After losing his mother Rio during his battle with Venom, Miles Morales destroyed his costume and quit being Spider-Man, choosing to spend his time focusing on his family, school, and relationships outside of the superhero community. One year later, Miles’ friends tried and failed in their own way, to convince him to pick up the mantle once again. One of the biggest advocates being Jessica Drew aka Spider-Woman. Originally Miles’ biggest critic and vocal opponent, Jessica did everything in her power to convince Miles to come back, even leaving a new costume and web-shooters in a suitcase on his bed. But in the end, all it took was Jessica to let down her mask and guard, to tell Miles the truth about her connection to Peter Parker and why the world needed a Spider-Man now more than ever.
In the Ultimate Marvel Universe, a parallel Marvel Comics dimension created to introduce fans to modern and reimagined versions of classic characters separate from their mainstream counterparts, Jessica Drew is an agent of SHIELD as well as a member of the Ultimates. She is also a female clone of Peter Parker created by Doctor Octopus who has similar memories and powers as Peter who carried on as Spider-Woman especially after his death. Jessica was one of the first superheroes Miles ever met and had harsh words about the way he chose to continue Peter’s legacy. She continued to have strong reservations about him when they were forced to work together. In helping the Ultimates defeat Hydra, Jessica learned to have a better respect for Miles while promising to one-day answer questions about who she really is and her connection to Spider-Man.
In the ‘Spider-Man: No More‘ story-line by Brian Michael Bendis with art by David Marquez, Jessica, Gwen Stacey, and Ganke have all tried to motivate Miles to suit up again but he remains too traumatized by his mother’s death and his perceived role in it to break his promise to never do so again. When Jessica’s methods continue to hit the same wall, Miles finds her in his room, unmasked and ready to answer questions that she should have told him earlier. The former Spider-Man is shocked to learn that she’s a clone of Peter Parker, created from Peter’s DNA by people whose goal is to create the next Captain America. She pleads with Miles that Cloak and Dagger, the latest super-people to appear, will not be the last by companies like Roxxon unless someone like Miles stops them and their illegal activities.
Having teased this connection ever since Jessica crossed paths with Miles, this moment is poignant for both characters for different reasons. For Jessica, this is her realizing that telling the truth will motivate someone far more than pushing them toward a decision as Bendis explains the truth about her and why this situation is personal to her. She was created for the same reasons that Cloak and Dagger were, this ever-unattainable goal of creating the next Super Soldier which has given the world more problems instead of solutions in the form of metahuman criminals. Roxxon will remain unopposed and unchecked, with SHIELD even turning a blind eye due to their business arrangement, until someone stops them. Miles has constantly found himself struggling to honor his promise while he is still processing the burden of responsibility and loss that is as synonymous with Spider-Man as the web-patterned costume. What would his mother say if she found he had the choice to do the right thing but did nothing because of her?
In the end, Jessica’s plea that the world needs Spider-Man to stop such people gets through to Miles as he realizes that he can’t change the past. He’ll forever be haunted by the death of his mother but being a hero is about pushing past that loss and still aspiring to do the right thing. Leaving a note for his sleeping father, Miles Morales becomes Spider-Man once again and it’s all thanks to Spider-Woman… who may be more like Peter Parker than she wants to admit.