This fall, Spider-Man fans will be seeing a new face under the web-slinger’s mask.
After making a name for himself in the Ultimate Spider-Man series of comics, popular bi-racial superhero Miles Morales will be making the move to the official Marvel Comics series.
While Morales has been making a huge impact in the Ultimate series, the main Marvel Comics series still starred Peter Parker’s Spider-Man. Following the closing of the Ultimate line in a cross-over event called Secret Wars, Morales- son to an African-American father and Puerto Rican mother- will take his place alongside Peter Parker and assume the mantle of the insanely popular superhero.
In an interview with New York Daily News, Brian Bendis, writer and co-creator of the upcoming Spider-Man relaunch, spoke on the importance of the character.
“Many kids of color who 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 Bendis. “But now it’s true. It’s meant a great deal to a great many people.”
Morales will work alongside Peter Parker in the comics, who will act as a mentor to the new wall-crawler. Bendis says Marvel will be making an effort to show readers that this isn’t a short-term marketing push, and that Morales is here to stay.
“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.”
Over the past few years, Marvel has made news with a series of announcements designed to promote diversity in their various properties. Just last year, the company announced the new Thor would be female, while African-American superhero the Falcon would take up the shield of Captain America.
The importance of diversity is more personal to Bendis, who recalled a recent visit to the toy aisle with his four-year-old adopted African-American daughter. The child found a Spider-Man mask, put it on, and said “Look daddy, I’m Spider-Man!”
“I started crying in the middle of the aisle,” said Bendis. “I realized my kids are going to grow up in a world that has a multi-racial Spider-Man, and an African American Captain America and a female Thor.”