Tag Archives: Miles Morales

Sam Wilson as Captain America

Why diversity among A-listers matters: the new Thor and Captain America

Much has been written about this by everyone else over the past week, but I guess I’m obligated to chime in as well. Marvel’s announced plans to replace Captain America and Thor. For Thor, a woman will be assuming the role of the Mighty One after Mjolnir (Thor’s hammer) rejects him as being “unworthy” of the role. For Captain America, Steve Rogers is forced to retire after his Super Soldier Serum’s somehow removed, causing him to age into an elderly man. Cap’s replacement: the Falcon (aka Sam Wilson), his longtime crimefighting partner and best friend. In addition, Marvel’s just announced at San Diego Comic-Con that Sam will be getting a second title, in the form of leading the Mighty Avengers in their renumbered comic this fall, “Captain America & the Mighty Avengers.”

My two cents: I’ll agree that it’s another gimmick, as we’ve seen heroes “replaced” plenty of times before, and I assume Cap at least will be Steve Rogers again in time for/not long after next year’s “Avengers 2″ movie at a minimum. (Or at least, expect a lot of “flashback” stories and reprints of Steve-Cap’s adventures.) There’s also something to be said for creating new comics featuring the Falcon and one of the women in the Thor mythos in their traditional identities.

On the other hand, it’s hard for books featuring secondary or brand-new characters to catch on, as a lot of fans either don’t have money to try something new (given comics run $4 a pop) or refuse to try anything new. There’s also issues with underrepresentation of minorities as A-listers. DC opted to promote Cyborg into being a founding JLAer in the New 52 reboot, but otherwise, all the Justice Leaguers stayed Caucasian. DC’s allowed some less-than-A-listers to become minorities, but how they’ve been handled leaves a lot to be desired in my opinion. For instance, Alan Scott in the New 52′s now gay, but they killed his boyfriend in the second issue. The New 52 Wally West (who was an A-lister as the Flash between the mid-80s and several years ago) is Black, but he was introduced as having run-ins with the law. Wally’s shown being arrested for vandalism in his first appearance, and arrested again for shoplifting in his most recent appearance. This strikes me as completely tone-deaf and clueless on DC’s part. Meanwhile, Marvel’s had success with introducing more and more minority characters and women in their own books (Ms. Marvel, Captain Marvel, Miles Morales), but seems to have decided to take the path of replacing mainstream Marvel Universe Caucasian A-listers—at least temporarily—with minorities and women.

Of course, there’ll be those whining about how Marvel is “being PC,” but they’re probably the same people who got hot under the collar about Miles Morales, Kevin Keller, and—years ago—John Stewart as the animated “Justice League”‘s Green Lantern. The latter had the same complaints I see now (“being PC,” “he’s not the real GL,” “gimmick,” etc.), but John went on to become one  of the most popular characters on the show, proving the naysayers wrong. More recently, Nick Fury‘s Ultimate universe version, a Black man, has become the main go-to version of Fury in non-comics media. Marvel’s even introduced a lookalike version of the African-American Nick Fury into mainstream continuity as the until-now-unknown son of the Caucasian Nick Fury.

Even if Marvel’s changes prove temporary, I suppose there’s hope it might open the room to a more permanent change down the road for an A-lister, assuming the country’s changing demographics don’t force such changes even sooner. That or, of course, these characters finally entering the public domain as many of them should’ve years ago under less insane and corporately biased/bought off copyright laws, but that’s a whole other blog post.

Anthony’s Marvel picks for July 2013

Ultimate Comics Spider-Man #25Here’s what’s of interest coming out from Marvel for July 2013. Full solicitations are available here.


  • Ultimate Comics Spider-Man #25, $4

Trade paperbacks



I admit my reading of Marvel’s slacked off lately; thus the lack of “picks.” This includes keeping up with Miles Morales’ book. I’ve been attempting to wait for the trade paperback versions of “Ultimate Comics Spider-Man” in an attempt to save money (by borrowing them from the public library). There’s also that Barnes and Noble doesn’t carry much of Marvel’s output digitally. However, seeing how glacial trade paperbacks are being released (and again, not easily finding non-Comixology digital Marvel material) isn’t going so well so far.

Marvel’s solicitations seem to be honest, in spite of their current sequel/prequel/mega-crossover-laden nature. (Such as the one for “Thanos Rising” #4: “Thanos kills a lot of people.”)

In anticipation of the eventual “Guardians of the Galaxy” movie, Marvel seems bent on pushing the characters as much as possible lately, presumably to make them familiar to comics fans by the time the movie’s out.

Anthony’s Marvel picks for June 2013

Ultimate Comics Spider-Man #24Here’s what’s of interest from Marvel for June 2013. Full solicitations are available here.


  • Ultimate Comics Spider-Man #24, on sale June 19, $4

Trade paperbacks



This month’s Ultimate Spidey brings the Ultimate versions of…Power Pack. In the regular Marvel Universe, they’re a group of kid siblings who fight crime with superpowers. Can only imagine what their “Ultimate” versions will be like (cynical teenagers?).

Anthony’s Marvel picks for May 2013

Ultimate Comics Spider-Man #23Here’s what’s of interest from Marvel for May 2013. Full solicitations are available here.


  • Ultimate Comics Spider-Man #23, on sale May 15, $4

Trade paperbacks



Marvel seems well in the grip of the latest mega-storyline, “Age of Ultron.”

This month’s “Ultimate Comics Spider-Man” cover seems to mimic the various “Spider-Man No More” stories… plus probably fits the line of various other “a superhero quits” covers.


Anthony’s Marvel picks for April 2013

Ultimate Comics Spider-Man #22Here’s what’s of interest from Marvel for April 2013.


  • Ultimate Comics Spider-Man #22, $4

Trade paperbacks

  • Spider-Man: Danger Zone (TPB), $20
  • Spider-Men (TPB), $20
  • Ultimate Comics Spider-Man, volume 3 (TPB), $20


This month sees mass quantities of whatever the heck “Age of Ultron” is about. In case anyone forgot who Ultron is like I did, here’s his Wikipedia entry. Very long story short, “evil robot.”

Meanwhile, last year’s “Spider-Men” five-part crossover between Peter Parker and Miles Morales is being collected. Not read it (since I was already paying twice a month for “Amazing”), so I’ll be looking forward to the trade paperback.


Anthony’s picks for Marvel for May 2012

Amazing Spider-Man #686Here’s what’s of interest from Marvel for May 2012. Full solicitations may be found here.

Comics I’ll be buying

  • Ultimate Comics Spider-Man #10, on sale May 2, $4
  • Amazing Spider-Man: Ends of the Earth #1, on sale May 16, $4
  • Amazing Spider-Man #685, on sale May 2, $4
  • Amazing Spider-Man #686, on sale May 23, $4

Comics I might buy

  • Marvel Universe Ultimate Spider-Man #2,  on sale May 23, $3
  • Amazing Spider-Man Annual #39, on sale May 30, $4


A lot of Spidey on the list, I know!

This month wraps up the “End of the Earth” Spider-Man storyline, with Spidey (and others) trying to stop Dr. Octopus’ plan to take over the world. Looks like it’ll be less bank-breaking (confined to the main Spider-Man title) versus “Avengers vs. X-Men,” plus it involves Doc Ock (who I always liked as a Spider-Man villain).

Ultimate Spidey sees Miles Morales take on the “Ultimate” version of the Prowler, while “Marvel Universe Ultimate Spider-Man” sees Peter take on Mole Man and Electro. Yeah, that latter title is awkward; maybe they should’ve kept the “Marvel Adventures” name for the kids’ line.


Anthony’s picks for Marvel for November 2011

Ultimate Comics Spider-Man #4Here’s what’s of interest for me from Marvel for November 2011:

Comics I’ll be buying

  • Marvel Adventures Spider-Man #20, on sale Nov. 23, $3
  • Marvel Adventures Super Heroes #20, on sale Nov. 16, $3

Comics I might buy

  • Shame Itself #1, on sale Nov. 2, $4
  • Ultimate Comics Spider-Man #4, on sale Nov. 9, $4


For some bizarre reason, not only has Marvel waited quite awhile to release what’s coming out for November, but they’ve also divided what’s coming out among several websites, none of them having a complete list nor listing any Marvel Adventures titles. Thus, I’m not sure if or when any of the Marvel Adventures line of books are coming out, what they’re about, or even if they canceled the line. Still, I thought I’d post this now (before leaving for Boston for a week); if and when any information changes, I’ll update this post. Update (10/21/11): Info on the Marvel Adventures books added; dates and issue numbers from Comixology’s site!

Ultimate Comics Spidey is on the list, though under “maybe,” contingent on what the first three issues will be like. (As I’ve noted previously, the Ultimate line traditionally hasn’t inspired much interest from me.) As everyone online (including rabid racist “fans”) know, the new Spidey, Miles Morales, debuts soon in the newly-revamped title. Issues #1 and #2 are at comic shops on Sept. 14 and 21 respectively, per Marvel’s website; issue #3 will be out in October.

“Shame Itself” is a humor comic, presumably parodying recent Marvel storyline “Fear Itself” (and other Marvel aspects).

New Ultimate Marvel Spider-Man revealed to be biracial teen

Miles Morales

No spoilers warning, since this story’s already all over every other website by now…

Since its debut in 2000, I admit I haven’t paid a ton of attention to Marvel’s Ultimate line of books. Ultimate Marvel is an alternate universe (to the mainstream Marvel one) that’s meant to be easier to get into, with less history/continuity than the usual Marvel stuff. However, what stories (or story summaries) I’d seen felt too much like regular current superhero books to me, i.e. “grim and gritty”-fied versions of regular Marvel characters (see: the Ultimate version of Captain America… Cap as if he were written for the Fox News crowd/”grim and gritty” superhero fans), the usual crossovers, etc. Thus, I’ve not given Marvel’s own “Earth-2″ any more attention than mainstream Marvel… until now, that is.

Bleeding Cool (along with other media) have reported that the new Ultimate version of Spider-Man will be a biracial teenager named Miles Morales (his mother’s Latino, while his father’s African-American). Ultimate’s version of Peter Parker was killed off in a much-hyped recent storyline; until now, Peter’s replacement as Spidey was also hyped up with some secrecy. While this could’ve waited until my weekly “minorities in comics and animation” post, I thought it seemed important enough to remark on it now.

This marks a notable shift in thinking by one of the big two comic companies: an ongoing series about Marvel’s top superhero being a non-White character. Yes, it’s in an alternate universe, but so is the African-American Nick Fury, another Ultimate line creation. Ultimate-Fury’s also the most successful Ultimate character so far in terms of non-comics media. Every non-comic version of Fury in the past decade or so (including “The Super Hero Squad Show,” “Avengers: Earth’s Mightiest Heroes,” and the modern Marvel movies) has used the African-American version, not the standard Marvel Universe version. Of course, alt-Nick being played in the movies by Samuel L. Jackson doesn’t hurt.

While I doubt I’ll be showing any love toward Ultimate-Cap anytime soon, I would be interested in reading about Mr. Morales, assuming he’s treated in a respectful or interesting manner, and not as “grim and gritty Spidey”/subject to being killed off in short order to bring Ultimate-Peter back. (For fans who want to read about a non-mainstream-continuity Peter Parker, there’s still the well-done and entertaining Marvel Adventures Spider-Man comic, which I recommend…).

Meanwhile, online comic venues have exploded with chatter about this development, though unfortunately some of it’s rather hate-filled and racist, as Bleeding Cool also summarizes. Thought about *not* linking to it, but I figured it’s important to see the worst side of so-called “fans”… even the “exception” praising the move posted at the bottom of the page comes off as somewhat snide (“race-baiting liberals”?).