“Ultimate Comics Spider-Man” No. 1 features new web-slinger

Half-black, half-Hispanic teen Miles Morales succeeds Peter Parker as Spider-Man in ‘Ultimate' line of Marvel Comics
by Matthew Price Published: September 16, 2011
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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 Oklahoman. “If you present an honest portrayal of teenage characters, (teenagers) will want to read it.”

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,'” DiPaolo said. “So this kind of move is needed to create the necessary buzz to generate sales and to make a nonwhite character into an A-list superhero automatically.”

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by Matthew Price
Features Editor
Features Editor Matthew Price has worked for The Oklahoman since 2000. He’s a University of Oklahoma graduate who has also worked at the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette and was a Dow Jones Newspaper Fund intern for the Dallas Morning News. He’s...
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