Peter Parker will always be Spider-Man, but I remember picking up the first issue of Miles Morales: Ultimate Spider-Man and thinking about the amazing Spider-Man stories that could be told through the young Miles Morales. But, of course, I wasn’t the only one. Miles Morales fan Tito Guillen (and his amazing friends) brings a new take on the ultimate web-slinger in the short film Miles Behind: A Spider-Man Fan Film.
In the Guillen-verse, Peter Parker is dead, and the Spidey-torch has been passed to Miles (Eb Mensah) as he protects the streets of New York while taking on the negative press from J. Jonah Jameson (voiced by BJ Whimipey) at the same time.
Meanwhile, a frustrated youth, Peter (Ralphy Miracle), was just fired from his comic book store job. Peter is then robbed at knifepoint on the way home by a mugger Dan (Jonathan Nickerson). Spider-Man arrives just in time to take Dan down. However, as Spider-Man leaves, Dan antagonizes Peter. Just as the now angry Peter grabs Dan’s knife, Mile’s cop father, Jefferson Davis (Charles Andrew Payne), arrives with guns drawn, and a standoff occurs.
“…puts Spider-Man right in the middle of the tension between the police and the realities of being black in America.”
Miles Behind puts Spider-Man right in the middle of the tension between the police and the realities of being black in America. Ripped from the headlines, Miles is now placed in a position to deescalate the tense moment by reasoning between the police, who has labeled him a dangerous vigilante, and a victim, who believes “heroes” don’t understand the plight of minorities in American cities.
I’m always impressed with the guerilla-filmmaking style of superhero fan films. Like most fan films, their meager budgets can only cover a millisecond of the necessary CG effects to make it a Spider-Man movie. So instead, the story, written by Guillen, Mensah, and Ashley Laurenson, puts its spotlight on the heroic fight scene between Miles and the mugger, leading to a touching moment between Miles and his father later that night at home.
"…always impressed with the guerilla-filmmaking style of superhero fan films."