When Marvel rebooted the Spider-Man movie franchise, Donald Glover fans campaigned for him to be cast as the wisecracking web slinger. They’ll finally get their wish on the small screen. Glover will voice a black Spider-Man AKA Mile Morales on the Disney XD cartoon Ultimate Spider-Man: Web-Warriors. Peter Parker (Drake Bell) travels to a parallel universe where he died and was replaced by Morales. The character debuted in the Ultimate Spider-Man comic book and was actually inspired by Glover according to creator Brian Michael Bendis.
Glover still wants to don the tights himself but he doesn’t consider this settling. The actor says Spider-Man is favorite superhero because he’s poor, funny and most of all relatable.
“That’s the great part about the Spider-Man costume: He can be anybody,” Glover told USA Today. “Spider-Man could be a girl. Spider-Man could be an old man. You don’t know. So I just tried to be as me as possible, because you’re always just going to bring it back to yourself when you watch the show.”
Miles is just as enamored with Spider-Man as Glover and it comes across in his performance says Stephen Wacker, vice president of Marvel Television’s animation division. Glover also has a high pitched voice that suits the 13-year-old, who talks with the proportionate speed of a spider.
“If you’ve read Miles Morales comics, Donald’s voice nails what you’ve been reading,” Wacker attests.
Marvel makes a clever social commentary on race by not actually bringing it up in the episode. When Miles unmasks, Peter is shocked not by his ethnicity but his age.
“You’re Spider-Man?” Peter skeptically asks. “But you’re so.. young.”
Mile Morales won’t debut until the Spider-Verse arc later this season. Peter Parker will team up with other versions of Spider-Man including Spider-Man 2099, Spider-Girl, Sypder-Knight, Spider-Man Noir and Spider-Ham AKA Peter Porker, an anthropomorphic pig!
Hopefully, Parker will be just as open-minded when he meets Porker. Ultimate Spider-Ham AKA Miles Morhames calls Doctor Doom racist when he uses the “S” word in Ultimate FF #5.
Ultimate Spider-Man: Web-Warriors premieres August 31, Sunday 9AM on Disney XD.
UPDATE: Ultimate Spider-Man becomes a series regular in Marvel’s Spider-Man.