It’s been a big ol’ awesome important couple of days in Marvel comics news. As we learned earlier today, Ava DuVernay has a kickass new role in the MCU; and yesterday we got a major shift in the book world. Miles Morales, who has taken on the role of Spider-Man in an alternate reality where Peter Parker has died, is moving from the Ultimate universe to the main Marvel line.
Morales was introduced four years ago by Brian Michael Bendis, and has become hugely popular. Here’s TK’s description of why Miles is the coolest:
Bendis crafted an interesting, conflicted, but genuinely fun character who is often plagued with self-doubt due to some criminal elements in his family, but is also morally solid due to the other half. It’s less of the constant guilty nobility that plagued Peter Parker (although there’s a bit of that), and more just a kid who wants to do the right thing because it’s the right thing. But even more importantly, Miles speaks to an entirely new generation of kids — a mixed race kid who fights the good fight for all the right reasons, he has all the potential to be a powerful new voice in the films that are, for the most part, oh-so-very white as far as the main characters go.
Bendis himself has said that Morales’ race (black and hispanic) is no small part of his character, and has spoken to the importance of expanding our view of what our iconic superheroes look like.
Many kids of color who when they were playing superheroes with their friends, their friends wouldn’t let them be Batman or Superman because they don’t look like those heroes but they could be Spider-Man because anyone could be under that mask. But now it’s true. It’s meant a great deal to a great many people.
I can’t help but think that, as exciting as this news is, many of us wanted more: We were hopeful for Miles to helm a Spider-Man movie. Earlier this year, before the next movie’s blindingly white lead actor shortlist was released, Jeff Sneider of The Wrap leaked a rumor that got our hopes WAY up. Too far up, apparently.
Listen, this is not set in stone guys, but I’m telling you right now, Spider-Man’s not going to be white. Spider-Man’s not going to be white. I’m 95% sure. Spider-Man’s going to be most likely black. But there’s a chance he could also be Latino. 95% sure, not white… I really feel strongly. Sony has an opportunity to beat Marvel and DC to the punch with a major black comic book character. Like I mentioned last week, the emails that leaked were perceived as racist in some quarters. I really think that’s going to play into things.Still, while most of us would love to ditch Peter Parker’s overplayed origin story, and would throw a goddamn parade for Marvel Studios and Disney if they gave us a non-white Spidey, Miles Morales’ move to the main Marvel universe is a HUGE step forward. As popular as his character is, he’s still not viewed as the “real” Spider-Man. He’s alternate Spider-Man. Until now. As Bendis puts it,
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.