Beginning this week, Marvel fans prepare for what promises to be one of the most exciting summer events in recent history: Civil War II! And just like the past super hero fallout, this one promises to see at least one webslinger standing in the middle of the heat!
Before the start of Civil War II, and before it reaches the pages of SPIDER-MAN #6 this July, we spoke with the event and series writer, Brian Michael Bendis, as well as the artist for the tie-in issue, Nico Leon, about what we can expect when Miles Morales finds himself in the midst of a super hero war.
Marvel.com: Brian, the last time we spoke, you were just getting ready to begin working on SPIDER-MAN. How have things been since closing down the Ultimate Universe and bringing Miles over to the All New, All Different Marvel Universe?
Brian Michael Bendis: It has gone just about as amazing as one could have hoped. We have increased our readership immensely. Miles has found his way into the Marvel Universe with more grace than one would have thought possible. The conversation about the character and his place in the Marvel Universe and pop culture is as potent as ever. Every day people speak to me about Miles with such reverence that I am overwhelmed.
And Miles is a “Build a Bear” now!!!
Marvel.com: The true mark of success! Now, looking back at the death of the Ultimate Peter Parker five years ago next month, which I’ll add still hurts, we learned Nick Fury saw Spider-Man as being a future member of the Ultimates, and even leading them one day. With Miles as an Avenger today, do you see this as a sort of fulfillment of that dream?
Brian Michael Bendis: I think Civil War II and other things happening over the next couple of years will reveal things about Miles and his potential in the Marvel Universe that people might not have even thought possible with Ultimate Peter Parker.
Marvel.com: In the spirit of reminiscing, Spider-Man stood in the center of the super hero civil war and acted as the moral compass for the two warring sides 10 years ago. Fast forward to 2016, and we find ourselves at the start of a second super hero civil war. Where do either of you see Miles in the midst of this fallout? Will he play a similar role as Peter Parker or does he have another part to play?
Brian Michael Bendis: We’re very proud that the second civil war is in no way shape or form a rehash of the original story. Miles will have a part in Civil War II, and it will be a substantial one, but it is not the same as the one Peter Parker had. I don’t want to say anymore because the spoilers but everyone at Marvel is curious to see what the reaction to all of this is.
Nico Leon: I think the things have changed a lot since the first Civil War, not only inside the Marvel Universe, but also in the world at large. Society is dealing with different problems in 2016, and our readership has expanded and changed a lot, too—for the better! Given this new context, while it is Civil War II, I think—talking as a fan—people should avoid side by side comparisons with first [event]. Readers should expect excitement and a lot of surprises for Miles, but expecting him to fill the same role that Peter Parker did in the original event would feel forced in 2016, and it would prevent Civil War II from standing on its own.
Marvel.com: What appeal is there for Miles to side with Captain Marvel? Iron Man?
Brian Michael Bendis: One of the big side stories of Civil War II is how the younger generation of heroes like Miles, Ms. Marvel, and Nova are going to be faced with making some hard choices that may fly in the face of heroes that they admire or aspire to be. It is a very familiar coming of age moment but with a very special Marvel flair. I’m actually very excited about just this possibility.
Marvel.com: Brian, what risks and dangers does Miles Morales face, knowing you’ve already filled your allowed quota for killing Spider-Men?
Brian Michael Bendis: Quota? I have filled no quota. [Laughs]
Marvel.com: Shifting gears to an only mildly safer territory, you’re pitting Miles against the Black Cat and sticking with the original intent to keep SPIDER-MAN operating on a street level. Is this continued approach the plan for Civil War II, or do you look to shift things up?
Brian Michael Bendis: There will be a pretty big shake up for Miles coming out the other side – and not what anyone is expecting. That I can promise you.
Marvel.com: Nico, of all the characters you’ve in the Marvel toy box, is there someone in SPIDER-MAN you haven’t gotten to tackle yet that we can expect to see?
Nico Leon: Well, I am not deep into the events of Civil War II yet—and if I were, I probably couldn’t say much [Laughs]—but what the fan in me most wants to see is the younger, inexperienced characters like Miles Morales, Kamala Khan, and Sam Alexander dealing with this huge event. Not only how they will react to the event, but also how they will respond to their heroes and mentors.
And I would love to see a Ms. Marvel, Silk, and Miles team-up!
Marvel.com: Before we wrap things up, let’s get personal for a minute. We know that CIVIL WAR II centers on a new Inhuman, Ulysses, who has the ability to see the future. Let’s say someone in our world gained the ability to see the future and opened the door for law enforcement to prevent crimes before they occur. Do you think we should arrest people for pre-crimes or no? Should a pre-criminal be remanded to the government or left free to operate on his or her own?
Nico Leon: The human mind can make decisions in less than a second, and in many scenarios, neither the victim nor the perpetrator would believe that a crime was about to happen until the instant that it does and not a moment before. So, I don’t think that arresting confused people would help law enforcement at all.
I wonder what would happen if, instead of having specialized crime prevention teams smashing down doors, there was a specialized team of “crime scene modifiers.” Instead of preventing the crimes themselves, they could modify the given situation and circumstances that lead to a crime being committed. In a shooting, for example, they could replace the real gun with an exact replica, which fires harmless paint bullets before the “future murderer” or “future victim” could notice. This team, being unnoticed, could prevent anybody from getting hurt on the scene, but still let the circumstances of the crime happen. Then, they could smash down the doors. I think that would cause fewer moral problems.
Brian Michael Bendis: My job is to present both sides of the debate.
SPIDER-MAN #6 place Miles Morales in the hands of Brian Michael Bendis and Nico Leon for Civil War II this July!