In a case of life finally imitating art after art imitated life, nerd icon Donald Glover will provide the voice for an alternate universe’s version of Spider-Man on Disney’s Ultimate Spider-Man cartoon. With the revelation that Glover will voice Miles Morales, Ultimate Spider-Man has finally looped back on itself in a way that’s rarely seen outside of time-travel stories in comic books.
If you’re wondering what we’re talking about, here’s a condensed version. A couple of years back, when Sony was casting The Amazing Spider-Man, some Internet fans started a movement to see Community‘s Donald Glover cast in the role of Peter Parker, Spider-Man’s alter ego. The thinking was that Spider-Man could be anybody, and so began the flood of memes and photoshops showing the nerdy Glover wearing Spider-Man’s blue and red gear.
Unlike most movements on the internet, though, the Glover love actually resulted in something tangible. Brian Michael Bendis, creator of the Ultimate Spider-Man comics – which focus on an alternate universe version of Spider-Man – was inspired enough by the visions of Glover as Spidey that, when he killed off that universe’s version of Peter Parker, he replaced him with Miles Morales, a half-black, half-Puerto Rican teenager.
The Glover-inspired Miles has had some rough going adjusting to life in the webs – losing not one but two people close to him in the course of his origin. But he’s coming into his own of late, so much so that Miles’ alternate universe stories have been demonstrably better than everything regular Marvel Universe Peter Parker has been doing in his own comics. And if you disagree with that, we should have words.
In any case, now the time has come for Miles Morales’ Spider-Man to pop up in the Disney cartoon, Ultimate Spider-Man. That meant that Miles had to have himself a voice, of course, and who better to voice Miles than the actor that inspired Miles’ creation, one Donald Glover.
Ultimate Spider-Man’s Peter Parker is hopping across universes in the cartoon, and he happens across a universe where Parker has died and Morales has taken up the mantle of Spider-Man. It’s all part of a series called “Web Warriors,” which will see Spider-man meeting different incarnations of himself across multiple universes.
And how are the people that inspired this whole thing taking the news? Glover is ecstatic, as Spider-Man is his favorite character.
I don’t think it’s hit me necessarily yet how big of a deal that is,” Glover told USA Today. “I’m very grateful for that, and it’s cool to read the comic now.”
Bendis, writer of Ultimate Spider-Man, revealed on his tumblr account that he’s been holding out on us.
“I literally have been sitting on this [news] all year,” Bendis wrote. “I am so glad this is out because I could not hold it in any longer.
“When miles first debuted, Donald’s name was being dropped in the press a lot, which was completely out of my control, and I always worried that he may not appreciate having his name out there with something he has nothing to do with… so for me it was a relief that he accepted the gig because it said that he didn’t mind being associated with the character. I hope that makes sense.”
[Lead image via ComicVine.]