Today Marvel (via USA Today) revealed the identity of the Ultimate Universe’s new Spider-Man hot off the heels of the death of plain old Peter Parker. Spoiling the reveal ahead of Wednesday’s Ultimate Fallout #4 release, the new Spider-Man is a half Black & half Hispanic bro named Miles Morales. It’s about time that the news came out too. I have many friends in Queens of all different races and this makes more sense than Peter Parker but it is good to see that the alliteration of comic book characters real names is still going strong.
This new idea was a bit obvious to me. Series Writer Brian M. Bendis claims inspiration from seeing Donal Glover (AKA Childish Gambino) dressed in Spider-Man-esque pj’s during the season two opener of NBC’s Community after Donald ran the popular #DonaldforSpiderMan campaign to get at least an audition for the lead role in the upcoming Amazing Spider-Man from Sony Films. While he did not get as far as many fans had hoped, this is in my opinion the next best thing (if not better) for Glover who has publicly stated over and over again that he is a lifelong fan of the character.
But what does this mean? Well you will still get plain Parker in the regular Marvel Universe books, which currently features the Spider-Island storyline by Dan Slott in which a great number of NYC citizens get powers similar to Spider-Man. But this is the Ultimate Universe we are talking about, the universe where all of the decades old back story of the original Marvel U was cast aside and retold for all of us kids who were coming up. I remember when it first came out, I was in the 10th grade and my buddies and I gobbled up each issue of Ultimate X-Men, Ultimate Spider-Man, and so on as they came out (although I still did and still do read the X-Universe books religiously).
It was a brand new world for readers and it felt like anything can happen. These were modern takes on my favorite franchises and a few years later I learned that they were also the expendable versions of the Marvel characters. Creators came in and made changes that they were not allowed to do in the regular 616 Universe, just look at Ultimatum where several of the Ultimate characters died.
This new Spider-Man is a welcome change to the world of comics, where the mega team-ups that we see every year are about as diverse as a Tea Party Rally. look for this to be a hard to find issue tomorrow as these hype pieces generally tend to mean eBay sales for the casual reader wanting to see this for themselves. I’ll be watching from the sideline, since I now basically only read my comics in the form of collected trade editions.