On story and writing – Part Three: The case for Miles Morales

21 May

Lots of comments have been tossed around regarding this version of Spider-man.  How it’s caving to political correctness.  How it’s filling a quota.  How it’s giving into SJWs (as though that was an evil all encompassing term).

But Miles Morales plays a bigger role than any of that.  Miles Morales reflects the 21st Century.  He is the mirror on the real world.  He also acts as a new and different way to tell stories.

Let’s face it, there’s a large number of straight, white, millionaire superheroes that exist in the comic book universe.  From Tony Stark to Bruce Wayne to Oliver Queen.  Yes, Peter Parker was a different type of character in that he was always trying to make ends meet, but he still held two of the three identifying factors of the atypical superhero archetype.  Miles is a break from that.

How a poor white man views the world, how he reacts to it and how he is challenged to overcome obstacles is very different from how a poor black man deals with similar things.  Even more so when that man is a black Latino.  By giving Miles the Spider-suit, you’ve just opened up a new world of story telling.

It also brings about something very new and exciting, in that it passes the torch, so to speak.  Sure, it could be passed onto May Parker, so we could have Spider-Gril, but why not pass on the torch to Miles as well.  There’s nothing saying there can’t be a Spider-man and a Spider-girl web swinging through New York City.  After all, there’s over 30 million people that live there.

Comic books have reached a dry run, thanks in part to the fact that you can only tell the same type of story so many times before it gets very old very fast.  When you have a new character like Miles, those stories seem different because suddenly it’s a completely different person viewing the situation.  Much in the same way that Kamala Khan is now Mz. Marvel.

The usual comments detracting this move only prove one thing.  We are not in a post racial society if there are still people saying that a black man can’t be Spider-man.  Even if the detraction starts with “I’m not racist, but…” then chances are the detractor more than likely is racist.

Denying a character like Miles denies a new type of story telling.  And nobody wins when that happens.

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Posted by on May 21, 2015 in Fun, Life, randomness


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