The Man From East Harlem


ultimate-comics-spider-man-20110801112726612-000.jpg

Here comes tomorrow:


Revealed in Marvel Comics' Ultimate Fallout Issue 4, out Wednesday, the new Spider-Man in the Ultimate universe is a half-black, half-Hispanic teen named Miles Morales. He takes over the gig held by Peter Parker, who was killed in Ultimate Spider-Man Issue 160 in June.

In his first appearance, he simply breaks up a fight. But readers will learn the true origin of Morales and how he became the new Spider-Man when Ultimate Spider-Man relaunches in September with a new No. 1 issue.

I've always thought that Spiderman, being a working class kid from New York, should have had some sort of ethnic identity. Of course I was more thinking Jewish or Italian. Given the particulars of how blacks and Latinos (and really Puerto-Ricans) interact in New York, this feels pretty right. I expect this will also be temporary, and Parker will be back eventually.

In the meantime, you can thank Donald Glover for the injection of diversity. Now can we get a Maria Concepcion who can cope with Mary Jane?

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Ta-Nehisi Coates is a national correspondent at The Atlantic, where he writes about culture, politics, and social issues. He is the author of the memoir The Beautiful Struggle.

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