If you’re up on comic book news (or watch Fox News or the Colbert Report), you’ve probably heard about the new shock in comic book news – Peter Parker is dead. In the recent arc of Ultimate Spiderman Parker dies in an explosion. And now in Ultimate Fallout we have Miles Morales, a half-black half-latino boy who has taken it upon himself to revive the Spidey persona. Needless to say, people are pissed. I understand the death of a superhero is traumatic. You follow a character throughout your life, buying every issue and investing time and emotion into a story. And then BAM they’re gone. I get why fans are upset. But then you have media moguels like Fox News up in arms saying killing off Spiderman is a “radical left turn to extreme political correctness.” How does that all fit in?
Let’s get some things straight. First off, Ultimate Marvel? NOT REAL. The purpose of Ultimate Marvel is to present a re-imagined universe for Marvel’s characters. I think a lot of comic book writers feel stifled when dealing with a seminal character such as Spiderman. You could have 50+ years of a character’s history to take into account when writing every issue. There are constructs, pre-set villains, and side characters you must integrate into your story because they’ve always been there. Ultimate Marvel is a venue where writers can take these characters and rewrite them in a way they find interesting, creating a new storyline and a new history for our favorite characters. So when Peter Parker dies in Ultimate Spiderman, it’s not the real Peter Parker. It’s an elseworld Peter Parker. Fans have no right to be as upset as they are. You could pick up the latest issue of Amazing Spiderman and see Parker gliding across the pages right now.
And let’s dive in for a moment about the death of Peter Parker in Ultimate Spiderman. There’s a huge explosion, one where it’s doubtful anyone could survive, and all they find of Spiderman is his tattered mask. Everybody mourns blah, blah, blah. We’ve all seen this before. The remnants of clothing should never signify death. In fact it should tip off readers to the fact that Spiderman will resurface in twenty or so issues. Just because Miles Morales has taken up the mantle of Spiderman doesn’t mean he will forever.
Now to Fox News’ comments. One, Fox News, wtf? Now you’re into comics because a “traditional American hero” has died? Heroes die all the time! This is nothing new! Where were you when Captain America died, and then you know, magically came back to life? And two, this is not a plot of the left wing media. It’s updating a series to the current demographic. I got a news story for you – not every kid who reads comic books is a white Anglo man. There are plenty of us interracial kids picking up comics too. Try and name one African American, Latino, Asian, or multiracial superhero in the Marvel universe. All I can think of off the top of my head are Storm and Black Panther. The rest are white guys running around in tights saving the world. It’s about time we had some heroes representing the true America. Brian Michael Bendis, who has written some amazing comic book series, is creating a new version of the superhero. One that’s true to our current culture. And that’s not a bad thing. It’s not a liberal thing either.
Glenn Beck lost his shit about it too, saying that the new Spiderman looks like Obama. I’m not even going to begin on this comment. Beck openly admits he doesn’t read comic books in his rant about the new Spidey, then says that the story arc is a narrative about the Obama administration. So you say you don’t read comics…but then you make comments about the story…I just…I don’t know where to begin. This reasoning is illogical and I refuse to rant about you Mr. Beck. You just fail.
All you kids and news media people flipping out about interracial Spiderman, stop. Take a deep breath. Let Ultimate Fallout takes it’s course. Then make an informed decision about the direction of the series. And Fox News/Glenn Beck – read a f’ing comic book.