On Aug. 2, 2011 the new Ultimate Spider-Man was revealed and changing with the times the new Spidey character is a half-black, half-Latino kid named Miles Morales.
The move is a dramatic departure from the most popular comic book hero’s who were created during the very much segregated times of the 1930s through 1960s and therefore were white washed across the pages of Marvel and other comic book creators (minus perhaps Black Panther).
Since those times some very popular characters have been of a persuasion other than white, including Storm and Spawn, however flagship characters have remained white washed at Marvel and other comic book company’s.
Comic Riffs spoke to Axel Alonso, Marvel’s new editor in chief who said of the change:
“Having a character as iconic as Spider-Man, when he peels off that mask, having a new demographic be able to relate to him, we’re very excited about that.”
As was to be expected, some fans are now claiming that they will no longer read the comic book series because of the change in skin color, however a more accepting generation will likely step up to embrace the new character and a new demographic may soon be discovered.
Questions do remain about the new Spider-Man, for example will he be able to speak Spanish given his biracial appeal? How will people of New York accept him and his heritage. Also what nationality is Spider-Man? Is he Dominican? Cuban? or a different nationality that may nor may not be revealed.
Regardless of the answers which Marvel may one-day reveal, it will be interesting to see how the public reacts to Spider-Man as a biracial superhero, especially given his long history as a white hero. I’m definitely willing to give Miles Morales a shot, after all at the heart of the comic book is still the struggle of a boy coming to grips with his new found superhero powers.
Here’s a funny first look at Miles Morales as Spider-Man (not Marvel endorsed):