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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.”
In the wake of broader worldwide acceptance of superheroes and comic books, a new hero has been introduced: Captain Israel. Published by the nonprofit pro-Israel education and advocacy organization StandWithUs, Captain Israel #1 debuted at the group’s annual Festival of Lights event in Los Angeles.
In an interview with The Jerusalem Post, StandWithUs CEO Roz Rothstein said the character was introduced because “as Israel’s Jewish connection to Israel and the land is always being challenged, we wanted to reestablish our Jewish roots and make sure that everyone understood the history, stuff we know and take for granted and that others try to chip away at.”
Rothstein goes further, saying the comic was devoted to “establishing a hero, establishing roots, [and] countering the venomous BDS [Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions] movement. We’re in the business of branding the movement so that it’s clear that the players that promote boycotting Israel are not well-intentioned.”
Captain Israel was created by Arlen Schumer, a longtime New York City art director and illustrator, who has produced superhero-themed illustrations for publications such as Wired and The Wall Street Journal. This new Israeli hero’s costume bears a strong resemblance to Marvel’s Captain America, and fittingly enough that character has Jewish roots as well; Marvel’s star-spangled hero was created by two sons of Jewish immigrants: Joe Simon and Jack Kirby.
You can view an eight-page preview of Captain Israel #1 on StandWithUs’ website, as well as order the premiere issue.