'Spider-Man: Homecoming' Reveals There Is a Second Spider-Man Somewhere in New York City
By John Boone
There are plenty of bit players in Spider-Man: Homecoming whose names will be familiar to comic book fans -- the Tinkerer, the Shocker and could Tiffany Espensen's Cindy eventually be revealed as Cindy Moon aka Silk? One of the most significant inclusions, though, is Aaron Davis (Donald Glover), a low-level criminal who appears only briefly in the movie.
Minor spoilers ahead for Spider-Man: Homecoming.
In one of Glover's scenes, Davis is confronted by Spidey (Tom Holland) about black market alien technology being dealt in New York City. Davis offhandedly replies, "I don't want those weapons around. I got a nephew in the neighborhood."
While Aaron Davis isn't actually all that important of a character himself, comic fans won't need to be reminded that he is uncle to Miles Morales, or Ultimate Spider-Man. Davis, who goes by the alias the Prowler, breaks into Oscorp in one storyline and unwittingly steals a genetically enhanced spider. When Miles pays his uncle a visit, the spider bites him and he gains super powers of his own. (Including the ability to climb walls.) Now, without getting too far ahead of ourselves, Peter Parker eventually dies in the comics -- spoiler alert -- and Miles inherits the mantle, donning a black and red suit, as opposed to Spider-Man's classic red and blue.
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So, does Miles existence foretell Peter's doom? It's far too early to say -- Holland has at least one more solo Spidey movies, in addition to appearances in Avengers: Infinity War and then the untitled fourth Avengers movie. Meanwhile, Sony has announced an animated film from Phil Lord and Christopher Miller that will feature Miles as Spider-Man. (The Get Down's Shameik Moore will voice the part.)
Still, for fans who petitioned Marvel Studios to choose Miles, who happens to be half black and half Puerto Rican, over another reboot fronted by Peter Parker, it's good to know he is out there. Kevin Feige, the head of Marvel Studios, told ScreenCrush that line of dialogue is indeed intended to confirm Miles Morales existence within the Marvel Cinematic Universe: "Anything that’s happened in the books is potential material for us...But we definitely want you to go 'He's there. He's there somewhere.'"
(Fun fact: Brian Michael Bendis, who created Miles Morales, said Glover was an inspiration for the character, and the actor, after years of campaigning to play Spider-Man, voiced Miles in Ultimate Spider-Man: Web Warriors.)
There is another fun casting in Homecoming that you may not have noticed. After dismantling the "Training Wheels Protocol" on his Stark-developed Spidey suit, Peter gets assistance from the computerized voice he calls "Suit Lady," before nicknaming her Karen. The voice of Karen is provided by Academy Award winner Jennifer Connelly.
This isn't Connelly's first Marvel movie, though it is her first in the MCU. The actress played Betty Ross in Ang Lee's Hulk back in 2003 -- the one that starred Eric Bana as Bruce Banner and was later rebooted with Edward Norton as the green guy and Liv Tyler as Dr. Elizabeth Ross. (Before Mark Ruffalo was recast as the definitive MCU Hulk and Betty Ross was never seen again.)
Better still, there is the cute connection that might explain Connelly's voice work here. She is married to Paul Bettany, who voiced Iron Man's right hand AI, J.A.R.V.I.S., before starring as Vision in Avengers: Age of Ultron. Perhaps someday Karen will join the MCU in the flesh, too, and Connelly will get the chance to shoot a laser beam out of her forehead.