Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Tale of a Black Spider...Man

If you didn't know by now there is a "Black" spider-man, sure he's not the original Peter Parker or even from the same continuity of  comics but hes here to far.
Miles Morales is the new spider-man swinging around the marvel comics ultimate universe. Introduced in Ultimate Fallout #4 Miles is seen taking on the Kangaroo, a guy who can kick really hard, like through buildings hard. Throughout the issue he is seen in Peter Parker's old outfit to which many onlookers of the meta-human comment, comically, that it's in bad taste. You see the Peter Parker of this universe just recently died in a all out battle in front of his house unmasked for the whole world to see. It isn't until the end of the issue Miles face is seen and we get a glimpse of this bold new face to walk on walls.
This is a bold move for Marvel, although I say again the Peter Parker of the normal universe is still alive, wise crackin' and wall crawling, as this is the first time they made a well known property such as spider-man a topic of racial identity. Not saying they haven't tried in the past, the Captain America of the Ultimate universe was suppose to be of African-American background but they copped out and made the Nick Fury, a secondary character African-American. A not should also be added this Nick Fury was based of off the actor Samuel Jackson hence his popular appearance in the marvel movies, Ironman I and II, Captain America: The First Avenger, as well as in the Thor movie as Nick Fury. The Captain America idea also got snow balled into a new behind the scene's history of main stream universe in Captain America Truth.

Truth told the untold story of Isaiah Bradley and his fellow infantry men who took part of a medical apartheid like test run of a recreated super solider serum like the one that turned Steve Rogers into Captain America. Isaiah was the only test subject that survived the process, albeit later in years it affects his mental state but keeps him young and vital as the serum does to Steve Rogers. The government black balled the project and held Isiah in jail for many years so no one would know about Isaiah or the testing although it is widely known in the comic books Black community as a legend to be true. Steve Rogers eventually finds out about this and investigates and meets Isaiah and his wife in their Harlem Home. The story line adds depth to the origin of Steve Rogers but doesn't change it since it took place before that happened as was "discovered" years later by Steve.

This was a great story but not as monumental as "Black" Spider-man Miles Morales, as he is known now. My problem with this is two fold. One Miles Morales is not just Black he is also half Latino why couldn't he just be a Black Latino, and two why does his race have to donate who he is he wears a mask in any-case and is from another universe apart from Peter Parker, why can't he just be Ultimate universe Spider-man.

Would it be to big of a confusion for middle America to see a Black person identify as Latino or vice versa. The whole concept of racial identity in the America's is just a load of crap to me. I can't even fully comment on the idea's of the many peoples and shades it encompasses.

Next topic why does he have to be "Black" Spider-man. He's exist in a separate universe, can't his universe donate who he is? This to me is a double edged sword. We want to have our own hero's, The Falcon, Mr. Terrific, Blade, Luke Cage, Bronze Tiger, Storm, Static, Icon, but in order to make them valid we have to make them "Black" ie. Black Panther, Black Vulcan, Black Lightning, Black Manta.

 Another good example of the Blackification of a character theme is newly introduced Batwing secret identity David Zavimbi aka the Batman of Africa or the Black Batman of Africa, cause Africa is a place (to much to get into on that moving along), why does he he have to be donated by his race. Why can't his characterization stand on it's own. "With great power comes great responsibility." These words echo never more truer with the advent of these characters and the creative comic book teams behind them. I hope the stories involving Miles Morales and David Zavimbi both flesh the out as being more than a ethnic background, or a representative for a continent, or a racial counterpart and become heroes in their own right. Look for both Ultimate Spider-man #1, next week September 14th, and Batwing #1 out today September 7th in a comic shop near you.

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