So hey! If you pay attention to comics and surrounding stuff, you’ve heard that Donald Glover (Childish Gambino) is going to be voicing Miles Morales in an upcoming episode of the Ultimate Spider-Man cartoon.
A young Peter Parker is apparently going to travel to a universe to where he died and Miles Morales is the new Spidey. This is pretty exciting. Glover has mentioned wanting to play Spider-Man and fans of Miles Morales are probably excited to see the him appear in other media.
What I’m most interested in is what this should mean to Peter Parker. This is a young Spider-Man, and Miles’ existence presents him with the probably the one thing Spider-Man should fear most, but rarely considers. Dying young.
In the Ultimate comics, Peter died when he was in high school. He died before graduation and that possibility should be horrifying to him. We, the audience, seem to take Spider-Man’s survival as a given. In Marvel proper he makes it to college, graduates, becomes a photographer, a science teacher, a husband, an avenger, a think tank researcher, and since he survives that whole way we can’t help but think that if any other iteration of Spider-Man was to last long enough, we would eventually get to see that Peter go through all that. This tends to be reflected in the writing of Spider-Man himself. Whenever he is forced to consider giving up his hero lifestyle, he always thinks of the danger he puts others in and whenever he thinks in terms of himself, he thinks of how being Spider-Man affects his school life or social life, never considering that he might not have a life if he continues his heroics or that his life isn’t worth nearly as much as Aunt May’s or Mary Jane’s. Peter rarely ever considers he won’t make it out alive or that he matters much, but when Peter meets Miles Morales he has to deal with this. He has to deal with not making it to graduation, with leaving Aunt May alone in the world, her only family dead. And probably the worst is that he has to see some new kid, probably younger than he was when he started, doing exactly what he did. He inspired that kid to jump headfirst into danger, so should he feel proud that he inspired another hero or should he feel ashamed that he unintentionally encouraged that kid to go down that dangerous path. This is one of the most interesting things a young Peter can face, something that can shake his resolve.
As big as that last paragraph was, I’m unfortunately not very interested in watching it. My reason is pretty simple.
I seriously dislike the Ultimate Spider-Man cartoon, and I don’t think they could handle this in a way that would be satisfactory. I have no faith in this show. I gave it a shot during the first season and every single good point was countered by a bad one. I liked the team and dynamic they had with Peter specifically, the difference in his experience and their training, but the amount of contrived ignorance that they have to give characters at various times is annoying. The worst example was probably the second “symbiote” episode. A second black suited Spider-Man suddenly appears, and absolutely no one but Peter connects the dots to the black suit that possessed ALL OF THEM in a previous episode. So not only do they rush through one of the most popular arcs in Spider-man’s history, they make the entire cast look like idiots when they do it.
No faith. None.
I hope nobody minds if I sit this one out, wait for the actual reception and then catch it online or something.
I wish this was Spectacular, then I’d be excited.
Side note: I like Donald Glover and all, but listen to that clip. He does not sound like a thirteen year old. The casting director does realize that Childish Gambino is just a stage name right? Juxtaposed to Drake Bell’s scratchy voice he actually sounds like the older Spidey.