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'New' Spider-man's Web-headlines

Comics' Ultimate line just killed off Peter Parker, but continues with a new face behind the mask.  The replacement is causing some controversy…

… or is it?   Firstly, despite lots of retconning over recent years, Peter Parker continues to be the indentity of the web-slinger in Marvel's mainstream universe. The changes are happening in the 'Ultimate' line of the company's comics that re-imagined the origins of key characters in a more contemporary setting and has been able to run several major story-lines that the main '616' Marvel stories might not want to risk as 'canon'. 

The decision, getting a lot of press, is the one to make the new Spider-man a black/hispanic character called Miles Morales. Though there have been claims that this plot-point is merely designed to court headlines, this is hardly the first ethnic-minority secret-identity.  While the scales might still be perceived as uneven, Marvel's characters already boast the likes of Storm, , Ultimate Nick Fury and Black Panther. But Marvel did send out issues of Ultimate Fallout #4 (where the character first appears) in sealed bags, a move usually designed to denote a shock value/important revelation… a tactic made somewhat moot by annoucing the secret to main US news outlets a full day earlier.

The reaction so far has been mixed. Somewhat sadly, some internet posters have a barrage of racist comments against the character, based purely on his skin-colour and the UK's Daily Mail ran a headline claiming that that Marvel was also considering revealing Morales' character to be gay. (They aren't…  as more accurate sites noted, the actual quote from artist Sara Pichelli was: “Maybe sooner or later a black or gay – or both – hero will be considered something absolutely normal"

The character, featured in Ultimate Fallout #4 will make his formal solo debut in Ultimate Comics: All-New Spider-man #1 in October.