision of Miles apparently murdering Captain America, and theorizes that maybe Captain America will somehow turn evil to justify why Miles might do that. Miles dismisses this outright, on account of him being, well, Captain America, but anyone who'd been reading the concurrent run of Captain America knows that this is more-or-less true.
  • Continuity Nod: Miles is trying to explain Peter about the unidentified demon that he fought. Asked for details, he clarified that he was not red. "Good, not the red one. Hate the red one".
  • Cosmic Retcon: Courtesy of Molecule Man, Miles Morales and his supporting cast now operate out of Earth-616, and the dimensional transfer is seldom brought up. People's memories have been rewritten to exclude elements specific to Earth-1610 in exchange for 616 elements. For example, according to the annual, Miles now recalls a classmate named Brent who died and inspired him to use his powers for good in place of Ultimate Peter Parker.
  • Death Glare: Gloria and Jeffeson give each other when they don't agree on how to deal with Miles' grades.
  • Early-Bird Cameo: Black Cat shows up in #2, watching the TV report about the new Spider-Man.
  • Enemy Rising Behind: Blackhearth reappears behind Peter while he's complaining about his life.
  • Entertainingly Wrong: Miles used to be such a good student, but when he became a superhero his grades began to fall. His grandma figures the reason must be because he's on drugs.
  • Evil Counterpart: Lampshaded: Ceres Goldstein, the black market dealer whom some mysterious buyer visits, notes that the modified Iron Spider suit would be an excellent way to get on Spider-Man's radar.
  • Fan Boy: Ganke goes in full fanboy mode when Fabio Medina, Goldballs, joins the class.
  • The Fettered: Since the character's creation, a defining trait of Miles' personality is that he instinctively holds back when he's in a fight, and relies on his Venom Blast specifically to avoid hurting people any more than need be. That's why he's so shaken when he realizes he has to consciously keep himself from using the full extent of his super strength against Hammerhead and his goons, causing him to fret that he's more like his uncle Aaron than he'd like to admit. Soon enough, after clearing his head and making things right with his mother, he's back to his old self.
  • How We Got Here: The first issue starts with the Avengers dead and Miles Morales facing the demon Blackheart.
  • I'm Mr. [Future Pop Culture Reference]: While in Japan, Miles meets Tomoe the Techno Golem, a self-made criminal princess and powerful Technopath. Banking on her unfamiliarity with American music, he introduces himself to her as "Miles Davis" (which isn't a complete lie, since it would be his name had he inherited his dad's name instead of his mom's). She immediately recognizes it as the name of an old musician, and Miles awkwardly backtracks into saying that he was named after the more famous Davis.
  • Jerkass Has a Point: Miles' grandmother may be insufferable to no end, but she's right: if Miles' grades are falling, he has to stop doing nonsenses and study.
  • Lighter and Softer: Ultimate Marvel has a reputation for being the "grim and gritty" Marvel continuity, and now that Miles is operating out of the main Marvel universe, this is built into the book's framework. Both of Miles' parents (plus an array of superhero friends and mentors) are alive, Carol Danvers and Tony Stark acting like jerks and idiots is explicitly not business as usual, the memories of Miles' worst experiences appear to have been cosmically retconned out, and the cast of Miles' civilian life gets more focus, including X-Men joke character Goldballs, the incredibly hammy Grandma Morales, and Danika Hart, a vlogger who makes cringe-inducing Spider-Fan videos..
  • Like Brother and Sister: No, Miles will not date Bombshell. He and Lana don't have that kind of relation.
  • Loony Fan: Miles has a girl, Danika Hart, following him in a Youtube channel.
  • Love Dodecahedron: Miles has a semi-secret crush on Ms. Marvel, who only sees him as a friend. Then he learns about Danika Hart, a Loony Fan who's more than a little obsessed with the new Spider-Man (or perhaps the fact that he's non-white). Ganke meets her under an alias to keep her from learning more about Miles, only for her to fall for Ganke instead. Later, he meets fellow Brooklyn Visions Academy student Barbara Rodriguez, and she and Miles begin dating (his first real relationship now that Katie Bishop has been cosmically retconned out of Miles' memories). Miles and Barbara's budding romance angers Fabio, who sees this as Miles betraying Lana, who, in a semi-delirious state, told Fabio that she is in love with Miles. Miles (and later, Lana herself) make it clear that they see each other only as friends, and it would appear that Fabio has feelings for her. And that's not even getting into Miles' crush on Spider-Gwen he develops when the two of them team up for the dimension-jumping adventure, where they see a realm where the two of them are Happily Married and have two spider-powered kids, or his brief infatuation with a Japanese girl named Tomoe before she reveals herself as an Inhuman Yakuza Cyber Ninja.
  • Mythology Gag:
    • When Miles' grandma shows up, she tells him "Face it tigre, you're about to get a big ol' kick in the culo".
    • Ganke meets with Danika under the alias of "Ned", a nod to the character in Spider-Man: Homecoming, who, while named after Peter Parker supporting character Ned Leeds, owes most of his characterization to Ganke.
    • Ganke also describes Miles as an "amazing friend".
  • Naïve Newcomer: Miles's first adventure in this series is against Blackheart, an actual demon from hell. He's horrorified to no end, especially since back in the Ultimate Universe most of Miles's exploits were against more mundane things like Mutants, and superpowered corporate goons, unlike the other superheroes who have Seen It All.
  • Newcomer Saves the Day: Miles defeats Blackheart, a demon who had defeated all the other Avengers.
  • Not Helping Your Case: Miles' grandma comes to give him the business for his sudden drop in his grades. He only manages to say "uh".
    Gloria: "Uh"? That's about the level of discourse I expected from someone with grades like these!
  • Not What It Looks Like: Blackheart, after receiving a Venom blast, vanishes. And then the adult Spider-Man appears, finding the Avengers unconscious, and Miles with Captain America's shield in the middle of it all. He asks "WHAT DID YOU DO?"
  • Parents as People: Rio Morales is getting worried about her son as his grades continue to slip, and she can't help but suspect that he's keeping secrets from her. She brings in her straight-laced mother Gloria to hopefully talk some sense into him. Then after both Miles and Jefferson go missing (part of a crossover with Spider-Gwen), she demands they come clean and learns that her son is Spider-Man and her husband has gone back to working for S.H.I.E.L.D. She's shocked and feels betrayed by both of them, causing her to temporarily leave the family. Jefferson eventually finds her and vows to make things right, and she expresses pride in knowing that her son is doing what he can to help people.
  • Pay Evil unto Evil: Uncle Aaron presents Miles with his philosophy on life: the world is a fundamentally broken place run by evil people, and the only way to take care of yourself is to hurt the powerful back. Miles notes the illogic here. It's one thing to steal medicine to get it to people who need it but cannot afford the exorbitant prices; stealing a de-commissioned S.H.I.E.L.D helicarrier so you can sell it to an aspiring dictator is another.
  • Revealing Cover Up: When Black Cat captures Miles and unmasks him, she searches the internet to try and learn who he is, but cannot seem to find anything. She suspects that S.H.I.E.L.D. is behind this, which immediately raises the question of why S.H.I.E.L.D. would be so invested in a seemingly random teen superhero. Turns out she's partially right: S.H.I.E.L.D. does have a vested interest in protecting the kid's identity, seeing as his father works for them. But the missing information is actually due to the cosmic reshuffling of Secret Wars, and there simply isn't any existing data of Miles in this dimension, while Earth-616's native Miles made sure there wasn't any trace of him some time ago.
  • Romantic Comedy: Oddly enough, perhaps the best way to classify the civilian life aspects of the book, as Miles' love life (as well as those of the people around him) are given a great deal of focus. Miles has a parade of ill-fated crushes on various heroines and villainesses before starting his first real relationship (as far as he can recall) with his snarky, musically-inclined classmate Barbara.These include...  Ganke sets out to deal with Danika, Loony Fan who runs a Spider-Man blog, and winds up falling for her and vice versa. Fabio falls hard for Lana, just in time for Lana to have a Love Epiphany regarding Miles. Even Jefferson and Rio have their ups and downs, with the book's first arc revolving around Rio's comically overbearing mother paying a visit, culminating in a Liar Revealed plot with Jefferson returning to S.H.I.E.L.D. When Rio discovers this, she feels betrayed and it puts their marriage on the rocks for the next few issues.
  • Satellite Love Interest: In the pages of Spider-Men II, Miles falls for a classmate named Barbara. Once the miniseries came to an end, Barbara joins the cast of this book as Miles' first proper girlfriend (as far as he can remember), but gets very little page time. They have a brief conversation in #234 (technically issue 22 of this run, but re-numbered due to the editorial shakeups of the Marvel Legacy relaunch), and then she only has two non-speaking appearances until the end of the run, where she watches Miles as he runs off to be Spider-Man.
  • Secret-Keeper: The only people who know about Miles' double life are Ganke, Jefferson, and a select few of the other superheroes. Then, against Miles' wishes, Ganke tells their new roommate Fabio Medina (the ex-X-Man Goldballs), assuming that it would be good for Miles to have someone who can relate to the superhero stuff.
  • Shipper on Deck: Ganke tries to convince Miles that he should date another superhero. Someone like Bombshell, "the coolest girl in the history of cool".
  • True Companions: The final issue of the series is dedicated to these characters in Miles' life. After he and the Champions save Latveria from the Sinister Six, Lucia van Bardas, and a helicarrier's worth of tech and weapons, Miles falls unconscious and is rushed back to the United States so the resident super-doctor, Claire Temple, can treat him. The book then covers Miles' recovery process, slipping in and out of consciousness in his hospital bed. Every time he's awake, a different group of people whose lives he's touched is there to support him - his parents, Tony Stark, Goldballs, his teammates on the Champions, the still-not-dead Uncle Aaron, vowing to make a Heel–Face Turn, and finally Peter Parker and Ganke Lee.
  • The Worf Effect: Blackheart has defeated all the Avengers. It's up to Miles to stop him, which he does, despite the fact Blackheart is typically way outside any Spider-person's weight class.
  • You Are Grounded!: Miles' grandma grounds him and confiscates his phone because his grades are falling.