Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Marvel Reveals New Ultimate Spider-Man AND Plays The Race Card

Well I've got more Ultimate news and as most who follow this blog know, talking Ultimate comics usually gets me more worked up than Mel Gibson at a Jews for Jesus rally. But this is news that nobody can ignore and news that Marvel saw fit to leak the day before it actually hit the stands. They used the same tactic with the Death of Spider-Man story. All it really revealed is that Ultimate Peter Parker was dead. That was basically it. Of course a lot of people were confused when it was ULTIMATE Peter Parker and not the real Peter Parker in 616. That just goes to show that Ultimate, for all it's bullshit, still hasn't reached the same status as 616. But that's besides the point.

I made sure I'm sober for this one because I don't want to say anything that's going to get me in trouble. I'm sure the NSA and whoever Marvel bribes in the government is watching this. But this week, Marvel revealed who Peter Parker's replacement is. They revealed it's a completely new character, pulled right out of a mix of thin air and Brian Bendis's ass named Miles Morales. The biggest difference? Well, this is where Marvel makes a dick move by playing the race card. Morales is half-black, half-hispanic. He's basically like those multi-ethnic TV hosts that Fox News hires to keep the NAACP off their ass. And if it's a dick move for them, it's a dick move for Marvel. That's my biggest complaint here. This whole premise of making a new Spider-Man to replace Peter Parker and making him out of thin air is one big dick move.

CBR: Ultimate Spider-Man Spoilers Hit Press (Again)

Now why is this a dick move? Well for one, Miles was never mentioned at all before in Ultimate Spider-Man. We have no idea how his story interacts with Peter Parker's, if at all. And even if it does, it requires Bendis to pretty much contrive an entire history within the fabric of Ultimate. There aren't too many cases in the history of literature where that kind of contrived tactic really works out for the better. This is what made the original Clone Saga and X-men Forever so reviled to the point that they were retconned or canceled. When an entire history is suddenly pulled out of a writer's ass, fans tend to not like it. It comes off as the writer trying to impose their own standards over an established continuity. We get that writers at Marvel have a very hard job in trying to fit their work into the greater scheme of the Marvel universe, but not respecting it (especially when a writer starts contradicting their own material) is deeply underhanded. There's an expression for writers who use this kind of contrived storytelling. It's called being a dick.

On top of that, Marvel is playing the race card. It may not be direct and I doubt it is, but Bendis has set it up to basically make himself and Miles Morales completely immune to criticism. Because now if anyone criticizes Miles and says they want Peter Parker back, they can be labeled racist. The same thing happens with President Barack Obama. If you criticize him, it's easy for people to call you a racist. It's an indirect means of sheltering one's self from criticism and that's just plain arrogant. To be so insecure that someone has to use a sensitive issue like race to insulate themselves is another example of being a dick.

If that weren't bad enough, Miles is set up to fail from the get-go for the same reason Ben Riely failed in 616. He's a replacement character. He's replacing Peter Parker. He's not complimenting him like a X-23 or Daken. He's not adding to a legacy like a Kyle Renner or Jon Stewart in Green Lantern. He's outright replacing Peter Parker as Spider-Man. How many times have replacement characters worked? Bucky Barnes lasted less than two years as Captain America. Dick Grayson lasted less than that as Batman. As mentioned already, Marvel tried to get Ben Riley to replace Peter Parker in 616 and it failed miserably. You just can't replace Peter Parker. You can't. That's like trying to make Superman without Kal El. It's like trying to make a one-sided coin. Peter Parker IS Spider-Man. Replacing him is just a massive dick move.

And is isn't just Bendis who is being a dick. Artist Sara Pachelli had the audacity to say the following:

“I promise, you will fall in love with Miles-- I already did. 'Nuff Said.”

Read that over again. I made it large for a reason. Pachelli is implying that fans will love Miles as much as they do Peter Parker. That's like someone coming up to you right after your best friend dies and says "I've got this new best friend for you. I promise you'll love him just as much!" The fact that someone says that with excitement would prompt some to punch that asshole in the face and kick their ass. Again, there's a term for that. It's called being a dick and in a case like this, a massive arrogant dick.

 Ultimate Marvel has become a series where Marvel can just be a dick and get away with it. They can kill off characters like Peter Parker, Wolverine, and Professor Xavier and claim it's bold and new. It's not. Being a dick is being a dick no matter what universe it's in. Then to have the audacity to try and replace these characters with Jimmy Hudson, Teddy Allen, Ray Connor, and Miles Morales is just fucking stupid. If you're going to kill a character, at least have the decency to NOT try and replace their ass when their corpse is still fresh. And thinking you can requires not balls, but pig-headed arrogance that makes the narcissists, the assholes, and the politicians of the world. For Marvel and writers like Bendis, who write stories with the premise of with great power comes great responsibility, to act this fucking irresponsible is completely without excuse and without merit.

It's also worth pointing out that replacement characters tend not to work. There's no reason why new characters like Miles can't emerge naturally WITHOUT killing Peter Parker. When a character replaces someone, it cheapens their act because it puts them against an impossible standard to which they'll never measure up. Bucky Barnes didn't last as Captain America. Dick Grayson didn't last as Batman. Sooner or later, fans just don't care for a replacement. They want the real thing. You can only piss on someone's head and tell them it's rain for so long before they realize it's not. It may not happen immediately. This is a gimmick, just like Ultimatum and Death of Spider-Man. All gimmicks wear off and they cheapen the mythos. With a new Spider-Man movie coming out next year and a new cartoon, what are readers going to think when they pick up a book that has a dead Peter Parker and a shitty replacement character in his place? They'll either throw the book away or just pick up a 616 book where despite Peter having made a deal with the devil, he's still alive and not nearly as big a dick as Bendis and the Ultimate staff.

So in the end, I can summarize Marvel's latest move with Ultimate in two words. DICK MOVE. I get that writers all want to leave their mark on a series, but guys like Bendis have something that shitty fanfiction writers like myself don't. They get Marvel's stamp of approval to make their stories canon in addition to getting paid to do it. With that kind of legitimacy comes a responsibility to the fans and the characters. To be that fucking irresponsible is the very epitome of being a dick. I don't care if it involves fictional characters, non-fictional characters, or real people. Being a dick is still being a dick. And Miles Morales is one of Marvel's biggest dick moves in a long time. Nuff said!


  1. Sorry this comment isn't relating to this post but are you planning to review Brightest Day: Aftermath #2 this week?

  2. nice post, you make some good points about revamping of spiderman. I say bring back Miquel. I posted on this today as well.

  3. Don't know if I'll do Brightest Day Aftermath #2. It depends on how busy I am this week. I'll see if it's possible.

    And Budd, thanks for the comment! I don't think it would have made a difference if Bendis used Miguel. It's still a dick move, trying to replace Peter Parker as Spider-Man and thinking fans will care as much when his story is pulled out of thin air.

  4. Miguel O'Hara would have had the advantage of someone associated with Spider-Man in the past (although in a different timeline) and therefore wouldn't have had the appearance of being pulled out of thin air.

    Even without taking that route it wouldn't have taken much to tie this new Spider-Man with the old one. Nothing more than he was some ordinary guy who had his life saved my Peter Parker and you have enough of a connection to start with (It worked for Steel over at DC).


  5. I agree that it would have helped if the new Spider-Man had a familiar name, but he's still a replacement character and replacement characters just don't cut it. Even so, there was absolutely no linkage between the new Spider-Man and Peter Parker. His connection HAS to be contrived in order to fit into the series. And that's just shitty writing. And I don't think Steel is a fair comparison. Superman didn't have to die for Steel to emerge. Even with the Death of Superman story, Superman came back and was expected to come back. That's not the case here. You can't replace Peter Parker just as you can't replace Superman.


  6. Looks like Tiger Woods!

  7. He's fugly. It's one thing to make him mixed race it's another to make him unattractive. The funny thing is that Spiderman is covered from head to toe, so it's not like you're EVER going to fucking notice. It's just like the movies. It *could* be Toby Maguire, but since you don't see him without his mask it could just be a stunt man with a voice over.

  8. I don't really care how unattractive Miles is. He could be Michael fucking Jordan for all I care. He's a replacement character. His whole premise is completely based on being contrived around Peter Parker's death. There was nothing before. He's just being thrown into this role without so much as a sliver of reservation. I'm sorry, but I don't have ANY respect for a character whose sole purpose is to replace someone like Peter Parker who CAN'T be replaced. You can't call Miles Spider-Man for the same reason you can't call Joe Fucktard Superman. It's utter bullshit and if Marvel thinks for a second that they can replace a character like this then they're higher than I've ever been. And that's saying something.

  9. Replacement characters can work if done properly, which is one thing Marvel isn't very good at, to be honest. DC had a much better understanding of what they called 'legacy' characters until very recently, with the return of the Silver Age and all. Putting Dick Grayson in the Batman suit was very well done, and continued longer than originally intended due to reader response (and was likely ended due to editorial mandate), in addition to the huge stable of replacement characters they seem to have, some of who lasted for decades (until the Silver Age worship took over, anyways).

    Basically, a character CAN be replaced IF the story is done well, especially if there is set-up for it happening, although from your review it seems neither has happened.


  10. I agree. It's not impossible for one character to replace another, but it's extremely hard and Marvel has a pitiful track-record of it like you said. And given how horrible the Ultimate replacements have been so far, I see no reason to believe that this will be any different. If they need to play the race card to get people talking, then that's a bad sign.