The dust of Marvel’s Secret Wars crossover event has settled and there now exist two Spider-Men in the Marvel Universe: Peter Parker, American icon for nerdy underdogs, and Miles Morales, hero to a new generation of previously underrepresented fans. But their key difference isn’t in their costumes or backstories — Miles is a mixed-race teenager, and Parker grew up a blue-collar white kid in Queens — but their ages. The Marvel universe now enjoys two Spider-Men, who, in turn, offer two kinds of stories.
The current Peter Parker probably isn’t the one you remember, if you haven’t been keeping up with your comics. During the controversial 2013 The Superior Spider-Man series, Doc Ock possessed Parker’s body and set out to become — as the moniker suggests — the better, “Superior” Spider-Man.
Peter retook his body prior to 2014’s “Spider-Verse” crossover, only to find himself a billionaire technology CEO. In the current The Amazing Spider-Man, Parker is haphazardly adjusting to his new lifestyle as something of a less ostentatious Tony Stark, limiting his own salary to mid-management range and presenting his Spider-Man persona as his bodyguard to the world. That’s right: Spider-Man has gone Silicon Valley.
Miles Morales, however, is the Spider-Man you do remember. Originating from the now-defunct Ultimate Universe, a modern parallel universe, Miles officially entered the primary Marvel Universe after Secret Wars. He now swings New York’s skyline with his father and deceased mother — serving as his “Uncle Ben” motivator — providing plenty of family drama.
High school, homework, romance, teenage responsibilities, and learning to be a superhero all make up the newly-released Spider-Man #1 from Brian Michael Bendis, which hit shelves a few weeks ago.
For his part, Peter Parker lives a life closer to that of a millennial professional. Sure, very few can claim to be Fortune 500 CEOs, but they know about juggling life/work responsibilities and, in that sense, Parker is their comic book spirit animal, caught between wanting to do good and leading a successful company.
Yes, the two have already met and teamed up. More recently, the Spider-Man #1 comic saw Peter and Miles experience their first falling out — which we hope won’t last. Spider-Man is one of the best constructs of American pop culture and is all set to remain relevant with two beloved characters carrying the torch.