New Spider-Man

Count me among those who are pretty happy to see Marvel introduce a Blatino Spider-Man:

The creation of Miles Morales, a teenager with an African-American father and Hispanic mother, has been personal for his creators. Axel Alonso, Marvel's editor in chief, is of mixed cultures (his father is Mexican, his mother is British), and Bendis has two adopted daughters, a 3½-year-old from Ethiopia and a 4½-month-old African American.

"Wouldn't it be nice for them to have a character or a hero that speaks to them as much as Peter Parker has spoken to so many children?" Bendis says. "There's nothing wrong with that, and I think we need more of it."

I'll just link back to what I wrote last year:

Spider-Man is basically the story of a working-class kid from Queens who was raised by a nontraditional family. Despite his superheroics and academic striving, he has endless beef with the cops, a ball-busting boss who cheats him out of his rightful pay, an elderly aunt to take care of, and a set of nonnegotiable financial commitments to meet at the age of 16. Anyone who has ever lived in a working-class neighborhood in New York, regardless of ethnic background, knows this kid. Peter Parker could be white. He could be black. He could be Puerto Rican. As long as he's the same working-class kid from New York.

New York City's black and Latino residents comprise the majority of the population, and it is, after all, the blurring of those two regional cultures that produced the most important artistic movement in popular culture of the past 30 years. Yet despite the proliferation of New York superheroes, that culture has been largely absent from comics. There's something fitting about the new Spider-Man being the kind of kid who has to worry about hiding his web-shooters from the odd stop-and-frisk search.

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