A Rant About Racism – Ultimate Spider-Man Spoilers

Columns, Spoilers, Top Story

So you might have heard by now that after Ultimate Peter Parker is killed, he will be replaced by Miles Morales, a half-black, half-hispanic teenager. To be honest, I haven’t read Ultimate Spider-Man in years, but I was amazed by the outpouring of anger and ignorance that came from this announcement.

Personally, if people were pissed about the fact that Spider-Man was killed and replaced, that would be a little less obnoxious. But many of the comments I have seen are directed at the fact that the new Spider-Man happens to be black and Hispanic. Here is a small sampling. Just a quick note: yes, I cherry picked these comments to show the most ignorant and obnoxious. I like to think that most people in the world are not like this. Here goes:

He lives in a Section 8 spiderweb.

I’m a sociology major and this addition is not for mere “merit and ability” per se. It’s an agenda and reeks of cultural Marxism. What Marvel did was kill off a piece of American cultural identity and replaced it with something mediocre.

Miles Morales looks like Tiger Woods’ illegitimate Love Child ROTFLMAO!!!

What utter total garbage. Progressive comics?!?! Please? What a joke. These people can’t come up with any original thought. They need to steal and feed off established success because they are incapable of anything successful on their own. Total bunk.

I like the idea. He can dance much better than Peter Parker, his girlfriend has a huge onion, and his father isn’t dead, he’s in prison!

You think he really knows who his father is? LMAO.

This is a projection of White Genocide. A small projection, but a projection nonetheless. If you watch TV these days, you will find that the Jews who run Hollywood and mass media, portray White men as either villains or idiots like Homer Simpson. Blacks like Morgan Freeman or Denzel Washington are portrayed as morally and intellectually superior. Now they’re even replacing White characters with basterdized mulatto characters. This is so typical.

I don’t see how race offers him new opportunities short of racial stereotypes and generalizations.

Okay, enough of those geniuses. Skitch Commentary: I guess I should point out that I happen to be white, and I take no offense at all when a white character’s successor happens to be a different race. As much as I love Ted Kord, I think Jaime is awesome. I also really don’t care when a “white” character is played by someone who is a different race in an adaptation. Michael Clarke Duncan made a great Kingpin. Sam Jackson is by far the best possible Nick Fury. Idris Elba was perfect as Heimdell. To be fair, Halle Berry did suck as Catwoman, but her race was not at all the problem there.

Frankly, I am not really sure why Spider-Man is suddenly a sacred character. I’ve seen some brilliant modernizations of Shakespeare works with massive changes in setting, races, sexes, ethnicities, etc. (West Side Story? BBC’s recent Hamlet adaptation starring David Tennant and Patrick Stewart?). Not to mention great versions of my favorite book, Les Miserables, done in a wide variety of adaptations not set in France during the June Rebellion. These adaptations (the good ones at least) managed to keep the spirit of the original work, but at the same time provided a fresh new angle that really helped show how universal these stories really are.

Honestly, my first reaction to hearing about this new Spider-Man was “That’s a really cool idea!” This is a new Spider-Man and as such presents a whole set of new story telling opportunities. At the same time, I hope Bendis keeps in mind what it means to be Spider-Man, and shows us how Miles fits that name and puts a different spin on it. That really is what Ultimate should be all about, in my opinion. Creating heroes with a more modern and diverse perspective.

Oddly enough, I have been doing something similar in my New Mutants Role Playing Game. It is our fifth anniversary, and I decided to end the current campaign and start a new campaign set in a new universe where the X-Men team were formed in the year 2011. In modernizing Magneto, I decided to make him African-American. I really felt for a modern story, a black Magneto made more sense for seeing the horrors of bigotry in the world. OH MY GOD!!! HOW COULD I DO SUCH A HORRIBLE THING?? Thankfully my friends and players are really good about trusting me. I always think it’s fair to actually READ SOMETHING BEFORE JUDGING IT!

To be honest, I really am just posting this because I was disgusted by some of these comments and wanted to vent a bit. Thanks for tolerating me. So, how about you guys, what are your thoughts on the new Spider-Man? I’d love to hear them.

Mike Maillaro is a lifelong Jersey Boy and geek. Mike has been a comic fan for about 30 years from when his mom used to buy him Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle Adventures at our local newsstand. Thanks, Mom!! Mike's goal is to bring more positivity to the discussion of comics and pop culture.