To anyone not reading Marvel Comics’ Ultimate line of titles, the name Miles Morales likely isn’t too familiar. Since 2011, however, Morales has been web-slinging in the company’s alternate super-powered world, replacing the murdered Peter Parker. But now, it looks like that alternate version of Spidey is becoming the official one. According to the New York Daily News, when the Spider-Man comic relaunches in the fall, Morales will be the face underneath the mask, not Peter Parker.
This comes just days after new leaked documents from the Sony hacking scandal, published by Wikileaks, revealed licensing agreements between Sony Pictures Entertainment and Marvel that included some rather awkward details. Though they downplayed it at the time, the decision to keep Peter Parker as Spider-Man in the Marvel Cinematic Universe wasn’t just because we’re all so excited to see another angsty white kid in high school. It’s also thanks to the companies’ agreement listing one of the “core elements” of Spider-Man as being that “he is a heterosexual Caucasian male.” Which makes sense, as children playing Spider-Man often cite his desire to have sex with women as being the most fun aspect of his superpowers.
Morales, by contrast with that description, is a half-black, half-Latino teenager, which means his ascension to the position of canonical Spider-Man in Marvel comics will be accepted by the internet with the quiet and respectful spirit for which it is known. Writer Bendis says the decision to make Morales Spider-Man after this summer’s Secret Wars series ends is intended to resolve any ambiguity about the character’s worthiness for the gig. “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.” And if anyone has a problem with that, they can surely take it up with Samuel L. Jackson’s Nick Fury, another formerly white character.