Meet the New ‘Ultimate Spider-Man’ [SPOILERS]
As is its wont, Marvel Comics revealed this morning in USA Today a major plot point of one of its most high-profile series, Ultimate Fallout. Specifically, the publisher confirmed the identity of the new Spider-Man of the Ultimate Comics Universe, which takes place in a continuity separate from that shared by the bulk of Marvel's line, whose version of Peter Parker was recently killed off in "The Death of Spider-Man" storyline. The new Spider-Man's reveal takes place in-story in Ultimate Fallout #4, on sale later this week.
The new Ultimate Spider-Man is a young man called Miles Morales, and nothing is known about him beyond the fact that he's half-black and half-Hispanic. It was a considered sociopolitical choice to make the new Spider-Man come from a multi-ethnic background, particularly in the more "contemporary" Ultimate Universe, as Marvel's Editor-in-Chief Axel Alonso said in a press release issued Tuesday morning.
"When the opportunity arose to create a new Spider-Man, we knew it had to be a character that represents the diversity-in background and experience-of the twenty-first century," said Axel Alonso, Marvel Editor in Chief. "Miles is a character who not only follows in the tradition of relatable characters like Peter Parker, but also shows why he's a new, unique kind of Spider-Man-and worthy of that name."
Superhero comics published by Marvel and its rival DC Comics have come under increased criticism in recent years for failing to create and/or spotlight characters whose genetic or cultural makeups are not just white and male. It would seem that Miles Morales is a direct answer to such concerns, as Ultimate Spider-Man artist Sara Pichelli suggested in her remarks to USA Today.
"Maybe sooner or later a black or gay - or both - hero will be considered something absolutely normal."
His appearance in Ultimate Fallout #4 is very brief, so readers will have to pick up the new Ultimate Spider-Man #1 in September to learn more about Miles Morales. But longtime series writer Brian Michael Bendis said the core value at the heart of the Spider-Man mythos will be familiar to his readers.
"The theme is the same: With great power comes great responsibility," says writer Brian Michael Bendis. "He's going to learn that. Then he has to figure out what that means."
The USA Today piece indicated that Miles shares some connection with the late Peter Parker, and that Parker's supporting cast (including Aunt May and Gwen Stacy) will help guide the new Spider-Man on his mission to protect New York City.
Ultimate Fallout #4 goes on sale this Wednesday in comics stores everywhere and can also be purchased digitally from the Marvel Comics app in the iTunes Store. Ultimate Spider-Man #1 goes on sale in September and can be pre-ordered now from your local comics store or online retailers like Things From Another World (it will also be released same-day digitally).
For those who wish to follow the adventures of the classic Spider-Man, Peter Parker can be found in every issue of Amazing Spider-Man, whose ambitious "Spider-Island" storyline kicked off last week.