The new Spider-Man will be a half-black half-Hispanic teenager

Ultimate-Spider-Man

Image Credit: Marvel Comics/AP Images

Spider-Man is dead. Long live Spider-Man! Marvel Comics announced today that a new webslinger will appear in this week’s Ultimate Comics Fallout #4. According to the Associated Press, the new Spidey is Miles Morales, a mixed-race teenager of half-black and half-Hispanic descent. It’s an intriguing shake-up for the Spider-Man character; Marvel superheroes tend to be personified by one iconic alter ego, as opposed to, say, the DC Universe, where roughly one million people have been the Flash. (This is the part of the post where I am contractually obligated to note that this new multi-ethnic Spider-Man is actually part of the “Ultimate” side-universe, and that good ol’ lily-white Peter Parker is still toodling along in the mainline Marvel universe. Comic books!)

Writer Brian Michael Bendis has always brought his distinctive sensibility to Ultimate Spider-Man, so I believe him when he tells the AP that making Spider-Man a black character is not just a PR stunt. (Bendis references Community star Donald Glover’s online plea to be cast as Spider-Man, a classic case of what-might-have-been.) And I’m kind of stoked to see Bendis striking out so completely on his own with the new character — it feels like, after years of cannily reworking old Spidey mythology, he’s embarking on his own mythmaking journey. Still, I’m always a bit skeptical about completely new secret identities — I’m a survivor of the Ben Reilly era — so let’s just cross our fingers here.

Follow Darren on Twitter: @EWDarrenFranich

Comments (213 total) Add your comment
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  • Flip

    He looks like Obama.

    • Eric

      Wow, yeah, he actually does!

      • SNIKT!

        “Not a PR stunt” my butt. This reeks of PC bulldung. Hey, let’s a have a WHITE Martin Luther King Jr next! And an Asian Superman! The minorities always seem to find there way into roles established by white characters (Matrix’s Fishborne as Perry White?), but it never seems to work the opposite way does it? Why not have a Latino, MALE Oprah too, eh? Just to shake things up a little…

      • Clay

        SNIKT! Were you dropped as a child? The new character who takes over the responsibilities as Spider-Man (since, you know, Peter Parker is dead) is a fictional character.

        Why are people trying to rile others by claiming to get a white Malcolm X or a white MLK Jr? Both of those gentlemen were real people. It would be absurd to even use that argument in this forum.

      • jack

        If it’s just a side story I don’t think it is as bad so long as they don’t change my super-hero in his main publications. I do like alt stories ,and though off topic, I still like Tim Burton’s Planet of the Apes over Rise of the Apes because it deals kinda in a diffrent dimention. But there’s nothing that can take away from the classics, just a diffrent story path to it. And yes the spidey change is more or less a P.C. stunt. If I were black or Latino I would think I would want my own hero so it’s an odd move but just an alt story at any rate.

    • Sam

      Yes. All the black ppl looks like Obama to me, isnt it strange all the Chinese people are lookalike too (Sarcasm )

      • Hammy

        Now you know where Spiderman got his endless supply of webbing swinging from building to building.. It’s all about the bbc!! ha ha ha

    • Clueless Wonder

      Which one?

    • Burl

      He looks like Tiger Woods on estrogen therapy.

  • They Took Our Jobs

    Political Correctness gone mad.

    • Megan

      Nah, Bendis would NEVER engage in gimmicky stunts for the sake of PR and sales. No way. ;.)

    • Flip

      LMAO! You are a racist goof!

  • Kate

    While I don’t follow comics, it sort of makes some bit of sense that of the real iconic superheroes, you could do this with Spiderman most easily, totally in a mask and he is red or purple as best the general population could tell and why couldn’t the radioactive spider have spawned and bit some other kid probably in Peter Parker’s neck of the woods.

    • Parvej

      lmao i bet usa’s like 『yeeeeea lets beat these chinks!!』 and when they start pnlyiag they realized dude these guys seriously never got laid b4 .

  • Liz Lemon

    Awesome! Finally a superhero of ethnic descent. It’s about damn time.

    • avenger

      Its not finally… they have had and do have many ethnic superheroes–Black Panther, War Machine, Cyborg, Storm, Bishop, and others. Maybe you should go read a comic or two before making blanket generalizations that superheroes have only been white

      • Megan

        Marvel has also hadBonita Juarez/Firebird, Miguel Santos/Living Lightning, Anya Corazon/Spider-Girl, Maria De Guadalupe “Lupe” Santiago/Silverclaw (all hispanic) and tons of Asian and black characters.

      • pecos bill

        I think this is more notable as Spider-man is a very well-known superhero and the main character of a comic not just a secondary character, villain, or sidekick.

      • pecos bill

        I think this is more notable as Spider-man is a very well-known superhero and the main character of a comic not just a secondary character, villain, or sidekick. Right?

      • VinceP

        Yeah, not finally. There’s also John Stewart as Green Lantern, which I think would have made for a better film adaptation as that drivel with Ryan Reynolds. Reynolds should just play Deadpool and leave the comics universe alone. That’s not a knock at him, I just think he is better suited for Deadpool than he was for Green Lantern.

      • john

        wrong pecos bill! black panther is a major character who has been around 45 or so years.

      • Get Paid

        Spawn…Blankman… Blade…Patriot…Luke Cage…Deathlok…Cloak …Bishop…Falcon…WAr Machine…the list does continue

    • Luis Silva

      Spawn.

    • brandon

      There has been quite a few colored heroes. Green lantern was black at one point, black panther iis a black man, the cloak is a black man.

      • ger

        Colored?

      • Nic

        Seriously–colored? Is this 1952? Why are you using that word?

      • Marianna

        Ugh I hate to be that person, but the green lantern is STILL black. There’s more than one green lantern.

      • jack

        Yea that Cloak and Dagger was pretty good. As a kid I thought of it as a more “serious” comic. It had a slightly more dark edge to it in the stories they told.

    • Really Karen

      Finally? Are you new? Roberto Da Costa (Sunspot), T’Challa (Black Panther), Luke Cage, Tyrone Johnson(Cloak), Ororo Munroe (Storm), Dani Moonstar (Mirage), Julio Esteban Richter (Rictor), Angelo Espinosa (Skin), Jubilee, Shiro Yoshida (Sunfire), and countless others have been around for years.

      • Nathan

        Don’t forget Spawn, there have been quite a few ethnic superheroes, none of which are all that popular, I see this little Spidey experiment lasting a couple of months at the most.

      • Liz Lemon

        I mean big ones: Spiderman, Batman, Superman, Iron Man, Captain America, Thor-level superheroes.
        Not ones that people have only heard of if they read comic books.

      • john

        @ liz lemon: superman’s 1990′s replacement steel was black and batman’s 1990′s replacement was also black. there has been a black green lantern for about 40 years.

      • john

        there is a black iron man if something happens to iron man/tony stark.

      • john

        check into war machine.
        also do some research into thor. i don’t think a black thor would work.he can’t trace his origins back to africa.

      • Beba

        :Steve. I’m glad you chimed in here, as I’m sure most of us WERE NOT aware of the free gear deal. I apozogile for my comments earlier. If what I was suggesting were true, you would have probably been quite confident that your gear would be picked and would be out the cost of the rig. So in essence you COULD have probably paid to sway the reviewers. I’d like to know if any of this gear was kept. Obviously there are deals that happen all of the time, particularly in exchange for ads and such. As the owner of an ad agency, I broker many of them personally; however, my understanding was that there would be no deals here and the opinions would not be swayed in any direction. What’s more is that in leaving out this tidbit, it reflects poorly on you and your business, so I also apozogile on behalf of the community.I really like the way Phillip Bloom handled the LCDVF review, given his close personal and business ties with Zacuto. Kudos to you sir for the professional and business savvy way you handled the situation!With highest regards,Sheldon Charron

    • James Abney

      It’s funny how people are like, “about time for an ethnic super hero.” You’d think they’d want something unique, not just some knock off of a classic white character.

    • john

      black panther has been around since the mid-60′s. the falcon has been around since the early 70′s. storm has been around since the mid-70′s. black lightning has been around since about ’76.

      • john

        there are tons more minority characters/super-heroes in comics as well.

    • Karl

      What about Luke Cage, the Hero for Hire?

      • Mr Charrington

        Yeah, because his comic is going strong. How many Power Man issues are out there? Let’s compare that to Wolverine’s series, you know a white character that made his first appearance 2 years after Luke Cage.

        Please, except for a couple Green Lanterns, minorities have not played a major role in their own comic book. Stop throwing around stupid characters no one cares about like Sunfire and War Machine and pretend minorities actually have a meaningful role in comics today.

      • larry

        well charrington, wolverine is one of the most popular character ever. he has more titles than most heroes of any race. you just called the minority characters stupid and say minorites don’t care about their own heroes.

    • jery

      superman’s replacement steel in the 90′s was black and also wasn’t batman’s 90′s replacement also black?

    • Kevin

      How is Obama going to have time to save NYC as Spiderman when he’s busy destroying our country?

      • J3RICHO

        He’ll have his wife do the destroying of the country while hes swinging on webs

  • Allen

    As someone who is actually half-hispanic, half-black… AWESOME!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Ceballos

    NNNNNooooooooooooooo

    • Liz Lemon

      Why not?

      • john

        why not just invent more black and hispanic super-heroes? why make a honkey character into a minority? if they were changing a minority character to a honkey you would be having a fit! changing a white character into a minority has all ready been done such as when nick fury went from white to black.

      • Nic

        @John–”Honkey”? Really? This is not the 1970s!!

      • Liz Lemon

        It’s different, because Spiderman is one of big name superheroes.
        And I would not care if they changed non-white character to a white one, unless it had an astronomical effect on the story. This isn’t really changing a character, this is a continuation of a story. A different Spiderman.

      • john

        @nic
        i am white. i can use that phrase. if you are not white you can’t use that word…just as honkies can not use certain words. BUT if You are white and you come down south you will be called a honkey by blacks.

  • Mark

    So misleading. This is not the “real” Spider-Man, but the one in Marvel’s alternate “Ultimate” universe, who follows the footsteps of that universe’s version of Peter Parker. Peter Parker is still Spider-man in the actual comics, the one that don’t bear the “Ultimate” moniker. Oh, and Marvel is not innocent of having tons of different versions of Superheroes. Heck, there was already a half-hispanic Spider-man, Miguel O’hara, in Spider-Man 2099

    • Bobby’s Robot

      “(This is the part of the post where I am contractually obligated to note that this new multi-ethnic Spider-Man is actually part of the “Ultimate” side-universe, and that good ol’ lily-white Peter Parker is still toodling along in the mainline Marvel universe. Comic books!)”
      Don’t know if this was in an original version of the article, but it’s there now.

  • Sam

    This world is a mix world.

    • AshleyBrooke

      Yes it is, thank you!

  • Hill

    So Donald Glover can play this Spiderman

    • B

      But his head is too big.

  • Ken

    I’m all for super heroes of mixed races or of any race or gender for that matter. But changing Spider Man’s race, albeit in an alternate universe, smacks of Political Correctness gone uber-wild. Create a new hero rather than cannibalizing a classic one. Really bad move!!

    • Nathan

      Yup, this won’t last though. By Christmas it will be all but forgotten.

    • Marianna

      They haven’t changed his race. Peter Parker isn’t suddenly a brown guy. They have a completely new character acting as Spiderman in his place. Like how DC has a bunch of different Batgirls– Cassandra Cain isn’t an asian Barbara Gordon, she’s a completely different character.

    • john

      yes, i agree PC gone wild.

      • Miles Morales

        I’m a Mac.

      • Jenny

        No, you’re just racist. There have been 3 men called Captain America. Five different Robins (1 was even a teenaged girl). There have been 3 Batgirls.

        LOL. People like you are just ignorant.

      • john

        MORE than 3 people have been captain america. just read what if number 4 which was part of the main stream marvel universe + the cap of the 50′s and more recently bucky. i am all for equal. i don’t think anything should be taken from one race and given to another race. nothing should be taken away from blacks and given to whites and nothing should be taken from whites and given to blacks.

      • john

        @jenny
        you NEED to do more research. you also should not jump to conclusions about people before you have even heard their full story…their entire perspective on a subject.

      • john

        @jenny
        so, let’s get this straight…if someone doesn’t agree with you 100% they are ignorant and racist. i am all for equal. i am all for equality. i don’t think anything should be taken from one race and given to another. i think all races should be treated fairly and equally. i don’t think something should be taken from blacks and given to whites. i don’t think anything should be taken from whites and given to blacks. nothing should be taken from one race and given to another. i am all for black and minority heroes. BUT if a black character were made into a white one i’ll bet you would be the first to yell racism or discrimination. i don’t think a character or it’s alter ego should be changed from one race to another. firestorm, mr. terrific, thunderbolt have all ready been changed from white to black. now spider-man’s alter ego has morphed into another race. there are many, many black and minority super-heroes. i support them all and like many/most of them. black panther is one of my all time favorite characters. this is all in the name of PC. i don’t see any black characters becoming white.

      • Willie

        lol at “taking from whites” thing.Are comics this serious now.To be fair NOTHING is being took from you.Peter is still his normal self in the REAL Spider Man Universe.In this Universe, Peter dies and im sure the kid is a fan (who somehow got his powers lol but im sure they will explain that part) and wants to keep the legacy of Spider Man alive.This has been done numerous of times before so i honestly dont see the problem is now.

    • Caitlin

      Why does this have to be for political correctness? They killed off Peter Parker and now someone is replacing him. People are making a big deal about this, and they shouldn’t. I’m not just talking about you, but I’m talking about people reporting it.

    • Tobias

      funny cuz didnt superman get killed off in doomsday didnt hear anyone complain then o yea thats cuz he stayed white huh but spiderman in a non real version gets killed off and turn hybrid black/latino and all of a sudden it destroys a character gtfoh smh

  • Witecat

    All I have to say is that I am glad Marvel created a new character instead of giving us Ben Reily AGAIN.

  • sam

    Marvel shouldn’t strive to be politically correct because it thinks it has to. By changing an iconic character like a spider-man only shows your weakness, desperation and you’re wiliness to do anything to gain attention to sell a few more comic books. If you really want to be politically correct create a new superhero that reflects his/her ethnicity and leave the iconic characters alone.

    • john

      totally correct sam!

    • attkk

      So how does the Spider-Man persona reflect a caucasian ethnicity, hm? Are you saying that minority characters have to have their racial identity emblazoned on their costume? That a black guy HAS to be some sort of Tribal superhero or an Asian guy has to be a ninja? Please.

      • sam

        You are totally missing the point; I was talking about the back story of the character. Now, if Marvel creates a new superhero they will need to highlight his/her background so you can develop the character. For example, where the person comes from? Is the person is rich or poor? Does the person come from a multiracial background? All these things play a factor in the character development of each superhero.

  • Tom

    For those complaining about this being a PC move, pay attention.

    Ultimate Spider-Man died. Peter Parker is no more in that universe. This is another character taking on the mantle. There is absolutely no reason he can’t be black, hispanic, middle-eastern, Norwegian, or from friggin’ Pluto.

    • john

      wrong tom! when was the last time/first time a minority character became a white?

      • AshleyBrooke

        I’m sorry, is there a law that states that a NEW Spider Man cannot be any other race than white?

      • rm

        You mean like in “The Last Airbender” or “Dragaonball: Evolution” where Asian characters magically became white American kids? Look, as someone with moderate interest in the comic industry and having followed the decision to kill/replace Ultimate Spidey, I have a hard time believing that this was a giant corporate marketing PC cluster-, uh, bom-b. Brian Michael Bendis, the sole writer of that series for over a decade clearly has both much love for the series and the clout to deflect any executive pushdown. (I think it arose from a challenge from Mark Millar at a writer’s summit) Plus if you’re gonna reinvent the character, why not change vast parts of the background? –it’s worked great before: The last Spider-Man of (partial) Hispanic origin [Spider-Man 2099] was a tremendously well-written, well-executed character (until the writer quit), with different motivations, power derivation, & personality. Hugely compelling take on the character. Color me excited!

      • Tom

        How am I wrong exactly?

        Just because you have a persecution complex doesn’t mean a new character can’t be a visible minority.

      • what???

        The character that Angelina Jolie played in Wanted was black in the comic. Hollywood has made characters who were meant to be black white for decades. I remember an episode of Animaniacs when they showed events from history, they made Hannibal white and put a disclaimer that he was probably black. I had to laugh at that absurdity. Why not just show him as black in the first place?

      • ugly Nikki

        you mean like the Green Lantern who is black in comics being white in the movie? Or like Storm being African in the comics but being played by a woman who is half white and certainly not African?

      • thomas

        @ugly
        hal jordon was the original green lantern of the silver age. jordon was a GL l-o-n-g before the black guy. as for storm, i always thought that role was miscast. berry looks nothing like the character. they just got her because she was popular. they should have gotten david bowie’s wife or naomi campbell to play storm. yes, berry is only half black, but like with the prez most blacks claim her to be all black.

      • True Blue

        @thomas:
        “but like with the prez most blacks claim her to be all black.”

        Uh, what? Halle and Obama publicly acknowledge their multi-racial roots, but primarily identify as black. Nobody’s “claiming” anything. The funny thing is, if they identified as white, then you’d be calling them traitors, right? Damned if you do, damned if you don’t.

        @ ugly Nikki:

        If she’s half-black, then clearly she does have African roots, no?

      • thomas

        got some bad news for ya true blue…not every black person in this country has roots in africa. many came to this country freely from other countries. not all blacks in this country were brought here as slaves from africa. i have some more bad news for ya there were BLACK slave owners in the u.s. when slavery was being enforced in the southern states. i have some more bad news for ya…less than 5% of the whites during slave days even owned a slave. the other 95% were too poor and could not afford it. i have some really shocking news for ya…whites helped bring about an end to slavery. i have another news flash: who was on the african shores of the mother land waiting to do business with the white slave traders? answer: other blacks. slavery still exists in africa and parts of asia. you jumped to the wrong conclusion when you said i would be calling them traitors. i am not even referring to the prez and ms. berry at all in the way they promote themselves. i am referring to way the vast majority of black citizens in the u.s. PERCEIVE them. ask around…do some research…take a poll…you will discover that i am correct in this.

      • what???

        Thomas, the white slave owners took advantage of tribal warfare and the victor taking the vanquished as their slaves. The truth is there would have been no American slavery if those Americans hadn’t felt they could own people and make them do their work for them. As for this nonsense that black came from other countries, Africa is the birthplace of ALL men. If the African came from a different country back then, it was because they were stolen from Africa and taken to those other countries. White people created slavery in the United States. Now you can try the ole’ bait and switch, distorting facts/ rewriting history like the Tea Party, but you ain’t fooling me, brother!

      • thomas

        yeah, yeah. i am just surprised that you didn’t say whites invented slavery period. don’t connect me to the tea party. that would be another wrong assumption on your part. are you saying one tribe of blacks didn’t sell another tribe of blacks to the slave merchants. are you saying there were no free blacks in america during slave times? are you saying there were NO black slave owners back then? are you saying that 95% of the white population did NOT own slaves? are you saying every single black person in this country is a descended from a slave? also…at some point in history every race has had it’s share of slave owners. at some in history every race has had it’s fair share of being enslaved. slavery is the worst thing in the history of this country. slavery still exists in parts of asia and africa.

      • what???

        Thomas, I know my history. It’s true that Africans had slaves. These slaves came from the tribes that got defeated in battle. But there seems to be a group of whites who can’t admit that their ancestors did bad things to others so they blame black people for slavery which is outrageous! The Africans didn’t understand the ramifications of selling their enemies to the white man. The bottom line is that if white Americans didn’t go to Africa to buy slaves, there wouldn’t have been the slavery of Africans in America. Africans were packed in boats like sardines, cut off from their culture, brainwashed to believe that they were inferior, sexually and physically brutalized and separated from their families by white slave owners . Now you might think you can lessen that evil by pointing out that free blacks owned slaves(another product of the brainwashing and immorality of white slave owners) and that most cultures practiced slavery, but you can’t. Finally, I didn’t say you were a tea party person, I said you were distorting facts like they do.

      • dude

        @ugly the first green lantern was white but there have been a few green lanterns and yes the current one is black but the first one was white

      • thomas

        @what???
        95% of the whites in the south did not own slaves. those who did will be held accountable for their actions. they will have to answer for their actions. i have all ready stated that slavery was the worst part of this nation’s history. slavery is wrong. no matter who the slave. to be a slave owner is wrong no matter what the race of the owner. those people will have to answer for their actions. me, on the other hand, i have never done anything against anyone ever…especially not due to their race. in my line of work i have helped people of all backgrounds and races. slavery is wrong no matter the nation. no matter the era. you can’t say that slavery was any worse a crime or a sin or an injustice or an indignity in this country than any other. all slavery is wrong period. i will held accountable for my actions and mine alone. i had no party in what transpired in this country 145 years ago.

    • janice

      Thank you Tom. I am outraged that people actually are finding a reason to complain about this. It shouldn’t make any difference whether it was another white character because this is not Peter Parker! But because it’s a minority kid, people want to find something negative to say. It’s a sad racist world we live in today. And these people probably don’t even know they are being racist.

      • john

        @tom. i am all for equal. i am all for not taking away from one race and giving to another race. there are tons of minority characters. why not just continue creating new ones as opposed to taking away from one race to give to another. why show favoritism to one race over another race in any case?

    • Clueless Wonder

      Are you Tom…of Maine?

  • IveKilledPeople

    Utter PC horsecrap

    • David Duke

      Hey great work in Norway by the way!

  • Brad

    and Mary Jane? or should I say Tatiana Jesus.

    • P.D. Clark

      uhhh. Tatiana is a Russian name… were you going for some black/ethnic African name with that quip? epic fail…

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