Every generation constantly changes through innovative thought and a myriad of ideals that would have never been labeled “acceptable” in the past couple of decades. Society is becoming more open and understanding of different controversies that would have disrupted the minds of elder generations. Ranging from homosexuality, multiracial relationships, and equality America has become the universal example of “cultural melting pot”. Although We have many homosexual pop culture icons such as Lady Gaga , Ellen DeGeneres, Neil Patrick Harris, & Elton John. We also have many multi-racial icons such as Barack Obama, Alicia Keys, Bob Marley, Blake Griffin & Mariah Carey. But is the world ready for a dynamic change to cultural staple that’s been around since the 1960s?
Marvel, The successful American comic book company, has decided to pull a risky controversial move to “kill off” the classic iconic identity of Spiderman , Peter Parker, and change the man behind the mask to someone that appeals to the modern diversity of today’s society. On August 10th 2011 Marvel introduced the new Spiderman in “Ultimate Fallout” Issue Four as Miles Morales, a Half Latino half African American teenager. Marvel writers responsible for the change have also stated the character maybe open to turnout gay as the series progresses. As such a bold move by Stan Lee and his team of writers, many critics are dying to see how the public will take this Spiderman as a minority. Will Marvel face the consequences of changing the Classic Heterosexual White Peter Parker? Or will Spiderman fans and Americans alike learn to love the new “Spidey” as he goes through further character development as the writers predict.
In the 1960s, A variety of comic book super heroes were created that would eventually become society’s mainstream line up today. The 1960s were a time of racial segregation and prejudice and because of that most of the stars of comic books were white heterosexual males such as Super Man , Batman , Spider Man, & Iron Man. All of which because of decades of media expose and social popularity have became iconic to all Americans. Back then it was very rare to hear of blacks in comic books other then being racially slurred and depicted as stereotypically negative. Even when black characters started to take a rise in the comic world none were as known or popular enough to become a staple in American history. With heroes such as Luke Cage, Storm , and Black Panther making appearances, they made only minor dents in society as a whole.
Before the conception of a Black Hispanic Spiderman , The Creators of Green Lantern decided to reveal a black Green lantern John Stewart instead of the traditional white Hal Jordan. It was a very controversial matter that many fans complained about in the beginning. Many protests were upheld and many conservative traditional Green Lantern fans were out raged. Although overtime, This rendition of Green Lantern has become as well known as the traditional and equally liked. He has grown his fair share of fans and Americans have accepted him. Will people be as earnest to try the new spidey as well ? Is American as open and free as it claims to be ?
Another very controversial comment made by Marvel writer Brian Micheal Bendis is that the team were open to making the new Spiderman a homosexual. This would be a huge impact on the Spiderman series in whole considering on how this country is still in the process of accepting that as a cultural norm. Many conservatives would be outraged at the possibility of a national icon becoming a homosexual. They would see it as changing something they looked up to as children as well as there kids idolizing. Does that mean that they believe their children shouldn’t look up to homosexuals in general ? Or minorities ? The statement is somewhat biased. It is a long shot that the writers would go through with this considering that more of their products consumers happen to be heterosexual white teenage males ( specifically 95 % of all comic book readers). Would this be to many expectations on a new spiderman ? When an ethnically unique character is released its different than the average. They are often being claimed to “represent” a whole group or separates groups. Will he reflect Black and Hispanic or gays well or will he give reason to a negative outlook of changing a major character identity to something else.
Many fans are not disappointed with Miles Morales, but angry with how Marvel introduced him. Many fans grew up with the classic Peter Parker including myself. He was well developed and every one regardless of race could relate to the theme of his endeavors. A more then often picked on kid who was orphaned by his parents and raised by his uncle Ben and aunt May. He stood for the underdog and many people rooted for him. We’ve read through many comics and plots describing his puberty, love life, struggles all the way to him getting married to Mary Jane. Peter Parker has been increasing in detail since the 60s ranging from normal teenage hood and young adult issues to his constant and ongoing battle with the guilt he faced being the cause of his Uncle Ben’s death and the threats to the Big Apple. New York has become synonymous with the hero Spiderman.
Yet through all his endeavors Marvel decides to have him killed off “honorably” yet quickly by being shot by the Green Goblin ? Apparently weakened from a malignant cancer taking place in his body , That is how Peter Parker dies . Fans were utterly disappointed seeing their hero die from a fatal shot to the head trying to save Captain America. Marvel then explained that this shall be the actual death of Peter Parker denying to ever resurrect him. Shortly after introducing a new Spiderman to the scene and revealing to the world Miles Morales. Was it right for Marvel to end the famous Peter Parker’s life in such a die hard way to change the character so quickly ?
So in the end, Did Marvel make the right choice ? Was this alright to terminate such a beloved hero in the eyes of comic fans , Americans and the people everywhere ? And was it a haste decision changing the identity of Spiderman so quickly afterwards or was it a step in the right direction ? Was Miles Morales the right choice as New York’s Predeceasing Spiderman ? Did Bendis simply choose him because of the new unique world we live in , in which it would only be suitable to choose someone who directly relates to our countries large diversity or is this one big publicity stunt to gain attention from the masses by incorporating homosexuality and ethnicity into the mix ? The Real question is will Miles ever gain the appraisal and appeal of society as his mentor did or will we ever have the true Spiderman back ? These questions will all be answered in time.