Marvel doubles down on Miles Morales.

I can't claim to have been the biggest supporter of Miles Morales, the multi-racial replacement for the martyred Ultimate Peter Parker. I haven't bought a single issue he has appeared in, but mostly because his much-celebrated entry into the Ultimate Marvel continuity coincided with my own personal crises. What I (from a distance) initially perceived as a short-lived publicity stunt clearly represents something more going on at Marvel, and in the comics industry in general...

Here's the sales pitch:

• MILES is back in action with a new status quo and a new outlook on life!
• A BIG BIG BIG villain from PETER PARKER’s past is alive and well and about to turn New York upside down!
• The last page will have ULTIMATE SPIDER-MAN fans SCREAMING!
• This issue can’t be missed!

Miles Morales is the poster child for the comic book industry's long awkward march toward diversity. The comics industry has really struggled with how to create and promote characters that celebrates and expands the diversity of its readership. Especially among the major publishers, the results have been mixed. In draping the mantle of its most prominent icon on a multiracial character (black and latino for the record), Marvel Comics is looking to take a leadership role in comics' hopefully more inclusive future. Yeah, it's a secondary continuity, but they're trying, dammit! The relaunch of Ultimate Spider-Man as Miles Morales: The Ultimate Spider-Man is Marvel's way of showing their intent to hinge their Twenty First Century imprint Ultimate Comics to this multiracial character the way the mainstream Marvel U revolved around Peter Parker in much of the Twentieth.
In the aftermath of a universe-wide event that left many prominent heroes dead, Miles leads a team of teenage heroes (yes, that's Cloak and Dagger on the left) to take up the slack in All-New Ultimates. Is the Ultimate Universe finally living up to its goal of making comics designed to be relevant to a changing and otherwise uninterested world?

 Uh... I don't know. But it seems to be trying, and Miles is at the center of the effort. What do you think? This is something we will probably address at length in the magazine, so let us know what your thoughts are.

Samax Amen draws people, places and things for a living.  CLICK HERE to buy a copy of Samax's artbook SPONTANEOUS Volume 1. He's thinking about doing another one soon, so stay tuned... 
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Karlton Little said...

I've read Miles' introduction and another storyline and liked him from jump. He's very fleshed out, his personality is unique but familiar and easy to root for. He's universal enough that he could have been Caucasian with very little tweaking but Marvel made him missed heritage and did very good with him.
And that suit is just plain sweet.

samax amen said...

Yeah... That costume is dope. I haven't liked a revamp Spidey costume since they introduced the symbiote in Secret Wars (yeah, I'm old). But Miles' joint is sick.

I was skeptical at first, but people I trust vouch for Miles. I'm glad to see that he's sticking around.

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