In a 2011 storyline in the alternate Ultimate Marvel Universe, the unthinkable happened: Peter Parker died in a battle with the Green Goblin. Subsequently, young Brooklynite Miles Morales donned the scarlet and blue, snapped on the web-slingers, and took over duties as Spider-Man. Since his debut, Morales has been a fan-favorite character with a youthful spirit, a throwback to the original Spidey, and a mixed-race heritage that inspires a new generation of readers.
Despite many fans’ wishes, Miles Morales is not the wall-crawler in Spider-Man: Homecoming, and he doesn’t even appear in the movie. But, the new film does make a strong gesture that Miles at least exists in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
Spoilers for Spider-Man: Homecoming are below.
In Spider-Man: Homecoming, Parker (Tom Holland) returns to Queens after a once-in-a-lifetime adventure with the Avengers. As Peter swings between his superhero duties and his regular life as a teenager, a new threat emerges: the Vulture (Michael Keaton), who sells salvaged Chitauri technology from the Battle of New York (2012’s The Avengers) to the city’s criminals. One of those criminals happens to be Aaron Davis, played by Donald Glover, a master thief who, in the comics, went by the name the Prowler. He was also Miles’s uncle.
In Homecoming, when Spidey (hilariously) fails in his interrogation of Aaron, the crook gives him a freebie, offering up the location of the Vulture’s latest buy: aboard the Staten Island Ferry. Aaron is a criminal but not evil at his core, so he’s not happy about the Vulture’s mega-dangerous weaponry being on the streets; as he tells Spider-Man in a throwaway line, his nephew lives in the neighborhood.
While Miles isn’t mentioned by name, Aaron’s line about his nephew — whose age wasn’t disclosed, so he could be very young — is more than enough to begin fans’ theories and speculations. It’s also just enough to establish Miles for future movies without bogging down Spider-Man: Homecoming with the task of using him as a character. While there were a not-insignificant amount of fans who wanted Miles from the very beginning in Captain America: Civil War, this new revelation is not a bad start for someone who could be the next Spider-Man.
Spider-Man: Homecoming swings into theaters on July 7.