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Spider-Man Gets a Change of Skin Tone
First, we had the announcement of the changes to Superman in the new series that will be released fall of 2011, and now we have the announcement of changes to the next Spider-Man. After Peter Parker’s death by the hands of the Green Goblin in the Ultimate Spider-Man Issue #160 in June 2011, Miles Morales decides to continue Spider-Man’s legacy. Now mind you, this ‘new’ Spider-Man will be the lead in the relaunched Ultimate Comics: Spider-Man in September 2011, the original Spider-Man will still be web slinging in the Ultimate Spider-Man series. So we have the best of both worlds, the old school Spider-Man, Peter Parker, that will continue his heroism in the Ultimate Spider-Man comic book series, and the new school (whose advanced abilities have yet to be revealed) Spider-Man, Miles Morales, in the Ultimate Comics: Spider-Man comic book series.
Miles’s background story is that he is Brooklyn born and raised with an African-American father and Hispanic mother. Similar to Peter Parker, he is drawn to science and is a school nerd. However, his spidey beginnings start at a much younger age than Peter Parker, at age thirteen to be exact. His identity was revealed to readers after his first fight against the villain named Kangaroo in the final issue of Marvel’s Ultimate Fallout #4. Although he wins, New York residents shun his actions of wearing the late Spider-Man’s costume. While retreating to a rooftop, Miles removes his mask and states ‘This costume is out of taste’.
The change is receiving mixed reviews from critics (major changes, especially involving race, always do) but the majority of Spider-Man readers have been giving the change a thumbs up. The series will be written by Brian Michael Bendis and illustrated by Italian artist Sara Pichelli. Regarding the change, Marvel editor in chief, Axel Alonso, stated to the press “When the opportunity arose to create a new Spider-Man, we knew it had to be a character that represents the diversity – in background and experience – of the twenty-first century.”Bendis adds, “The theme is the same: With great power comes great responsibility. . . He’s (Miles Morales) going to learn that. Then he has to figure out what that means.”