As Marvel Comics celebrates the 60th anniversary of Spider-Man, our favorite version of the hero is back with a new solo series.
In a story that brings him out of the multiverse and back to being a friendly neighborhood web slinger, Miles Morales: Spider-Man #1 is set for release in December. Written by Cody Ziglar and with art by Federico Vicentini, the book finds him battling a villain who “threatens everyone and everything Miles loves.” Of course, when he’s not fighting crime, he’s still just a teenager navigating teenage things. “Between school, home, his love life and battling super-charged and upgraded villains night and day—Miles is reaching his breaking point. And when this new foe is finished, Spider-Man’s world will be changed forever.”
Ziglar (Craig of the Creek, Amazing Spider-Man) spoke with The Root about his inspiration for the story, his love of Miles and how important it is to get more stories featuring Black heroes.
Like a lot of us, when Ziglar heard there was a Black Spider-Man, he immediately ran out and got that first story. Seeing a character that looked and talked like him had a huge impact on him. Now, he can keep the cover for his book next to that first one he bought.
“The idea that I’ll be able to have that cover next to my cover is such a weird surreal 360 in life,” Ziglar said. “It’s just a very wild place to be. I was forever grateful that my spiritual life let me be a kid that was in that type of stuff.”
After the success of Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse, as well as the various Spidey themed video games and animated series, the She-Hulk writer wanted to bring Miles back down to Earth and return the character to his roots.
“He’s done super cool multiple dimensions, but let’s just take him down to the street level guy, and also give him a new mentor,” he said. “Peter has been there a lot for him…I wanted to bring him a new Black mentor. I really wanted to pair him up with a Black street level character. That’s the story that I want to tell because I’m a big fan of the apprenticeship and the mentorship.”
“There’s a lot of things that you can learn from people that have been doing this a really long time, but there’s some things that you get insights from people that have been doing the same job that look like you,” Ziglar added. “Misty Knight experiences a much different reality than Matt Murdock does or Peter Parker just by the fact of being a Black woman so, I know that was an important thing to have in there. Also I love the character of Misty Knight and I wanted to hang out with her and Miles for a couple issues.”
It’s also important for Ziglar to show Miles just being a teenager. Yes, he’s a superhero who has to focus on fighting crime, but he also has school, friends and a love life to deal with, and those parts of his character are just as crucial as the hero parts. He describes it as the quiet part of the song before it gets loud and crazy again.
Whether it’s Peter Parker or Miles Morales, Spider-Man has always been a character that’s inherently hopeful. This is a trait Ziglar definitely wanted to highlight in his version of the hero.
“There’s the drama of it, he’s fighting villains and stuff but also, he’s a young kid, he’s a teenager. He’s got his best friend, he’s got cool powers and yes that comes with some negatives, but he’s trying to do his best,” Ziglar said. “He has a great support system. His parents know that he’s a superhero, they support him fully, but they’re also like just be careful out there. I love that optimism that this Spidey has had and I definitely want to continue to bring that through because I’m a comedy writer. I dip into the drama when I need to, but I like having a good time. I like smiling when I read a book.”
Miles Morales: Spider-Man #1 will be released in December.