A lot of crazy things happen to some of our favorite superheros in the world of comic books but it is starting to sound like Spider-Man is the hero getting the most interesting action these days. Back in February, we learned that Spider-Man is joining the Fantastic Four team after the death of The Human Torch. In June, we learned that Peter Parker is being killed off in another Spider-Man comic book title. Today we learn that a character named Miles Morales is the new Spider-Man, taking over for the dead Parker. Unlike the very Caucasian Peter Parker, Miles Morales is a biracial possible gay character … which is TOO awesome for words!
He started life as a white science geek living with his uncle. But now to reflect the racial changes in America, Spider Man has been given a makeover – as a half black half Latino teen. Miles Morales has replaced Peter Parker as the face behind the famous webbed mask, Marvel Comics has revealed. In the latest edition of the Ultimate Fallout series he pulls back the disguise and shows his face for the first time. Fans will have to wait until the official Spider Man relaunch next month to find out how he came to be the superhero. But another surprise could be in the pipeline after his creators said that in the future they would not rule out making him gay. Peter Parker first appeared as the superhero in 1962 – having been bitten by a radioactive spider he found he developed the strength and agility of an arachnid. He was killed off by the Green Goblin in June in a controversial move by Marvel which left fans aghast. Morales was inspired to do good after learning of the death and in Ultimate Fallout issue four he dons the mask and gets into his first fight. Marvel has revealed that he does have a connection to Parker in terms of how he got his powers but he will have different abilities beyond ‘Spider Sense’ and the ability to shoot webs out of his hands. Parker’s Aunt May and Gwen Stacy will also be in the plot to help him on his way to being a superhero. ‘The theme is the same: With great power comes great responsibility,’ Spider Man writer Brian Michael Bendis told USA Today. ‘He’s going to learn that. Then he has to figure out what that means. He’s younger than Peter Parker, he’s coming from a completely different background, a completely different world view. It’s Peter Parker’s death that inspires this kid to step up.’ Marvel’s editor in chief Axel Alonso denied that having a black Spider Man was a publicity stunt. What you have is a Spider-Man for the 21st century who’s reflective of our culture and diversity. As someone who grew up on a steady diet of ‘Luke Cage, Hero For Hire’ and ‘Shang Chi, Master of Kung Fu,’ I am personally invested. This was a conscious decision. Here at Marvel, we pride ourselves on reflecting the real world in all its diversity. We think that readers will fall in love with Miles Morales the same way they fell in love with Peter Parker.’ Italian artist Sara Pichelli, who designed Spider-Man’s new look, added: ‘Maybe sooner or later a black or gay – or both – hero will be considered something absolutely normal.’
I can’t even tell you how cool this is. As a non-white kid growing up in America, I cannot even tell you how much I wished one of the major superheros I loved was latino. I never even dreamed of a gay hero … this is so wonderful. Even tho this storyline is happening in an alternate universe, I’m sure there are kids out there who will respond to a Latino, African American (and GAY!) Spider-Man. Kudos to Marvel. Best idea ever!!