Deconstructing: The New Ultimate Spider-Man

Ultimate Comics: Spider-Man

Image via Wikipedia

The death of Ultimate Peter Parker has been one of the most talked about events in comic books recently, but more importantly, Marvel have finally unveiled who will replace the web-slinger, and it’s a half-black, half-Hispanic 13 year old known as Miles Morales. Astonishingly, the news that Ultimate Comics Spider-Man was being replaced reached high profile media outlets such as Fox News, The New York Times and USA Today. It’s great the comic book industry is getting lots of media attention, but is that the only reason behind the push for diversity?

The Marvel Ultimate universe is commonly known as the testing ground for Marvel comics. The Ultimate universe was originally created by writers Brian Michael Bendis and Mark Millar, as a fresh start to attract new readers, without being bogged down by years of continuity. Years later, the Ultimate universe took a dip in quality when writer Jeph Loeb, killed off most of the existing characters in the disaster event known as ‘Ultimatum‘. Since then, the Ultimate universe has suffered in quality, therefore its purpose now seems to be to serve as a testing ground for new ideas.

I consider the decision to put a half-black, half-Hispanic character in the role of Spider-Man as nothing more than a publicity stunt. Yes, it’s good to give attention to the minorities that might feel overlooked in mainstream media, considering the growing diversity in the USA, but there is a far better way to do that then putting established iconic characters as minorities. Two of my favourite Marvel characters are Luke Cage and Sam Wilson (The Falcon), who both represent the African-American/Black minorities. These characters are well-established comic book characters, and are more than capable of headlining their own books. The comic book industry needs more characters like them. Luke Cage did originally appear to represent a very corny, stereotypical view of a black superhero, but Marvel learnt from that and gave him a much-needed new look. Years later, and he finally looks like he has his own movie on the way.

Miles is always going to be known as ‘the other Spider-Man’ who lives in Peter Parker’s shadow. He should have been given his own superhero identity, allowing diversity in comics to finally breakthrough from previous stereotypes (Luke Cage’s original yellow outfit). If Marvel introduced Miles Morales as a brand new character headlining his own series, I’m sure that would of eventually taken off, allowing Marvel to later introduce Miles to the mainstream Marvel Universe.

But that wouldn’t have got them as much media attention, which tells you everything you need to know.

 

 

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