Wednesday, August 3, 2011

The New Spider-Man is Black not White.

I think it's a pathetic way to be edgy and create a pseudo controversy to sell the same old crap over and over again. But if black Spider-Man is not a whiny little douche and is instead Samuel L. Jackson-esque, it's, at least, a massive upgrade for me; I hate Spider-Man. Yes, I'm saying it. I used to love him as a kid. But as an adult, he annoys the shit out of me. Despite having super strength, speed, senses, being insanely intelligent, and sarcastically funny, Peter Parker had no swagger! It was such an unrealistic character designed to appeal to the common socially inept and stereotypical comic reader.

The team behind the new Spider-Man believe that he'll appeal to a more modern culture. What they fail to realize is, that just maybe, we're all sick of reading about the same character after 50 years. And making him black doesn't change the fact that he's still going to be doing the same damn thing the first Spider-Man was doing.

It doesn't surprise me why they would need to appropriate Spider-Man for this marketing cause. Most ethnic superheroes are only prominent in supporting roles: The X-Men. Yeah, I really like Blade and Spawn. In fact, Spawn was my favorite comic in the late 90s. But I really didn't care what race Al Simmons was; I didn't care about Al Simmons at all. I was enthralled by the costume, the super powers, and the moniker. Maybe you want to see an issue with Peter Parker playing badminton against Eddie Brock while both suppress their powers, but I don't give a damn.

On that topic: I'd blame the fact that most are written by white men and women. I think because there is an avoidance of stereotypes out of the fear of public backlash, it makes many minority characters as contrived, one dimensional, and generic as ones who're solely composed of stereotypes. A writer belonging to said minority can unapologetically and even fearlessly inject whatever cultural aspects they want while fully understanding those subtleties that tiptoe on the line of the offensive and relatable.

In the words of Micheal Jackson, "It doesn't matter if you're black or white." Stop buying Spider-Man comics and give something new a try! I have a lot of #1 issues of comic series that never reached the double digits. Sure, I consider Alan Moore, Robert E. Howard, and Frank Miller to be an apex of comic writing, but I don't think we've peaked. Via In their database, they have cited Spider-Man appearing in 6,594 comics! Now, add 143 cartoon episodes, 13 live action TV shows and four big budget movies (one to be released soon), and you have one of the most overused characters in the history of damn near everything!

And they wonder why people are buying less comics.