Why Miles Morales Matters

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Mile Morales is a half Black/half Puerto Rican teenager, born and raised in Brooklyn. He is a intelligent nerd with an aptitude for science like his predecessor Peter Parker. He was bitten by a radioactive spider, similar to Peter Parker and gained all the abilities similar to him as well. He is from Marvel’s Ultimate Universe, their secondary universe that was created in 2000, as a more hype, realistic version of the original universe without all the continuity issues.

When Miles became the Ultimate Universe’s Spider-Man on August 2011 in Ultimate Fallout #4, it received international coverage on the mainstream media. Audiences had mixed reactions about news, some felt it was a positive example for minority readers, particularly children. Others believed Marvel did it to be politically correct and a publicity stunt. Marvel had stuck to their guns and Miles has had his own series for almost four years. His book is always in the top ten in Marvel sales for the last four years.

Now it was announced yesterday, by Marvel, that this fall, Miles Morales will be Marvel’s main Spiderman. He will have a new on-going series appropriately named “Spider-Man”. He will replace the original Spider-Man, Peter Parker which resides in their “Main” Universe.

What does this mean and why is it important?

Miles Morales, a biracial teen, from Brooklyn is replacing Peter Parker, a white man from Queens as Spider-Man. Spider-Man being one of Marvel’s most, if not, THE most popular character they own will now be a biracial character.

This isn’t just a stunt, far from it. Its about a Dominican boy in the Bronx, a little Mexican girl in Queens or a Black teen from Harlem that could read a comic and say, “That could be me, I could be Spider-Man”.

A majority of superhero characters were created during the 1930s through the 1960s when civil rights wasn’t exactly a thing. I mean, you have Black Panther which is a phenomenon character but that’s not the same. He isn’t the character that a company uses as its flagship. He isn’t one of the most important, most relatable characters in comic book history. Spider-Man is just that. Not because of the color of his skin but because of who he is, he could be any of us and now it reflects even more accurately with the world we’re living in.

Heroes, for a long time haven’t lived in fictional worlds. They’re based off of us, they live in the same world we do and our world is a diverse one.

Here’s to Miles Morales, welcome to the 616.

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