Sure, Marvel fans are excited for Spider-Man: Homecoming to hit theaters in July. But there’s one more web-slinging hero making his debut in a new form of media this summer – Miles Morales.
Morales has been Spidey in the comics for some time. He lives in a timeline where OG Spider-Man Peter Parker has died, and has taken up his mantle.
Now Morales is getting his own novel, and we’ve got the cover art.
Miles is half black, half Puerto Rican; his culture is extremely important to him as a character. He’s also a teenager trying to make it through high school in one piece while also keeping New York City safe. (A tale as old as time, amirite?)
Award-winning YA author Jason Reynolds (When I Was the Greatest, Ghost) has penned Miles Morales: Spider-Man. It’s a story about Miles’ troubles with a teacher who seems to have it out for him, as well as his struggle to find his identity as both a hero and a normal teenager.
Check out Kadir Nelson’s cover, which gets straight to the soul of the character:
Reynolds says that the heritage of Miles Morales plays a huge role in this story, as it should. “Miles being black and Puerto Rican changes everything, because it has to,” he explains. “A brown face from Brooklyn who goes to a wealthy boarding school creates an extremely layered experience, and that’s without even getting into Miles’s actual personality.”
Miles’ culture influences every part of him, from how he walks and talks to what is expected of him by his family and community. “All of these things have to affect how he is Spider-Man, and furthermore, how he feels about being Spider-Man,” Reynolds says.
There’s a reason this book is called Miles Morales: Spider-Man and not the other way around. The story focuses on Miles as opposed to his superhero counterpart.
“The idea of the mask in any scenario has always fascinated me,” says Reynolds. “Not only does it protect identity, it also allows one to hide … There’s the Miles the mask is protecting, and also the Miles hiding behind the mask. And it’s that Miles – the one hiding – I was interested in.”
Cover artist Kadir Nelson is a proud long-time fan of the friendly neighborhood hero.
“Spider-Man has been my favorite superhero since I was a kid, and I was excited to see that a young brown kid who looks a lot like my young self, and my nine-year old son, has become the newest iteration of the character,” Nelson says. “I’m very happy to see more diversity in the world of superheroes, and I’m sure it will inspire a whole new generation of fans.”
It was important to Nelson that he portray Miles as a normal kid on the cover art. He wanted him to be relatable for young kids who want a superhero that they can truly identify with on a cultural level — and wants readers to feel like they’ve caught a special moment of Spider-Man in action.
You can pick up Miles Morales: Spider-Man on August 1, 2017.