The new Ultimate Spider-Man is going to be half-black, half-Hispanic, and that tells us something. It’s not that Brian Michael Bendis, a bald, middle-aged white man is trying to pander to a new crowd or snag headlines. It’s not that Marvel just wants to get money and press and all of those sorts of things. Really, the only thing that this has shown us is that a giant chunk of people using the internet today are still harboring racism.
People who can still read about a white Peter Parker Spider-Man in a dozen monthly Marvel books are complaining that the change to a minority character was “unnecessary.” They think that it’s pointless, not understanding that it makes a whole lot of sense. America is not predominantly white, especially not in the ratio that superhero comics would have us believe. Specifically, New York City is even less predominantly white than we’d like to think. This is a decision by Bendis and his editors that completely makes sense and should be applauded.
Racism isn’t dead. The internet has proven that several times over this morning. Comments on CBR’s Facebook announcement of the new Spider-Man along with comments on Twitter from popular retailers are just two of the examples I’ve seen, and I’m the kind of guy who actively avoids commentary because of trolls. But you know what? There’s one thing that Bendis can do to shove racism back in people’s faces.
Make this half-Hispanic, half-black Spider-Man gay. Because why not? Make him a hero for this generation of teenagers, diverse in every way.
Don’t get me wrong. What Bendis is doing is already commendable, and I’ve accidentally butted heads with the guy on Twitter over the difference between schizophrenia and multiple personality disorder. Honestly, I think he’s doing something really awesome here. But I also think that this would be a kick-butt response to everything his “haters” have been saying about the new Ultimate Spider-Man this morning.
Just think about it.