Robot 6

Comics A.M. | ‘Spider-Man’ vs. ‘black Spider-Man’; Daredevil audio edition

Miles Morales

Comics | David Brothers argues that the problem with Miles Morales is that he is being defined as “the black Spider-Man” rather than simply “Spider-Man”: “Miles Morales is notable for being the first black Spider-Man, particularly in Marvel’s Ultimate Universe, but it isn’t his blackness that makes him special. It’s the fact that he’s not Peter Parker. The fact that he’s half-black, half-Puerto Rican, (and how cool would it be if his dad was a dark skinned Puerto Rican and his mom was light skinned black?!), that it looks like he’s taking part in a lottery to get into a good school in the preview images, and that he’s thirteen years old is just sauce. It’s not the meal. It’s part of the meal, sure, but you do yourself and the character (or rather, the concept, what the character represents, or something, because we do not respect characters ’round these parts) a disservice by boiling him down to “black Spider-Man.” He’s so much more than that, judging by the press run Marvel just went on, that breaking him down to being the black Spider-Man is… it’s garbage, it’s lazy, it’s stupid.” [4thletter!]

Comics | Marvel has released an “audio edition” of Daredevil #1, “so that the visually-impaired could enjoy the dawn of a new era for DD, his friends and his enemies.” It features the voice talents of Dardevil writer Mark Waid and Marvel editors Tom Brennan, Ellie Pyle and Jordan D. White. [Marvel.com]

Creators | Tom Neely, creator of The Wolf, discusses page structure and the hard work of revision in the latest installment of his interview with Brian Heater. [The Daily Cross Hatch]

Diamond Comic Distributors

Retailing | Rich Johnston reports that water damage to many DC Comics titles at Diamond’s warehouse in Cheshire, England has led to “major allocations on a number of comic books shipping this week” around the country. [Bleeding Cool]

Comic strips | A reader writes in to complain about excessive swearing in Stephan Pastis’ strip Pearls Before Swine, although its all of the $%&#@ variety). Seriously. Laugh Tracks has an interesting followup. [The Baltimore Sun]

Review | Serdar Yegulalp reviews Jiro Taniguchi’s one-shot zombie apocalypse manga Velveteen & Mandala. [Genji Press]

Review | John Hilgart takes a long look at IDW’s deluxe edition of Elaine Lee and Michael Kaluta’s sci-fi saga Starstruck. [The Comics Journal]

Review | Richard Bruton writes about Sean Azzopardi and Douglas Noble’s creepy suburban-horror comic Built of Blood and Bricks; even if you don’t have time to read it, click through to see the art. [The Forbidden Planet blog]

Conventions | Christopher Butcher asks his Twitter followers what advice they have for making conventions more financially rewarding for creators, and they answer with lots of suggestions. [Twitter]

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Comments

24 Comments

Doctor Deadpool

August 17, 2011 at 9:11 am

Let’s face it, Miles Morales is the result of affirmative action. I’m not saying that’s a bad thing, but it is what it is. Let’s not try to pretty it up. In fact, I’ll wager that there was a discussion about whether to make him black or latino and they just decided to go all in and make him both.

Now, if Miles Morales was a character with a new mantle, I’d have more respect for Marvel. I’d get behind the character. As it stands, they are pigey-backing on Spider-Man’s name for political correctness and because they don’t have the balls to introduce a totally new character.

PC Saved My Life

August 17, 2011 at 9:31 am

Can’t wait for the Asian Power Man in Ultimate U.

Greatmetropolitan

August 17, 2011 at 9:34 am

They just killed Peter Parker, I’d say that’s plenty balls. They replaced him with an ethnic minority character. That’s balls plus.

The truth is, some people are just annoyed that Peter isn’t spider-man.

I agree with Dr. Deadpool. If they had done this at the beginning of the Ultimate Universe I wouldn’t have a problem… new universe, new Spider-Man. But to have to kill off Peter Parker to do it just stinks of political correctness. I was a big fan of the 2099 Universe Spidey and he was latino.

unpaletable though Doctor Deadpool’s comment may be to some, I have to reluctantly agree. it DOES seem, to me, at least, that the whole Miles Morales thing really is nothing more than a positive stance publicity stunt. I have nothing but the utmost respect for David Brothers, but on this occasion I couldn’t disagree with him more. all seems self-congratulatory right-on, to me. I would argue that maybe it is “garbage”,”lazy”,and “stupid” to not see it.

Killing Peter Parker isn’t “balls”; it’s “sales”. Deaths are infamous within the comic book community for this very reason. While I enjoy the plain fact that Miles Morales is an attempt at diversity, there’s little denying Marvel has taken a safe-bet approach: Introducing a legacy character anyone will recognize with a new ethnic background. Only time will tell if there’s more to appreciate about Miles than the color of his skin.

The thing is, if Miles Morales were an all-new original character, his book wouldn’t sell. Even if he was a white guy in the costume.

Some of you have disheartening attitudes about race and that’s fine because I don’t know you and never have to meet you. But please please please educate yourselves on what “affirmative action” is and what “political correctness” means. I know you won’t do so now because I’m a jerk I guess but it really is frustrating to read phrases like that thrown around, inaccurately, to euphemize what you really mean to say.

There have been countless heroes killed, retired and replaced by other characters. And this is not even the 616 Spider-Man! Maybe it doesn’t matter to you, or it’s somehow offputting when publishers put their money where their mouths are by introducing more ethnically diverse characters, but it matters to people like me. Don’t worry, everything will be okay. Turn on your television to any network show tonight and you’ll see that your world isn’t changing so fast after all.

What does affirmative action have to do with any of this? Even though it wasn’t the 616 Peter Parker that was killed off, they still killed Peter Parker. They ended his story. That is ballsy. Especially in the Ultimate Universe where so far characters have remained dead. Now granted, the way Marvel introduced Miles Morales was a stunt. We all know they did it because they knew it would get the reaction it got and it would help to sell comics. They are still replacing a character that has been around for 40 years and putting someone radically different in the suit. They’re doing something different. How many people out there complain about how tired these stories are, and now they do something different and of course people bitch. We all know that if they would have made Miles Morales some new hero that it would not have done all that well. We all see how Gravity and Araña did.

So before we go saying that this is an affirmative action thing, which it isn’t, why don’t we wait to see what the writers actually do with Miles Morales as Spider-Man. We may even end up liking him better than Peter Parker.

Seems like its got everyone’s attention here!

By changing the costume to a black and red look they pretty much guaranteed he’d be dubbed “Black Spider-Man” even by people who aren’t consciously thinking about race. I think it was a subconscious decision to make that color choice in designing the new costume, and it looks boss, but it was a mistake. Now people are discussing race (which is sad that it is even an issue) when they should be discussing quality of the art, writing, etc.

. . . /meanwhile/, I think it’s cool that they’re doing an audio edition of Daredevil. I wonder why there aren’t audio versions of more comics. (And if there are, why haven’t I heard of them before?)

Tons of people listen to audiobook versions of their favorite prose works – perhaps audiocomics could be a way to ease current non-readers into the medium.

Black Guy Black Suit

August 17, 2011 at 3:50 pm

I guess some people don’t know that there are white and black Puerto Ricans, so does that make him black black or mulatto.
To me I see no difference, on the take of Iron Man spinoff (war machine), Mr Terrific was white at first and he died, Gravity boy in legion of superheros was re-created from an white counter part .But didnt marvel do something to the Hulk in the Ultimates. Similar to Captain America , saying the first Captain America was black but you barely see him and I’m not sure if it was in the movie.( didn’t see it)

>Jiro Taniguchi’s
It’s Jiro Matsumoto not Taniguchi.

I’m pissed about peter, but then never thought i’d like ‘first class’ either -let’s wait’n see.

Wow, so everyone’s upset because they just now figured out that Marvel is a CORPORATION that wants to SELL US THINGS? OF COURSE they considered the effects – on both publicity and sales – before introducing Miles! OF COURSE they want new readers! OF COURSE they know the controversy will spike interest! Why is anyone upset at the thought that corporations make decisions that they hope will make them money? That’s what they do.

Personally, I applaud the move. They could have tried to spike sales with a stunt (and I know a lot of you will categorize introducing Miles as a stunt – to me a stunt is something designed to be temporary, and this seems like it’s designed to be permanent). Instead, they chose to be bold and set out a new direction. Clearly, that’s a riskier path.

Well since Marvel has been touting the race/ethnicity of the new Spiderman and virtually patting themselves on the back for “not choosing just another white guy” in every article I’ve read; what does one expect?
Also as others pointed out, if Miles was going to be the new Spiderman, why did they swap the colors so that the costume was predominately black? Another ploy to point out his ethnicity?

What could have been interesting was to start the change with no immediate replacement Spiderman. Show a city that keenly notices the void left from Spiderman’s death. Intertwine this story with one of Miles coming to grips with his powers and starting off as a generic “super hero wannabe”, use an arc of six comics to let people get to know this him and then have him save Mary Jane or Aunt May. Have Aunt May, impressed that this young man is trying to fill the void left by the death of her nephew, give him Spiderman’s old suit and ask him to take up the name.

Pure specultation, but even if Marvel knows how permanent they expect Peter’s death to be (and it will likely be longedr than his last death, which wasn’t that long ago), sales will probably be the final arbiter. If sales go through the roof and stay there, Peter’s out of luck, at least for the foreseeable future, and Miles is secured as the Ultimate version of Spider-Man. If sales are decent enough, Peter will probably return at some point but Miles will stay in the picture in some capacity; this strikes me as the most likely scenario (granted the Ultimate Universe plays by different rules, but Peter’s too important to it to stay dead forever, barring the above scenario). If sales go down the toilet, good news for Peter but bad for Miles.

“a disservice by boiling him down to “black Spider-Man.”

And yet, thats how Marvel essentially introduced him to the world… It wasn’t fans who went “oh look spidermans balck now.” It was marvel who did that. If Marvel was at all honest about there own motives, they would admit that they are doing it for the “controvercy” sales bump & not because they were interested in any form of real diversity.

If they had introduced a new character to the universe, who incidentally was of an ethinc background he would have been his own character. No this new Spiderman is going to always be “The Black Spiderman.” It was always inevitable.

Brian from Canada

August 18, 2011 at 5:35 am

Reaction to David Brothers’ comment — and those like Dr. Deadpool’s — are inevitably called “racism.” Yet for all those people racing to press that button, check the facts that Brothers and Deadpool are looking at: DC Comics is relaunching its universe as a more racially diverse version, reporters are asking regularly where the girls are (creators and characters), and Joe Quesada is out there promoting how this character relates to ethnic backgrounds like his — which, in total, leads to an unmistakable impression that Miles Morales is only being dropped now to react to the (paraphrasing Tom Breevort) “diversity zeitgeist”.

He may be a great character, but he’s not Peter Parker — and “The Clone Saga” fallout underlined heavily that Peter Parker IS Spider-Man. Visually he’s blacker in the costume and out; ergo, he is not “Spider-Man,” he’s “The Black Spider-Man.”

Seriously if they didn’t want him to be called the black spiderman, my suggestion would have been not making him spiderman… After all Static is black, yet no one refers to him as the black static. Nah this is exactly what it looks like… Marvel cashing in on the work already done by DC.

It’s the Ultimate Universe. Just about every character has been corrupted or killed in some way. That’s the nature of that Universe. This isn’t a big deal. It’s ONE version of Spider-Man out of the tons that exist. Let’s kill Marvel Adventures Spidey next. Then comic strip Spidey. Then another random Spidey. Guess what? There’s still a thousand more to go.

I kept up with Ultimate Spidey over the years but barely bought it. This “stunt” is interesting because it’s NOT Peter Parker, and I will be buying at least the 1st arc to see how well it’s written, so congrats Marvel, your plan worked on at least me for the short term, hopefully I’ll stick around if t’s worth it.

And I’ll still be enjoying the real Peter Parker, my favorite character in all of comics, in Amazing Spider-Man. The real Peter that’s been around for almost 50 years isn’t dead. His alternate version whose been around for about 11 years is dead. I occasionaly enjoyed him, but I won’t miss that guy.

The ironic resemblance between Miles Morales and Trayvon Martin is uncanny. It’s scary.

I want to shut up all the bull about miles Morales. lets begin,

first, people are complaining saying ” oh its just a publicity stunt” but so is the ENTIRE Ultimate LINE UP!
marvel made the ultimate universe to attract new readers from day one, because it was harder for newer fans to just pick up amazing spider-man or uncanny x men and become a fan since those books have HUNDREDS OF ISSUES!!!! ( this is not an opinion, but a fact from the president of marvel enterprises during the early years of ultimate comics)

secondly, miles being black isn’t a major publicity stunt, the death of peter Parker, the reboot and the new spider-man was the stunt, it wasn’t his race. proof of this is that miles character design was done by Sara pichelli completely, she took the ARTISTIC choice that was given to her and made him his character which was when she made miles who he was. in comics, issues are done MONTHS in advance, the writing first and then the art. but with new books the issues are planned for MONTHS before their official publishing of issue one. and when they kill off major characters to launch a reboot of every book there publishing, add at LEAST a year on top of that. peter was killed because Bendis ( the writer) thought it was time to end that characters story, NOT because they wanted a minority character to replace him. sara pichelli was asked to draw the new book AFTER they already chose to kill him, and she made miles his race. ( Google it)

third, honestly i know the death of peter Parker is a big deal. but peter is a character whose story ended. ( single tear) but peters death was one of the best deaths of a major character in comic book history. if this didn’t happen then eventually peter would be like the regular marvel universes spider man whose been written by so many people his story has been bleeded dry like most long term characters. don’t read ultimate books if you don’t want more sensible story’s without the common sense to end them at some point.

for the sake of comics, please look before you leap, get the facts before you nerd rage.
thank you and goodnight

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