Finally someone has addressed the dominance of Caucasian superheros in comic book narratives. Everyone from Batman to Superman is a white guy, and don’t think for a second that children of color don’t find that alienating when browsing comic book stands. But all that changes with the reincarnation of Spider-Man. In case your kids haven’t told you, Peter Parker was killed in June by the Green Goblin. In his place is now Miles Morales, a half-Black half-Hispanic kid who lives with his parents in Brooklyn.
“When Spider-Man peels back that mask, there will be a whole new demographic of National Film Preservation Foundation kids who we’ll be reaching on a new spiritual level…Going into this we knew we wanted to make a statement about the 21st century.”
He admits that Miles was inspired by President Barack Obama during his 2008 presidential campaign, but that he had to wait until Peter had run his course as a character before introducing the new character.
Marvel Comics’ decision in recrafting the Spider-Man were clearly prompted by a growing awareness for the number of children of color who don’t see themselves reflected in the adventures of their favorite heros. Designing diverse characters not only seeks to include all our children in the superhero dialogue of good vs. evil, but also chips away at the suggestion that to to have superhuman powers — you need to be a white.