You see many non comic book readers or those not familiar with the minutia of comics books saw the headline and assumed that Marvel Comics killed off Peter Parker and replaced him with a colored fella thusly causing them to Twitter and Facebook themselves into a raging mob of anti-political correct mouth breathers. On the other side of the spectrum is a mob of black folks who read. This mob is broken down into two groups. Group A) Thinks an Afro-Rican Spidey is awesome. Group B) Sees said Afro-Rican Spidey as race pandering.
People can think what they like but many of these folks are overlooking a few key facts. The Peter Benjamin Parker that matters is not dead. The Peter Parker that died and is being replaced exists in what is called the Ultimate Universe. Things that happen in the Ultimate version of the Marvel Universe are often vastly different than their mainstream 616 counterparts. Characters often have vastly different personalities, races, and beliefs. Storm is Moroccan, Colossus is gay, Captain America is a jingoistic d*ck, and Nick Fury is Samuel L. Jackson. It’s simply a different take on old characters that lets the writers and artist exercise some artistic license. Think of it as company sanction fan fiction.[II]
The entire blow up of the whole black Spidey thing is just another example of America’s not readingness. We see a headline and react.
So loud. So wrong. Michael Baisden.
The idea of a black Spidey came about awhile ago when actor Donald Glover (Childish Gambino, Communtiy) created a picture of himself with his head on Spider-Man’s body. Naturally it upset some folks the same way that Stringer Bell portraying a Viking deity did. Personally I’m good but I’m not entirely sure of what supposed to offend or upset me anymore.
Peter Parker is one of my favorites and always maintained that he could have easily been a black kid from queens.
- His parents weren’t around and he was being raised by elderly relatives who had no idea how to relate to him.
- He struggles with depression from time to time. Making ends meet and fighting weirdoes dressed like a vulture is mad stressful.
- He’s forced to become a grown man way too early and yearns to just be a kid.
- He constantly seeks out father figures from the likes of Reed Richards, Steve Rogers, and Logan.
Will I pick up the new Ultimate Spider-Man? Probably not but I like the twist on the character. Hell, Spider-Girl is Puerto Rican so there is already some brown in the Spider family. People, they are comic books characters. Read them or don’t. It’s just that simple. Now if we can only find a way to get Peter and Mary Jane back together that’s all that matters.
Vaya con Dios.
[I] I’m glad to see that the proud Marvel traditions of giving characters first and last names that start with the same letters are still intact. (Reed Richards, Peter Parker, Matt Murdock, punk-a** Scott Summers, Warren Worthington III)