Robot 6

How Donald Glover finally secured the role of Spider-Man

Troy (Donald Glover) in the opening scene from the season premiere of "Community"

A little more than a year ago, journalist and comics writer Marc Bernardin penned an editorial wondering why the Spider-Man in Sony’s movie-franchise reboot had to be played by a white actor, inspiring actor/comedian Donald Glover to spearhead an online campaign to secure an audition. The role eventually went to Andrew Garfield, of course, but Glover’s lobbying effort inadvertently ignited a disturbing Internet firestorm that Community creator Dan Harmon later characterized as a “curious eruption of a previously unknown demographic of racist comic-book readers.”

It wasn’t one of fandom’s shining moments. But fast forward 14 months, to the 49th anniversary of Spider-Man’s first appearance — that’s right, Amazing Fantasy #15 hit newsstands this week in 1962 — and the introduction of the new Spider-Man of Marvel’s Ultimate Universe. Caution: Spoilers follow for those who haven’t seen the countless newspaper and website articles on the subject.

Overnight, USA Today revealed what many have suspected for the past few days, if not since the death of (Ultimate) Peter Parker last month in Ultimate Comics Spider-Man #160: that the new Spider-Man isn’t another white guy. Instead, a half-black, half-Hispanic teen named Miles Morales will star in the title role when Ultimate Spider-Man relaunches in September.

Miles Morales in Ultimate Comics Fallout #4

It’s a move by Marvel, writer Brian Michael Bendis and artist Sara Pichelli that doesn’t “make” Peter Parker black, or gay, or whatever other complaint is usually lobbed whenever superhero comics test the waters of diversity. It’s taking a character from a different background, putting him in the iconic costume and using that as an opportunity to explore different facets of age-old motifs. “The theme is the same: With great power comes great responsibility,” Bendis told the newspaper. “He’s going to learn that. Then he has to figure out what that means.”

Browsing the reactions at USA Today and elsewhere is disheartening, as they’re littered with accusations of PC-ism — a term so overused, and misused, that it loses its meaning — opportunism, and worse. Even Pichelli’s sole quote, an innocuous statement that, “Maybe sooner or later a black or gay — or both — hero will be considered something absolutely normal,” drew criticism. And then there are the patently offensive comments made even before the official announcement by a frequently criticized comics retailer who, when faced with the negative response declared the remarks a “good natured joke” before pulling a Steve Urkel (“Did I do that?”). That may be irony, but I can’t say for certain anymore.

However, my spirits were lifted by a second article in USA Today in which Bendis credits the inspiration for Miles Morales to the opening scene of the season two premiere of NBC’s Community that featured Glover clad in Spider-Man pajamas. It was, in Harmon’s words “a cutesy inside wink to the Donald Glover for Spider-Man campaign” and the ensuing controversy, bringing our story full circle.

“He looked fantastic!” Bendis recalled. “I saw him in the costume and thought, ‘I would like to read that book.’ So I was glad I was writing that book.”

Glover has reacted humbly to his part in the creation of a new Spider-Man, tweeting overnight “So fly,” before adding this morning to Bendis: “Just wanted to say ‘wow; and thank you for doing something really cool and interesting! You’re tops.”



The claim that this is a “PC” move is ridiculous. If you think about it, it’s the only move that makes sense if they were going to kill off Peter. Why put another white teenaged boy in the costume? If they were going to do that they should just stick with Peter. Hopefully the character will not just turn out to be the “black Peter Parker” and we will see the title go off in different directions. I am sorry to see ultimate Peter go, but am looking forward to seeing/reading what Bendis et al do with the book now.

very, very cool.
Have been waiting a LONG time for the universe of Spiderman to explore some new territories.

For me, Spider-Man doesn’t have to be white; Peter Parker does. Miles Morales is a new character, so kudos to Marvel for adding some diversity, whatever their motives are.

I don’t care for this choice. Given the build-up, it’s a letdown that we are getting someone we’ve never met. And while I agree there need to be a lot more main characters that are not white men (in all media), this really does come across as bringing an agenda to storytelling rather than just telling a story. (Just because I agree with an agenda doesn’t mean I like it in my fiction.)

Never mind that this is not even the first time we’ve had minority heroes in the Spidey suit. So it’s not really that big a deal, and probably not that fair to fans of Arana. Or Spider-Man 2099.

I think it would have been better to see Bendis create a new hero, a la Milestone. Or at least for him to have set this up in a way that fans of the series didn’t end up going “Huh?” about this choice.

All that said, Ult-Spidey has been a great comic, so there is no reason not to think it won’t still be great. But it’s the only thing Bendis has done that I like, so I am concerned that without a young Peter Parker (who was more or less the same Peter Parker he’s always been) to ground BMB’s excesses, I will be less than impressed regardless of who is in the costume.

If it’s an agenda, good. We could do with a lot more agendas like equality and diversity.

John Byrne had this to say about the news.

“More creative bankruptcy. Remember the Black Panther? Remember Luke Cage?
Somewhere along the line — and, sadly, it’s not recent — Black characters at Marvel suddenly were only allowed if they adopted the names of existing characters. Iron Man. Captain Marvel. Giant-Man (who’d begun with the staggeringly original name “Black Goliath”). Nick Fury. Now, a Black Spider-Man.

I’ll admit to having created only a handful of Black characters, but at least NONE of them were forced to follow in some White guy’s footsteps.

Aren’t Black audiences weary yet of this modern-day Minstrel Show?”

the “problem” with creating new characters who represent minorities is that they never wind up with the profile anc cachet of their older white predecessors.
Luke Cage (if he gets a movie or doesn’t) isn’t ever going to be the cash cow Peter Parker has been, specifically because Marvel doesn’t want Luke Cage to compete w/ Spider Man. That is where real tokenism comes from.

If this [gimmick] works, great. Like many others have said, I hope it’s a great run and really popular.

I like that this new character is in part a shout out to Donald Glover, who would have made a fantastic peter parker. can you imagine a spider-man movie where peter parker is actually as funny and witty as he is in the comics? that would have been great!

Ricardo Amaral

August 2, 2011 at 1:24 pm

I just hope the character is good and handled well, independently of color skin, sexual preferences and whatever agenda is on these days. I see the point in “turning this into a big thing” from the corporate point of view, but a badly written white guy or a badly written black-hispanic dude is as bad the same.

I don’t think people, or at least not everybody, was being racist about a black actor possibly playing Spider-man. They just wanted the movie to be true to the comics. This move in Ultimate Spider-man with Miles Morales (a nod to Rags Morales?), I don’t mind. I agree with Anthony Musa. Spider-man doesn’t necessarily have to be white, but Peter Parker does. Although I hope Peter Parker will always be Spider-man in the regular universe, or at least won’t permanently retire from that role, I think it might be interesting to see Miles Morales as Spider-man. I’m wondering if he has spider powers like Peter did or what.

If the creators want to make a black or hispanic or whatever Spider-Man then fine, totally cool. But Peter Park’s white. Sorry, he’s white. That’s why Donald Glover, who is awesome, didn’t work. It’s not racist, it’s continuity.

Nitpick: Amazing Fantasy 15 was cover dated August 1962. It actually hit the stands first week of June. The 49th anniversary of the hero was two months ago.

nik is right. Peter Parker (for now at least) is only portrayed as white, so casting anything else would be odd. Nick Fury got a race change and was cast accordingly. I like the idea of having more diversity in comics, but create new awesome characters to do it. Like Runaways. Great comic, in my opinion. And when the were supposedly going to cast a white girl instead of an asian for Nico. It goes both ways.

While the wimpy guilt-ridden white cuckolds seem OK with it killing off a beloved character just to appease racial diversity is idiotic.

Why not create a new character and put resources behind him/her? Killing and replacing a beloved character makes enemies of his fans. Dumb, dumb, dumb. Sara Pichelli grew up in Italy so maybe she doesn’t get she’s killing a fav but there’s not excuse for Bendis and the rest.

After reading those Larry’s Comics tweets on R.J.’s site, I wonder how many ethnic customers he has actually got if he considered THAT funny.

I appreciate the effort by Bendis however the whole USA Today leak by Marvel’s PR undermines the whole effort and makes it look like a cash grab ‘shocking’ move.

I also think this is a little too late. When Ultimate was first introduced, it was a chance to fully integrate the Marvel Universe and give some fresh perspectives. Instead outside of a black Nick Fury and an asian Wasp, we only got the same universe only with ultra violence and more cursing. Even the best book from the line Ultimate Spider-Man was more of the same, lily white, even though the neighborhood/city its based in is one of the most culturally diverse in the country.

So I really want to think the positive about this move and maybe Miles Morales will move in the same place in my heart as Ben Reilly, Miguel O’Hara, Ryan Choi, Jason Rusch, Michael Holt, Jaime Reyes, and Kate Spencer as ‘legacy’ characters that I enjoyed as they grew into their own distinct characters.

But then again as a Black comic book fan, I have been let down by the industry much more than satisfied.

Good Luck!

@Joseph: “Why put another white teenaged boy in the costume?” Why not? I’m not saying don’t put someone non teenaged, white or boy in the costume, but are you basically saying that all teenaged white boys are the basically the same and it would be pointless? because i would definitely have to disagree with that. That’s no better than the stereotyping that goes on for non-white, non-teenaged non-boy characters. How about we do what makes sense for the story and ties to the original character in some meaningful way, regardless of who that leads us to.

@Simon and JohnByrnesayssomething…: Good points.

I’m all for peter living and staying who he is, but if they really wanted to kill him, I don’t care who takes his place. I just want it to be meaningful and logical, not driven by any motives other than to tell a good story. If that’s what this is, cool. It doesn’t totally seem like that’s the case, but i’ll give it a chance. if Miles isn’t a photocopy of Peter that simply uses a different “skin” (i was thinking video game skins here, but i guess i mean skin color, too) and is actually an interesting character in his own right, that’s great. Right now, I’m just wondering how he ties to Peter at all and if he has the same powers and if so, how. I do think that he should eventually get his own version of the suit. Not sure at this point where he got his initial suit, but it would make sense for any character, even if they use the same basic look, to customize it according to their needs and taste in aesthetics.

It’s interesting, and I hope Marvel sticks with it.

Wow, thank you for the spoiler! You know, some people managed to avoid to be spoiled so far.
I didn’t go on 4chan or any other forums, avoided yahoo us, but I thought, stupid me, that at least the CBR main page would be spoiler-safe. And then I read “Ultimate Spidey and racism”. Let me guess, the new Spider Man is not Rick Jones or Kong, right?

I am not being racist but I will not be buying the new Ultimate Spider-Man series. Its cause of the fact I enjoy reading bout Peter Parker and his troubles and trials in life. That was why for me Ultimate Series was good cause I didn’t miss 30 years of stories. Now that they killed off Parker I don’t feel like reading it. I stopped reading Ultimate X-Men when they massacred half the x-men now I will stop reading this. The Ultimate-Verse was amazing at the beginning now its total bullshit.

Bobby Washington

August 2, 2011 at 3:51 pm

On a similar note, I’ll be just as upset If “The Walking Dead” casts Bill Romanowski as Tyrese.

I give this less then 2yrs before Peter is back. Making Nick Fury black is one thing, not Spider-Man. How about you create NEW characters who are black instead of taking white ones and just switching the skin color. Oh wait, I know why, because it’s a proven fact that black and Hispanic children DO NOT READ COMICS.

It would’ve been MOST impressive and even LESS racially charged if Marvel didn’t issue a press release, then leak the info to “USA Today.” They should’ve just let it happen. Then, when the mainstream realized a new face was under that Spidey mask, they could’ve retorted, “Uh, yeah, he’s different. So what?” That REALLY promotes tolerance and equality, judging this new hero by the inevitably honorable content of his character, not the color of his skin, which, for better or worse, is still what this story is about.

bill romanowski on the walkig dead would be awesome.He could spit in a zombies face.

“It’s not racist, it’s continuity.”

Continuity in comic books?? Were you trying to be funny

the race of the character doesn’t matter (with few exceptions*), if the story is good, if the art is good, then that is all that matters.
white, black, etc are all just ways of limiting our experiences by classifying each other. instead, we should focus on what matters, the story of the individual.
i don’t care if spiderman, kingpin, nick fury are any specific race or a mixture, because there is NO such think as a race or a mixture.
we are all human.

*members of the KKK, Nazis, and other hate groups should be portrayed correctly so we can mock them accordingly.

“I didn’t go on 4chan or any other forums, avoided yahoo us, but I thought, stupid me, that at least the CBR main page would be spoiler-safe.”

So you knew that there was a big comic book story big enough to decide to avoid Yahoo, but you came to a comic book site instead?

That’s kind of on you, dude.

“the race of the character doesn’t matter (with few exceptions*), if the story is good, if the art is good, then that is all that matters.”

this is the best statement i’ve read on this topic.

Here is my apprehension towards the new Spiderman, it isn’t Peter Parker. I have grown up on the Parker Spiderman. The reason I liked the Ultimate version is because it was a fresh take on a character I already knew. When I started reading Spiderman, Peter was already married. I never really got to read the High School issues with Pete and the Ultimate universe gave me a chance to do that. I have never liked when they put another in the suit calling him that character. Bruce Wayne is Batman, Tony Stark is Iron Man, and Peter Parker will always be Spiderman. Color has nothing to do with it, this is just how the stories have played out. I would have been happier if they had made Miles the Ultimate Universe version of Crimson Spider. It would not saddle him with all of the baggage that is associated with the Spiderman name.

This new Spiderman is very foreign territory for a lot of us that got into the Ultimate Universe to read updated stories of the characters we loved so much already from the 616 universe. I am going to give the new Spidey a chance, I don’t care if he is black, white, blue, or green. Let’s be honest here, they already changed the color of one character in the Ultimate Universe, Nick Fury, and I consider him to be THE version of Nick Fury. Even better than the original.

“So you knew that there was a big comic book story big enough to decide to avoid Yahoo, but you came to a comic book site instead?

That’s kind of on you, dude.”

Not really. Yahoo don’t care about comics and don’t mind to spoil readers, but I thought that a major comic books site like CBR would know better.

@Sean, uh ‘it’s a proven fact that black and Hispanic children don’t read comics’? I’d like for you to cite the study where that interesting ‘fact’ of yours was proven. Cuz’ you see, I’m Hispanic and I grew up reading comic books. I also know lots of Latino and black kids who read comics. So before you go spouting off about things things that you are obviously ignorant of, and declaring gross – and I must say FALSE – generalizations about other races, do your homework.

@chris, yes peter parker is your spider-man, bruce wayne maybe your batman, but who is your flash? you is your green lantern? who is your captain america? who is your *enter character here*
the problem with modern comics is you have to know 60 years of continuity in order to know everything that is going on; yes ultimate spider-man was a new take and it was great, but why not take it further? why not introduce a completely new take?
while it is doubtful 616 would not replace parker for long due to $$, this is giving a new chance to new readers to see a new world and new character.
it’s worked before in the past when creators stick to their guns and not bring back a previous name holder, it allows a new mythology to bloom.

what’s the big deal that he’s not white? miguel o’hara can’t be nothing less than a mix of hispanic and irish lol race is only an issue when you make it an issue. it’s not like there’d be a shitstorm if they just rolled with it an released the issue without telling anyone the new spiderman was gonna be not white

I can’t believe people are off put by this. If you’re pissed because they killed Peter Parker, that’s one thing, but who gives a shit who the knew Spiderman is. A few people pointed it out, but making a production of “look at our new black character” does seem a little shameful, but they still have a product to sell. Also everyone keeps saying all that matters is a good story, but not that’s not entirely true either. If they don’t sell books, it doesn’t matter how good the story is. This is the kind of shit the ultimate universe exists for, so if you don’t like it, just stick to Marvel proper.

Spider Carnage

August 2, 2011 at 4:20 pm

Regardless of skin color, we’ve seen Peter Parker’s problems played out to no end, but we’ve never seen another, completely different character have to deal with being the one and only Spider-Man in the present day.

The answer for this isn’t in the eyes of race but “Spider-Roid”! or “Spider-Bot”

What’s wrong with you guys? Who d’you think Spider-Man is? He’s Peter Parker for crying out loud. I’m a black teen and I live in Africa and I’ve treated Spider-Man like a god all my life and that person I worship is not some black kid. It’s PETER PARKER. So far as I’m concerned, this guy is just a kid in pajamas. He’s not Spider-Man to me.

I disagree with it 100%.. I’m hispanic and I agree with the statement that comics need to step in the 21st century and start being more diverse, but not at the expense of current characters.. I much rather follow a new character that “was inspired by spiderman’s noble sacrifice” or whatever, it was stupid to kill Parker. Some Iconic figures should be untouchable, Peter Parker is Spider Man, Clark Kent is Superman, Bruce Wayne is Batman and as a reader I buy a book to read about Peter/Spiderman not “Insert token character here/Spiderman” What you need is a brand new character, new storyline, have him take over for peter if you have to kill and be a legacy type of character it would’ve been much better…

this is a huge gamble john stewarts green lantern and rhodney rhodes iron man didnt take i doubt this one will either

Who cares? If its good its good. as always in America, its always about race.

I always find it curious when people complain that new characters who are people of color is “an agenda.”

If it is, then wouldn’t keeping comics lily white ALSO be an agenda?

After all, when comics draw so heavily on New York City, it’s frankly quite bizarre to have them full of white people. White people only make up one-third of NYC’s population. Making everyone white in a comic set in New York IS an agenda.

Of course, it’s not just comics that do this — TV shows (“Friends” being a perfect example) and movies do it as well.

And Shawn, what kids — white, black or brown — read comics? Let’s be honest — kids generally don’t, but it’s not a race thing. As a Latina, I can certainly assure you that people of color read comics. I’m never the only person of color when I go to my LCS, and that’s been true in every city I’ve lived in.

@Mugiwara: Hi! Internet speaking, here. I don’t think we’ve met.

@Sean: It’s a proven fact that sites on the internet, especially comic book related sites, always avoid hot comic book issues and put huge spoiler notifications in place of headlines and images that may have spoiler comic book content that is already spoiled everywhere else (or even isn’t).

@Daryll B. and Karaoke Fanboy: good posts

This idea works. Ultimate Peter Parker is killed off. They leave a legacy that can be inherited by anybody.

I’m offended that this has turned into a “if u don’t like the new spidey, you are a racist” argument. very narrow-minded. My thoughts are, Bruce Wayne is Batman, Clark Kent is Superman, Peter Parker is Spiderman. So, if Peter Parker is dead then so should be Spiderman. I don’t think ethnicity is the issue here. I think Marvel should have created a new character that had a link to Peter Parker to carry on his work, a tie-in. I think a new character would have been embraced. All the story lines u want. Don’t pull the race card on this one. Just a fan’s opinion.

Let’s see…going down the list, with a few exceptions because some of you deserve a punch through the screen and not a well-written response…

@ Simon: Not everything has to be interconnected. Sometimes it’s good to start fresh.

@ JohnByrneSaysonTwitter: Byrne doesn’t know WTF he’s talking about. Black Panther? Him, and Black Lightning, and a guy who wears gold chains and has a fucking catchphrase are supposed to be POSITIVE steps towards equality? Don’t get me wrong, they’re capable of being (and have been) good characters, but Black Panther just reinforces that “angry black man” stereotype because it makes people think of the Black Panthers. And Black Lightning? He couldn’t just be called Lightning? Or some other name? You think people wouldn’t recognize he was black on sight? GTFO.

And don’t get me wrong, it’s annoying to see so many knock-off heroes. They can be written well but it’s still somewhat disrespectful. But this isn’t a knock-off hero. This isn’t Scarlet Spider working alongside Spider-Man so he can die instead of Peter Parker. This isn’t a case where Peter Parker is incapacitated or some nonsense and this guy’s taking over. Nope. For all intents and purposes, Bendis has made this guy Spider-Man for the Ultimate universe. I’m considerably more okay with that than I am with, say, Steel.

@ Jab: I’m still kind of depressed that Donald Glover (now that I know who he is) isn’t Peter Parker for this new film. Garfield just resembles some emo kid, but I’m giving him a fair shake.

@ MalRen: You’re pretending not to know what he meant when he made that point. Replacing Peter Parker with yet another white kid just continues this idea that we only ever need to have white characters, but it’s cool because one day we’ll find a place for black/hispanic/asian characters without them feeling shoehorned in or part of an agenda. We don’t know how, and no one’s ever given us a suggestion we’re comfortable with, but–I’m sure we’ll figure it out! …Yeah, right.

@ Sean: A proven FACT? I…I’m not even sure what to say to that. I’m black, and I’ve been reading comics since I was 8 years old, but I guess I’ll just go join the female comic book readers as a mythical unicorn. >_<

@ mugiwara: Uhm. Nah, the other guy was right. This is a comic news site. They do comic book news. You expected them to hold the news while other, non comic-related sites are out scooping them? They don't make money off other people's hits, so that can't work. At this point, it's typical Marvel to give away their big news the day before the comic comes out. You KNEW to avoid this. Or should have.

Also…that comic retailer? As Troy (Glover) put it? “That dude was hardcore racist. Like, 1800’s Disney style.”

What if the Black Lightning, Falcon, Luke Cage, Black Panther or other iconic characters were killed off and replaced by an asian, latino or white person? Would black comic fans be upset and if so would that make them racists as they portray white people who don’t like this change?

to many people are all saying that peter parker is white and should stay that way for “continuity”. Last i checked, nick fury got the samuel jackson overhaul and its been GREAT so far! hes still the same character with a different race and we’re eating it up. I’m a black-hispanic black guy. i dont find this offensive in the slightest. what i DO feel slighted by is the fact that they had to kill off this mainstay character to reinvent him as a different race, whereas nick fury got the racial change from the getgo. if he was black-hispanic from USM1 through today, that would be fine. but now they’re gonna make us swallow this tripe for WHAT reason? is there an agenda? you couldnt just make him a black hispanic that was cloned from parker? i’d be more inclined to read about THAT character in “NEW ULTIMATE SPIDERMAN”. its just as bad as spawn killing himself off recently so that some other guy can take the spotlight. there was a title for that kinda thing called curse of the spawn. they’ve ruined spawn beyond help now until they bring back al simmons. unless the story behind this kid is just incredible, i may have to give this title up until they reincarnate peter. i dont care what race he comes back as, so long as its peter :-P

Wow. A lot of hate here on both sides of the argument. Hate of those in favor of and hate of those against it. The race thing isn’t really a big deal to me. I do have to admit, though, that I laughed a bit when I read that he was supposed to be a better representation of “21st century America.” If that’s the case, they didn’t take it far enough! Shouldn’t he have a black-white mom and an Asian-Hispanic dad? I kid, of course. Anyway, I digress.

More than anything, I’m okay with it because he’s not Peter Parker. Peter Parker is and always has been a white kid. Miles Morales is (hopefully) his own person and can chart his own destiny. That being said, I do wish the new Spider-Man had been someone the readers were at least a little familiar with so it didn’t feel like a decision from left field. So far, I fail to see how the Peter-Uncle Ben relationship is going to be parallel to Miles’ relationship with Peter being as how we’ve never seen them interact.

I do feel a little compelled to say that I wish minority characters were given the opportunity to go out on their own merits, not as legacy characters. Having said that, I love Jim Rhodes and think it’s cool that over time he was sort of able to walk out of Iron Man’s shadow and become his own (though similarly themed) hero. John Stewart also comes to mind, but it’s sort of hard for me to see him as a legacy character instead of a member of an organization. At any rate, it worked and he’s a popular character. If Miles takes off the way Bucky Barnes did as Captain America, I can see them sticking with their decision. If sales slide, I can see them re-establishing Peter Parker as Spider-Man and spinning Miles into his own (though similarly themed) hero. Either way, it’s a win-win situation for Marvel.

Drew Melbourne

August 2, 2011 at 5:13 pm

LB – “I’m offended that this has turned into a “if u don’t like the new spidey, you are a racist” argument. very narrow-minded. My thoughts are, Bruce Wayne is Batman, Clark Kent is Superman, Peter Parker is Spiderman. So, if Peter Parker is dead then so should be Spiderman. I don’t think ethnicity is the issue here. I think Marvel should have created a new character that had a link to Peter Parker to carry on his work, a tie-in. I think a new character would have been embraced. All the story lines u want. Don’t pull the race card on this one. Just a fan’s opinion.”

Are you forgetting that Bruce Wayne WASN’T Batman for the last couple of years? Were you offended when Dick Grayson became the new Batman?

This is the Ultimate Universe. Moving forward, it’s mission statement is to do stories that they can’t do in the mainstream Marvel universe. This is EXACTLY the sort of story they should be telling. And IF they’re replacing Spider-Man, why does it matter if the new Spider-Man is from a minority background?

Damn, thank you for the spoiler :-( what’s the point of a spoiler warning in the middle of the article when the title and the summary already ruined it? Didn’t you think for a moment this would show up in the front page and RSS feeds? (Yeah it’s been said already, but since this comments system doesn’t have a “+1” feature, I think it merits being said again.)

@kurumais Jon Stewart didn’t work? You never saw the Justice League cartoon, did you? He was an integral part of that program.

What is the racial breakdown of employees for all these comic sites that have such strong opinions on race?

Ordinarily, I’d be with the people who are saying that it would’ve been better to just make a new black superhero and give him a huge push. But I think one of the key points of Spider-Man, even more than the fact that he’s Peter Parker(usually), is that he’s an everyman, and that from the average citizen’s perspective in the MU it could be ANYONE in that suit. I think this is an interesting and thoughtful way of commenting on, and preserving, that legacy.

Well, at least his name isn’t Ben Reilly.

My only two cents to add is that I live for the day when an announcement like this doesn’t have to be thought of as a big deal, because the idea of Spider-Man (or any other character) being other than caucasian really isn’t a big deal.

They did make a new character his name Is Miles Morales he’s taking over the role as Spider-man we don’t know why yet we still have the story.
Also its the Ultimate Universe where anything should be possible. Ultimate Peter Parker was my favorite version of Spider-man. His funeral was the saddest thing I have seen in comics since the Ted Knight funeral.
The death of Spider-man (which I really didn’t think they would do it) gives the possibility that the Ultimate Universe could be a universe where people die, people grow and change. My hope has always been that they have a universe where people grow death usually sticks and the status quo does not hold sway.

The ultimate universe looks good with Hickman, Spenser, and Bendis running it.

Be cool everybody

Don’t mind this change for the Ultimate Universe. Let them mix things up there. I think it would have been better had it been an existing character that’s had some building up to it some way or another.

To clam that this isn’t a PC move is ridiculous. This is a character of two minority races that have claimed they are under used in comics. There is noting wrong with creating a new character and pushing that character. However, these new characters have historically failed because the company itself does not follow through and give those characters a chance and/or push them. Yeah, Marvel pushed Black Panther sporatically, but look at how they did it. They used a black writer to do it and made it know that a black writer was doing it. Then replaced that black writer with another black writer, while trying to bring the character to BET (Black Entertainment Network). The only way that Marvel of DC have pushed a minority character is when they replace a white character. Ultimate Nick Fury, Blue Beetle, Atom, Iron Man, Green Lantern, Firestorm, and others. All using previously established legacies to help get the new minority character over instead of starting fresh. Marvel and DC makes controversal race changes to allow that controversy itself to gain publicity for the character instead of using characters like Black Marvel.

Also, claiming that just because you don’t like this idea is based on racism is just wrong. I’d like to see what those same people would think if Luke Cage, Black Panther, Black Lightning or other characters were recreated into white characters. I’d bet they would complain about it just as others are complaining and for the same reason. That it was done just to be controversal and use that controversy to gain readers.

Oh and lets not forget that Bendis KILLED Marvel’s first Hispanic character White Tiger that was created by George Perez just to replace the character with his own new version of the character. Bendis is good at doing this.

As an aside, having read a few years of great Nick Fury comics in the 616 (including Secret Warriors), I can honestly say i’ll never think the Ultimate version of Fury is even a fraction as cool as the 616 version. I used to, but he has become such a parody of himself the last few years, i don’t think it’s close anymore. Plus, in some ways i fear it handcuffed the Marvel Cinematic Universe because Sam Jackson’s just chewing on scenery in those movies and probably prevented them from putting Fury in the WWII scenes with Cap and Dum Dum.

Of course, this is really off topic and is not even remotely informed by race. Just saying.

Eric Qel-Droma

August 2, 2011 at 6:31 pm

bustermike – I feel exactly the same way. Thanks for that.

Disney’s Folly: But would you feel any different about 616-Fury if he were black? I agree with you on the misuse of U-Fury, but come on. The whole Ultimate Universe has become a parody of itself. It’s not his blackness that has made him a stupid character, just as it’s not 616-Fury’s whiteness that’s made him cool. It’s the stories that are told with these characters.

(And for the record, they could have come up with 500 ways to put Fury in the movie, but wouldn’t it be asking a bit much for movie audiences to accept TWO WWII characters surviving 70 years? The only reason they’re both that way in the comics is because, originally, it was only 20 years, and people could buy it. I would have been happier with Sgt. Jonas Fury played by another black actor showing up as the leader of the Howling Commandos and having the movies make a generational connection between them.)

I would just like to point out that this article spoils quite a bit in the “before the jump” article taglines on CBR, and that should definitely be changed. I really, really wanted to avoid being spoiled till the comic itself.

To those saying “Why can’t they just make new characters that are _____ and promote them?” . . . when’s the last time the Big Two put effort into promoting /any/ new character, white or straight or male or otherwise? The most recent character that has Average Citizen name recognition is Wolverine, and he predates the VHS/Betamax war.

(Yeah, “can people who don’t read superhero comics recognize them” is a puny standard, but it means the difference between “having a single figure and/or shirt” and “taking up an entire aisle at Target because of all the things,” which decades of storytelling aside is what Time Warner and Disney really keep their comics divisions around for.)

As for this new guy wearing the Spider-Man outfit, I hadn’t been too interested in the storyline before, but I think I’ll put my money towards some issues now. Because minority characters need all the support they can get, vocal and otherwise.

(Also, dude looks adorable. Sometime you just gotta let your shallow side loose!)

Web of Hilarity

August 2, 2011 at 6:45 pm

LOL! Hello! This is an ALTERNATE universe Spider-Man. The racist comments are hilarious. By the way, how many Captain Americas have there been in addition to Steve Rogers? How many Robins–boys and girls??

It’s hilarious that people just can’t deal with the fact that in an alternate universe there is a black Latino teen who becomes Spider-Man after the death of the original Spider-Man.

In the D.C. universe, how many people have been Batman?

It’s sad to see how much ignorance and racism rules the world.

And by the way, “Latino” is not a race. It’s a cultural ethnicity. Latinos can be of any race like the white, blonde and blue-eyed Cameron Diaz; the mestizo (Native American & white), dark-skinned George Lopez; the mulatto (black & white) like Rosario Dawson; the black Celia Cruz; or Asian.

Anyway, I’m happy to see young Mr. Morales as a new web-spinner. I plan to buy a copy of the new Spider-Man tomorrow!!!

For the record, new characters of any ethnicity and cultural background do not sell well solo. Heck, many established characters can’t sell well solo. It’s not a matter of just marketing and promotion, solely because if they do I can guarantee without a doubt that people will complain that Marvel is pushing this new minority character instead of character X who had multiple chances to succeed over decades of publishing history. I would put money on that. That’s why they don’t bother. Fans show time and time again that the only solo heroes they support are Batman, Wolverine, Spider-man,and now Green Lantern. Occasionally you get another property to jump up the charts, but they usually drop right back down in a matter of months.

The sales reports speak for themselves. Everyone who can access this site has access to the Diamond Shipping numbers.

This is an historic moment in Marvel and comics-business history. This will have great long-lasting repercussions if handled properly. All too bad that Dwayne McDuffie is not around to see this.

Marvel must promote this to the utmost- television, radio, toys, magazines, newspapers, multi-cultural outlets- especially african-american and latino-culture media- this will be important to exploit and increase awareness of this character.

Had Ultimate Spider-Man been black/hispanic since it first started over a decade ago, THEN it would’ve been historic. Especially if it was a black/hispanic Peter Parker.

Anything else is just slow news day.

It’s a ballsy move. I respect it. Clearly it’s gotten a reaction.

I have no interest in reading about a Spider-Man who is not Peter Parker.

Will all this non-white character inclusion business eventually allow me to walk into a comicbook store to not be immediately scowled at and followed around by the insecure white racist douchebag behind the counter? Let’s all pray for that future.

Agreed Mikael. And how will this have repercussions on the comic industry Hypestyle? Who, apart from us obsessives, considers Ultimate Spidey as anything other than a second class Spidey? I told friends about this and they thought it interesting until they learned it wasn’t the ‘main’ Spidey, after that it seemed like a cop out to them. “So he’s not the real Spider-Man?” was the reply.

I’m not ragging on Marvel for doing this. I totally agree with ensuring any new or replacement characters reflect a diverse society. It’s just…it’s not as edgy as I suspect they think it is. As someone of mixed ethnicity it’s life and it’s kind of sad that it’s ‘news’.

Thanks for putting this on the front page completely spoiling the reveal

Yes indeed it would be great for marvel, dc, to start creating new characters and new groups to include minorities and represent the changes that we all see in a day to day basis, however doing so at the expense of current characters for no purpose but to fill a quota is the type of mentality that made the Falcon quit the Avengers. Peter Parker is spider man, the day he was killed spider man is dead period, to replace him with anyone is a recipe for disaster, they’d be better off just introducing a new character who was inspired by Spider Mans sacrifice and decided to honor him by following his footsteps even tying in the origin with this new character with the death of spidey would be cool,but this seems forced and just done for shock value to sell books. Spider Man is Peter, Clark is supes Bruce is bats.. iconic characters shouldnt be changed, wanna change Mr Terrific? fine it was an improvement, want to make Black Panther white? No its not ok..

I think it’s a bit misguided changing a characters skin color just for the sake of diversity. This is a good idea for the Ultimate universe. As many have stated before Peter Parker is white (or german-irish-english etc etc etc) whatever ethnic sub-group of whites you want to ping him in, but it all boils down to white.

I’m thinking the worst case of this has to be Kingpin in the Daredevil movie (yeah, we know he wasn’t the reason it sucked) such Michael Clark Duncan has Kingpins build and can act, but you’re taking a white guy who’s a criminal and turning him into a black guy who’s a criminal. Stereotypes-a-flutter.

I’m with John Byrne with his statement.

In retrospect, Black Panther and Black Lightening do have some glaring adjectives to their name, but it works for me, I grew up with them named that and never made the connotation until someone made it apparent.

I’m just glad Luke Cage’s superhero name was Power Man rather than Black Man.

Here’s the thing…there’s nothing wrong with Miles Morales, it’s just that he shouldn’t be Spiderman. Peter Parker is Spiderman, period. Miles Morales should and could be a new exciting character, exploring, even leading the comic community to territory as yet, and unfortunately uncharted. The problem is that writers, Bendis included, are not creative enough to make a new character stick unless they have him replace an icon like Peter Parker/Spiderman. The most unfortunate thing here is that Marvel chose to go the lazy route thinking that a new non-white character couldn’t find lasting popularity unless he rode in on the coat tails of already established popularity and dressed in “white man’s clothes”, and I’m a white man.


This might have been a good idea to not spoil who the new spidey was in the title/link for the article for CBR. I’ve managed to not open any of the links that have given it away… but its tough when you say it in the title!

There’s nothing ballsy about this. Make the character a devout Christian. Now that would be ballsy.

Name a new white character that has been introduced in the last 20 years that has caught on with fans? I can only think of Gambit and Deadpool. If it’s not already screamingly obvious to everyone at this point, Marvel and DC will keep re-imagining their established characters until the end of time.

not convinced yet,about how long it will be.
it probably become sort of “Ultimate Ben Reilly” & eventually “Ultimate Scarlet Spider”down the way.

The Ultimate universe should have started off with alternatives like this from the start. Too much of the Ultimate universe ended up with slightly edgier characters, with a few neat new concepts, very little pushed the envelope. Too bad this new spiderman had to replace the white spidey. Instead of just being the Ultimate Spidey from the start.

Speaking of Community, I couldn’t help but immediately think of Dean Pelton when they were trying to come up with the Greendale Human Beings mascot. Dean said to be more diverse and represent “human beings” they needed a mascot to reflect that. Pierce suggested a black person, but Dean said they can’t just put a black person to represent diversity, etc. I mean, I can see why people are reacting with the “PC-ing” business.

Thanks for the link. I’m posting a follow up about the #comicmarket incident tomorrow with further thoughts about #comicmarket, the incident and professionalism of those in the industry in general.

@Joe Lee:

I absolutely agree with you about the Ultimate Universe waiting too long to really distinguish itself from the original. From early on it just seemed like a way for young(er) creators to retell the same stories they grew up reading but with a “cool” “modern” twist. There should have been a bigger push to really separate the two right from the start.

I’m thinking the worst case of this has to be Kingpin in the Daredevil movie (yeah, we know he wasn’t the reason it sucked) such Michael Clark Duncan has Kingpins build and can act,


Got the build, can act—give the man the job! Because being white is NOT AT ALL RELEVANT to being the Kingpin.

I agree with jmralls2001. Thats one of the main reasons I didn’t like The Fantastic Four casting of jessica alba. If your gonna dye her hair blond and give her blue contacts you might as well went after eliza cuthbert.

I’m not going to not read it because of the color of the new Spider-man’s skin. I’m going to not read it because the storyline in which they killed Peter was awful and I don’t feel like investing in a new character taking the place of an old character. Why not create a whole new character for Miles Morales? Ultimate Spider-man has ended as far as I’m concerned. This is a new series and so makes a great jumping-off point for me.

I have to say, Spider-Man always felt “black” to me. I mean the masked, superheroic identity. Not Peter Parker, who is as white as can be. But Spidey, he is an agile, wisecracking, put-upon urban trickster. It’s almost like a white, uncool, nerd kid putting a costume and becoming a black, cool, fun guy.

About this new Ultimate Spidey, I’m pretty neutral to it. I was never a reader of Ultimate Spider-Man.

I think introducing completely new characters in Marvel/DC is very hard. Tim Calahan said it in one of his articles. The Big Two universes already have all the archetypical spots filled. Creating an enduring new character is like creating a new Greek God. The major roles and even most of the minor ones are all taken.

Sam, as for making Spider-Man a devout Christian, I am sorry, we can’t have that, it would be “promoting an agenda,” right? And you Conservative fellas hate that.

Just kidding. I am very much an agnostic/secular kind of guy, but I’d be totally okay with a few more devout Christian heroes being introduced in superhero universes. I don’t feel threatened or angered by characters that are different from myself or have different viewpoints. Fiction should be about exploring different viewpoints from your own.

all the archetypical SLOTS filled, I mean

It’s so funny when people always say, make a brand new character, and than when new characters are created, such as xombi, they flop. Stop with your hypocritical garbage. It’s common knowledge that new characters doesn’t sell unless they are legacy characters. Stop pretending like you don’t know this. You don’t like it? Than freakin pick up books that are new characters. Than the big 2 will listen, but otherwise, it just looks like you just oppose diversity.

john byrne is a bitter, obnoxious old crank whose quality of work peaked in 1986 and it’s been straight downhill since. nobody cares what you have to say old man…

It’s nice, but he’s NOT Spider-man. He’s a knock-off. The best he’ll ever be is Dick Grayson as Batman. That’s not progressive. It’s insulting.

“… it’s a proven fact that black and Hispanic children DO NOT READ COMICS.”

WTF are you talking about?!

What planet are YOU from? And in exactly what manner has your *fact* been established? Children and adults alike of all racial backgrounds read comics. Hell, I got into comics because of my two childhood pals, who were BLACK, bringing their comics to school.

So you have an insulated, homogenous, aging fanbase having a venomous overreaction to change? Big shocker. I think racism is only a part of it, simply the American superhero comic base only wants nostalgia porn. They want to pretend they are 13, not 33. They don’t give a crap about diversity, or even the health of the comic industry, they just want what they got in 1978 or 88. No change is good change as far as they are concerned. The new spider man could have been blonde haired, blue eyed, and named Joe and the reaction would have still been mindless flaming. People are giving these short sighted, selfish goons too much credit by making them racist villains.

The comic book industry, which shouldn’t be defined by the big two but sadly is, looks like a breeding ground for bedwetting, virgin, racists with anger issues, and not a place where talented storytellers work(I’m talking about the industry overall, not just the big two). But hey, Peter Parker is Spider-Man, and making sure the world knows that is what’s important right?

I’d be more impressed if DC hadn’t already done this whole bit with the new (not so new now) Blue Beetle. It’s hardly ground-breaking.

“It’s nice, but he’s NOT Spider-man. He’s a knock-off. The best he’ll ever be is Dick Grayson as Batman. That’s not progressive. It’s insulting.”

I’m sure they said the same thing about the transition from Golden Age characters to Silver Age characters like Green Lantern, the Flash, and the Atom. But it can work.

The simple fact is this: the character has much more chances of surviving as a “legacy character” than a new one with absolutely no name recognition. We all know that new comic characters rarely survive. The new Spider-Man will likely survive for a while, much like Kyle Rayner and John Stewart. Inevitably Peter Parker will come back, or the title and the Ultimate line will be cancelled and he’ll fall into obscurity. But he’ll have had a better and longer run as a legacy character than a new one.


Stan Lee has said that kids identify with Spider-Man because he is completely covered, could be ANYONE in the suit, including you. (see the Kevin Smith interview DVD, for example). Jack-in-the-Box is the Astro City analogue of Spider-Man — he’s black. Who cares what color a character is, even a legacy character (that takes over an existing identity). I realise that Spider-Man is a higher profile character than, say, Mr. Terrific, but having a person of a different race than white in a costume previously worn by someone who was white — and it’s not even the same costume, it’s the same superhero code-name, is all — shouldn’t matter to anyone.

On the other hand, comic fans have proven to be intractable and closed-minded about any kind of change. That’s why the status quo keeps coming back, even when the changes improve the character or the book.
I haven’t been paying attention to any commentary on Amazing Spider-Man; are people upset that he now has a steady, well-paying job where he doesn’t get verbally abused for his work?

Life is about change. Things change, people change, and hey! Ultimate Spider-Man has changed! Grow up!

@ Tristan

You do realise the widespread generalisations you are making about the supposed “fanbase” are just as ignorant and based on stereotypes as the ones you are criticising aren’t you? You can’t have it both ways.


I didn’t read Ultimate Spider man before, and this isn’t going to change anything, comics are too expensive for me to add much more to my pull box, and doubt “miles Morales” will warrant my pull box any more than the bult of Dc’s 52 relaunches

that being said, yes I agree 100% that Miles Morales being “multi-cultural” is aresult of trying to increase Marvels’s multi cultural fan base, call it affirmative action or being PC, but being what it is isn’t surprising, welcome to economics 101

For those upset that folsk are being racist about Miles Morales being multi cultural, part of that can be blamed on ther being nothing else to talk about. “He’s half plack, half hispanic and has a new costume”…if there’s more to comment on, give us somehting more than those three facts.

And for the complainers on the other side of the spectrum, do you think Miles Morales is really going to fare THAT much longer than Ben Reilly, Eric Masterson or John walker?…the article says that we’re up on Spidermans 49th anniversery. Unless Miles Morales puts USM in the top 20 comics sold…pretty sure Peter will be back for the 50th

“… it’s a proven fact that black and Hispanic children DO NOT READ COMICS.”

I’m under 30 Black and I’ll put my collection up against yours any day.

Now on topic: to people saying Peter is Spiderman and Bruce is Batman, I would say you’re wrong! Yes, they are the current and longest iteration of the character but if comics were allowed to change and grow they couldn’t/wouldn’t always inhabit that role. Look I love Bruce as Bats! I have a Batman tattoo, but I also like to think that the animated series Amanda Waller and Grant Morrison are right. That the world will always need a Batman. Even after Bruce can’t do it, Gotham needs protecting. Someone has to step up.
What I want from Miles is that he not be defined by his race. I want to know why he is driven to take up the mantle. What does he hope to accomplish. And I don’t want a black Peter Parker. I loved ultimate Pete I don’t want a black/Hispanic version. Much like I didn’t want Dick Grayson’s tenure as Batman to be about a smaller more agile Bruce.

I’m not sure why you get rid of Peter Parker if you are going to continue to explore the same themes with a different character. Just because there’s a universality to Parker’s struggle doesn’t mean it can just be transferred, recaptured, or better represented by this new character and makes you question why even do it if you’re not going to reset the board. Think of the differences between the Golden and Silver age Green Lanterns and/or Flashes then think about this Ultimate scenario and I think you’ll see this as superficial and unoriginal.

Another black comic book reader chiming in.

I think how the story comes across will make it apparent whether this was a story someone pitched that they liked, or if this is just a money grab through generated controversy.

Spider-man has a long and winding history in comics and taking an odd experiment here or there with the character is okay in my book we all know characters tend to be remodeled into their core concepts over time again anyway, so a curveball here or there gets straightened out most of the time. So I doubt this is a permanent change, but I’m willing to see if the story supports it.

I would like there to be more diverse heroes of all sorts, because the world in which these characters live is at times one unrelatable to me. (I am not saying I need to relate to web-swinging, or even that I cannot invest into natural story-telling that follows any race).

I want to give it a chance because it’s different–when simply bringing back Peter Parker would have been so much easier.

If this was the “main” Spider-man being changed I would understand people being upset. I too think a storyline that connected this new character to the death of the old, without him becoming the new Spider-man would have allowed the character a much greater chance to survive in the long run.

But until then, I’m willing to try out any experiments with age old characters and if the story sucks then I won’t be interested in Miles Morales even if he does share part of my heritage.

I think a lot of people are missing the point of these characters.

Batman is morality tale about how tragedy can define you, but don’t ever let it break you.
Spiderman is about great power and great responsibility.
Green Lantern is about not letting fear stop you from acting.

The race of said character is of NO importance. The message is all that matters.

Not really that big a deal to me.

Of course I haven’t been reading any Spiderman book since Brand New Day, and I can’t remember the last Ultimate U book I bought.

I wish them luck, and can see this being a interesting take, I may even check in on the new Spidey.

The thing that bothers me is this isn’t even really that original an idea. DC replaced Hal Jordan with John Stewart and more recently killed off the Blue Beetle (hmmm another hero with a creepy crawly theme, who was co-created by Steve Ditko) only to have a new version appear right after, who also happened to be a teenage minority kid. (Jaime Reyes, who is hispanic) back in 2006

Now I really like the new Blue Beetle, but I also really like the Ted Kord version, Marvel fans are lucky, they will have both.

Judge Fred MANSON

August 3, 2011 at 12:05 am

Peter Parker was white. He is dead now.

Why the new Spidey must be white??? The Ultimate line is way in advance with the real world communities and its representations. The normal MU is not. The UU is.

So, lets go and see what this guy has in its pants!!!!!

All this talk about “racism” is bullshit. If Bendis had REALLY been as creative as all his fluffers make him out to be and this decision to have a “half black/half Hispanic” Spider-Man was NOT just a sorry-ass attempt at PCism, then the ULTIMATE Spider-Man would’ve been a person of color when the series started all those many years ago.

I’m a bit curious as to why this attempt at a “Spider-Man of color” is seemingly being more well-received than “Spider-Man: India” was. Might I see a touch of racism at play here? (You know–that *subtle* racism employed by some “minority” ethnic/racial groups against others and not see the irony?)

It’s really hard to comment on this but to me Peter Parker is spiderman and when he died I saw it as a time to leave the ultimate universe of books and get more into the mainstream universe, I was a teenager when I read ultimate spiderman and am in my 20s now. I see this as my time being over and time for the next generation to bring something new to the table, I really hope this new guy succeeds and mean as much to his readers as Peter meant to me.

Besides Petes not totally dead, Jessica Drew is still running around out there

I look forward to picking up the odd trade pb now and then

Just a thought – Batman Beyond was an awesome cartoon that paid homage to the history of Batman and Gotham City and gave us a lead character who wasn’t a Bruce Wayne clone. Bruce could no longer be Batman (even though he was still alive), as Ultimate Peter Parker can no longer be Spider-Man.

I think that’s a better point of reference than Dick Grayson becoming Batman in the DCU or even Bucky becoming Captain America, both of which were well done, but ultimately doomed to end when it was time to return to the status quo. This is a new character taking up the mantle, which presents its own story possibilities.

Of course, I’m most interested in seeing if/how this ties to the upcoming Ultimate Spider-Man cartoon. None of the preview images have included an unmasked Spidey. If the new cartoon version is Miles under the mask, that’s a much larger, potentially paradigm shifting, move.

Ah yes, here we go again. As fans of a character replaced, we are once again told that if we disagree with the decision of the replacement we are a racist. Well,I have another term. HACK! As a comics creator why can’t you create a successful ethnic character without shoehorning them into another characters role. And lets be honest, its not like these replacements ever work. Firestorm. Blue Beetle. The Question. What do they all have in common? Existing characters killed off and replaced by ethnic versions, and then when they fail, the comics community is told how they are racist for not accepting these new changes. How is it racism to not want to read about these stand ins? They aren’t the character that I’ve read about. They aren’t a character I’m interested in. But hey, go ahead Marvel. You and DC both. The decisions you’ve made in the last few years have showed you have no understanding of the market you are in. You certainly have no concept of the way you are ostracizing the older fans. And you certainly don’t seem to know that you aren’t exactly driving in new fans. I mean really, its not even a trickle in.
How could you have forgotten the aftermath of you’re catering to the event fans of the 90’s? And where are those fans now? Are people going to suddenly start buying this book because you have a half black/latino kid in them? And if so, aren’t they racist themselves? I mean if I’m not reading him now that’s he’s not white, doesn’t it stand to reason that they too must be racist because they are reading him now that he is white?

I’m not offended that this new Spiderman is black. What i am offended by is the blatant marketing & the pretense that this was done to be progressive & not as a marketing gimmick thought up by Marvel, which will release in, huh look at that it releases in September… Same date as DC major reluanch.

I am also mildly offended that Marvel didn’t instead try to make a new character & that marvel somehow thinks that this new spiderman won’t be known as “The Black Spiderman.” This character was doomed from the second of his ignaminious creation: Poor new Spiderman.

Marvel had the chance to pull a Static, but no instead they created a black spiderman… This has nothing to do with racism, this has to do with people pissed over the stupidity of marvel & the stupidity of everyone pretending that the U.U is important.

Newsflash: The Ultimate Universe is a universe full of “also ran” characters & the poor writing which has characterised it from the beginning. Way to hedge your bets Marvel.

Having a black/hispanic young man take Spiderman’s place as a story doesn’t bother me in the least….on the forums I guessed the kid that was the Prowler only Ultimized……but as an “Agenda” I am a bit annoyed….I don’t read this for “Agenda” but for story….because of the “Ultimate Agenda”, I don’t feel that this was set up in “Old Marvel” story style where the plot grows with threads hear and there for a year or two that don’t seem related and then POW! Here you are and your blinking trying to figure out what this train is that just hit you….and then you put together all the clues(train whistle warning) and say “wow, I should have seen that coming”…..I know that we have had up front stories that told us Peter was dying….but Peter in helping Hobbie (Prowler) out of his problems would have built a bridge of understanding that he wants to make that kind of difference too! Now I am sure Bendis will give us a “back story” but I like that Ol’Marvel way of threading along quitely…..

I read Ultimate Spider-Man in trade form. I’ve been a fan of the Stan Lee/Jack Kirby/Steve Ditko universe (616? ugh.) for over 30 years now. That Universe has been pretty unreadable to me with the exception of a few titles now but the Ultimate Universe in Spider-Man is pretty good. I’ve read Ultimate X-Men but it fell off the rails for me, I’ve read the Ultimates and pretty much feel the same way. Ultimatum killed alot of my interest in the brand entirely but Ultimate Spider-Man has stayed pretty interesting and appealed to what has always made the character unique. Had they killed off Stan and Steve’s Spider-Man, I would have just sighed and moved on but Bendis’ Spider-Man allows for storylines where they can take chances like this. I’m not a Bendis fan outside of USM and I do think that Marvel will do anything to get mainstream press. Still, I’m willing to give this a shot.

The danger in this type of press is that some people will be called racist just because they don’t like the move. Samuel L Jackson as Nick Fury to me changes the character just like Arnold Schwarzeneggar playing Mr. Freeze in Batman and Robin. The character becomes the actor that is playing them not the other way around. Some people don’t want anyone but Peter Parker being Spider-Man. Some people don’t want a black Spider-Man because they don’t like African Americans. There’s a difference between these two people and I hope that the people shout “Racist” recognize that.

I don’t see how this is breaching or aproaching ‘new teritory’ since the series will revolve around responsibity something the old series did too. So the only new thing that we are actually getting is probably a new supporting cast and new Spider-man at the expense of the the already established one.

Unless, and feel free to correct me, the new ‘teritory’ is supposed to be black or hispanic people – which I happen to think that that is rather more racist then the people complaining about a black spider-man.

So well I can only say – meh – so far but I’ll see what Bendis has in store maybe I’ll be pleasently suprised.

Kelly Frazetta

August 3, 2011 at 5:21 am

This will fail.

It’ll be hot for the first few issues just for teh curiosity factor and, like most of the other gimmicks Marvel pulls out of their idea well, things will go back to normal. Cancellation.

Okay, if this was the main Spider-man comic book I can see all the fuss but this is the ULTIMATE universe, it’s not the main Marvel universe, it’s like an alternate reality. So they can do things they ordinarily wouldn’t do, I kinda wish the One more day storyline was part of the ultimate universe but unfortunately they have turned that into continuity. Anyway, since this is the Ultimate Spider-man, it was always about trying something new and different so I have no problem with this. Spider-man can be black or asian or gay or a chick for all I care. If it was a chick or a gay guy I’m sure there would be the same outrage. Maybe he will be gay too just to make all you fanboys mad lol. At least the Ultimate universe is taking chances, I’m really unhappy with how the main Marvel-verse has been the last five years, with spider-man being single again, the x-men all split up and living in San Francisco, the human torch dead now, spider-man with a white costume and belonging to like 10 different superhero teams. I remember Aunt May dying in 1995 and mary Jane got pregnant with Peter’s baby, why couldn’t they just have kept that timeline? Aunt May does not deserve nine lives, I can’t stand this hip grandma they got now and I always wanted Spider-man to have a kid. They could have had him age fast or something and had Spider-man’s son in his own book by now instead of that lame Spider-girl book with May Parker.

The worst thing they could actually do with the new black Spider-man is turn him into a stereotype by making him from the ghetto and have a brother in jail, or he dates a white girl and knocks her up. That would be racist. But to the dude who said that black people or hispanics dont’ read comics, you are totally lame. Have you ever gone to a comic convention? Old people, young people, people from all over the world, both genders and sexual orientations read comics. Just like there is a huge gay comic book community and no, they don’t just read Wonder Woman and Supergirl like you probably think. After all, good looking men in spandex seems pretty homoerotic in the first place. It wasn’t until the 90’s that all the women starting having watermelon boobs and looking like porn stars.But seriously, comic books shouldn’t be sexualized, I think kids can go find their Dad’s playboys if they are interested in female anatomy and not drooling over a comic character or a video game girl cause thats just sad lol

The truth of the matter with me is….I Honestly dont care

on one hand, he’s a new character playing spiderman in the ultimate universe. I dont care about the ultimate universe so I dont mind it.
On the other hand, they arent editing peter parker in 616, or completely redoing what the character originally is. Makes me happy cause you shouldnt change a classic character like that.

Racism, and the differences we have dont matter. if we make them matter, then Racism thrives and lives on. I dont want a black history month, I dont want a white history month. Black History is American History. Do I look at my friend JB as a black man? No, he’s a human being who happens to be black. And I dont look at my gay friend as gay. He’s a Human being who happens to be gay.
People put too much stock in labels when we all have the same insides and such.

I don’t care if it’s a black, Asian, middle-eastern, native or another white guy in a spider suit. Spider-Man is Peter Parker and Peter Parker is Spider-Man.

On a side note, can you see “Larry the Cable Guy” as Power Man/Luke Cage? ‘Suhwwwweeet Christmas’.

“Black Spider-man” totally fine because:
On the Peter Parker being dead and the new Spider-man being half-black, Marvel Comics Publishing hasn’t been honest. It happens in the “Ultimate Marvel Universe”, not the “Original Marvel Universe”. The OMU Peter Parker Spider-man is still alive and active. The UMU Peter Parker Spider-man is dead. A new guy is now Spider-man and is getting a LOT of misleading news coverage.

It’s like reporting “Robert Deniro Died” when really the Real Robert Deniro is alive and it was really a Robert Deniro Impersonator that died.

Racism or PC or whatever, the fact is that this choice more accurately reflects the real-life world in which Spider-Man is set. Folks, I live in Queens, where Peter Parker hails from, and it’s hilarious to me to read the comics and see Peter and his lily-white friends and enemies trouncing around the halls of their supposedly urban high school. It’s like someone teleported a high school from North Dakota into Forest Hills.
I would like to invite anyone who says that black and hispanic kids don’t read comic books to come visit Midtown Comics with me this afternoon.
And jeez, it’s not like you don’t have at least 3 other white versions of Peter Parker you can read/watch/listen to, between movies, cartoons, Broadway shows, and, most importantly, OTHER FORMS OF THE SAME MEDIUM. You don’t like him? Go read another comic book. That’s what I tend to do when I don’t like particular comics. There are plenty of them out there, for heaven’s sake.

I think the whole idea of “Comics as a parable of real life” is a joke.

Maybe at one time they were, when the publishers were capable of producing and distributing content to the public at large. These days, Harry Potter could beat up Spider-Man if the measure of either fictional character’s fortitude were measured in print or digital sales.

All of “real life” is not represented by an insular group of dedicated buyers (of which I admittedly am one) who receive their cultural life blood from a wholly inefficient distribution model that is only capable of sending it’s scriptures out to tiny specialty shops. This will be forgotten by the non-comic reading public (which is near 99% of the population) in a week because no one cares about Spider Man’s monthly adventures outside of comic fandom in any large amount.

If one wants to make a lasting statement using modern pop culture as the vehicle, they’ll do it in the “Twilight” series of books that actually sell more than 60,000 copies consistently and not just spike up when a major character dies.

randypan the goatboy

August 3, 2011 at 7:22 am

In the spirit of fairness I think Ultimate black panther should be killed off and replaced with a white guy. It would be great. You have this white Guy[lets call him Steve Douglas just so there is no confusion about his ethnicity]. He can be south African so it can be all about the new king of wakanda trying to hold back aparthied. There would be angry people of both races constanly trying to kill him. and it would do exactly what ultimate Spiderman is doing. Replace a long established character with someone from another race just to see if 10 more people buy the book…Its only fair

Yes, it’s totally fair and equivalent to suggest taking one of only a relative handful of black superheroes and transforming him into a white character. You’re on to something Randy!

Andrew Sadowski

August 3, 2011 at 7:53 am

In all honesty, it’s just a comic book. A character’s skin color is no deterrence, and is also no reason for me to get angry at a publisher or a creator. It’s rather cool that Glover was the inspiration for Miles, I’m sure we’d all kill for the chance to be an inspiration for a superhero. In the long run, who actually gives a damn to stay angry at this whole situation?

I’m amused by this fake concern about diversity by Marvel.

If the sales tank this book will be gone.

“If the sales tank this book will be gone.”

You could make that same statement about any comic, regardless of the race, gender or sexual orientation of the lead character.

To be honest, Donald glover wont be able to play this new guy because by the time he comes into prominence, it will be twenty years later +.

Awww…Thank you Bendis is truly a blessing to Marvel! :)

well, I hope they treat him better than the did the “New” sorcerer supreme, Brother Voodo.
talk about getting shafted……

Spider-man Fan

August 3, 2011 at 8:44 am

Hmm.. It seems that Marvel employees really hated and feared the idea of Donald Glover being cast as Peter Parker, so they made a scapegoat character and made a Black Spider-man in an alternate reality to cover up their faces because they kicked Glover off of the new Spider-man movie.

As some one who was fairly new to Ultimate Spider-Man I’m not thrilled PP was killed at all. I Enjoyed the cast and dynamic and that’s something that will be gone. But the lack of diversity among major super heroes is very marked. Creating totally new or periphery characters can’t address that: It’s near impossible for new characters to get traction. The most recent character to gain any has been Deadpool, so maybe one every 20 years ignoring that in that time comic book readership has fallen. The only way to even slightly assail the situation is to pass on some tights. Character changes can work, Wally West for example (and how DC has botched that over the last few years will for me likely be the worst mis-step they’ve made). But lets be honest, it’s only Ultimate Spider-Man. It’s not 616, It’s iconic enough to get attention but Marvel isn’t that invested in it.

On a side note, the biggest missed opportunity to diversify characters has to be Ultimate Cap.

“Hmm.. It seems that Marvel employees really hated and feared the idea of Donald Glover being cast as Peter Parker, so they made a scapegoat character and made a Black Spider-man in an alternate reality to cover up their faces because they kicked Glover off of the new Spider-man movie.”

The Amazing Spider-Man film is a Sony/Columbia production; Marvel has nothing to do with the casting. And Donald Glover was never “kicked off” the movie, as he was never cast in it.

At least we didn’t get some horseshit reveal that the suit was loose fitting with a sock stuffed in the crotch to disguise that it was a female. Rot in hell RONIN!

White dudes writing black characters is an iffy proposition, because it’s beyond their realm of experience. That can come off as phony and condescending. I would rather read a story written by real blacks/hispanics, it’s a totally different world that whites, or any other race will never understand. Bendis wrote Luke Cage, but he’s stereotypical, just put Shaft in tights and a disco outfit and gold chains or hip hop him up like a rapper. Not so hard. But to make it real, I hope they get some input from people who really have to reside in that world. Oh, they could talk to Joe Quesada. He’s dark, but he’s not like Manny Ramirez or A Rod, he doesn’t look black. I’ll check it out, but they better not mess this up. Lotsa angry people out there waiting to jump on comic book characters, look what they did to the GL movie. Shameful.


“White dudes writing black characters is an iffy proposition, because it’s beyond their realm of experience”

No its not… I’m pretty sure most writers have been human for a good long time now… i’m also pretty sure none of the writers at either marvel have ever been bitten by a radioactive spider & gained the proportional strength & agility of a spider, yet they don’t seem to have any problems writing spiderman in the past.

Black people are just people, they aren’t a fucking alien species… An even if they were, you’d just get DnA to write it, they love aliens. So take that chip off your shoulder & stop being an arse.


“Bendis wrote Luke Cage, but he’s stereotypical, just put Shaft in tights and a disco outfit and gold chains or hip hop him up like a rapper. Not so hard. But to make it real, I hope they get some input from people who really have to reside in that world”

What fucking world Rick? There is no black world, there’s just the real world & the completely fictional world that Americans think black people live in… Seriously dude, pull your head out of you arse & realize that not all people of colour live in Ghetto’s, with homies sitting on a stoop, wearing bling… God i fucking hate Americans sometimes.

Ultimately, this boils down to gimmick to boost sales. Period. A truly radical move would be, I don’t know, maybe CREATE a truly interesting and unique black or gay or whatever character, like they did in the old days. In the pre-Movie Deal/X-Box tie-in days of the 1970’s, they did it with Luke Cage, Brother Voodoo, Blade, The Living Mummy and even Black Lightning to an extent. Those writers WORKED for a living, with no guarantee of a USA Today headline to back them up. I’m not black or gay or a woman, but do I have to be to enjoy a comic book hero who is and interesting enough that they don’t need an iconic superhero costume slapped on them?

@Eric Garcia: Exactly. This is nothing more then a tacky sales gimmick, that flies in the face of actual diversity (which marvel actually has quite a bit of). I would love to see a (more interesting) Power-Man series (The chi wielding Power Man, not the Luke Cage version). Thats a comic book i could get into if it had been done right (as a solo monthly series).

This is happening in an ALTERNATE UNIVERSE. Peter Parker is still white and is still Spiderman in the regular Marvel U. When you have an ALTERNATE UNIVERSE where changes happen, characters actually progress, grow and die…isn’t that much more interesting than the regular Marvel U where changes are slow, or they get reversed, or the changes are only superficial? This is the same ALTERNATE UNIVERSE where Nick Fury is black, Janet the Wasp Pym is Asian, etc. We’ve had a partially Hispanic Spider-man before, in the form of Miguel O’Hara, Spider-man 2099 for god’s sake – how many people freaked out over that? If you don’t like these kinds of changes, stick with the mainstream Marvel U.

Who the hell needs these all-new all-different X-Men? The X-Men are Bobby, Warren, Hank, Scott, and Jean (plus Professor X, when he’s not dead)! They’re interesting because they’re normal American teens who have been transformed into hated and feared mutants by the power of the atom! Instead, the liberal powers that be at Marvel have rounded up a United Nations of second-rate African, Russian, Irish, German, and Canadian (!!) second-stringers that can’t hold a candle to the classic X-Men they’re replacing! This stunt casting by Len Wein and Dave Cockrum can never replace the personalities and relationships of the beloved originals. These are just empty flourishings of so-called “progressive” ideals such as integration and miscegenation. Listen to me now, Marvel editors! You won’t get another dime from me until you get return to the original glory of the genius creations of Stan Lee and Jack Kirby and stop trying to fix what isn’t broken!!!

David M: Stan Lee? The guy who ruined my Avengers by replacing the whole team with a bunch of supervillains? I say thee nay!

John Byrne is right, but I’m still liking the character. I just think its sad sooner or later he will be gone … and Peter will be back … and don’t say no, cuz Bucky’s not cap … and having a second tier Spidey is lame.

awesome absolutly perfect in my opinion it is ultimate spiderman after all do something different. to the haters peter parker still lives in the original universe. I think its great we get to see spiderman through a different point of view and thats what this is its about spiderman not who wears the costume but the legacy of spiderman and how he is seen and interpreted by different ethnicities and how they would carry on the legacy of spiderman absolutly genius. way to go marvel and way to go bendis.

@David M. Best comment ever….lol

This is a pathetic attempt at diversity, you are basicly saying that you can not create a non white character and make him popular so you take a white popular character and replace him with another race. That is just lazy and insulting. Make an original Black character and invest in him or are you just saying you can’t? I think it’s racist that you are doing this, it’s really insulting and just really really lazy

+1 David M.

Forget arguing whether the move is PC or not. The real question no one is yet asking is: When Marvel decides to bring back Ultimate Peter Parker – and you know they will, it’s just a matter of time – what’s the underlying statement of that? Marvel will have inadvertently painted itself into the corner of ditching the half-black, half-Latino guy to bring back the white guy. While Marvel clearly won’t intend to mean it that way, it will signal to everyone else, “well, we gave it the token effort, but it just didn’t work out,” on a subconscious level. Not a great message.

How about this? Accept that Peter Parker was and always will be known as a white kid. If you want to kill him off, do so … and leave him dead, period. Then create a NEW, INTERESTING (remember those concepts?) character of some other ethnicity.

I realize, of course, that’s asking a lot, not only of Marvel, but of fandom. Fans can cry and moan endlessly about how comic companies don’t take chances, but we just can’t seem to tear ourselves away from the familiar tropes, can we?

David Mamet talks about this concept a lot in his writing. He says that when writing a character, their race, gender, and sexuality, are unimportant to the telling of the story and should only be emphasized if it is essential to the narrative and the overall plot.

So the question everyone should be asking themselves should be this.

If the only reason Miles is black is to show how it does not matter to the story that he is black. Then why is Miles black?

Also Donald Glover would be a great spider-man! why isn’t that happening? that would be such a great movie. ah well…..

I don’t care if this new Spider-man is half black, or half hispanic. The problem I have is that this Spider-man now has no ties to a multitude of supporting cast members (MJ, Gwen Stacy, Aunt May, etc.). For this reason, I think they should rename the comic Ultimate Spider-man 2099. It has nothing to do with the first version of Ultimate Spider-man.
And for those of you who will say “But maybe he will have ties to Aunt May”, I think Miles Morales having an old white lady to look up to will instantly turn off progressive readers.
I expect the first five or six issues will sell well, and then we will see Marvel scramble to save their flagship of the Ultimate universe. As for me, Peter has died in the Ultimate universe. Now there is no reason for me to spend any money on any of the Ultimate universe titles. Pay attention Marvel, I have bought all the Ultimate books, now I will buy none. Maybe it is time to look at some DC titles.

Speaking as someone who is a geeky white male, can I just say that I have always hated Peter Parker, and the condescending attitude that he represents me?

That being said, this wont be successful because Marvel, and Bendis in particular, have nurtured a culture where change is seen as a bad thing, and therefore no character created after the 1970s has any real chance of continuing success. What will happen is the same thing Bendis has done with Daredevil, and with The Avengers…

Character dies/loses powers/quits. Other characters deal with “emotions” with clumsy, identikit dialogue that works for about 40% of the characters Bendis write. Eventually, the character is resurrected/regains powers/makes triumphant return. The zombies clap and applaud. Then Bendis writes seventeen splash pages to milk more money out of the fans, swelling short stories to trade-collection numbers…

Anyway, personally, I think anything which ACTUALLY ADVANCES THE PLOT is a good thing. New Spider-Man? Awesome.

I do find it weird, though, that the Christian right has risen up against a black/hispanic character, and has come out in favour of a character forever stained by the fact that he made a deal with the devil (and I know it was a different Peter Parker, but clearly, from their comments, they dont know that).

randypan the goatboy

August 4, 2011 at 9:27 am

Truth be told i believe MR. Bendis is waving the pavlovian porkchop to get the dogs barking…woof woof. Its working. At the end of the day this isnt about diversity, it isnt about a good story. Its an attempt to get his name mentioned over and over again in forums like this one. Hell i have never even read an issue of ultimate anything[and never will because marvel is evil] I just love a loud noise and a colorful distraction. And just for the record, why isnt my idea a valid one? were is it written that the Black Panther cant be a white guy named Chad or Doug? If this is about racial equality than by god it should include all races. I want ultimate Thor to be a north korean. And then I want Ultimate captain America to be from lithuania[and a lesbian…lets throw all the rainbow together]Ultimate Hulk can be a little person[or midget…whatever]. Think about it. he starts off as a normal size guy and then when he gets angry…he turns into mini me….huuuuuullllkk smaaassshhh kneecap. The possibilities are endless. this is all parody, so that guy who wants to hit people through their screens can relax

p/ white… (see a pattern?)

Sorry, a black Spiderman is BS. It’s part of an orchestrated program to dispirit white people. I thought race didn’t matter. Apparently it only matters when blacks could be offended.

I have an idea: let’s have a white actor portray MLK.
Why not?
Race doesn’t matter, right?

To those who say “race doesn’t matter,” it does because these are attributes of the character as created. To turn it around, let’s not say things like “What if Power Man / Goliath / Steel were white.” Let’s instead ask, “What if you created a movie featuring all the trappings of Spider-Man, but instead made him GECKO Man, swinging through the city on his long tongue with the proportional strength and speed of a gecko, but it was otherwise 100% the same down to names and events?”

No one would buy that. They’d be right not to. It’s NOT the character you want to see. Characters in stories are just as important as the stories themselves. These characters have attributes; It is HOW the character responds to situations that make them interesting, and if you change an element, you’ve changed the story.

Do I care that Ultimate Spider-Man is not Peter Parker? yes. Do I care if he’s a different Race? No. The fact that he’s not “Peter Parker” is enough for me. I don’t care to read about someone who has no apparent connection to Peter, that they’re planning to shoehorn into his life, problems, et al. If they bridge this character into his own heroic identity, I’ll be MUCH happier, but until then, it’s just PC / agenda / sales / whatever. They’re taking someone who ISN’T Spider-Man and saying he IS.

I like “Legacy Heroes.” I think we need to kill off older characters and install legacies. I believe that is a good policy, like what they tried to do with Ryan Choi as the Atom for example. I don’t mind if there’s a logical event and/or connection to the character they’re replacing. This “event” just seems gratuitous on a lot of levels.

REALLY? “An orchestrated program?” I think you’re overstating it a bit. Paranoid, really.

@David M.

It’s a little different, changing the members of a team book (especially when you have continuity with old characters like Scott and Jean) than if suddenly they replaced the Original X-Men with people who happened to have exactly the same problem and powers but just happened to be a different ethnicity / background / whatever.

It’s Apples to Oranges.


Ultimate Spidey is indeed going to have a new outfit! Check this…

it is a different character just the same costume. the costume isnt the character we relate to its the person behind it. to say its not an original character is pathetic.


Well said.

The best thing I’ve read on here!

I think the new change to the ultimate spider-man is not all that great he’s pretty much Peter Parker. At least have something different like other people say he is pretty much shadowing the original spider-man. And if this happened cause someone was mad bout being racit then blade should be played by vin desel or Gerard butler. I know nick fury was white but when they started the ultimate series they changed his race. Marvel should of done that with spider-man and just added the new characters to begin with.

So pumped, glover deserves this hes gonna be amazing

What’s so different about this and any other instance of a black person taking the name/power etc. of a traditionally white hero such as John Stewart becoming the Green Lantern?

There have been roles where the actor didn’t resemble who they were playing, and they turned out great in the role. I do think a Miles Morales Spider-man movie might be cool. Although, I’d still like to see Peter Parker Spider-man on film as well.

I thought Peter Parker should look like he does in the comics, but like I said sometimes it works when the actor doesn’t look like the character.

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