The new Spider-Man, Miles Morales, got his own comic book this week, with “Ultimate Comics Spider-Man” No. 1.
The half-black, half-Hispanic New York teen takes over the role from Peter Parker in Marvel's Ultimate Comics universe.
The Ultimates imprint is separate from Marvel's bigger universe; the original Marvel Universe Peter Parker continues his adventures in “The Amazing Spider-Man,” published twice a month.
“Ultimate Spider-Man” debuted in 2000 and is among Marvel Comics' best-selling trade paperback collections.
“The idea is to create a small Marvel universe,” writer Brian Michael Bendis said in a 2001 interview with The
Bendis has scripted every issue of Marvel's Ultimate Spider-Man since its debut.
Why it makes sense
Oklahoma City University's Marc DiPaolo, author of the book “War, Politics, and Superheroes,” said the new Spider-Man could be good for comic books' diversity.
“It might seem a little cheesy ‘changing the race' of an established character instead of inventing a new, multiracial hero from whole-cloth, but new black and mixed-race characters are created almost every year, and they rarely ‘take off,'
Since fans aren't forced to give up Peter Parker entirely, DiPaolo said using Morales as Spider-Man in the “Ultimate” line of comics has relatively few downsides for Marvel.
“In a way, this move by Marvel is a win-win,” DiPaolo said. “Fans of Peter Parker won't lament that he is ‘gone' altogether, and Morales will not have to compete directly with the ghost of Peter the way that, say, the black Iron Man (James Rhodes) has to compete with the white Iron Man (Tony Stark) for comic book and movie screen time, or the black Green Lantern (John Stewart) has to compete with the white Green Lantern (Hal Jordan).”
If Morales is successful, he could eventually be translated to other media, as well.
“Bendis has already proven capable of writing strong, likable black characters, like Luke Cage,” DiPaolo said. “Of course, if Miles winds up being a really big hit, his fans might one day want to see him be the Spider-Man featured in a $200 million movie adaptation and not Parker.”
Donald Glover, of “Community,” would be OK with that.
Bendis told USA Today that Glover's appearance in Spider-Man pajamas in last year's “Community” season premiere — along with the campaign to get Glover the role in the “Spider-Man” reboot — inspired, at least in part, the creation of Miles Morales.
“I saw him in the costume and thought, ‘I would like to read that book,'
Glover told Collider he's excited to have inspired the new Spider-Man.
“I can't wait to have grandkids and be like, ‘Yup, that's me,'