Seeing how most of the iconic superheroes were created somewhere in the 40s up until the 60s, it won’t come as a surprise to many that a certain demographic was kinda overrepresented among them; they’re all white males. But that’s about to change in at least one major title.
Back in 2000 Marvel Comics launched their Ultimate imprint, which allowed them to start over many of their flagship titles in a more contemporary setting, while continuing those titles in their main universe without throwing away the established backstory. The Ultimate stories take place in their own universe and do not crossover with the regular titles, so they’re a bit more new-reader-friendly than a lot of other titles. Recently, the line had a major shake-up, as Peter Parker, the main character and titular hero in Ultimate Spider-Man, had to sacrifice his life in his last adventure. Of course Marvel isn’t going to can one of their most succesful titles, both critically and commercially, after it ran for more than a 100 issues. They are however, starting over that count after the fallout of Spidey’s death is dealt with in the appropriately titled mini-series ‘Ultimate Fallout.’ Issue #4 of that series comes out today and introduces Miles Morales, a half-black, half Hispanic youth, who decides to take up the mantle left vacant by Peter Parker and soon learns that “with great power must come great responsibility.”
From Marvel’s press release:
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,” said Axel Alonso, Marvel Editor in Chief. “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.
While death is rarely as permanent in superhero comics as in the real world, it seems like Marvel is pretty serious about this. It seems like a good opportunity to diversify the line and draw in new readers as well. You can find out more at Comics Alliance and see some preview pics below.