It doesn’t matter if comics are something you keep up with or not, you’ve probably heard the news: Spider-Man is black. Yes, you’re reading it here for possibly the third or fourth time, but it’s true. Our resident wall-crawler is now a person of colour, and people are not happy.
In case you haven’t heard anything at all about this change, allow me to restate what’s been said a thousand times already. In the Ultimate Marvel universe Peter Parker has died, and replacing him is a half black, half Latino teenager by the name of Miles Morales.
Ever since this news was announced by USA Today five days ago the internet has erupted in outrage. Many see Marvel’s decision as the purest example of forced diversity, that in the politically correct culture we live in this is just one more addition to a long line of changes made to make us more accepting.
What’s really riling people up, though, is the media. Erik Hayden’s article for The Atlantic Wire entitled “The Backlash to the Backlash of a Multiracial Spider-Man” informs us that the way the news is being portrayed is strongly affecting how we react, whether it be Glen Beck tying this change to something Michelle Obama said or Scott Mendelson of the Huffington Post pointing out that “[. . .] Parker Had To Die To Make It Happen.” As media consumers people are taking on opinions and making them their own.
The most upsetting article so far was one I found on The Daily Mail website entitled “Marvel Comics reveals the new Spider Man is black – and he could be gay in the future.” My problem with the article was not that they misspelled his name and omitted the dash, it was the gross assumption implied by the title, and the fact that said title would both pull in and incite readers.
The title is based on a quote [found in the article] by Sara Pichelli, an artist who created the new Spider-Man’s look. It goes as follows: “Maybe sooner or later a black or gay – or both – hero will be considered something absolutely normal.” Nowhere does she mention that Miles Morales might be gay. Nowhere in that statement does she even hint at it. All Pichelli did was muse that perhaps one day our comic book heroes will have a little more diversity.
My ire at faulty journalism aside, allow me to lay down a few facts that may be able to extinguish any flames of frustration over this change in character. Miles Morales is the new Spider-Man in the Ultimate universe. Peter Parker died in the Ultimate universe. It’s not regular Marvel continuity and as far as anyone is concerned in the regular comics Pete’s still donning those red and blue webbed tights and trash-talking the petty thugs of New York City.
If you can’t cope with the very fact that Marvel had the audacity to kill Peter Parker in the first place check out the Wikipedia page on Ultimatum. People die in the Ultimate universe all the time, and it’s almost always permanent. If key members of the X-Men can bite the bullet then really anyone’s fair game.
On the off chance that you’re still upset tune in to MGK [Mightygodking] and what he has to say about the topic. He’s got a point.