Hold onto your hair extensions, folks: the new Marvel Comic’s Spider Man is a black man named Miles Morales.
Marvel Comic’s Ultimate Fallout issue 4, which comes out Wednesday,Aug. 3, features the Spider Man as a half-black, half-Hispanic teenager who takes over the crime-fighting duties from Peter Parker, who was killed in the Ultimate Spider Man issue 160 in June.
The natural question is: Will there be a black Spider Man on the big screen in our future?
The natural follow up question is: Will white audiences take to a black super hero?
True, Wesley Snipes is much more well known in the mainstream for his portrayal of a black vampire superhero in the comic book-to-movie blockbusters, the Blade trilogy, than for the urban classics that Snipes first came to fame with: New Jack City, Waiting to Exhale and Jungle Fever. But was that merely an aberration or is America really ready to accept the prospect of a black hero in the comic books and, maybe, on the big screen?
Marvel Comics seem to think so.
“What you have is a Spider Man for the 21st century who’s reflective of our culture and diversity,” Marvel Comic’s editor in chief Alex Alonso told the media. “We think that readers will fall in love with Miles Morales the same way they fell in love with Peter Parker.”
Miles will get things popping in the series with a benign beginning — he simply breaks up a fight. But that innocuous origin will set off a chain of events so compelling that readers are expected to devour the Ultimate Spider Man series when it launches in September with a new No. 1 issue
“The theme is the same: With great power comes great responsibility,” says writer Brian Michael Bendis. “He’s going to learn that. Then he has to figure out what that means.”
According to reports, there will be a link between Miles and his predecessor, Peter, in how he attained his super powers. But Miles will have different abilities that Spider Man fans will soon learn of. Also, Peter Parker’s supporting cast will play pivotal roles in Miles’ metamorphosis, dispensing advise and facilitating his transition from ordinary teen to Gotham City hero.
Different demographics are expected to watch the series for different reasons. White comic book lovers, and particularly the fans of Spider Man, just want another exciting issue to unfold. African American and Hispanic audiences will perhaps also tune into the series to see how the half-black, half-Hispanic superhero is portrayed. –terry shropshire