New Spider-Man Comic Debuts With a Twist

Wednesday, August 03, 2011

The latest issue of the long-running Spider-Man comic book series comes out today, and there's a brand-new protagonist. Miles Morales, a half-Latino, half-African-American teenager is taking over the blue and red tights from Peter Parker, who was killed off recently. Marvel creators seized the opportunity to diversify the beloved American superhero series. Will comic enthusiasts come to love the new, multiethnic Spider-Man?

Nicholas Gazin, photographer, writer and comics critic at Vice magazine, discusses Spider-Man's latest incarnation and predicts audience reaction to the superhero's new identity.


Nicholas Gazin

Produced by:

Saumya Vaishampayan

Comments [9]

Startsumtin from Fort Waye, IN.

It's an idea marvel has been kicking around for years. (waaay back when Stan Lee was running things) This is not anything new. Companies like marvel expand (diversify) to attract an larger audience while trying not to alienate their established followers. Caucasian childern don't need a certain hero to be of the same race, because they already have a certain level of self worth. I.E. "Angel's" example of she want to be Indiana Jones and etc. There has been more than enough superheroes that have been "white". Children of color do identify with the race of figure in question. Studies have shown this. All I'm saying is this... This can turn out to be a very positive thing if handle the right way. Have a great illustrator and writer on staff will help keep the "NEW" Spider-man around for a long time.

Aug. 13 2011 11:38 PM
Angel from Miami, FL

I listened to the audio and noticed the "Ultimate Spider-man" being mentioned... ONCE. Now it makes sense. Maybe Jaden Smith can play Miles Morales in the Ultimate Spider-man movie ten years from now. Karate kidding! They'll have to do that Black Panther movie first.

Aug. 05 2011 01:44 AM

but this is the "ultimate" spider-man comic, I feel like for the sake of sensationalism is being willfully ignorant of that fact. Peter Parker is still Spider-man and he still stars in many several decade long series of monthly comics. he's not been replaced. in the ultimate X-Men Colossus was gay and a former arms trader, the very nature of the ultimate line is an entirely separate continuity where stories can be done that would conflict too much with the 40+ years of continuity in the regular marvel line. this is just one story in that alternate universe.

Aug. 04 2011 05:47 PM
Mike White from Westland, MI

Kind of clever since too many "ethnic" comic books are pale imitations of caucasian comix or embarrassing stereotypes.

Aug. 04 2011 01:23 PM
Angel from Miami, FL

It was just a comment. I have no expectations Marvel will change their marketing tactics. Though I'd like to remind them of the "Arana" title of 2004. That book didn't get far trying to pander to a specific ethnic group.

I grew up wanting to be Indiana Jones. The fact we didn't look the same didn't discourage me. I would hope that we can teach kids to relate to anyone no matter their appearance. Maybe I'm being idealistic but those old sci-fi shows taught me that I didn't have to hang out solely with people who had similar superficial traits.

Aug. 04 2011 08:54 AM
Johnny Chase from Come to California!

This isn't a rehash of the same story with a non-white protaginist. This is a continuation of an established saga. Just as Nightwing became the new Batman and Damian (Bruce Wayne's son) became the new Robin so to will Peter Parker be replaced. Life goes on with or without your commentary.

Aug. 03 2011 11:39 PM
Nicholas Gazin from Brooklyn

I was speaking more about children. I suppose I should have clarified that. For kids, it's more important. Adults don't need to visually identify with the protagonist as much but kids thrill to that stuff.

Aug. 03 2011 12:43 PM
The People of Detroit from Detroit, MI

Well said, Angel.

Aug. 03 2011 11:38 AM
Angel from Miami, FL

I don't look like Superman, Batman, Spiderman, Black Panther, or Wonder Woman. I don't need to look like them to relate to the symbols and ideals they represent. Repainting a classic character is pandering to a specific group. Hispanic and Asians are few in comics and there's no reason new heroes can't come from these backgrounds. But rebranding the same concept or stories with just that minor color change is not the way to go. It won't matter if I like the story, the pictures will tell me that this generation of artists have no ability to create the original legends and heroes of tomorrow. If the new guys are Marvel want to do something historic they should get the Black Panther's story made into in a movie that people will enjoy and can relate to. And I mean the folks who don't look like the Panther as well as those who do.

Aug. 03 2011 10:30 AM

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