Some comic book fans are reeling, while others are rejoicing, after learning that Miles Morales, a black Puerto Rican teenager, will become Marvel’s primary Spider-Man when the comic relaunches this fall.
“Many kids of color … when they were playing superheroes with their friends, their friends wouldn’t let them be Batman or Superman because they don’t look like those heroes, but they could be Spider-Man because anyone could be under that mask,” said writer and co-creator Brian Bendis to the New York Daily News. “But now it’s true. It’s meant a great deal to a great many people.
“Our message has to be it’s not Spider-Man with an asterisk, it’s the real Spider-Man for kids of color, for adults of color and everybody else,” Bendis continued.
Morales has been around since 2011, when he replaced the murdered Peter Parker in Marvel’s Ultimate series, and has gained a huge following. Bendis says that Morales is important to him because two of his children are adopted and black. Bendis recounted an incident when his 4-year-old black adopted daughter saw a Miles Morales Spider-Man mask in the toy store and tried it on.
“Look, Daddy, I’m Spider-Man!” Bendis said his daughter stated.
“I started crying in the middle of the aisle,” says Bendis. “I realized my kids are going to grow up in a world that has a multiracial Spider-Man and an African-American Captain America and a female Thor.”