Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Racial Spider-Man

Okay. I love Miles Morales. Ultimate Spider-Man is awesome. I'm a half-blooded kid, and Miles is somebody that I can relate to. I'm not black, and I'm not hispanic, I'm multi-cultural all on my own. My dad is a big, red First Nations guy and my mom is an Irish/Eastern European mix (which is strange in and of itself). Yet, it is cool to see someone that is a superhero that I know that I would have loved if I as a kid. I got Peter Parker and who Peter Parker was because I grew up partially in a white suburb, but I think Miles Morales would have shown me that there are were other kids out there just like me, and in this North American melting pot I think there are tons of kids out there just like Miles.

I can't help but wonder though, whether we will ever see anything racial in Ultimate Spider-Man. Not that it needs it. There is that nagging feeling in my head that if Spider-Man is black and hispanic that I need to see something of black and hispanic culture in the pages of Spider-Man to make me believe it. I understand, kids nowadays seem pretty much the same despite the color of their skin, and if you don't believe me, head into any city and check out one of the playgrounds (I live in Toronto where color doesn't seem to exist as much as other places I've been), but those children still experience life as a black or a hispanic or an asian (I am keeping this as vague as possible). They go home and see their parents, eat their parents and grandparents favorite recipes, worship at the places their families worship, etc. So, despite the fact that these kids are all the same, their are subtle differences. I remember the first time the Swedish kid in my class let me see the nutella in his sandwich. It blew my fucking mind that it wasn't PBJ. I had thought, until that moment, that our lives were all the same at home, that everyone ate PBJ, or bologna and mustard. It isn't so.

So, Marvel and Brian Michael Bendis, I don't know what your agenda with this character is, or whether you will portray him only as American and not as any of the wondrous traits that his background could give him, but I hope that there are some slight subtle moments where you make him of his race, racial.

I love the book, I have read all four issues, just keep it real (except for the fact that Miles can climb up walls, etc). Or don't. I'm in for the long haul because I like the fact that there is a superhero out there that knows two sides of the arguments.


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