Fans of Spider-Man were recently in for a big surprise Marvel Comics launched his alter ego as a mixed-race 13-year-old called Miles Morales, who lives with his parents in Brooklyn.
Marvel Comics have described the change as a sign of the cultural diversity of the 21st century. Miles is described as being of mixed black and Latino parentage. We take that to be mixed-race and an interesting and welcome change.
Not all fans are happy with the change however and there have been many heated debates on the subject. It wasn't going to sit well with everyone, if it did things would really have changed. No doubt there will be a new movement to bring back the old Spidey but that's understandable some of us don't react well to change. Luckily a lot of us thrive on it.
Well done to Marvel for attempting such a challenging alteration to a character that has reaped them millions already. Whilst there might be a geniune desire to represent cultural diversity there is no denying the mixed-race market will only increase the brand power.
Marcia Alesan Dawkins writing for the Huffington Post clearly has some insight into the thinking behind the new alter ego when she wrote:
"The social significance of multiracial and multiethnic identities extends far beyond present day politics and post-racial popular culture. Like all racial and ethnic identities, mixed race and ethnic identities are used to create communities of common interest, claim rights, market products and make powerful cultural arguments. So, the ways Miles Morales is presented in "Ultimate Spider-Man" reflects how writers and fans view and interpret multiracial and multiethnic identities today. Some will undoubtedly see Morales as part of an often violent and tragic past filled with colonization and migration. Others will see a multiracial and multiethnic Spider-Man that carries the promise of a better, more harmonious future (like Neo in the Matrix)."