Four years ago when Sony Pictures announced that its Spider-Man movie franchise would be rebooted following the exit of director Sam Raimi from the stalled development of a fourth feature starring Marvel Comics’ iconic wall-crawling superhero, actor, writer, and the rap star known as Childish Gambino, Donald Glover, threw his hat into the casting ring. The idea of the Community star assuming the role vacated by Tobey Maguire started out as the suggestion of a fan and eventually grew into a full-blown social media campaign with the hashtag “#donald4spiderman.” As far as we know, Glover didn’t even get an audition, and the role ultimately went to Andrew Garfield.
But now it looks as if Glover, who departed Community in the middle of its fifth season but has hinted at possibly returning to the show when it launches on Yahoo! later this year or next, will finally get his chance to play Spider-Man in an upcoming episode of the Disney XD animated series Ultimate Spider-Man: Web Warriors. You can check out a newly-released image from the episode here below.
Production on the tentatively titled The Amazing Spider-Man 2 is proceeding at full speed with casting updates emerging on a weekly basis. We know that Jamie Foxx and Paul Giamatti will be playing the new villains Electro and the Rhino, respectively, and Shailene Woodley of The Descendants is the Mary Jane Watson of the rebooted franchise. Now there is the distinct possibility that the movie might be gaining a third villain, or at least the seeds are being planted for this particular adversary to take center stage should a third movie get the green light.
Director Marc Webb tweeted a teaser picture on Wednesday on the occasion of the birthday of actor Dane DeHaan, who is playing Harry Osborn, the troubled best friend of Peter Parker (Andrew Garfield). The picture appears to be of a locker used in the movie, and die hard fans of the Ultimate Spider-Man comics will probably recognize the number on the locker door: 14.
Let us not forget who our senior ranking Spider-Man is, folks. It’s not the Superior one, it’s not even Kaine-turned-Scarlet, it’s good old Miles Morales, who has the most issues over the greatest period of time under his belt.
Part of what is making Miles so enjoyable is his individuality as a person and with his family issues colliding head-on with the history of Peter Parker. It’s just as fun to read Miles talk to Aunt May as it is to read Miles talking to Ganke, and that’s the magic touch that makes Ultimate Spider-Man the best Spider-Man running. Don’t get me wrong, the exact same thing is happening in Superior Spider-Man, but the lead character in that book is usurping the Parker Legacy while Miles is honoring it. It makes all the difference in the world.
Part of the fun of the original Ultimate Spider-Man run was to see how the characters would change from their 616-Universe counterparts. This was pre-New 52 and Marvel NOW!, so often the tease that would keep me coming back for those first 100 issues was “What’s Scorpion going to be like in this universe?” I choose Scorpion purposefully because the second volumeÂ Ultimate Spider-Man also re-imagined that character once the Volume One, Parker Ultimate years revealed Scorpion to be a Peter clone. Miles had to deal with a Mexican Warlord Scorpion while contemplating his relationship to his uncle. Both re-imaginings worked for their respective Spider-Men, and it’s staggering to see that this slight retconning still draws the audience.
I’m pairing the latest issues of Ultimate Spider-Man together, having given us Marvel 616-Universe fans some time to mourn for Peter Parker (or Peter Parker’s… life… force?). The transition from Amazing to Superior Spider-Man in Amazing Spider-Man #700 went better than the previous transition from Peter Parker to Ben Reilly after the ‘Clone Saga’, but wasn’t as elegant an exit as Brian Michael Bendis‘ one for Ultimate Peter Parker. Dying in Aunt May’s arms after saving his loved ones is better than dying in the body of an enemy and just giving up and moving to the west coast. The change of primary universe status quo, plus some extra time and the issuing of Ultimate Spider-Man #19 didn’t go well for issue #18.
I’ve already blew my wad about how Miles Morales didn’t belong in the ‘Divided We Fall’ event because I thought we were going to get away from all that and discover what Spider-Woman had to tell Miles about their relationship. However, for some reason I can’t put my finger on, we get one more installment in the crossover with Miles wandering around empty fields and fighting a Giant Woman.
When we rejoin our hero, things are not going well for Miles Morales in the Hydra/American War that was mostly contained to the Ultimates book during the ‘Divided We Fall’ storyline. In the mystery of publishing schedules, we get the contributions of All-New Spider-Man to the Battle of Wyoming a few weeks after we got the conclusion to the greater story proper in Ultimates #18. It was fun seeing Miles in the background of Ultimates #17 when the Battle of Wyoming starts in that book, especially since Miles had just recently “joined” the Ultimates when his school was cancelled after America started busting into different factions. At least this issue makes sense of his absence in Ultimates #18.
I’m worried. I’m worried that they brought Miles in too late to the greater Ultimate Universe plot to use him effectively. This April, Reed Richards destroyed Washington DC and the majority of the America’s politicians. Meanwhile, Miles had yet to earn the web-shooters from Aunt May and we were still getting the Prowler storyline all wrapped up before we could jump into the Spider-Men crossover. There won’t be a test, I’m just mentioning how the Ultimate titles were working earlier this year. The Ultimates were around, the Ultimate X-Men were around and Peter Parker’s replacement was in the skies of New York, but never the three met until ‘Divided We Fall,’ and that’s over now, with this, the most limp-wristed entry in the crossover event. SHIELD feels too big for Miles at this point and I don’t feel the destruction of Washington DC in his storyline.