Peter Parker, more famously known as Spider-Man since the 1960s, will step aside this fall when teenager Miles Morales becomes Marvel Comics’ official Spider-Man.
Morales, the teenage son of an African-American father and Puerto Rican mother, first appeared as Spider-Man four years ago in Ultimate Comics: Spider-Man, following the supposed death of Peter Parker in Ultimate Spider-Man. Marvel launched its Ultimate line of comics at the turn of the century as a way for the company to modernize many of its flagship characters. As such, they exist in a separate universe than those of the company’s original titles where the original Peter Parker still exists as Spider-Man.
That will all change this fall following the company’s restructuring of many of its titles through what’s known as the “Secret Wars” saga. As explained in the NY Daily News this weekend, the storyline will mark the end of the Ultimate line of comics but not without some changes to the company’s canonical flagship titles. Morales will make the shift from one universe to the next when Marvel’s titles are relaunched in the aftermath of “Secret Wars.” An older Parker will still play an important role in the relaunched Spider-Man comics as a mentor to Morales.
“Our message has to be it’s not Spider-Man with an asterisk, it’s the real Spider-Man for kids of color, for adults of color and everybody else,” says writer Brian Michael Bendis who has penned Spidey books since the launch of Ultimate Spider-Man.
The change not only reflects Marvel’s goal to bring more diversity to its lineup, as evidenced by African-American Sam Wilson as Captain America and Muslim teenager Kamala Khan as Ms. Marvel, but also the character’s immense popularity with readers. Many had hoped that an actor such as Donald Glover or Jaden Smith would take the role of Morales in Sony’s upcoming Spider-Man movie series relaunch.