The New Spider-Man Is Half-Black, Half-Hispanic


2 of 5 stars
What’s this?

I try not to overdo it here with the super-hero stuff, but this I had to write about. Forbes reports on the reaction to Marvel’s recent — and typically gimmicky — decision to “kill” Spider-Man’s longtime alter ego Peter Parker and replace him with Miles Morales, a young kid whose ethnic heritage is half-black, half-Hispanic.

The article points to this post at I’m Not Racist But… which captures some of the public reaction to this decision. It’s not pretty.


Notwithstanding the fact that when comic book publishers sentence major characters like these to death, they never stay dead and they always return in some form, I think any furor over this is ridiculous. First, the original Spider-Man was a kid from Queens, New York, and it makes all the sense in the world that a kid from Queens, New York, circa 2011 would be half-black and half-Hispanic. Second, the beauty of these characters is that we get to constantly reinvent their origins in new and interesting ways. This may not be a great example of pop reinvention, but it’s a perfectly legitimate one.

Read the full article here.



  1. Keep in mind this is the Ultimate Spiderman series, an alternate universe for a more modern spin on classic superheroes. Peter Parker is dead only in this storyline, he’s still alive in the original universe. #nerdery

    Quite sad at those reactions though…

  2. Im not surprised by the reaction to this at all. Spiderman has always been my favorite super hero, and this new replacement leaves me feeling cold, there is nothing of the old character here. If its not broke don’t fix it!

  3. I’ve seen a shocking amount of racism surface related to this story. Never mind the homophobia coming out of Beck’s “he might even be gay too” comments. Can’t we all at least agree they picked the right borough for him this time? (miles is apparently from Brooklyn)

  4. I think any reaction to it whatsoever is wrong. A reaction shows that there’s a problem with it, it shouldn’t matter where he’s from and nobody should react to it at all.

    The only concern there should be is that it’s a teenager with the ability to pwn.

  5. I wanted to reiterate James’ comment. This is only the Ultimate version of Spider-Man. There are several regular Marvel books with Peter Parker as Spider-Man every month. Which makes the awful reactions to this announcement even sadder. On comic news sites, there is a lot of negativity coming from a place of fan entitlement, and then on the general media sites, just blatant racism.

    As a creator, my problem with the Ultimate universe has always been the modern updating of old stories (how do you make that fresh?), but this really is a break from trying to tie new Spider-Man stories inside a 30+ year continuity. I’m really excited to see what sort of new stories come from this!

  6. I don’t know much about the context here — haven’t read the title in years, don’t know how Parker died or how this kid got the powers and the costume — but I LOVE the idea. More than many other superheroes, Spider-Man has always been tied to a particular place in the real world, and it opens up so many storytelling possibilities to see what else is going on in that huge city and what someone in different circumstances does with the same powers and responsibilities.

    I mean, I’m assuming this is not just a science nerd who gets pushed around by jocks and has an improbably hot model girlfriend who was a wrestler on the side until his uncle was shot by a thug…and who happens to be half-black and half-Hispanic. I’m assuming they actually gave him a different backstory and personality. It would be silly not to, right?

    The thing is that with a lot of the A-list superheroes, the mantle — costume, powers, basic myth — is separable from the character wearing it. The character’s important, sure, and can’t be cardboard, but the point is that the mantle can be passed on, even shared, without being diminished. These characters have been around for so many years, it would be stagnation never to see what new stories come from putting someone else, someone just as well-defined but different, into the same mantle. DC’s done it a lot, and it’s debatable how worthwhile and permanent that could have been, but it’s always been interesting even just as a temporary thing.

  7. There’s nothing wrong or inappropriate about reacting positively to this development. I think it’s wonderful that a pop culture icon as famous as Spider-Man can be depicted as a person of color, and beyond being wonderful, it’s important as well.

    Generations of white kids (like me) have had the privilege of growing up and seeing ourselves reflected by so, so many of the superheroes we idolize. It’s high time others were able to look at the face of these fictional heroes and see themselves as well.

Thank you! Your remarks have been sent to Khoi.