Miles Morales is having a huge year. Not only is Miles a major character in Insomniac’s Spider-Man game and the star of the upcoming animated movie Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse, his comic series is due for a major relaunch at the end of the year.
We can exclusively reveal that Marvel is debuting a new comic called Miles Morales: Spider-Man in December 2018. The new series will be the first ongoing Miles Morales book not written by co-creator Brian Michael Bendis. Instead, Exiles writer Saladin Ahmed and Secret Warriors artist Javier Garron will be charting the next major chapter in Miles’ superhero career.
We were able to talk with Ahmed via email about his and Garron’s plans for the new series. When asked how he sees Miles’ role in the larger Spider-Man franchise, especially with Peter Parker recently returning to a more traditional status quo, Ahmed said, “For my money, Spider-Man is, at his core, a teenage hero. In this book, Miles will be that Spider-Man: battling threats against the community and the city rather than the universe, and trying to do so while dealing with grades and bullies, family and botched dates. This is classic Spider-Man, but very much dealing with modern concerns and realities.”
We also asked if Ahmed was nervous at the thought of stepping into Bendis’ shoes with the character, given how much Bendis has been the prime mover with Miles Morales since his 2011 debut. Ahmed said, “I’ve not spoken to Bendis, but he is absolutely brilliant, and his writing was one of the things that brought me back to super hero comics after years away. So of course there’s some intimidation factor. But ultimately you have to just respect the work and creation of those who came before you while still being confident enough to put your own stamp on the stuff. Superheroes are myths built with layers of story. If other creators hadn’t gone on to help define Peter Parker after Lee and Ditko, we wouldn’t have the Spider-Man we know and love today.”
Miles has been a valuable addition to the Marvel Universe amid the push for greater diversity in superhero comics. We asked Ahmed, whose parents are of Lebanese, Egyptian, Irish and Polish descent, if his own family background influences how he connects with the character. “I think our background always informs how we tell stories, it’s just a question of how conscious of that we are. And there are always both bridges and gulfs between ourselves as writers and the characters we’re writing. I’m not Black or Puerto Rican, I ‘m not a teenager, I didn’t go to a nice school like Miles does. But there are lots of points where we do connect powerfully, even points where his experiences connect with my kids’ experiences., and I absolutely draw on those connections.”
Ahmed also revealed that Rhino will be the first major Marvel villain to appear in the new series. “Of all the Marvel tropes, the hard-luck supervillain is maybe my very favorite, and Rhino is sort of the Ur example of that. It’s precisely because he’s a sort of artifact of the Silver Age of comics, this hulking prehistoric monster vs. Miles as a sort of young face of the modern super hero. There’s going to be some fun back-and-forth between them.”
Ahmed also teased that Miles’ Uncle Aaron will return in his new role as the Iron Spider.
Let us know if you’re excited about Miles’ new series in the comments below.