The flurry of excitement over the Spider-Man: Homecoming trailer has helped cement a widespread interest in the rebooted franchise. Despite the curiosity over what to expect from the newest iteration of the Spider-Man franchise, some fans have been claiming that Homecoming may have borrowed prominent elements from the Miles Morales comics. (Bustle has reached out to Sony Pictures and Columbia Pictures for comment, but did not receive a response by the time of publication.) Those allegedly borrowed elements have disappinted fans who had been wishing that Miles was the star of the new Spider-Man reboot, because the similarities they see between the trailer and Miles' comic book arc just reinforce their belief that his story should have been the next to be adapted to screen.
As a quick refresher, within the Marvel comics canon, Miles is Peter Parker's successor to the Spider-Man name and tradition. As an Afro-Latino, Miles' character was heralded as a step in the right direction, not only because of what Miles represents to his fans but for contributing to the diversity among Marvel heroes in general. On top of that, he's a total badass as Spider-Man.
The plot of Homecoming centers around Peter Parker honing his Spidey skills while navigating the choppy waters of high school, an imperfect friendship with Tony Stark, and fighting big bad Vulture. Since the announcement of the reboot, there's been a feeling in the fandom that, if Homecoming is dead-set on not only rebooting the franchise but shifting the timeline of Spider-Man insofar as we see him as a teenager and an Avengers ally, why couldn't Miles Morales have been swapped in?
One of the main similarities fans complained about in the Spider-Man: Homecoming trailer was the inclusion of a character similar to Miles Morales' bestie, Ganke Lee. In Homecoming, Peter's primary friend appears to be Ned Leeds. The physical similarities to Ganke are immediate enough to raise fans' suspicions, even though the two appear to be completely different characters.
Another documented Miles Morales milestone is the revelation of his Spider-Man identity, which involved Miles crawling on the ceiling while Ganke sits on his bed and breaks a LEGO model. This moment is echoed in the Homecoming trailer between Ned and Peter.
The similarities between Homecoming and the Miles Morales story deserve acknowledgement because of what they imply: The transposing of supporting characters in Miles' world into Peter's cinematic one would mean an exclusion of Miles from his own narrative. To be fair, the strongest similarity between Homecoming and Miles Morales' story exists mainly through the Homecoming character Ned. However, fans of Miles can't help but wonder why he can't star in a film if characters similar to his friends can.
The feeling that Homecoming should have gotten gutsier and brought in Miles, who is currently more relevant to the Spider-Man comics than Peter, is a feeling I share with the fans. Considering this Spider-Man reboot marks the third time the MCU has brought Peter Parker to life, actually bringing Miles in to the MCU should have happened — and not just in an alleged cameo.
Adding Miles into the rebooted Spider-Man universe would have been a refreshing choice. It would have represented Marvel further answering the call for diversity and acknowledging Miles Morales' value to the Spider-Man name. Even though we've had months to deal with the realization that Miles won't be leading this franchise, similarities like the ones that fans have been picking up on still hurt, because they remind us of what could have been.
Editor's Note: This article has been updated from its original version.
Images: Sony Pictures Releasing; Columbia Pictures; Giphy