Few heroes represent the common man more than Marvel’s web-slinging teenager: Spider-Man. He does not hail from another galaxy, he’s not a hero from the greatest generation, he’s not even a womanizing billionaire. What makes him special is the notion that when greatness comes unexpectedly calling, one must answer in heroic fashion.

 

For years, audiences — comic, television, and film alike — knew Peter Parker as their friendly neighborhood Spider-Man; now, it seems that Marvel has decided to change the status quo, granting that mantle to bi-racial teen Miles Morales.

 

Long-time comic fans will no doubt recognize Morales — he has existed in Marvel’s “Ultimate” universe ever since 2011 as a creation by Brian Michael Bendis and Sarah Pichelli. However, this will mark his introduction as the “main” web-slinger in the Marvel comics. As Brian Michael Bendis put it in an interview, “He is going to be Spider-Man — just Spider-Man.”

 

Marvel: A guide to Superheroes in New York City

Marvel: Superheroes in New York City (http://www.dorkly.com)

In a way it really does make sense, Spider-Man fights crime at a street level in New York. Despite the cultural diversity of the city itself, most of the heroes who operate in that region — see: The Punisher, Daredevil, Iron Fist, Jessica Jones — are white. Luke Cage is one of the most prominent black heroes of New York, but statistically the heroes are disproportionately caucasian.

 

As wonderful as it is to see this sort of diversification in comics, it also highlights a problem in another popular medium: film. Despite this victory for Miles Morales, it does not change the fact that Marvel Studios recently chose to use Peter Parker — portrayed by Tom Holland — as their new cinematic Web-Head. Marvel has had numerous issues with diversity already, waiting almost a decade to produce films about characters who deviate from the white male norm (“Black Panther,” “Captain Marvel”) and relegating most African-Americans to sidekick duty (War Machine, Falcon).

 

Recently, Marvel outed X-Men character, Bobby Drake-The Iceman, as a closeted gay male superhero

Recently, Marvel outed X-Men character, Bobby Drake-The Iceman, as a gay male superhero (crapthatpissesthisoldmanoff.wordpress.com)

A similar problem exists as Fox Studios as well: despite the X-Men character of Iceman recently coming out as bisexual (something hinted at for decades), the films feature little to no LGBT representation.

 

So hooray for Miles Morales; the character deserves this success, but let us never forget that even the world of comic book characters has a long way to go towards achieving equality.

 

What do you think of this shift in the Marvel status quo? Are you a fan of Miles Morales? Would you like to see him in the MCU? Comment below or tweet @connerws to come nerd out with us!