Inspired by Donald Glover’s of the NBC comedy Community’s string of tweets, writer Brian Michael Bendis decided to replace the recently deceased (in this particular run, and then even still not forever, probably, because it’s a comic book…) Peter Parker in Ultimate Spider-Man with a young man with the also awesomely alliterated name Miles Morales. Morales, shown above, is half African American and half Latino, which of course makes sense because, as Donald Glover himself observed in his recent #donald4spiderman Twitter campaign to be considered for the role of Peter Park in the upcoming Spider-Man movie reboot (which, unfortunately, he wasn’t): “If Spider-Man was a novel, if it didn’t have pictures, would you really think a poor kid who lives in Queens whose uncle got shot in the street was white?”
We’re happy about this decision – I’m a big nerd, personally – but a tad more troubled by USA Today’s coverage. First off, the headline is, “The New Spider-man: Half-black, all hero.” ::cringe:: But anyway…
We have an African-American president, so why not an African-American Spider-Man, too?
Okay, seriously? Alright, alright, moving on.
The new Ultimate Spider-Man series, as well as Wednesday’s Ultimate Fallout issue, will be available digitally the same day as in stores.
In the regular Marvel Universe, Peter Parker will still be the same web-swinging Spidey as he has been since his first appearance in 1962. But in the Ultimate line, launched in 2000 to tell contemporary stories, he received a new origin and a reimagined supporting cast that paralleled the Spidey in regular Marvel continuity.
Morales’ journey will be a similar vehicle for today’s fans, says Marvel’s editor in chief, Axel Alonso.
“What you have is a Spider-Man for the 21st century who’s reflective of our culture and diversity. We think that readers will fall in love with Miles Morales the same way they fell in love with Peter Parker.”
In addition to an alliterative name, Miles has a connection to his predecessor in how he received his powers. But he will have different abilities, too. Supporting characters such as Peter’s Aunt May and Gwen Stacy also will give Miles nuggets of wisdom to help his transition from young kid to New York City superhero.
Well thanks for this, Michael Bendis. We’d recently been getting a lot of heroes out of Marvel whose powers were based on their Latino-ness – The Santerians and El Vejigante spring to mind – which is something only minority characters ever seem to have to deal with. We hope Miles Morales proves to be a great character and role model for comic readers. After all: with great power comes great responsibility.