Robot 6

Comics A.M. | Why the new Spider-Man matters; a look at ‘work for hire’

Miles Morales

Comics | In a post subtitled “Why the new biracial Spider-Man matters,” David Betancourt shares his reaction to the news that the new Ultimate Spider-Man is half-black, half-Latino: “The new Ultimate Spider-Man, who will have the almost impossible task of replacing the late Peter Parker (easily one of Marvel Comics most popular characters), took off his mask and revealed himself to be a young, half-black, half-Latino kid by the name of Miles Morales. When I read the news, I was beside myself, as if my brain couldn’t fully process the revelation. My friendly neighborhood Spider-Man was … just like me? This is a moment I never thought I’d see. But the moment has arrived, and I — the son of Puerto Rican man who passed his love of comics to me, and a black woman who once called me just to say she’d met Adam West — will never forget that day.”

The New Yorker, meanwhile, posts the opening on an essay from the year 2120 that looks back at the cultural significance of the new Spider-Man. [Comic Riffs, New Yorker]

Legal | Analysis of the Kirby estate/Marvel case continues, as both Modern Ideas and Copyhype look at the concept of “work for hire” in light of the ruling. [Modern Ideas, Copyhype]

Creators | Roger Langridge talks about his life as a comics creator and reader and his work on the Muppets comics, Thor: The Mighty Avenger, and his new creator-owned work Snarked! [Graphic Eye]

Comics | Responding to the USA Today article on Flashpoint #4, which features a brief appearance by President Obama, Bully looks back at several Obama “guest appearances” in comics from the past few years. [Comics Oughta Be Fun]

Howard the Duck

Creators | Former Marvel Editor-in-Chief Jim Shooter continues his remembrances of writer Steve Gerber, recounting Gerber’s lawsuit against Marvel over ownership of Howard the Duck, and Disney’s legal threats over Howard’s appearance. Shooter shares model sheets of the character that were provided by Disney artists to accentuate the differences between Howard and Donald Duck. [Jim Shooter]

Creators | Ian Burns talks to King City creator Brandon Graham about his early life, his influences and much, much more. [The Comics Journal]

Publishing | Clan Apis creator Jay Hosler notes the book that started as “a floppy comic about bees” is now in its sixth printing. [Drawing Flies]

Publishing | NBM/Papercutz publisher Terry Nantier predicts that preorders for the upcoming Ninjago graphic novel, based on LEGO’s ninja-themed toy line of the same name, could surpass 100,000 copies, putting it into Twilight territory. [ICv2]

Publishing | Noah Berlatsky sees the demise of Borders as presaging a grim future for manga in the United States. [The Washington Times]

Awards | Hereville: How Mirka Got Her Sword by Barry Deutsch has been named an Oregon Spirit Book Award Middle Reader Honor Book by the Oregon Council of Teachers of English. [Abrams, via Comics Reporter]

Manga | Deb Aoki shares the best and worst manga as chosen by the participants on the Best and Worst Manga Panel at San Diego Comic-Con. [About.com]

Tr!ckster

Conventions | Chris Smits writes about his experience of Tr!ckster, the creator-owned comics alternative to SDCC: “So, throughout my time spent in San Diego for the con, Tr!ckster became my travel shampoo: I washed, rinsed, and then repeated. Justice can not be done to how incredible it was to have such a haven across the street from the convention center. Anytime I had an inkling of con fatigue or (more likely) a frustrating build up of rage, the realization that I could just walk over there was amazing.” [Creator-Owned Comics]

Manga | Shaenon Garrity pens an appreciation of her favorite CLAMP manga, Wish, “a breezy four-volume series that features all the things I love most about the team: simultaneously cute and elegant artwork, charming characters, tantalizingly chaste romance, a dash of homoeroticism, and a heaping helping of fangirl nerdiness.” [Anime News Network]

Analysis | In homage to Wally Wood’s “22 panels,” Daniel BT compiles a list of 22 manga panels that always work. [Sunday Comics Debt]

Comics | When Captain Israel met Foreskin Man. [Huffington Post]

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Comments

14 Comments

Fantastic news about Clan Apis – I loved it as a kid, and it’s good to hear more copies are out there for other bug-wild girls (and boys and men and women) to enjoy!

Re: Miles Morales: Marketing to blacks and Hispanics – precisely blacks and Hispanics – is the new strategy. McDonalds brought it in last year. Marvel is just the latest corporation to jump on the bandwagon.

So…Jude, are white characters just meant for white readers, then?

No offense to the people pissed over this Miles Morales thing but he’s not replacing spiderman & who really thinks he last the distance. Chances are good that this will crash and burn pretty fast. Its a real shame that U.M didn’t live up to its original promise of a “different universe” & just replace Spiderman with a brand new “not spiderman” character. Poor Miles Morales is always going to be known as just the “Black Spiderman.”

I would view the replacement as more significant if he was replacing the “real” Spiderman. As this is taking place in Ultimate, it seems more alternate reality to me.

Yay for the New Spider-Man he’s cool, but the new costume is really not that cool, I hope they change it up or something …

And YAY Vertical is bringing Princess Knight, now if they’d only bring over Jungle Taitei I’d be in Tezuka heaven!

As a black guy, I find it funny to hear other black/non white people say, “Oooo, you mean my friendly neighborhood Spider-man looks just like me?” It just doesn’t ring true to my ears.

Im black. Im sorry I aint gonna buy Ultimate Spider-man. You wanna impress me-start marketing, writing great stories with the characters of color you have now. Ultimate Storm. Or how about creating a new and fresh character. I think most people think this change isn’t gonna last. Hell for all we know the Peter Parker that died was a clone.

Full Disclosure: I’m (skin color shouldn’t matter, we’re all human)

I think if Marvel really wanted to impress they would’ve created a new multi-racial character, not just take one of their most popular characters and put a minority behind the mask. They are basically saying: “Here you go, but since no one will read about a black hero we want the Spider-Man fans to buy the book too.” They have no confidence in their own creative teams. Marvel has black heroes like Storm and Luke Cage and Ultimate Nick Fury, try making those stories better. Once people open the attractive cover they’ll judge the book for what it is. Token material.

While I generally enjoy the fact that Marvel is trying to “diversify”, I am disappointed in their not trying to push their current line up of heroes-of-color, nor am I happy with their not having the guts to create a new character. More than these points I am HORRIBLY disappointed with Marvel essentially going “Hey look black and latino guy is now Spider-man” They have not given much more beyond the fact that he is multi-ethinic. They have not tried to promote him as anything more than the black/latino Spidey replacement.

What disappoints me is the reactions I am seeing on various websites. I don’t think people quite understand that it is nice being a person of color and seeing another person of color depicted as a major character in a medium not defined as suited for only people of color. There is a subtext when you see very few, and occasionally no, people resembling you as major heroes. I am not saying there is intentional racism or that it is in fact racism at all. I am saying that when you see dozens upon dozens of characters who come from the culture, area, ethnic/religious group of X and only one or two major characters from Y group there is a undercurrent that Y group is not as effective, deserving of recognition, or essential as the X group. This applies to anything really.

Its an insult. Spider-Man is Peter Parker. Every time you put someone else in as Spider-Man it does not work. I liked Ben Reilly, but when he was the Scarlet Spider, when he was Spider-Man, well it just didn’t work for me. Now as far as the this being and insult, well it is. It is insulting to the character and the future fans of him. Marvel is saying “We think a black/hispanic character can work, but only if he is a version of one of our main stays.” This kid should be given the chance to be his own hero, with his own NEW name. Or at least try to Ultimize another marvel character. Why not make this Ultimate Darkhawk? Peter Parker died a hero, and Spider-Man should stay buried with him. I’m not buying it.

I doubt Marvel is trying to specifically market Ultimate Spider-Man to anyone who reads and frequents Robot 6. They’re looking for new readers, a broader newer fanbase, muich as they tried to do originally with the Ultimate books. I wish ‘em luck and I’m interested to see what’s going on with the New Ultimate Spider-Man. And if you prefer original edition, we’ve still got him over in the 616. It’s win-win.

I don’t like it really, I have no problem with new heroes but this reinventing is annoying to me and I am certain it is going to affect the film series.

As a Puerto Rican, I would have been *thrilled* to read the new Ultimate Spider-Man IF IT WERE NOT SET IN THE ULTIMATE UNIVERSE. Where characters can be incestuous or cannibalistic just because the writer felt like making them so, logic be damned. Miles himself only gets the chance to replace Peter because the later was killed; how can we trust Miles won’t eventually be killed off either?

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