Monday, August 15, 2011

A half-black, half-Hispanic, possibly gay Spider-Man?

Ultimate Spider-Man has been my favorite title for the 10+ years it’s been going. So when I heard on the news that the new Spider-Man was going to be half black and Hispanic and saw all of the reactions on the internet, I had to chime in.

First, I’m going to remind everyone that the Ultimate Universe isn’t the Marvel Universe. The Spider-Man you’ve known and loved since the 60’s is still alive and well. The Ultimate Universe is a unique universe where the characters and situations are familiar but there are a lot of twists and turns. It’s a universe where Reed Richards can turn out to be a villain, Colossus can be gay, Wasp can be eaten by Blob, and Hank Pym can avenge her by (literally) biting Blob’s head off.

The Ultimate Universe has been the place where creators can make bold, shocking choices. It’s a universe where I’ve gotten to see Kitty Pryde date Peter Parker and Wolverine drop Cyclops into a deep hole in the Savage Land so he can have Jean Grey all to himself. And how great is the relationship between Peter, Johnny, and Bobby?

Marvel let a bunch of creators use their characters to create a different universe and allowed Brian Michael Bendis to write Ultimate Spider-Man for the entire run. And we almost got Mark Bagley to draw the entire run.

Killing off Peter Parker is a subject that I’m split on. On one hand, I was nowhere near done spending time with him. On the other hand, the guy who created the series and gave me such a consistently great read month after month has decided to end it. There is something amazing about the guy who created Ultimate Peter Parker being the guy who writes his death. I read the death and the fallout issues and they were amazing.

So what do I think a half-black, half-Hispanic teen (who may or may not be gay) named Miles Morales being the title character in the new Ultimate Spider-Man series? I’M IN.

Brian Michael Bendis has written a ton of things I’ve liked and there’s no reason to believe that this won’t be one of them. I liked his debut in Ultimate Fallout #4 and look forward to seeing him interact with Peter’s supporting cast while running into other heroes who will compare him to the original.

I’m looking forward to watching Miles Morales try to do the right thing while trying to get out from under Peter Parker’s shadow. And I’m sure Nick Fury will be right there to remind the kid how big a shadow that is.

I kind of like the fact that Peter Parker’s story is a finite series. If it had gone on longer than Bendis would have liked or turned it over to someone else, the title might suck and we might not care about Peter’s death. Having Miles Morales doesn’t take away from how much I enjoyed Peter Parker. If I want to visit Peter, I can check the regular Marvel Universe or read back issues of Ultimate Spider-Man.

 Welcome to the Ultimate Universe Miles Morales, hope you survive the experience!

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