Don’t get your hopes up. This is still going to be a kids Disney XD show. But Donald Glover, will be joining Ultimate Spider-Man as Miles Morales, the new Spider-Man who briefly took over from Peter Parker as Spider-Man in recent Marvel comics. The character might not be a mainstay, having been introduced quite recently during a time when very few people are reading actual comic books, but his role out to the small screen means that Marvel feels he is as ready for the big leagues as he can be without being able to sell his own movie (which just could happen, if only in the distant future, the way Sony’s development plans for Spider-Man 3 seem to be faltering). Miles Morales made waves when he replaced Peter Parker, mostly because he wasn’t white, but also because he was brand new teenager without all of Peter Parker’s baggage from fifty years of saving New York and without all the complicated emotions of (another) rebooted Peter Parker who has no history with all of the fantastic characters he’s been around for so many decades.
Donald Glover’s voice and new character are just one part of the new push on Disney and Marvel’s part to drastically expand the Marvel universe in the show this season, with new heroes and villains showing up at every turn and pushing the show into a brave new world that Disney hopes will make all Marvel fans happy, perhaps an acknowledgement that, despite the fact that these shows are marketed towards children, adults enthused with the Marvel universe have been known to watch more than occasionally.
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