Comics

Spider-Man: School of Hard Knocks

Brian Michael Bendis breaks down the labyrinthine life of Miles Morales!

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Life can be complicated for a teenager who counts being a super hero as one of his extracurricular activities. And nobody knows that better than Miles Morales.

Juggling school, friends, love interests, and parents with a life as Spider-Man might finally be too much for Miles—and on October 4, writer Brian Michael Bendis and artist Nico Leon test the Webbed Wonder’s limits in SPIDER-MAN #21!

As Miles feels the weight of his alter ego more than ever, we asked Brian what it must be like coming of age while living a super hero life.

Marvel.com: What are the challenges Miles faces on a daily basis?

Brian Michael Bendis: It’s never been more complicated. Like every teenager in the United States, he lives a very complicated life full of responsibilities he didn’t have just months before. The Spider-Man part of his life could easily be a stand-in for sports or arts or social responsibilities—it takes up so much time that it consumes all of the energy in his life and he has almost nothing left for anything else. After years of this, it starts to catch up with him in a gigantic way.

Marvel.com: From getting involved with Hammerhead to being arrested, Miles has had a lot to handle lately. How does Miles deal with the difficulty of being pulled in a million different directions at once? 

Brian Michael Bendis: It’s definitely illuminating the fact that something’s wrong. Something feels off. He’s not bringing his “A” game right now, but he’s looking into why and looking to make some changes.

Marvel.com: How do you approach writing Miles’ specific set of teenage problems?

Brian Michael Bendis: Most teenagers’ lives are so complicated. That’s why so many people relate to the SPIDER-MAN franchise—they know that even if they had spider powers, as cool as they are, it wouldn’t make life easier. Most people know that if they had powers, it would probably make their life more complicated and more frustrating. People read Spider-Man to have that cathartic experience.

Marvel.com: What will Miles do to address these issues and reorganize his life? 

Brian Michael Bendis: Starting with GENERATIONS: SPIDER-MAN and heading into SPIDER-MEN II and then the main title, we’re going to see one of the most exciting changes to a character. We’re going to see him take it on. We’re going to see him take life by the horns and try something that no one else in Marvel comics has tried.

Brian Michael Bendis and artist Nico Leon present SPIDER-MAN #21 on October 4!