Friday, September 30, 2011

Race & Class in Comics: The New Spider-Man


In a previous blog post I talked about a new Spider-Man that was introduced by Marvel Comics last month, and all the outrage it caused among right-wingers because he was a bi-racial teen named Miles Morales. (By the way, he's a Spider-Man set in the Ultimate Universe, which is different from the regular Marvel Comics universe, and where a white Peter Parker still continues to be the regular mainstream Spider-Man).

Well, this month saw the debut of the all new Ultimate Comics Spider-Man #1 where we learn how Miles got his Spider-like powers! It is a very interesting story so far, which is being written by Brian Michael Bendis, (Marvel's top scribe).

More interesting to learn, however, is Miles background. It doesn't seem like he's from a better-off neighborhood. In fact, we learn that the school in their neighborhood is so bad that his parents have added his name for a lottery to get into a charter school, the Brooklyn Visions Academy. Unfortunately, there's only about 40 spots and 700 from his neighborhood have applied.

There is one very touching scene where his parents have all but given up hope, but then the last name--his name--is called and they jump for joy. But Miles sees all the distraught faces on some of the kids who didn't get picked and he does not feel the same joy. "It shouldn't--all these other kids. Should it be like this?" he asks.

This was a very good first issue. We met most of the central characters and found out his origin. I think it's going to be real fun reading this book. Not only watching Miles learn how to be a hero, but also seeing the struggles that any inner-city youth might have growing up. Highly recommended!

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