Ed Note: This post spoils the f*ck out of one scene in Spider-Man: Homecoming. If you haven't seen it yet, and don't want to be spoiled, stop reading right now.
About a week and a half before Spider-Man: Homecoming hit theaters, a small, movie-loving squad from the Complex bullpen made its way to a theater to catch an advanced screening of the film, featuring a Spider-Man I've been enamored with since Captain America: Civil War. My love for Homecoming increased when I visited the set in August 2016, but I still wasn't prepared for the twists and turns, which included a small but interesting performance by Donald Glover.
During the lead-up to the film, I questioned who Donald Glover would be playing, with everyone from the son of dude who runs The Daily Bugle to Miles Morales being thrown into the running. Essentially, Glover could've been any black guy Spider-Man interacted with, or someone else entirely. I won't name names, but one Complex staffer might've been sitting next to me and saw my excitement when Glover, who was playing Aaron Davis, mentioned that he had a nephew that lived in the area that Spider-Man operated in. See, as a Marvel Comics head, I knew Aaron Davis was the uncle of Miles Morales, who is the half-black, half-Hispanic Spider-Man that many people wanted Glover to portray. I also knew that I knew Glover would be playing Davis. So, I win.
After leaving the theater, the conversation went from "OMGZ THIS MOVIE IS LITTY AF! HIGH-KEY TOP THREE MARVEL FILMS EVER?!?!" to "Wait, if Glover's Aaron Davis, this means Miles Morales has to be in the Spider-Man films at some point, right?" Thing is, no one really knows who Aaron Davis is, unless you're actually reading comic books, so that's where we come in. For those of you who don't get the possible implications of Donald Glover playing Aaron Davis in this Spider-Man film are, here's a look at who Aaron is and why you should give a fuck.
He's from Marvel's Ultimate Universe
While the world of Marvel Comics is now unified thanks to their massive Secret Wars event from 2015, there was a time where it was a multiverse, with a number of different universes operating parallel to each other. One of the main universes was the Ultimate universe, which housed the black Nick Fury (which was inspired by Samuel L. Jackson, who now portrays him in the Marvel films), as well as the half-black, half-Hispanic Miles Morales, aka that universe's Spider-Man. Aaron Davis is the brother of Jefferson Davis, who is Miles Morales' father.
Why this is important: Honestly, I'm not sure. Aaron being in Spider-Man: Homecoming and referencing his nephew who lives in New York City could be an intriguing Easter egg meant to toy with fans...or could mean that Miles Morales' Spider-Man could be stepping up in the Spider-Man universe at some point.
He's a career criminal
Back in the day, Aaron and Jefferson used to fuck around in the city on some burglary shit. For a while, it was good for the both of them, but Jefferson's life took a different path when he was arrested and ultimately (no pun intended) became an informant for Nick Fury, feeding Fury intel on the seedy underworld. After years of working for the gangs while giving S.H.I.E.L.D. what they wanted in terms of information, Jefferson ended up leaving the life.
Aaron, on the other hand, kept it up, becoming the Prowler and taking on bigger jobs to net him loads of income by using his skills in thievery, martial arts, and acrobatics to give him a leg up over the competition. It was something Jefferson despised; Aaron's ways infuriated him so much that he forbid Miles from hanging out with his uncle Aaron.
Why this is important: Aaron being a criminal makes his actions in Homecoming, where he's fishing for illegal weapons, make sense.
Miles Morales' hung out with his uncle anyways
Miles is a good kid. Hell, he has great power that he tries to use with great responsibility. Thing is, he's still a kid, and he's cool with his uncle Aaron, which places him in his uncle's care (and his apartment) at times.
Why this is important: Well, for one, it sheds some light on Aaron's comments about his nephew in Homecoming; B, you'll see...
He's the reason Miles became Spider-Man
So here's where everything comes to a head. Aaron Davis, aka the Prowler, jacked some tech from Osborn Industries for Roxxon. Unbeknownst to Aaron, in the bag that was carrying the tech from Osborn Industries was a spider that was infected with the OZ formula, aka the serum that turns regular-ass humans into beings like the Green Goblin. One day, when Miles was chilling in his uncle's crib, the spider in the bag ended up biting him, giving Miles the powers that made him the Spider-Man!
After settling his business with the Scorpion (a.k.a. Maximus Gargan, a feared mob boss in the Ultimate universe) and the Tinkerer, Aaron realized that the same spider that bit Peter Parker to make him Spider-Man also bit Miles, granting him the same powers.
Why this is important: Duh...also, this could make for a dope movie in Sony's Spider-Man universe (which would make Donald Glover a pretty lit antagonist/main villain), especially since they bypassed the origin story (for the win!) with Homecoming. Also, it's interesting to note that Homecoming alludes to Gargan as the Scorpion in a post-credits scene, although that might be more of the main Marvel timeline Scorpion and not the mob boss version of Scorpion.
He tried blackmailing Miles
With his knowledge about who Miles really was, Aaron pulled a dickhead move, making his superpowered nephew help him take out his competition, including the Scorpion. Miles wasn't feeling it, and gave Aaron an ultimatum: leave NYC and the family, or deal with Spider-Man. Aaron wasn't with it, forcing Miles to battle his uncle. At one point, one of Aaron's vibro-shock gauntlets exploded, severely injuring Aaron; Aaron later died from those injuries.
The wild shit? Miles' dad Jefferson, who doesn't know that Miles is Spider-Man, ended up hating Spider-Man for causing his brother Aaron's death.
Why this is important: Doesn't this make for an ill story, especially for Glover? We get the sense that he's here for his family in Homecoming, then some point down the line we're introduced to Miles and see this tragic story unspool, climaxing with an epic battle between Miles and Aaron that takes Aaron's life. It was pristine comic book storytelling, and would be even doper as a movie.
Ultimately (again, no pun intended), things might not happen like this. This all could be me jumping the gun at an intriguing Easter egg that Marvel and Sony placed in there for marks like me to get excited about in theaters. [Editor's Note: He totally shouted.] Well, you won, but hopefully, this isn't the end of Glover in Sony's Spider-Man universe or what Glover means for this series.