I never did think about Spiderman’s colour, except for his blue and red costume. So, what does a new half-black replacement mean? Is he termed the “Ultimate” only because he is a hybrid? Miles Morales sounds like one more of those gestures.
Axel Alonso, Marvel Editor in Chief, said:
“When the opportunity arose to create a new Spider-Man, we knew it had to be a character that represents the diversity—in background and experience—of the twenty-first century. Miles is a character who not only follows in the tradition of relatable characters like Peter Parker, but also shows why he’s a new, unique kind of Spider-Man—and worthy of that name.”
Spiderman is supposed to crawl up walls, save people, and lead a double existence. His bane and boon. With the racial angle, he will be politicised. White people, as much as blacks or any other races, can have diverse backgrounds within their fold. Besides, experiences are pretty much unique to individuals. It has been a decade since the 21st century kicked in, so why the sudden need to diversify?
His “half-black, half-Hispanic” origins come across as tokenism. It is true that no business enterprise would risk something only to offer sops, but there is a huge market of African Americans and the others, primarily immigrants, who would be interested for reasons other than mere uniqueness. It could be political correctness, or curiosity, or to see the ‘difference’.
Spiderman is an entrenched hero. They are not following the trend; they have moved Miles into a new category. He will wear the mask, but pajamas. The true test here is not scaling walls, but who he will save and what his heroism will come to denote. I am afraid the possibility of him catering to a niche market is stronger than any universal appeal. Not because he is black, but because he has been planned as that. Truly strong characters evolve. Miles Morales has already been trapped.
I love Lady Gaga for pushing the envelope and parodying pop culture, but her recent comment is worse than tokenism. She was releasing her line of baby wear and said she’d like to have kids.
"Some day, a long way from now. But I wouldn't love them unless they were gay.”
What is she trying to prove? That she supports alternative sexuality? That she does and has expressed it publicly. With this statement, she has confirmed that love is conditional and she will probably inject some hormones that will ensure the children turn out the way she wants.
A gay infant will not show signs of sexual orientation, nor will s/he when they grow up to be toddlers. Perhaps not until their teens, maybe even later. What will she do until then? Hold back her love? If they turn out to be heterosexual, will she turn them away or inculcate gay values and gay behaviour – if there are any such standard forms – to ensure that they are influenced enough? Or maybe they will just go along to be what mommy wants them to be?
I doubt if the gay community would concur with her views. She makes it seem like they need ‘special’ care.