This Marvel’s Spider-Man: Miles Morales article contains spoilers.
Insomniac’s Marvel’s Spider-Man: Miles Morales tells an epic but personal story over the course of its approximately 15-hour campaign, which ends in explosive fashion, with Miles bidding farewell to his tragically misguided best friend Phin Mason/The Tinkerer high above Roxxon Plaza when she gives her life to set right all the reckless things she did in her revenge crusade against the evil tech corporation.
It’s a great game in and of itself, but it’s also a part of the larger Spidey-verse that Insomniac is building with its Marvel games, with references to Peter’s own story arc subtly interwoven throughout Miles’ journey — there’s an Otto Octavius flashback cameo, the phone call with Wilson Fisk, Peter’s memory-lane training holograms, just to name a few.
But the biggest tie-in with the mainline Spider-Man storyline comes in the form of the game’s biggest post-credits scene. It’s presented from the perspective of none other than Harry Osborne, who’s still floating in that vat of mysterious green liquid from the first game. His father Norman Osborn walks into the lab where Harry’s being held and demands that resident geneticist Curt Connors finally let his son out of his emerald prison.
Despite reporting that Harry’s vitals are stable, Connors insists that it may be dangerous to let him out prematurely. But Norman won’t take no for an answer. “GET HIM OUT! NOW!” he screams, before walking over to Harry and giving him a knowing, only-slightly-demented fatherly look.
The scene picks up a narrative thread from the first game, which actually only barely features Harry. In that game, Peter and MJ believe that Harry has been gone of his own volition on a big business trip to Europe. It’s MJ who eventually discovers that Harry wasn’t actually on a trip at all, at least not in the way they thought.
We also learn that Harry’s mother, Emily, died from a rare condition: rapid-onset neurodegeneration. When Norman discovered that Harry had it, too, he arranged for his son to be treated with a concoction called GR-27. It wasn’t developed in time to save Emily, but Norman was able to find a doctor to administer it to Harry (his actual “big trip.”)
Unfortunately, lab techs found GR-27 to be incredibly dangerous, capable of igniting a global epidemic. They nicknamed it “Devil’s Breath” and it was subsequently used as a biological terror weapon by Otto Octavius on New York City, ultimately leading to the death of Peter’s Aunt May and the shameful resignation of Norman as New York City Mayor, though he retains his position as head of Oscorp.
Fast-forward to the Marvel’s Spider-Man: Miles Morales post-credits scene, and it seems that Norman and Connors have found a way to bring Harry back from the brink. This is most likely the “Goblin Formula” from the comics, which gives the Green Goblin his powers (MJ also stumbled upon a prototype helmet in Norman’s apartment, which is all but destined to end up on Harry’s head). Harry’s Green Goblin turn was teased in the first game’s post-credits scene as well, as a black substance in Harry’s vat clung to Norman’s hand on the glass. It seems that in the inevitable Marvel’s Spider-Man sequel, we’re going to be treated to a Shakesperean showdown between best friends Harry/Green Goblin and Peter/Spider-Man that will undoubtedly result in heartbreaking casualties if you consider who the writers were willing to kill off in the first game…
Also of note in the scene is Dr. Curt Connors, who in the comics becomes the limb-regenerating Lizard. Connors is traditionally portrayed as a sort of Jekyll and Hyde type, with the alter ego of the Lizard hell-bent on conquering the planet with creatures like himself and Connors embroiled in a constant struggle to suppress his evil half. It’ll be interesting to see how Connors figures into an inevitable sequel, particularly since the writers could easily write him as either a villain or an ally to Peter, or perhaps something in between.
The scene also teases via a radio broadcast playing in the lab that Rio Morales has won her bid for New York City Councilwoman. Norman is the former mayor of the city, and perhaps this small audio clipis hinting that the two politicians are on a collision course.
Insomniac is clearly investing in long-term storytelling here. The team set out to tell a big, dramatic story of love and loss between Peter, Harry, Miles, and MJ all the way back in the first game, and Miles Morales pushed the bigger story forward quite nicely. When Marvel’s Spider-Man 2 does arrive on the PlayStation 5 (and maybe PS4), we should expect Insomniac’s Spider-verse to both expand and become more intimate and personal, as Harry finally makes his return and (almost assuredly) wreaks havoc on the city and his relationship with Peter.