Spider-Man: Miles Morales does a fantastic job exploring the relationship between Miles and his uncle, the Prowler, without retreading old stories.
One of the challenges facing Insomniac Games in Spider-Man: Miles Morales was the handling of villain the Prowler, but his character ended up being really well done. Aaron Davis, also known as the Prowler, is a major part of Miles’ story. He was absolutely going to play a key role in the plot of Marvel’s Spider Man: Miles Morales, so it was incredibly important for Insomniac to find a more creative way to handle him than just copying what’s already been done.
[Warning: Spoilers for Spider-Man: Miles Morales and Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse below.]
With the recent rise in Miles Morales’ popularity, the Prowler was first introduced to many fans in Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse in a fairly simple way. In the movie, Miles finds himself being relentlessly pursued by the Prowler, whom he discovers is his uncle. Miles then reveals he’s Spider-Man, before Wilson Fisk shoots the Prowler for hesitating to kill Miles. Miles admires his uncle, and this effectively results in his version of Uncle Ben’s “responsibility” speech before Aaron dies. It was a simple storyline, but the surprise that the Prowler was Miles’ uncle is what made it work, since this was many people’s first real exposure to Miles.
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With Spider-Man: Miles Morales, it was clear that Insomniac would have to do something different with the Prowler to differentiate its take on Miles. With Miles’ father already dying in Marvel’s Spider-Man, there was no need for another dying mentor. Instead, the Prowler and Spider-Man learn each other’s secrets fairly early on. Miles looks to his uncle for guidance, and the Prowler manipulates that to continue his villainous ways, while attempting to help Miles avoid the blowback. When the two ultimately come to a conflict, Miles is the one who has an effect on his uncle, transforming him from a villain into an anti-hero. And with the Prowler surviving the events of the game, there’s a good chance he’ll be heard from later on.
How Spider-Man: Miles Morales’ Prowler Avoids The Uncle Ben Problem
Uncle Ben’s death is a staple of Peter Parker’s origin story, but it’s incredibly generic. Much like Batman’s parents’, the general audience has seen Uncle Ben’s death enough times in various media that everyone is sort of numb to it. Fans know it’s coming and pretty much exactly how it’s going to go down, so recent iterations of Peter Parker have chosen to just completely skip right past it, often loosely referencing it as an acknowledgement that the audience doesn’t need to see it again. With the recent surge in Miles Morales’ popularity, avoiding that situation with the Prowler should be a point of emphasis, and Spider-Man: Miles Morales should serve as a model for that.
A close family member being one of Spider-Man’s villains is a cool foundation to build on, and it makes for a much more interesting story. Miles is his own character, and he doesn’t have to follow the same path as Peter, which is why his relationship with his uncle is such a great dynamic to tackle in his story. The Prowler is starting to become an iconic villain for the wallcrawler, and he’s only going to get better if iterations like Spider-Man: Miles Morales continue to tell interesting stories involving the character.
Next: Spider-Man: Miles Morales Ending Explained
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