The Miles Morales Reference In 'Spider-Man: Homecoming' Is Too Little, Too Late
When the Marvel Cinematic Universe announced it would be introducing Spider-Man to their big screen, many fans hoped that the web-slinger would be Miles Morales. As Marvel's first non-white, biracial Spider-Man, Miles would have been a welcome change from the Peter Parker narrative, but, alas, it was not meant to be. Still, that doesn't mean the MCU has turned its back on Miles entirely. In fact, Miles Morales is in Spider-Man: Homecoming — kind of. Unfortunately, to some fans like myself, the reference to the character feels like too little too late.
Miles doesn't actually appear onscreen in Homecoming, but he is mentioned. In the film Aaron Davis, a petty criminal played by Donald Glover, references his nephew during a scene with Spider-Man. The nephew is unnamed, but fans of the comics will recognize Aaron as Miles Morales' uncle. This tease is one of Marvel's famous Easter Eggs, meant to taunt the viewer and tease connections to a larger Marvel universe. But the fact is that, before Homecoming was announced, many fans had campaigned for Miles to get his own movie — and as such, the small reference doesn't feel like nearly enough.
In the last 10 years, the world has seen three different Peter Parkers — Tobey Maguire, Andrew Garfield, and Tom Holland. Audiences have essentially been watching the same Spider-Man origin story about a white teenager for over a decade (Spider-Man was released in 2002). Finally, when making a new Spider-Man movie, Marvel had the opportunity to change the narrative by introducing Miles Morales as the new onscreen hero, but despite the campaigns, the studio still went with Peter Parker. And now, it's going to take more than an Easter Egg to make up for the fact that the MCU chose to make yet another Peter Parker movie rather than bring a non-white Spider-Man to the big screen.
Sure, the tease in Homecoming opens up the possibility for Miles to join the MCU down the line, but even Marvel Studios President Kevin Feige's admission that Miles exists somewhere in the MCU seems half-hearted at best. "All of those little things are just Easter eggs for fans until they're something more than that," Feige said in an interview with ScreenCrush. Judging from that, it sounds like Marvel has no concrete plans to make a Miles Morales movie, but they want any potential angry fans to be placated by the possibility they deliver in Homecoming.
Even if Marvel was serious about eventually bringing Miles to replace Peter as Spider-Man, it wouldn't happen for at least a good five years. A sequel to Homecoming is currently planned for release after the fourth Avengers movie — in 2019. Assuming Marvel wants to make a Spider-Man trilogy, that means fans can expect this Peter Parker arc to last until at least 2021. Furthermore, Marvel has yet to reboot any of its superhero franchises. Who knows if they'll really want to change it up in the future with a Miles-centric Spider-Man film.
For now, it looks like Miles Morales will stay in the background, but I'm hopeful Marvel will eventually do the right thing and give this character the blockbuster movie he deserves.