Wednesday Comments – Spider-(di)Verse

Recently it was announced that Sony and Marvel Studios will jointly produce Spider-Man films going forward. It’s great new for Spider-Man fans, many of whom were let down by the Amazing Spider-Man franchise, and for fans of the Marvel Cinematic Universe who have been longing to see Spider-Man return to the fold.

It’s a pretty big deal, but it’s one that was hinted at a few months back, during the infamous Sony Hack. Some of the leaked emails showed that there were discussions between Sony and Marvel about allowing Spider-Man to be used in future Marvel films. Those discussions finally came to fruition.

For me the biggest tidbit to come out lately is that there’s a possibility that the person under the mask may not be white. Various websites have various sources quoted as saying that’s a direction they’re looking at moving into. As someone who is Black, this is pretty awesome news.

There were a ton of things wrong with The Amazing Spider-Man 2. From secret subway labs to character introductions, it’s a mess with (hopefully) good intentions. But one of the things that I saw as a missed opportunity was the character of Jorge.

Jorge is the kid that Peter saves from the bullies and inspires. In fact Jorge is so inspired that in the final act he dons a Spider-Man mask to face off against The Rhino. It’s an adequately powerful moment and a decent callback. But in my mind that moment would have been all the more powerful if Jorge weren’t “vaguely non-white” but explicitly non-white.

Imagine if that kid that were Black or Korean or Cherokee or even female. Seeing the how Spider-Man inspired them would have been all the more powerful. And if the kid were Black, there would be a ton of people speculating that it was a Miles Morales Easter Egg. There’s literally no downside to having that character be someone who wasn’t white.

So that’s why I’m excited about the prospect of having a non-white face behind the Spider-Man mask. Whether it be Miles Morales or a nonwhite Peter Parker. And that’s also one of Spider-Man’s greatest strengths; anyone could be under that mask.

Batman, Superman, Wolverine and The Flash are all white guys. Anyone with an imagination can pretend to be them, but unless you’re white a white guy, you can’t really see yourself filling out their costumes. But Spider-Man is completely covered. Head to toe. Anyone could be in that costume. He could be someone from Bolivia or someone from Angola. He could be someone from Australia or someone from Vietnam.

So, here’s to hoping the Spider-Man in the upcoming Sony/Marvel joint productions is someone who isn’t a white male.

Well, it’s Wednesday which means fresh new comics are at your local comic shop. Head on down and pick them up.

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