I’ll admit it, I let it get to me. Normally I could give two squats about what the knuckleheads on message boards say. I’ve even made it a point to stay away from the comment section of any article that has to do with politics or abortion. Those two topics always bring out the worst in people.
But this week Marvel Comics revealed that they would be changing the status quo of Spider-Man in the “Ultimate Spider-Man” title by re-casting Peter Parker as half-black/half-Hispanic teenager Miles Morales.
And boy did the proverbial s**t hit the fan.
First off, Marvel Comics Editor Stephen Wacker tweeted this: Just got angry letter from a guy mad about our new, “gay” Spider-man. I love this week.
See, since morons can’t read, the guy who wrote in to Mr. Wacker thought that the new Spidey was going to be gay – all because Ultimate Spider-Man artist Sara Pichelli made a comment to the effect of – and I’m paraphrasing here – “one day it won’t be a big deal if a superhero is black – or gay – or both.”
And because you don’t need opposable thumbs to be able to share a comment on a message board, all the screeching IHOP monkeys – thank you for that term Liz Lemon – made sure to share their opinions on the internet. My “Keep Your Pants On” co-writer Kate Kotler wrote a nice dissertation on the – ahem – dialogue that took place on the internet after the announcement. One of my standouts was “he gets his powers from a radioactive welfare check.”
No matter that this is in the ‘alternate universe’ of the Ultimate line. In the main Marvel U – the “616″ as they call it – Peter Parker is still very much alive and web-slinging. That still didn’t stop yahoos like Glenn Beck from claiming that Michelle Obama ordered that Spider-Man be turned into a black person. I swear that Beck can’t be a carbon-based life form.
To do my part to combat the inanity of it all, I went ahead and wrote the folks at Marvel Comics a letter of my own:
From: Elliott R. Serrano
Sent: Wed 8/3/2011 11:43 AM
To: Wacker, Stephen; Alonso, Axel; Quesada, Joe
Subject: Make mine Marvel
Just wanted to let you know that I am in full support of the current changes going on with the Ultimate Spider-Man title. To tell you the truth, I actually stopped reading the book some time ago, but these changes that you’ve undertaken have drawn me back in.
As a young Hispanic male who grew up reading comics, I always related to Peter Parker the most, despite the idea that he was a white kid from Queens, New York. But I always imagined a day when I could be the kid under the mask. And now, today’s generation of young readers will get to live in a world where ANYONE can be Spider-Man.This is when the “House of Ideas” really does live up to its name.
Thank you for that and all that you do.
Elliott Ruben Serrano
Marvel‘s Chief Creative Officer Joe Quesada was kind enough to reply:
Elliot, thanks for the kind words and welcome back to USM. We’re very proud and excited with where the book and Miles will be taking us, we have some great stories planned. Give us a holler after we have a few issues out there and let us know what you think.
And that’s exactly what I’m gonna do.
Eff the haters.