Marvel Comics/AP Images
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August 02, 2011 at 04:30 PM EDT

Spider-Man

type
Movie
Current Status
In Season
mpaa
PG-13
Wide Release Date
05/03/02
performer
Willem Dafoe, Kirsten Dunst, Tobey Maguire, James Franco, Rosemary Harris, Cliff Robertson, J.K. Simmons
director
Sam Raimi
Producer
Avi Arad
distributor
Columbia Pictures, Sony Pictures Entertainment
author
David Koepp
genre
Action Adventure, Sci-fi and Fantasy

Spider-Man is dead. Long live Spider-Man! Marvel Comics announced today that a new webslinger will appear in this week’s Ultimate Comics Fallout #4. According to the Associated Press, the new Spidey is Miles Morales, a mixed-race teenager of half-black and half-Hispanic descent. It’s an intriguing shake-up for the Spider-Man character; Marvel superheroes tend to be personified by one iconic alter ego, as opposed to, say, the DC Universe, where roughly one million people have been the Flash. (This is the part of the post where I am contractually obligated to note that this new multi-ethnic Spider-Man is actually part of the “Ultimate” side-universe, and that good ol’ lily-white Peter Parker is still toodling along in the mainline Marvel universe. Comic books!)

Writer Brian Michael Bendis has always brought his distinctive sensibility to Ultimate Spider-Man, so I believe him when he tells the AP that making Spider-Man a black character is not just a PR stunt. (Bendis references Community star Donald Glover’s online plea to be cast as Spider-Man, a classic case of what-might-have-been.) And I’m kind of stoked to see Bendis striking out so completely on his own with the new character — it feels like, after years of cannily reworking old Spidey mythology, he’s embarking on his own mythmaking journey. Still, I’m always a bit skeptical about completely new secret identities — I’m a survivor of the Ben Reilly era — so let’s just cross our fingers here.

Follow Darren on Twitter: @EWDarrenFranich

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