Donald Glover plays Aaron Davis in Spider-Man: Homecoming, and there’s a scene in which he refers to his nephew. This is meant to excite the comic book fans in the audience, so what exactly is this in reference to? Who is Aaron Davis’ nephew?
In the comics, Aaron Davis’ nephew is Miles Morales, a.k.a. Spider-Man. In 2011, Marvel Comics introduced a new Spider-Man: Miles Morales, who takes over for Peter Parker after Parker’s death. Morales was the first black Spider-Man.
Miles Morales’ origin story in the comics ties directly into Aaron Davis. After Peter Parker’s death, Oscorp gets Parker’s blood and tries to use it to create a formula to give someone else Spider-Man’s powers. Aaron Davis, a burglar known as The Prowler, steals this formula, and a mutated spider from Oscorp gets into his bag. Later, Miles Morales visits his uncle Aaron Davis’ apartment, and Morales is bitten by this spider. This is how he becomes Spider-Man.
In the lead up to The Amazing Spider-Man, the 2012 Sony reboot, an online campaign was started to get Donald Glover cast as Spider-Man. The campaign got so big that it was even referenced on Community, the show Glover was starring in at the time; in a season 2 episode, Glover wears Spider-Man pajamas. Ultimately, the role of Spider-Man went to Andrew Garfield. But a year later, it was announced that Marvel Comics would be introducing a black Spider-Man, Miles Morales, and the authors of this comic drew inspiration from Glover. Glover would go on to voice Miles Morales in two episodes of Ultimate Spider-Man.
Unfortunately, Glover’s time to play Spider-Man has likely passed, especially considering Marvel wanted a young actor for Homecoming and Glover is 32 years old. However, fans have now gotten their wish of seeing Glover in a Spider-Man movie, and although he is a bit too old to portray Morales on screen, as a nod to the campaign that took the Internet by storm seven years ago, Marvel has cast Glover as Morales’ uncle, Aaron Davis.