BY MATT TUCK
While the world has its eyes on Spider-Man, Venom, and the Sinister Six, it’s easy to forget about the future star of the MCU, Miles Morales, whose live-action debut could be lurking around the corner.
TODAY’S POST CONTAINS LET THERE BE CARNAGE SPOILERS. DON’T READ IF YOU DON’T WANT TO KNOW.
For the record, I called this back in May’s “Venom Is Coming for Spider-Man and the MCU.”
As if Spider-Man: No Way Home needed more buzz, LTBC has upped the stakes. For the past two years, Venom’s inevitable move to the MCU has been the worst kept secret in all of movies. Now, the cat (or perhaps spider) is out of the bag.
In case you missed it, the mid-credits scene for LTBC is causing cheerful eruptions across the Marvel fandom this weekend. While the movie itself is receiving less than stellar reviews, audiences can’t stop talking about the bonus scene.
After saving the day and defeating Carnage and Shriek, Eddie Brock takes Venom on vacation to an oceanfront villa. The two are happily watching a Spanish soap opera when Venom agrees to give Eddie a taste of the symbiotic hive mind. As Venom is connecting presumably to Klyntar, there is a seismic shift in reality. The screen vibrates, and suddenly the television switches from a soap opera to J.K. Simmons’ J. Jonah Jameson revealing Spider-Man’s secret identity. Next, we see Tom Holland’s unmasked Spidey.
With that, Venom has been inducted into the MCU.
THE BATTLE OF THE TOMS
As word spreads about the mid-credits scene, the next logical question is, when? Two years into the Venom-verse, the Eddie-Peter connection is finally coming to fruition. When will it happen? It would seem the groundwork has already been laid out for No Way Home.
As tempting as that may be, it feels too soon. Marvel has mastered the art of the slow burn. Kevin Feige and company teased Thanos and the Infinity Gauntlet for 10 years before finally bringing it all to fruition.
Here we are on October 1, and NWH debuts in just over two months. While I don’t expect a decade-long wait, I predict that Feige’s crew will build the anticipation. Yes, we may get a cameo or Easter egg in NWH, and there could be an after-credits scene, but we won’t see Venom take up the fight in NWH. That will likely happen within about three years when the next Spider-Man movie hits theaters.
THE NEXT BIG THING
Despite rumors of a Sinister Six spinoff movie, I foresee the villainous team coming together for NWH and disbanding by the end. Could a different version of the team reer its head in a standalone movie? Possibly, but I expect this will be the last time we see Alfred Molina as Doctor Octopus. If we do indeed see Willem Dafoe suit up as the Green Goblin, and I have my doubts as I wrote in “Which Goblin Is in the No Way Home Trailer?,” then it could be his last ride on the Goblin Glider as well.
With the Sinister Six apparently locked, loaded, and aimed at Spider-Man, who is more vulnerable than ever, Peter Parker is going to need backup. The LTBC reveal would suggest that help will come in the massive form of Venom, and that is precisely what Marvel Studios wants you to believe. It will make the swerve even more surprising when Miles Morales and company swing into action.
THE COMING OF SPIDER-MILES
This has been four years in the making. For starters, there was the none-too-subtle allusion to Miles in Spider-Man: Homecoming. When Peter webbed Aaron Davis, aka the Prowler, to the trunk of a car, Aaron mentioned his nephew. Comic fans lost their minds because they knew the unnamed nephew is Miles Morales.
Fast forward seven years. That’s seven MCU years, not actual years. Remember that 2019’s Endgame skipped ahead five years into the future, placing it in 2024. The events of Far From Home are set months following Endgame, so we can assume it also takes place in 2024. No Way Home is set immediately following Far From Home, which would mean that NWH also happens in 2024. That gives Miles seven years to age into his teens by the onset of the upcoming movie, assuming he was not dusted out of existence by Thanos’ snap.
In the comics, Miles is 13 years old. Meanwhile, the MCU Peter Parker is 16, although he should be 21, but he didn’t exist for five years thanks to the Mad Titan. That will make Peter and Miles close in age, which would not make him the best mentor, especially since he is still learning the superhero game himself.
As we have seen in the comics, in the animated Into the Spider-Verse, and in the video games, Miles needs a teacher and mentor. If the MCU’s Peter doesn’t have the experience to do the job, who does? Enter: the Spider-Men from across the Multiverse, specifically Tobey Maguire.
Between a poster of Tobey’s Spider-Man in the Morbius trailer, Doc Ock’s return from his watery Spider-Man 2 grave, and Dafoe unmistakable Goblin laugh, and possibly Thomas Haden Church’s Sandman, Marvel Studios and Sony Pictures don’t want audiences to forget about Sam Raimi’s original Spidey trilogy.
It’s reasonable to assume that since the events of Spider-Man 3, Tobey Maguire’s Peter Parker did not suddenly stop being Spider-Man. For the past 14 years, he has continued his crusade to protect his corner of the Multiverse, and don’t forget that a version of Doctor Strange exists in that dimension as confirmed by J. Jonah Jameson. That would make Sony’s original Spider-Man the best candidate to help Miles become a superhero.
Of course, this hinges on whether or not Maguire and Andrew Garfield are, as rumors insist, reprising their roles as Peter/Spider-Man for No Way Home. At this point, it seems to be a likely possibility. Throw Miles Morales in the mix, and a Miles/Maguire team-up movie as a superhero version of Daniel and Miyagi would make for a blockbuster film.
ICING ON THE SPIDER-CAKE
There is another Miles Morales NWH theory floating around the internet. This speculation claims that the confirmation is sitting under our noses in the film’s trailer.
At one point in the footage, Tom Holland’s Peter Parker is seen talking to an African-American woman in a limousine. Peter happens to be dressed in a suit and tie (which viewers have pointed out looks exactly like Tobey Maguire’s suit from Spider-Man 3’s fight scene with Harry Osborn), and that implies that it is a formal occasion. While it could simply be part of his trial for vigilantism, the purveying theory is the woman in the limo is none other than Rio Morales. In the comics and the games, she becomes a politician and Harlem councilwoman constantly on the campaign trail.
AND ANOTHER THING
The possible Miles connections don’t stop there because it is even in the new black-and-gold suit Tom Holland sports in the trailer.
While some point to the black suit as another Venom tease, it is actually on the Spider-Miles spectrum. After the collapse of the Ultimate Universe, Miles was not the only member of his family to cross into the Earth-616. His uncle Aaron also made the leap. Although Miles thought Aaron had died, his uncle went back to work as the Prowler. Only this time, Aaron got a power upgrade when he bought an Iron Spider suit. He left behind the named Prowler and adopted the Iron Spider moniker in what could be a sleeper key issue, Spider-Man #234. That issue not only featured the debut of Aaron Davis as Iron Spider, but it also had the reformation of the Sinister Six.
Could the events of Spider-Man #234 play out in No Way Home? The trailer features both the Iron Spider suit as well as a new gold-and-black Spider-Man costume. Combine those two elements with Donald Glover, and that will make for the villainous Iron Spider. It would be logical, then, to see Miles save the day and combat his uncle.
THE FUTURE OF THE FRANCHISE
From the comic books to video games to movies, Miles Morales is the future of the Spider-Man franchise. There is already a plan underway in the comics that could usher Miles’ rise to being the one-and-only Spider-Man, which you can read more about in “Will Marvel Kill Off Peter Parker?”
Most of us in the comics game have seen this coming since Miles’ debuted in Ultimate Fallout #4. Since then, his popularity has grown by leaps and bounds, and it is time for Spider-Miles to step out of the shadows and into the MCU spotlight.
As it stands, UF #4 is already a modern era holy grail. Since he starred in his own Spider-Man PlayStation spinoff game, prices have gone through the roof for virtually every grade on the market. Then came the No Way Home speculation, and that caused records to fall left and right. The standard cover at a 9.8 brought $3,840 on August 30. Values have fallen off that pace in September, but that high-grade is still earning $2,500-$2,600 on a consistent basis. More impressive is the variant edition, a 9.8 of which sold for $25,000 in June. Even a 9.8 for the second print is a $700 comic.
Things have gotten so crazy that the first Miles cover appearance on what is essentially a comic catalog has become a five-figure investment. In fact, the last time a Marvel Previews #95 graded at a 9.8 traded hands online, it sold for $11,600 on August 7.
This issue is so hot that the facsimile edition published recently has already seen a graded 9.8 sell for $80.
Remember, all of this is based on live-action rumors and his starring role in a video game. Imagine how far things will go if he makes a surprise appearance in No Way Home?
Matt Tuck is the author of the novel, Lost Bones of the Dead. He is a professional writer, avid comic collector, former teacher, and an international man of mystery. You can follow him on his Facebook page, The Comic Blog.