All across the internet, there is some negative backlash about the new blatino (and rumoured to be gay) Ultimate Spider-Man. Of course, the “I’m-Not-Racist-But” racists are saying that it’s political correctness gone wild. Comic purists are saying you can’t toy with an established icon like that. Of course, Glenn Beck managed to blame an Obama for the new writing. The range of the vitriol is amazing in the USA Today article about it. My favourite:
“Peter Parker could not be whiter. A black boy under the mask just don’t look right. This opens up a whole new story line with a whole new set of problems. Who is going to believe a black man in a mask is out for the good of man kind?” –Grammatically impaired “I’m-Not-Racist-But” racist (Seriously? “BOY”?????).
Cynthia Wright could not have responded better:
“So, a black man in a mask isn’t capable of helping out mankind? In a historical context, it wasn’t the black population using masks to strike fear and terrorize others in American society. How quickly that one caveat is forgotten.”
I side with Alexandra Petri and her Washington Post op-ed stating that the vitriol is WHY we need a black/Latino Spider-Man. I stated this before, but here’s my take, for the Chronicles:
- Miles Morales is not going to be gay. That was just a rumour. Artist Sara Pichelli refuted that.
- It’s an alternate universe version of Spider-Man, where Nick Fury is not only a general (not a colonel), but he’s a black man. Think Colin Powell, but with laser guns, and looking like Samuel L. Jackson.
- The whole point of Marvel’s Ultimate universe is to reflect a world more comparable to the real world. It makes sense that in a city where less than 40% of the population is non-Hispanic white, there would be more people of colour with superpowers.
- WHO CARES??? It’s a bloody comic book! If you don’t like the way the story is going, then don’t buy it! This really shouldn’t be a big deal. Sure, there is always a LITTLE sense of pride when you see a person who looks more like you in a position of power, if only a fictional one, but the focus should be about how you identify with the character. Knowing Bendis, you can bet that it’s going to be a really interesting arc.
- The most frustrating thing about this whole issue is that there is an even bigger story that is being overshadowed: SARA PICHELLI is going to be the main artist for the title! She is one of the three female artists who worked on this before, and now she will be the main one! Sure, she’s not the first woman to draw a mainstream comic, and she’s done many books before, but a lot were collaborations with other female artists and writers, creating books about female teams/characters. That’s well and good, but she’s working on a major superhero line now! That’s what deserves the headlines. She’s a very good artist!
…Admittedly, I was going to nerd out on you and delve through the evolution of minority superheroes throughout comic history, but I’ll spare you for a while. Maybe when Rush Limbaugh realises that Superman is a dirty spaceback, stealing heroic jobs and deeds from hard working ‘Merican superheroes…too soon?