Sorry I haven’t blogged this week. Actual work took precedence over playing online. But with great Bun Toons, comes great responsibility, so I’m here every Saturday.
And hey, just because this new guy is getting all the media attention, don’t forget to pick up my buddy Dan Slott’s SPIDER-ISLAND story line, taking over half of the comics rack for the next couple of months. It’s damn cool, and it’s still in the 616 (which I’m sure is an area code somewhere…)
Ty the Guy OUT!
Here now, your Spider-Man costume with someone else in it, BONUS MOMENT:
I want to print this out and staple it to the foreheads of every one of those racist idiots.
I fully and whole-heartedly agree. Not only has it been done over the years, it should be accepted. It’s not 1956, we’re not extras on Leave It To Beaver and we don’t live in Mayberry ( setting of The Andy Griffith Show.) We’ve all got to step outside of our bubbles and embrace the differences. This may end up being one of the best things Marvel has ever done. Just give it a chance. I may start going back to Marvel as a result of this. I’ve been over at DC and Image for a while, so this is a great incentive to look back at what the big guns are up to.
Wonderful, not only is the race card pulled immediately it’s the first comment.
I’m not opposed to this because of anyone’s race. And this comic does show a lot of innaccuracies I have had in a very good tongue-in-cheek way. (Can you sense the but coming?) But, the main issue with replacing anyone with the sole purpose to make them a minority character is MORE racist than anything you see on the opposing side. Now, I’m not saying that is the case here but that is what many see as the problem. Instead of making a character who happens to be black Marvel pushed the fact in the release of this information that he was bi-racial. Now I ask you, was that necessary?
Why couldn’t it have been this is the new kid and how about why he is becoming Spider-Man after Marvel has not only ruined the character in the main continuity but taken him and killed him in the only safe haven he had in the Ultimate universe? That is where my anger is. Where is MY Spider-Man? The one that got me through all my tough times when I was a kid growing up with out a father as well? I understand full well the liquid nature of stories in comics and he can easily come back given time, but no back story, no idea about his personality, and no guarantee that he isn’t an emo version of a character I still love? I’m a little upset. I don’t find that racist.
That being said, I love Bendis so I’m willing to give it a shot, and I’m sorry for getting so serious but not everyone sees this as simply a race issue. Great comic again it is very good and I hope everyone the best.
Search out my internet radio show (some would say a podcast) on Itunes “Henchmen Radio” Not safe for children, work, or anyone without a sense of humor.
Sir your Spider-Man is still around in the 616 (regular) Marvel Universe. You know..the one Mr. Templeton just plugged at the end being written by Dan Slott in the Spider-Island event?
Ty this was well done and helped me to laugh at some of the outrageous ignorance I have seen on a lot of sites.
Oh really? The one that had twenty years of continuity erased because the writers claimed it was too hard to write stories for a Spider-Man who was married? No MY Spider-Man is not sir.
If that’s the case, then the Miles Morales change is irrelevant, because the guy he’s replacing was never “your” Spider-Man.
This is true which is why I have said I’m interested in this change but very suspect of the reveal of this character being a name and his race instead of story related items. Which would be why i said that to be the racially driven motive instead of the story driven, but that point may be moot because really his race shouldn’t affect anyone. Even if that is the only information given that doesn’t mean that is what we should focus on whether we view it as being racist or not being racist that is not what any of us should focus on.
So in confidence yes you have a point but because this is the internet … NO U!
It is only “racist” when you make racist comments.
Nicely done… Forgive my ignorance, but who’s the guy between Steel and Mr Terriffic?
I love that Mr. Terrific, who in the long-run is fairly obscure, is on your radar, but the guy you don’t recognise is Connor Hawke, son of Oliver Queen and the Chinese Bowmaster Shado. His original run was by Chuck Dixon and Rodolfo DiMaggio and absolutely worth hunting down in the dollar bins at your next convention.
Connor was the one I puzzled over most, too. I think it’s because his costume is fairly drab, and doesn’t have much in the head/shoulders area to make it clear who he is, unlike most superhero costumes. With that domino mask and the V-collar, I was thinking, “some generic-looking Golden Age hero?”
Great strip, sir.
Thanks, Kurt. You know, the Dixon/DiMaggio run of Green Arrow featuring Connor is still one of my favorite super-hero series of the last twenty years (Marvels, Astro City, Arrowsmith and Avengers included in that list of course [suck-up Ty]). I’m such a huge fan of that character that I just assume everybody is. I was considering giving him his bow, to make it clear, but it was Mister Terrific that I was more worried about, actually.
I like those stories (and Rodolfo’s amazing!), but I was never wild about the character or the costume. And Mr. Terrific may not be a big name, but he’s been a prominent character in what was a top-selling book for DC for a long time. Plus, really distinctive mask.
And thanks for the kind words, of course!
‘Course I know Connor (D’uh, I feel such an idiot now), it’s no criticism of you Ty, but whoever designed that costume. It’s more than a little bit ‘Meh’…
His original original run was actually by Kelley Puckett and Jim Aparo. But since that run was only, I think, 2 issues, it’s understandable why the Chuck/Rodolfo run’s the one you recall.
You are referring to Connor’s arrival, towards the end of the “Crossroads” stories when Ollie was still the star of the book, right? I’m fairly sure that Dixon and DiMaggio take over the title right after Ollie dies (I’m going to guess it was issue #101, since I think GA dies in 100). Until dad died, Connor wasn’t a replacement character, but a support. But you get points for recalling that he was created by Puckett and Aparo, two more very skilled creators who get a tip of our collective hats. And if the first couple of Connor as lead character issues of GA are Puckett and Aparo, I stand humbled before your DC Kung Fu. Hey, waitasecond. Dixon, Puckett, Aparo…those were your stable of creators. Were you editing GA at the time?
I was. But I also misread your comment somehow, which is why I brought up Kelley and Jim. I’m a big dummy.
I’ll never forget getting a call from Chuck at the office. He was at a convention and a guy came up to him and asked to show his portfolio. Chuck said he never looked at portfolios, ‘cuz he wasn’t an artist so he couldn’t give advice, and he wasn’t an editor so he couldn’t give work. But the guy was really persistent, so Chuck gave in. He looked at three pages, then went to find a pay phone in those pre-cell days. He called me and said, “I’m about to fax you some pages. I just found our next penciller.”
It was, of course, Rodolfo and he was, of course, right.
HAH! I had that EXACT event happen to me at a convention in western Canada. This guy comes up to me, with pages that are so polished and professional, I assumed he’d been working for years and couldn’t understand why he brought them to me. After five minutes of conversation, I found a pay phone, called up my editor at the time (who was Barbara Kesel) and told her I’d found someone so good she’d be hiring him as soon as she saw his work. It was Tom Grummett, and he was assigned Wonder Woman as the regular monthly on the Monday following the convention. He still thanks me for “discovering” him from time to time, and I constantly remind him, I was just a messenger, he earned the job entirely on his own.
I was so excited to see Connor Hawke there, he’s a favorite of mine! But Connor’s mother is Moonday “Sandra” Hawke (and Connor is actually tri-racial — his mother is half black, half Korean)! Shado’s son is named Robert.
Ak! Show’s you what a pock-marked brain I have, I should have wikipedia’d his ass before I pulled information out of thin air. Thanks for the correction. In the long run, he still makes my point that replacing a white super-hero with a mixed race “new guy” has been done before, and in Connor’s case, it led to a terrific run of comics!
Oh, absolutely! I was so excited when I first discovered Connor, and I’m really excited for Miles Morales too.
Ya’ll are geeks you know that?
I’m going to fit right in here.. 🙂
(I kid because I love)
It does seem so very odd that people are behaving so poorly over such a “unique” change in the character. Nice use of irony to point this out for all of us so clearly.
Also more recently, Dr. Strange was replaced as the sorcerer supreme with Brother Voodoo, and of course Cap was replaced with Bucky for a while.
While I’m not a fan of the new Spider-Man, its only because they killed Peter, not because the new guy is black.
But like all things, I’ll give it a shot.
Ha! I love this! Although, I think any defense that involves Guy Gardner has a chink in its armor.
You know, for me the most egregious character change was when Judi Dench was cast as “M” in GoldenEye. It just felt arbitrary and needless at the time, though I admitted by the time the movie was over that she was perfectly fine in the role. I’ve spent much of the last 16 years (hard to believe it’s been that long!) asking just who else could have been as good as Dame Judi and the truth is, there’s no one. She was the right casting choice for “M,” Sir Miles Messervy be damned. Ever since this, I’ve been far more reluctant to cling to my old prejudices about who, or what, a character “should” be.
Besides, it’s not like I created any of this stuff. You guys do, and while I’d be lying if I said I haven’t been disappointed from time to time, the good stuff has been really good. But if a year from now, Mary Jane goes into the shower and finds Peter Parker, I’m gonna be upset.
Hey! I drew a bunch of those Guy Garnder stories….:)
Interestingly enough, GoldenEye is my favorite non-Connery Bond film, and Dame Judi is a big part of it. That speech she gives near the top about how much she doesn’t like Bond and finds him a relic of a different age is what beautifully set the tone for the rest of the series. Watching a character grow with the audience is very rewarding when done right. When I think of Timm and Dini’s Batman Beyond, PAD’s Spider-Man 2099 (again, suck-up Ty), Chuck Dixon’s Green Arrow Jr, Bill Loeb’s Wally West Flash (and later, Waid’s), or even Gardner Fox’s Hal Jordan, you realize just how exciting the generational characters can be. This is being written by Bendis, the guy who’s been steering Ultimate Spidey from day one. He’s earned a little trust that he knows what he’s doing…
I’m sure Guy never looked better than when you rendered him [suck-up Travis], but the only time I ever liked him was when Batman decked him. That was actually something I included in my “100 Things I Love About Comic Books” blog post a while back.
I, too, enjoyed that scene you cited. She completely won me over in Tomorrow Never Dies when she puts all the old military men in their place. When told by one admiral that he doesn’t think she has the balls for the job, she icily replies, “Perhaps. But the advantage is, I don’t have to think with them all the time.” Terrific writing, and she just killed it. That was when I knew I not only respected her as “M,” but liked her, too.
Back to the topic at hand, I often wonder how many readers who get up in arms over these kinds of things were ever really invested in the characters in the first place. I don’t doubt that Peter Parker has been tremendously popular over the years, but I’d be very interested to find out whether the loudest voices of outrage have been regular readers–paying, regular readers–in recent years. (Confession: I have not.)
All right then, I’m going to suck up to some friends, one last time. Spider-Man has been an A-list book for the last while. It might be a bit of a coincidence that Dan Slott (and until recently) Mark Waid have been on the writing team (two old friends), but these guys get it right at such a molecular level that the issues have been just what I head to comics to enjoy. I’m extremely lucky that I get to participate very slightly from time to time when Dan runs an idea by me, or works out a line of dialog (and he often does the same for me when I’m stuck for a good line), or to draw a quick story here and there for him, but even if I wasn’t playing along, Spider-Man has gone back to being one of my must-reads, up there with FF and Captain America as one of Marvel’s never-let-me-down series. After some atrocious runs of Spider-man in the 90s and early 2000s, it’s been so refreshing to know that I’m always coming away from a Spider-Man book with a grin. And, though I’m a little behind on my Ultimate (probably only a year or so since I picked up a trade), it’s been consistently good since issue #1. Marvel and DC blow hot and cold on some flagship titles over the years, Batman has sucked in one title, and been great in another, often the same month, so it’s mostly about creators being good or bad…but the Spider-Man office has been on the ball lately, running through different artists and writers (on different Spidey series, it’s primarily Dan writing Amazing), and VERY rarely does it ever let me down. If you still harbour any affection for the character, it’s in the middle of a golden age right now. And a big part is that Brand New Day worked, we’re all better off as Spidey fans for it, Steve Wacker is doing a great job at the helm, and Slott is hitting ’em out of the park, with some excellent, inventive artists along for the team.
Okay, sucking up over.
That is one impassioned endorsement! I’m still trying to go back and explore a lot of stuff I didn’t get to originally, but I’ll add this to my Look Into list. Where do I start?
…oh wow, Commissioner Barbara Gordon is TOTALLY Dench as M.
…I seem to have misspelled my own name. Well THAT’S embarrassing.
If it makes you feel any better, I conflated two entirely unrelated parts of DC history and was rightly called out on it by Mr. Busiek. Had you not fessed up, I and I’m sure others would never have known your gaffe. Mine, on the other hand, was painfully (and I’m sure confusingly) obvious to anyone who knew their DC history.
I love that this is blown up and not the Main cannon. The is the Marvel-Ultimate-verse. Or basically an offshoot, different universe.
Yeah, I have to say, as the creator of a half-Latino Spider-Man with organic web shooters, neither of which drew anything beyond a “Wow, that’s cool!” response when Rick and I first did it, it’s been kind of a laugh for me to watch fans go bugnuts crazy over organic webshooters in the movie and a half-Latino Spider-Man in the Ultimate titles.
Ty. Thank you. One of the most subtle well put together pieces on the “argument.”
What about me? I’m freaking MISTER MIRACLE, World’s Greatest Escape Artist!
Good point! You’re another character with a similar story. There’s a number I missed, including the Monica Rambeau version of Captain Marvel, The Ultimate Wasp, Black Goliath, Heimdall in the recent Thor movie, Harvey Dent in the Burton Batman films, The New Blue Beetle, The Invisible Kid, and the Legion’s Karate Kid who morphed into a Chinese fellow over the space of years, without dying or changing identities. All of which makes the major point that none of this is new!
– The Question
– The Atom
– Cleopatra (Astro City)
– Two-Gun Kid (Matt Hawke-nee-Liebowicz replaced Clay Herder)
– Isaiah Bradley, the “Black Captain America”
– Rawhide Kid (changed sexual orientation)
– probably a thousand others.
“with great Bun Toons, comes great responsibility”
you have done well.
Well aren’t you a cute little chap.
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good start. let’s get some more minorities WRITING these things and then we’ll really see some good stuff.
If there was a “Like” feature, I’d have hit it for this point. Artist Jerome K. Moore notes on his Deviant Art page how often fans are shocked to find out he’s African-American. I wasn’t shocked, per se, but it did make me realize how few creators I was familiar with whom I knew to be from minorities. And I suspect there are far fewer writers than artists. I’d also like to see more minority editors.
All this is true of women, as well, I might add.
As far as minority editors go, I found it amusing when I saw racist posts objecting to the half-Hispanic Ultimate Spidey, saying that minority characters should be done by minorities, and the white ones left alone for “white America,” considering that Marvel’s Chief Creative Officer is Cuban-American and their editor-in-chief is half-Mexican. What chops do they have to introduce Hispanic characters, huh?
It’s probably worth noting that the artist on the new Ultimate Spidey is a woman, and the last two editors I worked with at Marvel, Rachel Pinnelas and Lauren Sankovitch, are women.
Excellent points, and it’s certainly encouraging to see such talented people gainfully employed as editors and creators. Do you suppose it’s a coincidence that Marvel is perceived as enjoying a creative high point at a time they’ve got such diversity?
I know that writers should “write what [they] know,” so I do think there’s something potentially disingenuous about a white guy like me writing a minority character, but I also think it’s terribly presumptive to assume that just because a writer may be white means that he or she has been exclusively around white people.
There’s a big difference between growing up white in Kentucky like me (even now that we’ve had a boom in Hispanic population we’re an awfully white area) and growing up white in the southwest with a large Hispanic and Native American cultural presence, or a large, multi-ethnic city. I have no business trying to write about a minority character, but then I’m not really qualified to write about any character. 😉
I would argue though that “write what you know” gets interpreted a little too literally sometimes… to me, sometimes “what you know” is emotions or reactions to certain situations even if you are not exactly the same as your protaganist. If you’ve experienced any level of prejudice, you can make some level of assumption as to what it feels like to be prejudiced against for different reasons, etc. I think, also, being aware of the world around you, listening to people talk about their life experiences helps a writer to understand others.
I posted some tweets from Marc Bernardin–a minority writer–the other day, and I think he makes very, very valid points, (from Marc’s Twitter account)
““Listen, as one of the scant handful of black comic-book writers, all I care about is that the new blatino Spider-Man gets good story.”
“Everything else is noise. As long as he’s a hero first, a good kid second, and black/latino third, I’m good. #milesmorales”
“Because here’s the secret to writing black characters: Their color does not define them, but it CAN define other people’s reactions to them.”
I love that last sentence. It speaks volumes, as it were…
This is the point I tried to articulate in noting the distinction between growing up where I did, and growing up in an environment where the issues and experiences of a different cultural group might be more familiar to a person from outside that group.
One of the problems with the “white guys can’t write minorities/women” idea is that the corollary is “then minorities/women” can’t write white guys. But what that suggests is that no one can write romances (at least not heterosexual ones), or varied casts.
A variety of perspectives and visions and experiences is a good thing, but it’s because we get to see a panoply of approaches to the human experiences, not because they should be limited to their own pigeonhole, whatever it might be.
And I don’t know whether diversity and creative high points necessarily coincide — Marvel had a boom period when it was being creatively guided by a couple of Jews and Steve Ditko, too — but I’d probably suggest it’s their creativity, not their ethnicity, that matters most. And that the great strength of diversity is that it opens one up to a wider pool from which creativity may come.
I would certainly agree that there’s no inherent reason that any given person could not tell a story about a particular character. However, I still feel there comes a point where the experiences of the writer may be inadequate to the task of sufficiently imagining their way into someone else’s group story.
For instance, my wife has a Hispanic friend (they met as coworkers). I’ve spent enough time around her and her husband and children that I would feel comfortable writing about secondary characters who were Hispanic. I could write a scene about how their infant was a second-class patient at a hospital and if I told it from the perspective of a character comparable to myself, I could explore the anger that provoked. I would not, however, feel comfortable trying to write primary characters based on my wife’s friends.
Of course, if I had more talent (and self-confidence), I might be one of your peers rather than merely a fan.
Oh, and it’s no fair pointing to the Stan Lee-dominated era of Marvel. That he’s Jewish is entirely incidental to the fact that he’s ridiculously creative and driven by an almost inhuman passion!
hahahaha! You’ve got Ty all worked up now!! We’re about to leave to go off to his Writing for Comics course so he’s in full-blown teacher mode–he’s itching to convert everyone to the idea that anyone can write, anyone can have ideas…whatever your cultural backgrounds, etc.
It’s not just your life experience, keep in mind…Ray Bradbury, when once asked, said his single best piece of advice on how to be a good writer was, “to read everything you get your hands on”. Everything–fliers, newspapers, comic books, blogs, etc.–he said don’t discriminate at all. And everyday when you’re on the ‘net, you’re reading about people and their lives. Hell, even with this uproar over Miles Morales, you can read stories of kids feeling so inspired to hear of this character, the people raging about their reaction, the adults almost in tears reacting to the rage…all of that is emotion and fuel for the creative fire.
And again, I’d refer to Bernardin’s words…there are some white writers who think to do their ethnic characters justice that everything out of their mouth has to be something that proclaims their ethnicity (or assume that that’s all a non-white person would be thinking about!)…or males who think that everything from a woman has to proclaim her gender. But people who are not white middle-class males are still people. How many thoughts does the average white middle-class male have each day that’s specifically about his colour and gender? That’s why I like his line about “color not [defining characters]” but perhaps defining “how others react to them”. That can work for gender, and religion as well…
off to go to class (I’m going to get a lecture all the way there now about how anyone can write an interesting character no matter what. I’m blaming you, Travis!)
“But people who are not white middle-class males are still people.”
Are you sure about this? ‘Cause that’s not what we were taught in White Middle-Class Male School. More seriously, though, it’s certainly worth noting that my timidity is a personal liability and probably not meaningful evidence of a deep-rooted problem that Mr. Templeton needs to combat. That said, since I won’t be able to be present to hear the spin-off class discussion, perhaps he or you might be kind enough to share here anything interesting that comes of it?
Also, this is easily the most rewarding discussion I’ve seen online on any topic in months. It’s certainly making me think about the things holding me back from pursuing writing.
“let’s get some more minorities WRITING these things…”
On that note, whatever happened to Robert Washington? Of the non-McDuffie Milestone writers, he’s the one I always expected would step up to the big leagues…
who’s the blue cape guy and the woman with the bow in panel #1? i realise she appears to be a wonder woman, but i know chuff all about WW other than Lynda Carter played her on a cheesy TV show, she recently got pants and Adrienne Palicki played her in a failed pilot…
oh, and this strip’s great.
The Blue Cape Guy is Mon-El, who took over as the lead in Superman for a number of months, while Kal-El was off having adventures on “New Krypton” fairly recently. For a while, Superman was nowhere to be found in his own books. The orange haired Wonder Woman was “Artemis”, who took over the Wonder Woman identity for a year or so in the 90s after Diana lost the position. The Mon-El run of Superman did not spark much interest in me, so I read very few of them, but the Artemis Wonder Woman issues were quite entertaining, and I recommend them…I think they were by Messner-Loebs and Deodato, but I’ve been remembering things badly in this column, so it’s better you check.
And thanks for the kind words.
Jesus its a comic..and surely if Fox news is pissed off by something its got to be celebrated by the masses!!!!!!!!
sorry just an after thought….whats the spread on Glenn Beck having a heart attack cos of this….and Ty…I so wish Mrs Obama had been behind this…
Well done, sir.
(I also quite liked Jon Stewart’s reaction to Lou Dobbs’s reaction: “Ah, Lou Dobbs’s worst nightmare: a Latino who can climb walls.”)
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You know. It’s not any of the above that bothers me, really.
It’s the fact that there’s all of the above with the sweet stench of publicity stunt mixed in with it.
If they had just done it instead of making a huge deal out of it it’d be less insulting to my intelligence. But no, like the gay Ultimate Colossus and the probably bi ultimate Nightcrawler. It really just feels shoehorned in to draw attention.
In other words I’m not adverse to this sort of thing if it’s done well.. but I don’t think this was done well.
I give it a couple of years absolute tops until it’s retconned away and Parker comes back or somehow otherwise changed. (Look at what they did with Cap…)
Oh yah, just so you know.
bisexual pagan here.. I’m not talking out of ignorance of what it’s like to be a minority in any way…
Bisexual pagans, YAY! I’m more atheist/taoist than pagan, and count amongst my favorite people a couple of bisexual friends and relatives who are treasures in my life, so you always have a pair of open arms around here, Ben.
Wait. What’s wrong with getting publicity? Everything in publishing is a publicity stunt, or it fails on the vine. If people don’t know you’re writing a story, no one will buy it. Every movie that comes out blankets the airwaves with commercials, and that costs millions of dollars, but a clever and controversial idea can buy that kind of publicity with its ideas alone. Death of Superman was a publicity stunt. Death of Cap was a publicity stunt. Secret Invasion was a publicity stunt. Ultimatum was a publicity stunt. We could go on….frankly, I LOVED Death of Superman and Death of Cap, but was pretty “meh” about Secret Invasion. But we all paid attention to these stories because they did daring, unusual, character-shaking things, which generated publicity, which generated sales, which allows Marvel and DC to continue publishing. It’s not selling out, if your mission statement is to sell… I didn’t know about a gay Ultimate Colossus, which rules out stories of romance with Kitty Pride, but we already have the 616 to tell those stories. Maybe Colossus and Nightcrawler might make their own history as a couple. I welcome it all, at least until the writing sucks.
there’s nothing wrong with it, save that I would rather have them do something like this as a genuine effort to make characters more diverse rather than to gather attention.
That’s the bottom line for me.
As to your disagreeing with me, it’s fine if you have a different opinion than I do. After all, it would be very boring if we all had the same outlooks, right? Also not everyone is as cynical as I am and that’s cool. I’m actually glad for that. 🙂
The whole thing with the ultimate Nightcrawler/Colossus really really seemed to me like it was written by a straight guy. It felt very forced and awkward. I’m not even sure if they ever resolved the sexuality if Ultimate Nightcrawler even…
Colossus also had a crush on wolverine, naturally.. *eyerolls*
Couple that with some of the decisions in the ultimate line Like the whole Quicksilver/Scarlett witch incest thing makes me really feel like it’s a publicity stunt.
I freely admit that I can be cynical. And I agree that some of the response to this has been, to understate it, overblown. But the comic books do not have a good history of treatment of minorities and different ethnicity.
If you want to take a look at how minorities are treated in comics this is a link I reccomend. http://www.perrymoorestories.com/content/hero.asp?id=superheroes Sadly, Mr Moore is no longer with us, but this list will make you think I’m sure. And it is part of the reason I am cynical here.
Thanks for taking the time to let me rant.. I appreciate it.
Also just for the record, I do not disagree with your comic. I just have a different viewpoint.
I agree and understand what you’re trying to say, but honestly, some of your characters are flawed examples.
Let’s look at all of them.
Let’s look at how well received the first batch was. That’s about all I can pick apart up here.
Mon-El: Didn’t connect with fans and was gone in less then a year.
Artemis: Worked out well as a character and stuck around, however not so well as Wonder Woman. Gone in a year.
AzBats: Was hated. It was on purpose though.
Rulk: Extremely hated by the fandom. Also was a villain and not a replacement.
Guy: Poor example. He was a Lantern alongside Hal. Kyle or Hal would have been better choices. Kyle more so since he replaced EVERY lantern at once.
US Agent: I’m not so sure how he was received one way or the other now that I think about it…
Not sure who the Thor is. Not much of a Thor fan, but I know that Beta Ray Bill is well loved by fans.
Okay so of those replacements of a traditional iconic hero that weren’t poor argumentative points, not a one of them really lasted. Even the well liked ones were shoved in the background. Characters like this always get fandom hate when they’re announced, only difference here is that Miles isn’t white, and is getting outside media attention because of it.
Okay now onto the next three. These three are pointed out as replacements of white heroes.
Nick Fury: Doesn’t count. Different universe with a different race, not a replacement.
John: Just like Guy he’s not a replacement. Kyle is half latino and would have worked just fine here because he was a replacement. Hell Hal would have worked here. He replaced Abin Sur.
War Machine: This one is a bit complicated… Tony gave the guy the mantle because he had a ton of personal problems and it was pretty much always meant as a temp deal. The fact that Rhodey was around before and was an established character made this more of a character development thing then a black guy replacing a white guy.
Okay onto the minorities that took mantles right away from dead or crippled guys pretty much right away.
Steel: He was his own Superman inspired hero. He went by Man of Steel originally. I can’t remember him ever calling himself Superman. Also there were 3 other characters with him. He was never meant as a replacement or a new Superman in any way.
Conner: Was his kid, not a random stranger taking up the mantle. Okay well yeah he was kind of a stranger, but still a kid taking up his father’s mantle to honor him. But yeah, he I can give you this one regardless of my negative feelings towards the fact that Miles just kinda pops up in a Spider-man costume.
Mr Terrific: Yeah I can most certainly give you this one.
Cass: She was given the mantle about a decade after Babs was crippled. Also Babs agreed to it.
Again, Kyle was the way to go here. Kyle fits all this crap. Jaime as well fits this last set. And the second one too. And the first one seeing as Blue Beetle was once a big deal.
And that last one there
Spider-Man 2099: Yep. No arguement
LOOK as an Asian, yeah sure cool minorities. Fun. But I could care less about what race a character is. It’s stupid. A well written character is all that matters. Miles could be that, it’s possible. Jaime, and Kyle were and they fit ever issue I have with him. He shows up out of no where, no build up, and just takes over. However, unlike them, there doesn’t seem to be much to differentiate him so far outside of his race… Jaime had the scarab at full power, and Kyle had a ring that was immune to yellow and was just oozing creativity with his ring. What does Miles have that makes him different from Peter? So far nothing from what I can tell. That alone makes him a poor replacement and he just oozes of the age old “Let’s do something polarizing for a temporary sales boost” crap.
Toshiki: I never intended any of these characters to be a perfect parallel with the new Spidey , even though some of them might be closer than others – my intention was merely to show off that the “boost sales by replacing/killing off an iconic super-hero” gag, and the “switch genders, ethnicities, sexual orientations (the new Question does all three!)” gag has been done. And done. And done. And done. And the big difference this time out was that racist morons saw it as a chance to vent unacceptable bile in public. So I made fun of them, ironically.
To limit my point to purely identical examples would have been as funny as a block of wood. This wasn’t an amicus brief, it was a cartoon.
BTW: Hal Jordan didn’t replace Abin Sur, he replaced Alan Scott.
Peace and Love.
Well yeah I know, but I was bored and really felt like complaining. Did I not mention that in there? My bad. I just didn’t have anything better to do and wanted to bitch about something.
Also while he replaced Alan Scott out of universe, in universe Hal replaced Abin Sur and in modern continuity at least he had to deal with a lot of the stuff that fans usually target towards replacement characters.
If you don’t mind, I’m gonna geek out on you really quick. Alan Scott was not replaced by Hal Jordan (take THAT, Peter Travers)! Scott was not a member of the “Green Lantern Corps”. He was a man who found a piece of a star with mystical capabilities and fashioned a lantern, a ring and (sort of) matching costume. Hal replaced Abin Sur, an officer of the Corps.
I believe the point was that Hal replaced Alan as the featured Green Lantern in publication, Corps aside. I’ve always wanted to poll fans and find out who got the rawer deal when Charlton was integrated into DC Comics: Alan Scott or Jay Garrick. The principles of The Flash were largely still the same (guy who can run really fast), whereas Hal and the Corps were an entirely new concept that rendered Alan Scott all but a footnote.
Definitely, Alan got the raw deal, but “The Almighty Johns” made it so Alan found a prototype lantern from the Guardians. I don’t exactly go by that continuity, but it is there.
That kind of retcon is really outside the scope of what I meant, which is if you go back and look at the dawn of the Silver Age with Barry and Hal replacing Jay and Alan, which Golden Age hero got screwed more?
I think an argument could be made that maybe it was Jay. Hal was clearly a completely different character from Alan, whereas Barry seems more like how Jay should have been updated. But then, I’m hardly a devoted reader of the era and maybe my perceptions are off base.
I wonder how fans at the time reacted to all that. It’s a shame their fan letters are doubtlessly lost to the landfills of yesteryear. I’d love to sift through mid-50s fan freak-outs sometime!
Here’s an odd one I never understood….Barry Allen’s Flash took over the numbering from Jay Garrick’s Flash. By Hal Jordan got a new number #1. It’s the pettiest of concerns in light of all this socially aware commentary, but there you have it. I have released my inner geek to the world.
It may have been an experiment. Or it may have been that the GREEN LANTERN 4th class mailing permit had expired and couldn’t be continued, while the FLASH on hadn’t — there were 10 years between FLASH COMICS #104 and THE FLASH #105, but 11 between issues of GREEN LANTERN.
But back then, a #1 issue wasn’t an advantage, so publishers did their best to hide them. GREEN LANTERN #1 doesn’t have a number on the cover; neither does FANTASTIC FOUR #1 or a few others, back then. The reason for that was that they feared a comic with #1 on the cover wouldn’t get distributed; newsstand jobbers would assume there was no demand for it, and leave it on the truck in favor of magazines with higher numbers. But since that practice stopped around that time, it’s possible that the new books did well enough that they no longer felt they needed to hide the idea that they were first issues.
Charlton? What does Charlton have to do with it? Hal and Barry came along in the late 1950s. Charlton was integrated into the DCU in the mid-1980s.
I’ll tell you what Charlton has to do with the whole thing: I’m pumped full of steroids to contain Crohn’s aggravation and haven’t gone to sleep yet and have no idea what the hell I’m talking about right now!
I still stand by my declaration that I’d love to see fan letters from when Barry and Hal replaced Jay and Alan, though.
The difference, when Barry and Hal came along, was that their predecessors had been gone for years, and comics readership was nowhere near as long-lasting. So those who’d read the adventures of Alan and Jay and were still reading comics was a small number, and they were (by reports) happy to have a new version of a character they thought they’d never seen again.
This is a somewhat different situation than killing off a character and then replacing them while the audience is still around.
I suppose this invites the question of what the ideal readership span ought to be. Any thoughts on when we readers ought to “phase out” of our reading habits? Not the medium itself, of course, but a given milieu or run? Or, for that matter, when a creator ought to move onto something different?
I don’t think there’s such a thing as “ought” when it comes to subjective stuff like that. Readers should stop reading whatever when they’re no longer enjoying it, and go on to stuff they’d enjoy more. When and what that is, that’s entirely a matter for the individual.
Same for creators, with career concerns involved. But careers vary, so while one guy might have a perfectly excellent career drawing work-for-hire superheroes until he’s ready for retirement, another guy might be far more sensible to move on to something else. I doubt there’s much common “ought to” to the career arcs of, say, Sal Buscema and Neil Gaiman, for instance.
Sounds pretty reasonable to me; I feel my questions are more than sufficiently answered, thank you.
Incidentally, my Charlton gaffe has nagged at me and now that I’ve managed some sleep I’m coherent enough to have fact checked myself. It appears I conflated the the dawn of the Silver Age (i.e., Barry and Hal) with DC’s acquisition of characters from Quality Comics (final issues were dated December, 1956). Neither The Flash nor Green Lantern, of course, originated with Quality.
This is probably the strangest mental error I’ve made in quite a while, and as my wife can attest, that’s saying something!
Thank you, while I’m thinking about it, for being so candid. I’ve become accustomed to picking Mr. Templeton’s brain here on his blog, but you’ve been just as gracious with your time and thoughtfulness. I appreciate that.
T.K…I believe that Thor is Thunderstrike and come on, after 6 pages you are going to just toss aside Miles Morales? Thank God you weren’t deciding on Blue Beetle with Jaime Reyes or John Stewart being the GL on the animated Justice League. Can this kid get a storyarc or 2 before judgement is passed? If Bendis does a good or bad job then folks will vote with their dollars.
I will agree with you that I wanted this to happen w/o the leak to USA Today but I have come to accept that it’s Marvel’s way now. Screw those who reading the story expecting to be ‘surprised’.
To me, if this is successful, the Ultimate Universe is finally realizing their potential to envision a new Marvel Universe not confined by 60’s petty undercurrents or prejudices.
As a frequent reader of Spider-man, Ultimate, Amazing and otherwise, I’d like to weigh in on the matter of the “New” Spider-Man. We, the comic reading public, are confident the “Death of Spider-Man (Peter Parker)” will not be permanent. I am not against Mike Morales as Spider-Man due to the color of his skin. The re-introduction of Nick Fury, the creation of Steel, and Jaime Reyes’ adventures with the Scarab as Blue Beetle have made me so happy to be a comic reader. I am against the continued abuse of the title of Superhero.
I am against replacing Spider-Man just on the principle of what a hero is. Only ONE person can really be Spider-Man, and that person is Peter Benjamin Parker. The concept of “revamping” a time-tested hero makes them seem interchangeable, like many a Lego block. Any kid can put on a Spider-Man suit and SAY he’s Spider-Man, but no person, other than Pete, can BE Spider-Man. I wish I could be Spider-Man all the time, most of us would do anything to attain that power, that morality, that courage, and that intelligence, but we could never have the perfect balance that Peter Parker demonstrates in every adventure.
Whenever there was a hang-up, he was there to help. He saw life as a great big bang-up, and he swung right through it. So, I’m going to keep looking out because, eventually, Spider-Man will return. And hopefully, it’ll be that weak kid, nose deep in his books. The kid I idolize. The kid I have grown up with. The kid who continues to give me a reason to go on. Because, no matter what I have to put up with, I know, next month, he’ll sling a few webs my way. Spider-Man is our hero, and always will be.
My fault, I thought his name was “Mike.” hehehe…
And Ian, to Miles Morales, Peter Parker was his hero and he’s trying to honor his hero by living up to the mantle. What is wrong with that? To me, this is similar to what Steel did during the Death of Superman. The character knows he has big shoes to fill but he is trying to do his best….
You do realize your entire cartoon is being extremely intellectually dishonest, and omitting a few key facts, right?
What about Ben Reilly? Ben Reilly was literally a clone of Peter Parker, except he dyed his hair blonde. The only difference between the was that he was slightly more white.
When he was introduced as a separate character, with his own adventures, and as a friend of Peter, fan reception was mixed, but the majority was positive.
Then the twist came out that Ben Reilly was going to replace Peter, that Peter was going to turn out to be the clone and Ben Reilly the original. Fan reaction shifted suddenly, and in a huge way. Marvel was getting thousands of angry letters, in those days they described fans as though they were coming to the offices with pitchforks and torches. It’s one thing to add a new character, it’s an entirely separate thing to completely replace the original, especially to kill them off. Were those against Ben Reilly racist against blondes, or as is also the case here is it more likely they were disgusted by the notion that the character they’d been following for so many years could so simply be replaced? It didn’t matter that Ben had all of Pete’s memories, the Clone Saga became known as the worst storyline in Spider-Man’s history (until OMD at least.)
To simply claim that those against this are racist, bigoted or living in the past is frankly ignorant, hateful, and ironically quite racist.
Additionally, you display either a profound, willful ignorance, or a willingness to completely omit facts to try to drive your point across with that comic. Fan reaction to several of those instances was extremely negative, and many of them weren’t outright replacements.
War Machine wasn’t a replacement, Tony asked him to fill in for him, then gave him his own suit. He was a separate, new character. Reaction to the Red Hulk was overwhelmingly negative, and I’ve seen threads on numerous forums spewing bile at Loeb for his writing of the character tearing through the Marvel universe beating up the original Hulk, and Thor, and the freaking Watcher.
Steel was introduced not as a replacement, but again as an additional character at the exact same time as The Eradicator, Cyborg Superman and Superboy. It was a given none of them would actually replace Superman. Fans will happily accept a new character, it’s replacing one they don’t like. In fact Superman himself serves as another perfect example. People were outraged when he came back to life with no powers, in a black costume, with guns. People were angered again when his costume and powers were changed in the 90’s and he became that blue-skinned electrical Superman.
John Stewart and Guy Gardner were accepted again, not as replacements, but as additions. There are thousands of Green Lanterns, a few more are always considered welcome additions.
With examples like Azrael and Thunderstrike and even Mr. Terrific (who for the record, I’m actually a fan of) they along with Jakeem Thunder and Brother Voodoo all got the harshest of receptions: No one bought the freaking books, and they were quickly forgotten about and swept under the rug.
Spider-Man and Superman are pretty much the biggest names aside from Batman. People are angry about Catwoman and Bane’s costumes, people are still enraged by One More Day. People are angry about Superman’s new costume with the short sleeves and blue jeans. People are fuming about the new, lanky teenage “emo” Spider-Man for the new film.
When these same people get upset about Miles Morales, where the hell do you get off suddenly claiming they’re bigoted and racist?
“When these same people get upset about Miles Morales, where the hell do you get off suddenly claiming they’re bigoted and racist?”
How is it that you are able to ascertain that all THOSE people who were upset over previous examples are the exact SAME people who are upset now? Or that if they are, their previous upsets somehow preclude the possibility that they could have any racism to their protests this time. And “claiming they’re bigoted and racist?”–an ability to read precludes any “claiming”. Heidi MacDonald of The Beat had to shut down her comments section because of the flood of racist, bigoted comments which she was having trouble keeping up with. Kurt Busiek proclaimed on his Facebook fan page how upset he was that he had seen several people use an intentionally racist nickname for the new Spider-Man…the examples are all over the ‘net. If you are, in fact, ignorant of the reaction to the news, here’s one quick read:
Yes, I’ve read those replies. Among those, I see hardly any racism. Hell, several of those commenters make a point of mentioning that they themselves are black. “Politically correct” is a racist term? Really? Seriously? SERIOUSLY? This is the internet, people can take a joke, and are more prone to be self-deprecating. Your righteous indignation makes me want to spam those comments with Chris Rock jokes to see how quickly they’d be taken down for being offensive.
All that was revealed about the new character was his race, and that he was replacing the previous character, and taking over his entire supporting cast. It’s always childish when the companies do this, the irony is the inherent racism in swapping their races. The implication that a character is wholly different because of their race, and that a new character of a different race won’t be accepted unless they’re simply taking over the role of a previous one. It’s insulting.
And yes dear, I can ascertain that comic book fans complain about everything. That was kind of my point. People were complaining about the Iron Spider-Man costume when it came out, because it only had three metal arms instead of four. Were they bigoted towards arachnids? Comic book fans will complain about any change to a character. The more major the change, the more major the complaining. The Miles Morales backlash hasn’t been as great as the Ben Reilly backlash, and that was before the internet made complaining so much easier.
If you see “hardly any racism” in people calling the character “Spigger-Man,” saying the book should be retitled TACO BENDER and saying it’s an insult to “white America,” I don’t think your perceptions are all that trustworthy.
First off, neither of your first two comments were on the page linked. Second, “black America” isn’t considered a racist term, is it?
Third, do you have any actual criticism for my argument -in particular the extremely negative reaction to the attempt to replace Peter Parker with Ben Reilly- or are you just here to insult my “perceptions” rather than my argument?
>> First off, neither of your first two comments were on the page linked.>>
I didn’t say they were. You seem to be insisting there’s no racism in reactions to the news. Those all happened, as did more. So Ty’s note that shockingly bigoted comments have been made is an accurate one.
>> Second, “black America” isn’t considered a racist term, is it? >>
This is kind of a stretch. Claiming that Miles Morales is an insult to “white America” isn’t racist because of the term “white America.”
>> Third, do you have any actual criticism for my argument >>
I don’t think I need to. Your argument seems to consist of making excuses for things and pretending you don’t see things. I don’t find it remotely convincing, and I don’t think I need to convince you that I’m allowed to do so. You seem to have confused Ty’s cartoon with some sort of thesis he has to defend to your satisfaction or he’ll have to withdraw it; it’s not. I’m sure you can find people who want to argue over whether fan reaction to Ben Reilly means there hasn’t been racist reaction to Miles Morales, but it seems pretty absurd to me.
>>I didn’t say they were. You seem to be insisting there’s no racism in reactions to the news.
Not quite, what I’m insisting is that people are trying to imply that anyone who doesn’t agree with this decision is a racist. Of course there have been racist reactions to a racist marketing decision, but how much of it is typical internet trolling? How much of it is being labeled as racism when they’re really just bad jokes? I haven’t seen this “Taco Bender” comment, but speaking personally (I’m mixed race, half Hispanic) I don’t see it as that egregious.
>>This is kind of a stretch. Claiming that Miles Morales is an insult to “white America” isn’t racist because of the term “white America.”
Well, would it be racist to say making Black Panther white would be an insult to “black america”? Either way the comment’s too specific. Raceswapping is insulting to all readers, regardless of race of national origin.
>>I don’t think I need to.
I simply asked for clarification as to whether or not you were just here to insult me. I now have it.
>>Your argument seems to consist of making excuses for things and pretending you don’t see things. I don’t find it remotely convincing, and I don’t think I need to convince you that I’m allowed to do so. You seem to have confused Ty’s cartoon with some sort of thesis he has to defend to your satisfaction or he’ll have to withdraw it; it’s not.
What excuse was I making, exactly? All I did was point out another incident with exactly the same character being replaced for an exact duplicate who’s only difference was being blonde, and the reaction being just as negative.
Beyond that my point was to point out that all of his examples were misrepresentations. I called it intellectually dishonest, and it is. It depends on the reader not having read any of those comics, it depends on them being completely unaware of the extremely negative reactions they all had.
“Not quite, what I’m insisting is that people are trying to imply that anyone who doesn’t agree with this decision is a racist. ”
You are correct that it would be wrong if people tried to imply that. I know I did nothing even remotely like that, and I’m not sure I’ve seen anyone do so in this comment section either. I suspect you misinterpreted my cartoon, and became angry at the straw man you set up in place of my actual point, and have insisted I defend a position I’ve never taken. It’s a common fallacy in a debate, and not worth discussing beyond pointing out that it’s happened here.
You also seemed to get steamed because people didn’t like Ben Reilly and I was “intellectually dishonest” not to bring that up in my cartoon (though you’ll note I did bring that up in my post near the bottom). You obviously don’t write comedy for a living, or do cartoons. It’s a craft, in it’s own way like engineering, and it requires structure to build to a point, flip your perceptions, and ironically juxtapose the incongruous, etc. etc. Comedy is not the writing of an essay, considering all sides equally, with footnotes, references, and a balanced conclusion to justify the validity of all angles. That’s as funny as a crutch, and bore no resemblance to what I did. If I say that my mother is so fat that she has her own zip code, it is, in fact, intellectually dishonest and could be disproved. We might know that the chicken crossed the road, but the deeds to the properties on either side of this ill defined motorway are of no interest to anyone, nor is the breed of chicken, the temperature of the day, or the date that the event takes place. To break down the particular examples I’ve chosen as to their validity in my “argument”, makes me stamp my feet and giggle like a school boy. (You’re not the first to do it, either…there’s another example a bit further up this response chain).
I did a much-read Bun Toon last year, about this ugly, fat fellow who is the last man on Earth to survive a plague, and is surrounded by movie stars, Nobel prize winners, and other women, ready to breed with him to save humanity, and amidst the “haha, very funny Ty” comments, I got questions from people trying to figure out how such an outcome from a plague was possible. Commenters got into an actual argument about viral transmission patterns, and gestation periods, trying to figure out how “being in a basement on the internet for weeks” would allow my hero to survive. Funniest. Damn. Thing. I’ve. Ever. Seen. I nearly peed myself at the pretzel twists that people got into so they could believe the reality of my premise. A cartoon premise, more or less lifted from Y THE LAST MAN.
You didn’t like my cartoon, that much is evident. If you have the craft to create a better one, I invite you to do so. But the logical belly flops you’re engaging in do little to win converts to your straw man point of view. To approach humour with a literal eye is to be blind to the point. Picasso once said, “Art is a lie, but it is a lie that reveals the truth.” You are free to take a photograph of something, but I’m sticking with my copy of Guernica.
Still, thanks for offering up comments. They’ve sparked some debate, and debate is always welcome around here. I’m a free speech guy at my deepest core, and sincerely enjoy watching it happen.
Peace and Love, friend.
>> Raceswapping is insulting to all readers, regardless of race of national origin.>>
Another assertion that’s simply absurd on the face of it. And is a favorite dodge of racists, though I’m sure not only racists use it.
>> Beyond that my point was to point out that all of his examples were misrepresentations. I called it intellectually dishonest, and it is.>>
No, it’s not.
Kurt Busiek is cool. We’re talking a Ty Templeton level of cool, here. Even my Mother Box is impressed.
The thing that bugs me?
Looking at all those replacement characters and realizing that, aside from Mr Terrific and the Lanterns, none of these characters got to keep the job. They all got booted out of the replacement role once the originals came back, except for the few that got replaced with someone else. And the non-Hal Jordan Lanterns only escape that fate because of the excuse of a Corps.
If I had any confidence that Marvel wasn’t going to bring back U-Peter Parker sooner or later, I’d be more interested. As it is, I’m not excited about a minority character being set up as “the new Spider-Man” only to be kicked back out by Peter’s return in a few years (at most). And I’m really not looking forward to that involving the kid getting killed off – or if he’s lucky, just getting demoted to some second-stringer with a new codename.
I have no way of knowing, but I don’t think the new Spider-Man is intended to be temporary, the way Mon-el, Az-Bats and Red Hulk were…but it’s more up to the fans than anyone. Tim Drake was Robin for a hell of a long time before being replaced by Brat Wayne Jr. who is still going strong. And Cassie/Batgirl was a long-haul character who had far, far more solo comics than Babara Gordon did (who was the second Batgirl anyway, replacing the admittedly insipid Betty Kane from the 60s!). I assume Thunderstrike was intended to be permanent, he simply didn’t last with the fans. The Sam Jackson/Nick Fury is very popular and is currently the better known version to the general public. Hal Jordan and Barry Allen are replacement heroes whose runs have lasted FAR longer than the original versions. So the idea that replacement heroes always fail is a myopic view of the biz. Some last, some don’t. Some suck, some are very cool. I sincerely hope the new Ultimate Spider-Man does well. It should prove fun to see if it works with fans, though I understand killing off Ultimate Peter sits poorly with some people. Splitting up the Ultimate FF annoyed me, as I’d grown to like the characters quite a bit (I never missed an Ultimate FF from issue #1, it happened to be my favorite of the Ultimate books as my guilty pleasure) but I still read the miniseries that star the ex-members when I see one. But this is the JOY of comics! We get all these versions, all this fun. I adored the Earth 2 and Earth 1 books of my youth, and shed a tear when they killed off Earth 2 Batman back in the Eighties. This is all a giant tapestry of fun, and who knows what’s coming next. If we like Miles/Spidy, and support him, he’ll last. The same is true of any character.
Ultimate FF was a favorite of mine, too, though I fell away after a while. Early on, it felt like a Heinlein juvenile with superpowers, which was a very cool set-up — it read like kid’s adventure SF, and worked really well. But after a while, that feeling got lost, and it was just superheroes with younger characters and more-awkward versions of Lee/Kirby villains, to my mind.
But for the first few years, it was great.
I agree. It got less charming around issue forty-something, but I stuck with it for the same reasons I still buy Paul McCartney albums. As a closet romantic, I mate for life. (And hey, the recent Fireman album by Sir Paul was pretty good).
“I have no way of knowing, but I don’t think the new Spider-Man is intended to be temporary, the way Mon-el, Az-Bats and Red Hulk were…but it’s more up to the fans than anyone”
We have no real cause to think he isn’t, and that comes across as you trying to put it on the fans when Marvel does exactly what most comic readers expect them to do.
Your citing Hal Jordan as a replacement character to make a counter-example also points out other problems. Hal Jordan was not originally in continuity with Alan Scott, and we’re not talking about Marvel starting up yet another continuity with a biracial Spider-Man. More importantly, we’re not talking about what comics companies did fifty years ago, we’re talking about what the big two comics company have done in the recent past with replacement characters. Hal Jordan isn’t terribly relevant; the likes of Bucky Barnes as Captain America or Ryan Choi as the Atom are.
I earned my degree in history, so it’s surprising for some when I say I think we place too much emphasis on the past sometimes. In this instance, I think Mr. Templeton is quite right to point out that history shows us examples of replacement characters working out right. I do not deny that your argument has solid evidence to support your apprehension but it ultimately comes down to this: We’re talking about passing judgment on what is yet to come based on what has gone before.
We can either choose to look to the past for reasons to fear or resist the future, or we can take solace knowing that these things have occurred before and sometimes worked out very well. It’s not about which examples are the most valid. It’s about whether one embraces or resists the future. Maybe Miles Morales will prove a colossal blunder. What will that validate, though? Resistance to change? Suppose Marvel scrambles to remove him from existence within a year. How is that a victory for anybody?
FIRST OFF: Love the Eric the Half a Bee name. Points for that. Now, as to the topic at hand: We’re all discussing dancing angels on the head of a pin here, as it’s all speculation. I will offer this: There was a huge backlash against the Spider-Man Brand New Day storyline from fans of MJ and the marriage when it first started up…but the sales and reviews of the last couple of years have borne out that the big change worked, and there’s no chance of Marvel going backwards to bring the marriage back now, even if that’s still some fans most fervent wish. If the sales had plummeted, Marvel would have backed out in a flash. THAT’s what I meant about it being up to the fans. I really meant it’s up to the sales numbers. And you know what? I probably agree with you that this might have been an easier transition for Miles if they’d started up a separate continuity for a new Spider-Man, as there’d be no baggage of a dead Peter Parker around to sour it for people. In the long run, though…it IS a different continuity from the far better selling 616 Spidey (Ultimate fans need to know their Universe is not selling well anymore, and that’s a reality all its own…) and that this is an attempt to boost sales on a sinking ship. Without Miles around, it’s likely Ultimate Spidey would have “Petered out” (couldn’t resist the pun) in another year or so and you wouldn’t have that world in any version. 2099 was a big deal for the first year or so of its existence. So was New Universe (well, not really…just Star Brand). So were DC “Elseworlds” until folks got tired of em. Some ideas work, some don’t, but nobody sets out for a new idea to wear itself down and fail. It’s silly to assume that this one will fail because SOME of the last batch of generational heroes have. The new Batwoman is still around. The new Question hasn’t failed yet. Bucky was always intended to be temporary, I promise you. And the new Atom wasn’t a hit. If he had been, he’d still be going. But then again, no one’s waiting for Damian Wayne to disappear (the new Robin) cause fans love him.
I’ve heard that you CAN’T be too cynical, but I still choose not to be.
If I may say: I think the REAL issue here is that Marvel guys are the ones being shockingly racist with their new Spidey.
When you make a new character, and you’re asked how this character is like, and the only thing you EVER reply with is “he’s half black half latin!!”…. you’re the one being racist and using racial sensationalism to gain publicity.
I mean, can you imagine? If someone was asking you “tell me, who is Peter Parker?”….. who would ever only answer with “he’s a white guy!!”…?
The synopsis I’ve been encountering is that Miles Morales is a young guy who takes it upon himself to succeed Peter Parker as Spider-Man, because Pete had been an inspiration to him. That’s a lot sturdier than I think you’re acknowledging. Maybe that part has been omitted by various “news” outlets who just want to freak out old white people about a social revolution, but it’s my sense of things that Marvel has been very clear about this all along.
Sturdy? Actually, your explanation erased any doubt I may have had about this new Spidey being a poorly thought racial publicity stunt. “He succeeds Spidey because Pete had been an inspiration to him”? Wow. That’s pretty much what about 90% of the kids in NY would do in the Marvelverse. I sure hope they do provide a deeper, more thought-out and plot-involved explanation rather than “uh, he likes Spidey so even though he’s a normal kid he’s decided to become him…. but hey HE’S HALF BLACK HALF LATINO!!!!!!!!”
…Gah. The more I think about it, the more I can’t realize how fans don’t see the inherent racism in what Marvel is doing here. This is such a cold and passionless character they’re making. You can see the money machine going ca-ching behind the whole concept (which, I repeat, is nothing more than WE TOOK A POPULAR CHARACTER AND TURNED HIM INTO AN HALF BLACK HALF LATINO SO PEOPLE WILL TALK ABOUT IT A LOOOOOT!!!!!11111″).
“…Gah. The more I think about it, the more I can’t realize how fans don’t see the inherent racism in what Marvel is doing here.”
It strikes me that perhaps you feel that those of us not up in arms over this are blind to something self-evident. It’s an easy trap to fall into, to believe that disagreements exist because the other side doesn’t properly understand an issue.
I posit instead that it is perfectly possible for someone to look at this situation, consider the official statements and implications and remain unconvinced this is an inherently shameless act. In other words, I and others have considered what you’re arguing and have rejected it as unconvincing. It’s not that we don’t see it; it’s that we’re in disagreement about what we’re seeing.
Actually yah… I wold say that Peter Parker is a nerdy white boy.
It’s kind of one of his defining characteristics…
I’d say he is a nerdy boy. Mentioning his race would never even come to my mind….
…Are american people really that sensitive about race?
are non-American people that sensitive about country of origin?
I am an American, but where in the post did I say I was?
I think that your argument proves a point. Everyone sees the same situation differently.
OH yes, also if you read my previous posts, which I’m guessing you haven’t done. I agree with you on the “they’re doing it for shock value.”
As to my defining him as white.. Peter Parker would be a vastly different character if he wasn’t white. He was created in 1962. Even more so than today it’s different to be non-white.
So yes, it is a defining characteristic. And therefore I feel your point is moot.
Woah, it’s true…. you didn’t even mention your nationality in your post, and yet somehow I thought you were american without even wondering if I could be wrong. This is actually interesting, now that I realise it. I’m so used to see americans, and only americans, being so sensitive about racial matters, that by the way one addresses the issue I automatically infer it must be an american speaking.
This is clearly depending on how America is by definition a mixture of races. Perhaps it’s not about us europeans being so over trivial racial issues that we don’t even care about one’s race. Perhaps it’s about us not really having had to deal with living in a place that unites so many different, perhaps clashing, cultures. I’m italian, and I never saw any non-italian here until just a couple years ago. Only recently we’ve been having an increasing number of foreigners living here, but this is something that’s started in recent history. America has had to deal with it for centuries, which surely is the reason for the different attitude.
Anyway, back to the new Spidey: the way they’re constantly pointing out his race is a form of racism. If all races were really equal, you didn’t need to repeat constantly someone’s race as if it was something so special.
I agree that race matters in defining one’s identity, but sadly the new Spidey isn’t about a character who, among other things, is also an half-black half-latino with all the consequences that it has. Nope, the new Spidey is about a character whose only real defining characteristic is that he’s half-black half-latino..
And possibly gay… you forgot that part.
I would be much less skeptical about the nationality if it wasn’t being trumpeted to the heavens.
Again, it’s OK to have different viewpoints. Lord knows that I don’t post anything on the internets without expecting someone to disagree with me.. 🙂 (misspelling intentional)
I am not mad at you. I want to make that clear. I agree 100% with you that like Ultimate Colossus being gay, or the death of superman that it’s being done for shock value alone.
I am not against super heroes of other nationalities.. Hell I wish that there was more than Luke Cage, Steel and the Black Panther that I could pull off the top of my head.
Now that I think about it, Steel was my favorite of the Superman Wannabes… simply because he never claimed to be Superman. It was something similar to what is here… However, judging by Marvel’s less than stellar track record in telling stories more sensational than good, I’m going to bet that it’s going to be hamfisted and badly handled.
And that is why I am upset.
time will tell. If i do pick up the books, which I can’t say will be any time soon if at all, and I’m wrong about them I will come here and say so. I’m big on apologies where it’s appropriate. But I have a feeling I won’t be apologizing.
(BTW, same poster as above, it’s just facebook is refusing to log in right now.)
does the author know his theory about ethnicity is totally crap because Peter Parker was Canadian?
I want to play along…so help me out. Which author (me or someone commenting?) has a theory, and where is Peter Canadian? And this is all a tongue in cheek gag, yes? I so wish to enjoy this jest, but I’m having trouble following it…
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