Warning: beware of full spoilers for Spider-Man: Miles Morales below!
Is The Tinkerer Actually Dead?
Though The Tinkerer is ostensibly the main antagonist of Spider-Man: Miles Morales, she’s really more of a tragic character who does the wrong things for the right reasons. Luckily, Phin redeems herself in the climax of the game, even though that means sacrificing her own life to save Miles and the entire borough of Harlem from a destructive Nuform detonation. But did Phin actually die?It certainly seems like it, at least based on the post-credits scene showing Miles leaving his and Phin’s shared science trophy at Trinity Church. Still, this is the Marvel Universe, and if we’ve learned anything from the past six decades of Spider-Man comics, it’s that almost no one stays dead forever.
There are certainly ways Phin could be brought back in a future sequel. We still don’t know what effect Nuform has on the human body, apart from making scientists like Phin’s brother Rick and other researchers extremely sick. Could Nuform transform human biology into something more, in the same way the Terrigen Mists turned Kamala Khan into Ms. Marvel in the Marvel’s Avengers game?
We could see Phin being reborn as a superhuman character in a Spider-Man sequel. As it is, though she calls herself The Tinkerer, Phin only shares a loose resemblance to the villain from the comics. Phin could wind up morphing into another Spider-Man villain entirely. Molten Woman? The Living Laser? The Spot? Anything’s possible.
The Tinkerer’s Long History as a Spider-Man Villain
Does Miles Still Have a Secret Identity?
It’s just as well the game focuses so much attention on Miles’ efforts to make Harlem a better place and grow closer to his new community. By the end, Miles is outed to his mother and several other Harlem residents. But in a twist that seems inspired by the iconic train sequence in 2004’s Spider-Man 2, these New Yorkers agree to keep that secret in tribute to their shared defender.
It would be nice to believe everyone involved will stay true to their word and Miles’ identity will remain secret outside of his neighborhood. But realistically, it’s probably only a matter of time before someone spills the beans. That’s how Daredevil got outed in the comics. First a drug-addicted Karen Page sells Daredevil’s identity in exchange for a fix, which results in Kingpin learning the identity of his most hated enemy. Years later, that information goes wide when would-be Kingpin assassin Sammy Silke needs to cut a deal with the FBI. It only takes one Harlemite desperate for money or fame for Miles’ secret to vanish overnight.
This definitely feels like a plot point that could be explored in a sequel. What happens when Miles’ identity is leaked and his friends and family are suddenly in the crossfire of every supervillain Spider-Man has ever inconvenienced? How will Peter Parker respond? This could be a way for Insomniac to highlight the growing disconnect between the two Spider-Men, with Miles becoming a true hero of the common man while Peter is more a rigid law and order type who often works directly alongside the police.
If anything, the game even seems to hint at Miles facing a secret identity crisis down the road. One of the game’s main sidequest subplots features Miles foiling an imprisoned Kingpin’s attempt to snatch up cheap real estate. Kingpin even threatens Miles with the reminder that his loved ones could pay the price for his actions. That seems like pretty clear setup to us.
Venom, Lizard and Green Goblin in Spider-Man 2
The first Spider-Man game ended with an intriguing bit of setup for a sequel, revealing that Norman Osborn’s terminally ill son Harry is being kept in stasis in an OsCorp lab. Harry is bonded to a black substance we can only assume is the Venom symbiote. Spider-Man: Miles Morales follows up on that tease with a similar scene, as Norman demands his son be woken up even as Dr. Curt Connors insists it’s too dangerous.
Once again, this strongly suggests Harry Osborn and Venom will both have key roles to play in Spider-Man 2. In fact, it looks as though they’ll be one and the same. Insomniac may be drawing inspiration from several different sources for its depiction of Venom. The idea of Harry, rather than Eddie Brock, becoming the main host for Venom was introduced in the animated series Ultimate Spider-Man. The games also seem to be drawing from Marvel’s Ultimate Universe comics, where the Venom symbiote isn’t an alien entity but an artificial biotech project originally designed to cure cancer and other maladies.
We’ll be interested to see if and how Insomniac ties Green Goblin and The Lizard into this Harry/Venom plot twist. Though the first game reveals Peter has been active as Spider-Man for eight years, it seems Norman Osborn has yet to become Green Goblin. Similarly, though most incarnations of the franchise show Connors accidentally transforming himself into The Lizard in an ill-fated attempt to regrow his missing arm, there’s no evidence that Spidey has clashed with this villain either.
Update: Readers have pointed out The Lizard is referenced in the first game during the costume party mission, so it would seem he has squared off with Spidey in the past. The fact that Connors is working for Osborn now could be a sign his past experiments have resulted in him being ostracized by the rest of the scientific community.
It’s possible both Green Goblin and Lizard will be major antagonists in the next Spider-Man game. Moreover, the Venom symbiote may turn out to be the source of both Norman’s Goblin powers and Connors’ Lizard transformation.
Marvel’s Spider-Man: Miles Morales Review Screenshots
Spider-Man v. Spider-Man
One of the more interesting questions left unanswered at the end of Spider-Man: Miles Morales involves the future dynamic between Peter and Miles. With the game ultimately proving Miles as a worthy heir to the Spider-Man mantle, what happens when both heroes have to share the same city? Will they continue to be best buds, or will something crop up to drive a wedge between them?
We’ve already touched on the idea of Peter and Miles being divided by ideological differences. What if the sequel draws inspiration from a storyline like Civil War, putting Peter and Miles on opposite sides of the debate over the Superhuman Registration Act? Miles’ secret identity troubles could easily feed into that conflict, forcing him to become a fugitive from the law and Peter to hunt him down.
There are certainly other ways the sequel could pit one Spider-Man against the other. Harry Osborn would be one obvious culprit. Maybe Peter will be torn between his loyalty to his old friend and the need to bring a Venom-possessed villain to justice. If the game is anything like most versions of the Spider-Man mythos, Peter himself may fall prey to Venom’s influence at some point.It’s also worth remembering that the first game’s extensive library of alternate costumes covers almost all of Spidey’s comic book history except two key areas – the black costume and the Superior Spider-Man era. It’s pretty obvious by now the former was intentional, as Insomniac is building to something big on the Venom front. So why shouldn’t we assume the same is true for Superior Spider-Man? Given the first game’s heavy focus on the Peter/Otto Octavius relationship, it’s not hard to imagine the sequel adapting the infamous storyline where a dying Otto hijacks Peter’s body. Especially since Superior Spider-Man writer Dan Slott had a hand in shaping the game’s story.
Whether thanks to Venom’s influence or a Superior Spider-Man-inspired scenario, we could see the next game pitting Miles against a morally compromised Peter Parker. This Spider-bromance may not last forever.
It may be a while before we learn what Sony and Insomniac have planned for Marvel’s Spider-Man 2. In the meantime, be sure to check out IGN’s review of Spider-Man: Miles Morales and see how the PS4 and PS5 versions compare. Then watch an iconic moment from Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse recreated within the game.
Jesse is a mild-mannered staff writer for IGN. Allow him to lend a machete to your intellectual thicket by following @jschedeen on Twitter.