Tuesday, August 02, 2011

The New "Spider-Man" Is Black/Latino

NOTE: I'm not putting a spoiler-tag on this because Marvel clearly has no interest in it being a secret or surprise. It was in USA Today, even.

The thing that always bothered me about Marvel's "Ultimate" side-universe is that it never lived up to it's supposed intention of not only dropping the continuity-burden but also doing new and gutsy things with the established characters. "Ultimate" Spider-Man was probably the worst offender, segueing almost-immediately from telling "new" stories to basically being a "remixed" version of Spidey-continuity's Greatest Hits.

Well, maybe that's changed.

Revealed to news outlets today (and to readers of "Ultimate Fallout #4" tomorrow) the new "Ultimate" Spider-Man ("Ultimate" Peter Parker's time ran out in a "Death Of..." story last month) is a half-black, half-hispanic teenager named Mike Morales. Let the "I'm-not-racist-I'm-just-racially-conscious" gnashing of teeth begin.

Amusingly, writer Brian Michael Bendis cites the infamous incident last year - where "Community" star Donald Glover launched a joke Twitter campaign to be cast as the new Spidey and was met with a ridiculous "I'm-not-racist-but" backlash from (some) fans who thought Glover (who is black) was actually up for the part.

Immediate reaction: Interesting choice, I like it. Will it be enough to get me back interested in the "Ultimate" line? Probably not, but you never know. I don't know that I'm digging the outfit, but that's a whole other minor thing.

31 comments:

Unknown said...

And in a twist of fate donald glover will be on the short list of the casting director when the new movie bombs and sony REreboots the franchise again and they ask tyler perry to direct it... also danny glover will play uncle ben

Drunken Lemur said...

I have questions. How did he gets his powers? Does he still have parents/Guardians? Has he ever been saved by Peter? Does he have any relation to Ultimate Ben Reilly, the first person to create The unsuccessful clone of Peter Parker, Carnage? How much interaction is he going to have with Peter's supporting cast? Will he ever have to fight the Scorpion, which in this universe is a Peter Parker clone. That could make for a good story, right?

David (The Pants) said...

I dig the new costume. Also I thought the Donald Glover thing wasn't a joke, and I was in full support of him playing Peter Parker in a twist for the reboot. He's nerdy enough to play a good Parker, and he looks more like a high-schooler than Toby Maguire (who in my opinion played a wonderful Parker regardless), so I suppose if the reboot tanks then they can try that in a few years like Unknown says....only without Tyler Perry.

Danny said...

Pretty sure Donald Glover wasn't joking.

Lee Kalba said...

Well, the current movie Parker did just play a Brazilian Jew...
Just saying.

rm said...

Oh, its "Miles" Morales (not Mike), thus representing another underrepresented Minority: those with dweebish names and/or names that sound like the senior members of the country club. Other than this guy, there's just Clark (Kent), Bruce (Wayne)... yeeks, maybe they're not not underrepresented after all.

Adam said...

Eh, they should have just let Spider-Man stay dead and created a new character. Flat out replacing Peter Parker with anybody has never really worked out (see Clone Saga) because the fans like Peter. This new character isn’t him so most probably won’t pay much attention and a vocal few will get really irritated by it. For me personally it waxes of well-intentioned but really cheap diversifying, as to me it comes across as saying poor minority character can’t get a leg up without riding a now dead white guy’s coattails. I can’t be the only guy that finds that annoying can I?

Steve said...

Ultimate Spider-Man may have not done anything new or ballsy through its course, but it gave us the Spider-Man we LIKED previously, instead of what we've been getting over the past decade in 616.

As for the new Spider-Man, I like that they're giving the mantle to someone else, but I fear they may tread back into their problems with 616 and go back to the status quo of Ultimate Spider-Man, which would just make the Ultimate Universe invalid.

Mariner said...

God dammit Marvel, stop stealing my sketches.

I was actually sketching out a Lucha inspired costume for a Hispanic/Latino Peter Parker, with the idea being that his family comes from the Hispanic quarters of NYC.

The new costume is nice, though I do admit mine is actually far more "Ultimate," complete with a mask with [i]eight[/i] eyes (obviously only two of which are lenses) and a more unique take on the spider motif.

I should post those sketches more often...

Dav3 said...

First line of USA Today piece:
"We have a black President, why not a black Spider-Man?"

Now I'm sad.

Gray said...

Yeah well, at least they're doing something a little new with it. The last thing we need is another "new" Spider-Man that is essentially old Spider-Man :P

patrick.b.healy said...

Okay then, fine. Do something ballsy and unique with him. Making yet another character with Spider-Mans powers definitely isn't.

Shark said...

Instead of killing off a white superhero, and replacing him with a new minority character in an attempt to promote diversity; Can't Marvel just CREATE an original minority character? Give the Black, Latino, Asian, or Middle Easterner his/her own comic book series, with his/her origin story, super powers, and their very own villains. Or Marvel could just create a Five Man Band using the existing and new black and hispanic Spider Man. No offense, but replacing a superhero that has been canonically white with a Black, Latino, Asian, Middle Eastern character is a lazy way to address diversity in comics; especially when the minority character can just get his own story, powers, and villains, and town to defend.

Dave said...

I fully support this. It seems interesting enough, and as a New Yorker, the panel showing his face combined with the solicitation information has a je ne sais quoi about it that makes me feel this character's book will hit somewhat close to home and be rather authentic with regard to urban and diversity issues.

I also fully support it because it's one hell of a better idea than "Batwing," the racially and culturally insensitive book featuring "the Batman of Africa" (wtf, you mean the whole damn continent?!) fighting tribal face paint-wearing, beret-donning, machete-wielding baddies.

Oh, and DC's diversity push is total BS; they nixed more than half their existing racially, ethnically, sexually, religiously and culturally-diverse characters to give two pre-existing black characters their own on-going titles.

Oh, and apparently Perry White's role in the new Superman movie went to Lawrence Fishburne. I shit you not.

By comparison, this seems to be much better news and I'm all behind Axel Alonso all the way (if not for his work on Marvel, then for being THE BEST DAMN EDITOR BATMAN COMICS EVER HAD!!!!!!!).

*le sigh*

Chris said...

Sorry for the lack of comic knowledge, but how do you replace a superhero whose powers were the result of a freak accident. Does new character also have exact same freak accident?

TheAlmightyNarf said...

Spider-Man seems like an odd choice to turn black, but there's no reason it couldn't work.

What bothers me is that comics never take the chance to use race meaningfully. Take X-Men for example, which already has strong themes of racism and segregation... yet only one of the characters are black, and they never seem to go there with her. Or Superman, who's a completely different species trying to fit in as best he can, would probably work better if he were black.

But, Spider-Man... I mean, unless they completely retool how the character is portrayed (which they won't), this'll probably be nothing more than cosmetic.

Chris Cesarano said...

I'm actually glad Ultimate Spider-Man wasn't "gutsy" with the timeline. The Ultimate series was supposed to attract new readers, and as I would rather catch-up to 10 years of continuity than 60, I started collecting them. I feel like Ultimate Spider-Man gives me the Spider-Man I want with just enough changes to be different while having a lot less continuity to burn through.

Then I read Ultimate X-Men and wanted to vomit. Mark Millar managed to ruin my memories of the franchise while simultaneously make me hate most of the characters, all for the sake of the most childish concepts of "grim, gritty and edgy". The Ultimates isn't much too different.

Maybe if I were a major fan of the Fantastic Four originally I'd have an issue there, but I've actually had fun with it. So I'm basically just collecting Ultimate Spider-Man and Ultimate Fantastic Four.

You want Brian Michael Bendis to be gutsy? Peter Parker will stay dead. Now THAT is gutsy.

Aiddon said...

eh, I always thought DC did a lot better with alternate continuities with their Elseworlds titles such as Kingdom Come, The Dark Knight Returns, and Superman: Red Son. Marvel's Ultimate universe has been borked ever since they let Loeb in with Ultimates 3 and Ultimatum, Marvel Zombies has gone on WAAAAAAY too long, and don't even me started on the mangaverse.

Reverend Allan Ironside said...

I LOVE the idea of having someone from a different race in the midst of a major studio character, but here's where the silliness starts to unravel. The new spidey is a half-black, half-latino, and according to another source possibly gay character.

It's like he was creating by the cast of Drawn Together to try and pander to as many non-white, non-Christian people as possible. There's a difference between doing something different and simply trying too hard to the point of total satire. Why not make it a half-black, half-latino, muslim female single mom with a drug problem and we can cover all the bases at once!

See how ridiculous that sounds? Personally I think they should have stuck with either a black kid or a latino kid (which worked for Blue Beetle). Throwing in all the other special interests just makes it look like they're pandering and grasping for other markets, which is something the majority of their fanbase is going to recognize and fart on almost immediately.

But still, this is a step in the right direction, if a little transparent

Shark said...

I found an internet article that will explain the new Spider Man to non comic book readers. Apparently, an alternate universe Peter Parker is being killed off and replaced by the new black/hispanic character, and the REAL Peter Parker is still alive and well in his universe. The news media took the death of Peter Parker out of context and exaggerated it. To be fair, I bet none of them are comic book readers, so, they do not know the difference between the regular universe and ultimate universe since they both have the same character.

http://www.mediaite.com/online/no-peter-parker-isnt-dead-black-or-gay-media-blatantly-attempts-to-gin-up-outrage-over-new-spider-man/

Gamecase said...

Hey Bob, in sort of the same vein any thoughts on Laurence Fishburne as Perry White in the new Superman?

Reverend Allan Ironside said...

@Gamecase

I heard this. I remember there being a half-assed "outrage" over Michael Clark Duncan playing Kingpin in Daredevil--even though he was obviously the only physical person who could fill that role and did a damn fine job, IMO.

I think this is an interesting idea, but like I said, trying to pander to too many people makes it obvious that the character isn't important, jsut that they attract as many new people from different walks of life as possible. When that happens, it's not different, it's just pandering

MovieBob said...

I'm looking forward to Fishburne's "Great Caesar's Ghost!" much more than I'm looking forward to Martin Sheen's "With great power..."; honestly.

BIll said...

I'm predicting you are writing a blog about Glen Beck's reaction right now

Reverend Allan Ironside said...

Jesus, I'm an unapologetic Tea Party member and even *I* don't give a shit about what Glen beck has to say about Spider-man...or comics in general

Chris Evans said...

It almost feels like a joke. Why make him half black, half hispanic? Pick one, doesn't matter which. This seems like pandering. Like they couldn't pick which they wanted so they gave up and made him both. Want to throw some other random minority aspects onto him while your at it?

Anyways, not fond of transferring this kind of title. When it's and item passed down it makes sense, but this comes off as artificial and contrived. One Spiderman dies and, would you look at that, at the same time, some other person had the same thing happen to him and got the same powers. He's going to use the name of the dead hero too? What luck.

Aiddon said...

And now Laurence Fishburne is playing a character in the Superman movie who has usually been white (hell, his surname is White).

Lee Kalba said...

I don't give a shit about what Glenn Beck has to say about anything, ever.
If I needed to know what time it was and the only person with a watch was Glenn Beck, I wouldn't ask. I wouldn't trust that boy to have the right time, is what I'm saying.
Does Glenn Beck even wear a watch? Or is a time measurement somehow a government conspiracy thought up by Democrats and run by Obama?

Chris Cesarano said...

If I needed to know what time it was and the only person with a watch was Glenn Beck, I wouldn't ask. I wouldn't trust that boy to have the right time, is what I'm saying.

"Hey Glenn, what time is it?"

"Time for Obama to get the fuck outta the White House!"

"So it's lunch time? Sweet."

Popcorn Dave said...

I think this kind of thing is pretty much doomed to fail except as short term, questionably-canon "speculation" like Batman Beyond. I know secondary characters like Robin have had a few different people taking the role, but Peter Parker IS Spider-Man just as much as Clark Kent is Superman, everyone knows that. It's a nice idea to diversify the lily-white superhero landscape, but we all know this won't stick.

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