An excerpt from my script review for Spider-Man: Into the Spider-verse which will be available 01/01/19:
3.) Quality of Characters
Miles v. Jefferson v. Aaron.
This triangle had spectacular possibilities.
Miles and his dad, Jefferson, don’t see eye to eye, especially with the new school he’s attending in regards to his “street” art, so Miles confides in his Uncle Aaron who encourages that artwork.
And the point I want to make here is that I was very worried that Uncle Aaron would be a typical “lowlife” bad guy stereotype.
Despite his being a criminal, he didn’t encourage Miles to do criminal things, aside from maybe the legally ambiguous subway art.
Aaron also didn’t belittle his brother Jefferson in front of his nephew, instead telling Miles that they both simply went their separate ways. In addition to that, Aaron hints that this new school is something worthwhile for Miles, although playing it off that he should go simply for the female talent.
Aaron and Miles’ relationship felt genuine, even more so than Miles and Jefferson towards the end perhaps.
So when Aaron and Miles collide as Spider-Man and The Prowler, and it leads to Aaron’s death, I was excited.
Not in some weird, morbid way, but it was a brand new take on the Uncle Ben death in the other timelines.
Miles caused Aaron’s death inadvertently, but when Jefferson finds them both in the alley, he should think Spider-Man killed his brother.
Oh shit! That’s great conflict right there.
Unfortunately it’s never really acted upon (because kids movie!) and instead Jefferson comes to witness Spider-Man stop the Kingpin, and now they’ll agree to disagree as crime fighting buddies!
That’s a missed opportunity right there, since in addition to the new Uncle Ben spin, Jefferson had the potential to be a new J. Jonah Jameson, but with a law enforcement angle which makes him a bigger threat to Spider-Man.
Lastly, and I understand this comic version came out before the movie, but the Hispanic angle felt a bit forced. I remember in the early 2000s Marvel rebranded some of their heroes targeting different demographics via their Ultimate reboots, and that’s great.
Only there’s a difference between catering to a new audience and pandering to them.
(Sidenote – Nic Cage’s Spider-Man Noir was amazing!)
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