This week news came of Marvel Comics announcing a half Hispanic, half African- American teen boy named Miles Morales will be the titular star of Ultimate Spider-Man.
In case you don’t know, Marvel comics has two main Spider-Man comic lines, with Peter Parker continuing safely in the main one, but dying while saving Aunt May in a recent issue of the alternate brand.
So now a similarly empowered Miles will step into Spidey’s shoes, and I’m glad to see Marvel make this move. Besides the John Stewart Green Lantern and Storm on X-Men, most superheroes have been part of the Mighty Whitie League. There are exceptions, of course, but most non-white characters like Black Lightning seemed to be more built around their ethnicity rather than any superpowers they might possess.
So what does this mean? It means for millions of non-white kids who had to stare at white faces on the biggest heroes, they now have one with whom they can identify. For Marvel, it means they could quickly expand their customer base and profits. For non-white actors, they may now have a real shot at big time hero adaptations, which they really want (see Donald Glover’s Twitter campaign, Isaiah Mustafa’s Luke Cage pitch, and Will Smith inventing his own superhero). And last, maybe speculative fiction as a whole might become enjoyed by many more people, making it richer for all.
So what do you think?
Update: Click here for CinemaBlend’s take on this, plus news about Lawrence Fishburne being cast as Perry White in the next Superman movie.