Hey everyone, I'm here with a topic that is lighting up most comic sites, the identity of the new Ultimate Spider-Man. In case you've been living under a rock the past few months, Marvel decided to kill off the Ultimate Version of Spider-Man. Not the adult, dated Mary Jane until it was retconned and now currently is apart of the Avengers and the FF version, but the teenage, high-school student version of Peter Parker. The news was everywhere, even on CNN for some reason, and what followed was one of the best issues of a comicbook I'd ever read. The issue where Peter died, protecting his family and friends while surrounded by them was one of the best things I've ever had the privilege of reading. So, obviously the next question is, what happens to Spidey now, is the mantle taken over by someone else? Harry Osborn? Gwen Stacey? Aunt May? Every idea was discussed online, some good, some not so good, but the news was finally leaked a few days ago and has the internet in an uproar, so if you'd like to avoid spoilers, stop reading now.
Alright, still here? Anyway, the news was that the new version of Ultimate Spider-Man would be a new character completely, named Miles Morales, but seemingly more important is the fact that he's half African-American and half Hispanic. That news alone has a bunch of people in an uproar. Now don't get me wrong, I understand people may be upset that Spidey's mantle isn't being taken by someone close to Peter, or someone like Ben Reilly, but some people are delivering harsh criticisms of a character they haven't read about or have no background information. Some people are solely judging this character based on his heritage of being Black and Hispanic, so frankly, their being racist. Don't believe me? Here are a few quotes of what people are saying about Miles Morales, a Black/Hispanic Spider-Man, and race in general.
"Well, that nails it. Spidey’s dead to me."
"More politically correct stupidity! If the Spider Man series I read in the Sunday papers EVER changes from good ole white Peter Parker, I’ll simply cease to read it. If the PC nuts want to have super heros who represent other ethnic groups along with various sexual perversions then let them create new ones from scratch and leave our time cherished traditional heros alone!"
"What will he say when he runs into a criminal? “Sup Foo? Dis is MY ‘hood!”"
"That’s just dangerous. With spider powers, just think how much stuff he could steal, if he was not so lazy."
Those comments, as a black man, a comic fan, and a human being disgusted me. In this day and age, to think that people can be so racially insensitive, and to get that angry and disrespectful over a comic book character that you know nothing about, and are not obligated to read about is just stupid and sad. And here's one more comment that caught my eye.
"Shame on Marvel Comics! This is not diversity; this is a disgrace! Spiderman was Peter Parker, and Peter Parker was white. Create a new character if you want to prove that Marvel Comics is “diverse”. Minorities are typically less than 18% of the population, but they seem to get nearly 100% of the history. Why should white children not have a comic book hero that they can identify with?"
The one above is my favorite, because it makes NO damn sense. Really? Minorities have all of the history of comics? That person must've missed the 90% Caucasian Justice League that's coming out at the end of this month. I was under the impression that characters like Wolverine, Captain America, Superman, Batman, Ironman, Daredevil and etc. were white, but now I see their actually minorities. And really? Is it worth getting THAT upset about the new Spidey being of Hispanic and African-American descent? First of all, he's not even the MAIN Spider-Man! He's a Spider-Man you can read about if you choose to, no one is making you. You still have Peter Parker in the main Marvel Universe, he's still going to be in the Spider-Man movie next year, so why the uproar about one character taking the Spider-Man name and trying to be the best Spider-Man he can be, to help New York and to pay respects to the original, courageous Spider-Man that died a heroes death?
Bendis was quoted as saying, “He looked fantastic! I saw him in the costume and thought, ‘I would like to read that book.’ So I was glad I was writing that book.” I loved reading that because I'm a huge fan of Donald Glover's acting, writing, comedy and music. And for those that don't know, Donald Glover's Spider-Man costume on "Community" was an inside joke. Donald Glover actually auditioned to play Spider-Man in the new Spider-Man movie, but lost the role to Andrew Garfield. It all started on Twitter where Donald mentioned how he'd like to play Spider-Man as a joke, which started a huge twitter campaign Donald4SpiderMan, which eventually got so big it earned Donald the chance to audition for the role of Peter Parker/Spider-Man, which he of course didn't get. Sadly, that also resulted in a bunch of racist comments about how Spider-Man shouldn't be Black, much like the news of Miles Morales being the new Ultimate Spider-Man.
So, in a world where people are ready to flip out when a minority character debuts or takes up the mantle of someone else, we can only hope that Miles Morales is a great character and can get a fanbase behind him. If not, then back to the drawing board, but hating a character we know nothing about does no good for anyone. This isn't an African Batman, this isn't a Black Iron-Man or One Black Green Lantern out of thousands, this is Miles Morales, the half Hispanic, half African-American, Ultimate Spider-Man, and with great power, comes great responsibility.
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