Spider-Man scribe Dan Slott took a break from bullying random women on Twitter this week to demonstrate a new an improved way of showing how clownish and immature he could be — he painted anyone who thinks “Peter Parker is a white character who believes ‘With great power comes great responsibility,'” as racist.
Yes, that’s right, in Dan Slott’s world, if you describe the white character you’ve read for decades as “white” when someone asks you, then you “don’t get” him.
This is the man who is Marvel’s ambassador to Spider-Man fans. This is the man who, ideally, would unite Peter Parker fans of all ages. This is the man whose argument (by his own admission) boils down to: “Would you go up to a [non-white child] and say ‘You can’t be Spider-Man’?”
Notice what Dan Slott has done — he conflates the idea of a “Spider-Man” with the character millions of people around the world recognize as Peter Parker.
When Dan Slott started this weird conversation Feb. 12, I put it this way:
I understand that it is the essence of a man that is important (e.g., “The Phantom” lives forever as different men who embody his noble spirit), but once you essentially start going down the, “Let’s just arbitrarily make Peter Parker black tomorrow and if you get annoyed, then you’re a racist” road, then that’s where you’ve lost me.
Marvel successfully pulled that off with Nick Fury. That makes sense because he was never a figure with national/world-wide recognition. It’s a different thing when basically the entire world has a vision of what “Peter Parker” looks like and guys like Dan Slott start screwing with it.
It would be like if Nintendo suddenly made Mario and Luigi black and said, “What? What? There are black Italians. What are you, racist?” to people who started rolling their eyes.
Well, no. I’m not racist, Nintendo executives, but I think you’re just taking the racial sensitivity thing to an absurd level.
If someone asked me to describe Blade, one of my “thousand” adjectives used to describe him would be “black.” The same goes for James Rhodes. Or “Robbie” Robertson. Or any number of black characters. But perhaps in Dan Slott’s world, Marvel fans are allowed to describe long-established black characters as black and that doesn’t have an effect of their understanding of the character.
As I said Feb. 14 in the comments section of a previous post (I was hoping Mr Slott wouldn’t continue to belabor this conversation and prompt me to expand it into a full-blown blog post):
I’m not sure if Dan Slott is just a giant troll, or a complete doofus. He starts a conversation that he knows is going to annoy people by insinuating that maybe it might be a good decision to arbitrarily make Peter Parker black or Hispanic or Asian — when generations of people associate Peter Parker with a very specific look — and then he acts incredulous when people start talking about doing the exact same thing to other characters.
If Charles M. Schulz were still alive and he randomly changed Snoopy from a beagle to a golden retriever, would it matter? A dog is a dog, right? Yes, it would matter for many Peanuts fans because the world fell in love with a very specific Snoopy.
I wouldn’t want Marvel randomly making Blade a white guy, and I wouldn’t want Marvel randomly making Peter Parker a black guy. In both instances, it would be a weird editorial move.
Sounds reasonable, right? Not to Dan Slott. Here is how he responds to other reasonable Spider-Man fans (great customer relations, Marvel): “My grandma knew Jim Crow laws. Didn’t make ’em right.”
Some random Peter Parker fan essentially says, “Even my grandma would be able to describe Peter Parker to forensic sketch artist, and he’d be white. That’s pretty iconic. I think it would probably be odd to randomly make Peter Parker black.”
Dan Slott’s reaction is to start talking about Jim Crow laws. Seriously. You, dear reader, are apparently the type of person who would tell a little black child he couldn’t be Spider-Man and you would probably admit to supporting Jim Crow laws if it was just you and Dan Slott drinking alone at the bar one night.
In his never-ending quest to fish for compliments in his Twitter feed while also putting himself up on a gigantic moral pedestal, Dan Slott is now resorting to needless race-baiting conversations with Peter Parker fans. Does it get any worse than this? Why does Marvel let him get away with acting like a petulant man-boy with a penchant for burning bridges? Since when did Marvel decide that its business model for attracting attention to Spider-Man comic books was to hire a writer who invents ways to slime customers?
The ironic thing about all of this is that if Dan Slott were to magically make Peter Parker black tomorrow, then he could very well be fending off racial conspiracy theory charges soon afterward — Peter Parker is a shell of the character he once was thanks to Dan Slott, so making him black at this stage in the game would actually be an insult to race-goggle wearing comic book readers everywhere.
One day a writer will take on Spider-Man who will bring together fans from a variety different backgrounds, ages, and political persuasions. He or she will do it without all the unnecessary antics, and when that happens Dan Slott’s legacy will sink even lower than it already has up to now.
Update: No amount of race-baiting would be complete without Dan Slott referring to “white history months.” This is the man who writes The Amazing Spider-Man, ladies and gentlemen. Pathetic.
Related: Check out Hube’s take over at Colossus of Rhodey.
I commented on this too! Soon as I saw it I addressed without even thinking about any of your points:
“Your little argument would hold water had you guys at Marvel not created 20 other Spider-Men of varying ethnicities, or made 5 movies, thousands of hours of more widely spread cartoon animation, and thousands of comic books that clearly show Peter Parker is designed the same way: White. Kindly shut up.”
I mean the dude’s a spaz, we have addressed this for what, 2 years now? Holy shit! But when I showed this to my entire news feed, even the black people were flipping their shit. What does that say when the race you are supposedly championing is going “GO F**K YOURSELF!”
It’s actually rather condescending to take the racial weirdness this far. It’s like Dan Slott is this “white knight” (no pun intended) who has to right wrongs for women and minorities. Put another way: he thinks he’s Scott Bakula in Quantum Leap. He’s so starved for the plaudits of internet strangers that he’ll needlessly manufacture a racial debate that he can spin to cast himself as Marvel’s progressive champion extraordinaire. Like I said, Marvel should be embarrassed that this is the guy who is supposed to be the ambassador to Spider-Man fans.
SHOULD be but it’s amazing how much cocksucking one does in a company with 20+ years being with the company can give you that much leniency. It hurts me to see that if I were to do this, I would lose my job at a burger joint, let alone a multi-billion dollar company like Marvel. What in the f**k people!
Indeed, if you behaved the way he does on social media platforms and your boss found out, you would certainly be reprimanded. Marvel has zero control over Dan Slott, or the editors simply don’t care that he represents the company as an unprofessional clown. Either way, it’s a sad state of affairs for the company.
Dan needs to seek help either he is so stupid he cannot see how his argument is flawed or he thinks he is that much better than everyone else.
I think it’s a combination of having ideological blinders on mixed with some sort of perverse need to feel accepted.
What’s the easiest way to win acceptance these days? Easy: Just spout a bunch of politically correct gibberish into your Twitter feed — no matter how ridiculous it is, you’ll find plenty of people who will tell you how wonderful your are.
Dan Slott tomorrow: “Maybe we should make Peter Parker a transvestite next year because even transvestites need heroes. What? Why can’t Peter Parker be a transvestite? What do you have against the LGBT community? Huh? Huh?!” **Dan Slott then randomly retweets followers who tell him how superawesomeprogressivecool he is**
To be fair, that probably couldn’t be any worse than Silk.
Haha. Agreed on Silk.
A friend of mine emailed me this last night that I thought was interesting:
Dan won’t quit Spider-Man anytime soon and lobby Marvel to hire a black guy in his place — but he’ll cause all sorts of needless race debates in his Twitter feed. What a joke.
A classic case of “reverse racism”. It’s a pity schools and the media don’t cover this enough.
George Berryman on crawlspace captured this fiasco the best with the following: “Either way, for someone to say they want Peter portrayed on screen as he is in the comics, i.e. a white guy, it’s not racist. Not one goddamn bit.”
That one is worth a link, Riablo. 🙂
Here it is: Editorial: Enough with the Spider-Racism Crap
This was also a good point by George:
“George Berryman says:
February 22nd, 2015 at 3:57 pm
He’s still going at it. Two straight days of floor-pounding tantrums, declaring Peter Parker’s not white until he’s red in the face. It’s a wonder he ever gets any writing done.”
As we’ve mentioned before, Dan Slott loves to complain about deadlines…while he spends hours upon hours trolling the internet for criticism he can respond to and then getting into unnecessary online altercations. This sort of race-baiting continues the trend, but takes it to an all-time low.
I’m officially dropping the current Amazing Spider-Man comics being written by Dan Slott. Anyone who calls me a racist just for associating a character with a specific image that he’s had since 1963, is not getting a dime out of me.
Now I understand why he has the reputation that he has. The guy’s a jackass. How is Marvel not aware of this guy’s antics?! It’s mindbogglingly idiotic.
That pretty much sums it up right there. I think Marvel knows all too well. Unfortunately, when you’re buddies with Tom Brevoort you can get away with saying and doing things that would get the rest of us in serious trouble with the boss.
It just makes me sick to my stomach how he gets away with this. But then again like you said:
“When you’re buddies with Tom Brevoort you can get away with saying and doing things that would get the rest of us in serious trouble with the boss.”
It’s sad, but true.
Slott will just say that you are not the market, he clearly does not know what the market means.
apparently he told a fan at a convention aka a paying customer, to sit down and shut up and that he didn’t know a THING about Peter Parker when he said that Parker is white.
What a prick.
The fact that Dan Slott sees nothing strange about randomly changing a character’s established race after decades of stories gives you insight into how he’s run the book — Spider-Man and Peter Parker are whatever Dan Slott wants them to be, and if you disagree you’re an idiot, and “internet crazy” (he likes to uses different variations of that one), or apparently a racist.
Dan Slott has no fidelity to the history of Peter Parker — Dan Slott’s only fidelity is to himself. If it’s his idea, then it’s genius. Disagree, and there’s something wrong with you.
Do you think that is true? I don’t think he has the guts unless he is online to act like that.
Marvel’s plan is to apparently purge the comic of actual Peter Parker fans so they can just relaunch the book with Peter Parker, The Amazing Aleutian Islands Eskimo.
I honestly believe Dan Slott has serious mental health issues who somehow manages to function within a professional environment, for a company that protects and fails to rebuke recalcitrant employees.
He can’t fathom or write Peter Parker’s original character development because he’s an egotistical and self proclaimed twisted social justice internet troll.
In response to Magnetic eye, I stand and clap.
Character development? What’s exactly is that that? 😉 I haven’t seen it in any substantive way for so long that I’ve forgotten what it’s like to experience while reading ASM.
“He’s an egotistical and self proclaimed twisted social justice internet troll.”
Well. Said. Indeed.
ASM should be boycotted until this troll is gone.
I’m essentially doing that on all the Dan Slott written books.
The sad part is that I bought most of his run on Spider-Verse til this point. Can’t blame anyone but myself really.
Why do I have the feeling that if asked to describe Miles Morales, Slott would immediately point to Miles’ ethnicity?
I’m reminded of Marvel’s good old days (pre-’90s) and even the “these were terrible in terms of quality, but at least Marvel didn’t act so damn pissy about criticism or disagreement” days (aka the ’90s). I can’t tell you how Marvel staffers conducted themselves in the privacy of their offices; they may’ve taken it in stride or carried on exactly like Slott (though I doubt that very much). Point is, many of Slott’s predecessors had these things called dignity and respect. There are always some bad apples, but most behaved like adults in the face of criticism and disagreement. That’s why it’s so weird to see such a petulant child carry on like this. Once upon a time, Marvel even had the guts to print negative feedback in letters pages (e.g. “Maximum Carnage,” as I recall). Slott and others act like constructive criticism or civil disagreement is some form of victimization. Time was victims in the comic industry were folks like Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster–those screwed over by their former employers and denied even credits on their creation; these days, a victim in this business is anyone who can’t stand dissenting views and responds with personal attacks. Makes you wonder why they opted to be writers or be so involved in social media. I realize this might be a shock to ya, Dan, but the rest of us weren’t put on this Earth to kiss your ass.
Can you imagine, say, Stan Lee behaving like Dan Slott? Of course not. To me, Lee is what the current progressive writers infesting the industry think they are. He was certainly a committed liberal and wasn’t opposed to including his beliefs in a given story, but he was also a professional. Lee earned the love he receives because of his work and because he made a point of always presenting himself as a jolly friendly guy; Slott and others like him just expect to be loved simply for writing famous characters that they didn’t create.
Slott always struck me as someone so desperate to carve out a piece of Spider-Man’s legacy for himself. There are plenty of people who worked on things they didn’t actually create, but their runs were so memorable and influential that fans give them that coveted “my real daddy” status: Chris Claremont and the X-Men, Roy Thomas and the Avengers, Peter David and the Hulk, Alan Moore and Swamp Thing, Joe Kelly and Deadpool, etc. Slott never will achieve that kind of recognition. The only praise he’ll receive is when he finally leaves the book, and it’s stunts like this that will be why.
It’s like, if it’s okay for us nerds to get mad when they made all of Ursula K. Leguin’s non-white characters white, shouldn’t it be okay for nerds to get mad when they make white characters non-white? If people’s race is as important to who they are as folks are constantly telling us, isn’t changing any character’s race erasure?
It is rather interesting that you can find plenty of people online who pejoratively refer to “acting white,” (whatever the heck that means) but then when it comes to a character like Peter Parker they’ll say there is “nothing inherently white” about him. Which is it? The racial sensitivity in 2015 is a one-way street, and I suppose the standard response is “but your great great great great grandfather” was friends with a slave owner. Yep. And Considering that slavery was in some way a part of basically every culture throughout history (it was Western Civilization that ultimately rejected it), that doesn’t move me.
Like I said, I’d be just as annoyed if Marvel randomly made James Rhodes a white guy as I would be if they made Peter Parker black. But to Dan Slott, apparently “Jim Crow laws” … or something. **rolls eyes**
True dat. Making Peter Parker black in America would fundamentally change who he was to the point where he’d be a completely new character. His uncle & aunt would’ve been around during civil rights and it would’ve shaped their experience in a way that it wouldn’t necessarily have if they were white, and surely they would’ve impressed that on the young Peter. There are countless other ways in which his experience would be different. That’s not to say that it wouldn’t make a fascinating out-of-canon look at Peter Parker, but most writers in the industry aren’t very good writers and couldn’t pull it off with the subtlety to make it anything more than a shallow black-spiderman knock-off (& yeah, I know that Ultimate Spiderman was black and maybe still is from when Peter Parker died and that new kid took up the mantle, so, uh… basically marvel already did this once?)
More than anything, I feel like the comics industry has been for some time now this sick entity that simply enjoys trolling its fan-base. It’s not good for business, and comics are still kind of in the shitter market-wise, but they just can’t help themselves.
What’s interesting is that the take-away from a lot of these experiments marvel has been doing, like with fem-Thor, is that people don’t want established characters to be rewritten to look like them; fans of the character are fans of the character how they were written before and changes will alienate them, while fans who want characters to relate to want their own, new, characters, not some old character with a sloppy coat of paint that makes nobody happy. It’s one of the reasons why Static was such a popular and beloved hero: he basically WAS black Spiderman but better because he wasn’t Spiderman.
This is an interesting observation. It’s almost like the creators are bitter that the industry has fallen so far, and instead of blaming themselves (e.g., sloppy stories, failing to adapt in a digital world), they sort of project that frustration on the fans that are still around.
I think your other comment echoes my friend’s, which I shared with spiderterry84: “All fans fell in love with the character as is already, no matter the color. I like Spider-Man, Rhodey, Cap and Falcon; I don’t need them to change so the Dans of the world can promote themselves to General in the social justice army in their mind.”
I hate bringing gamergate into it (though Dan Slott kinda went there first), but the same kind of intellectual toxicity that’s been poisoning comics for years that has been going on in games media; in both cases, those responsible can’t understand or take responsibility for their failure and have instead decided to lash out at their fan bases.
The bizarre thing with comics, though, is that while they’ve politically gone more over the top progressive than they’ve ever been, they’re also more absurdly T&A in their flagships than ever before, too. It’s like they don’t know which direction to pander in and end up pissing everyone off.
Spider sent me a great video:
Solid commentary on this young man’s part. I suppose Dan Slott would say he doesn’t “get” the character. Thanks for sharing, Truth.
I owe spider and frugal for that one!
I actually work with the guy who made this. Glad to see people are noticing it.
I left a comment on the YouTube page, but tell your coworker “Kudos!” Good stuff. I wish certain writers at Marvel were that level-headed.
Slott getting away with this half-baked nonsense is not a unique situation to this company. Marvel are enablers, and they prey on the vulnerable aspects of stressed talent to further their own net worth. This is the company that gave Jeph Loeb a job when he should have been grieving his son and taking a long sabbatical, what happened next resulted in the death kneel of the Ultimate franchise and the flanderization of the Marvel animation department.
Speaking of that, I wonder what Slott would make of the recent Ultimate Spider-Man episode where Peter met a gender-flipped version of himself?
So basically you’re saying Marvel is John Lovitz in the The Wedding Singer. Haha. 🙂
“[Dan Slott’s] losing his mind…and I’m reaping all the benefits.”
now despite my rage and bile in earlier comments with Marvel and DC (Marvel has Brevoort and Slott, DC has DiDio,) there is ONE takeaway that makes me hopeful for the next generation of writers and artists:
For every new creator that buys into the “kool-aid of diversity” at least 3 or 4 more will write a story that THEY are comfortable writing, making their own characters and stories and without needing to be forced or pandered to when they need to make diversity. Now on one hand that does create really bad hipster sci fi, kawaii romance, fantasy, ninja transgender space pirate comics, but at the same time, like with my book or another a friend of my published: The Pitiful Human-Lizard, the characters in them are new and can be any race we as creators choose them to be. He made his hero asian and set in Toronto, Canada? I made mine white set in Toronto, Canada with an Egyptian best friend and a black guy as his super genius handler who also designed the costume. Diversity exists as an outgrowth from the world in which we live; the more one tries to shove it down somebody’s throat, the more that person is going to tell you to fuck off. And while it is culturally acceptable to bash “the straight white male”, affirmative action, and “there’s no such thing as racism towards white men,” circa 2015 even when it isn’t morally, the fact is that white people are part of the cultural makeup and if people were REALLY as progressive as they tout, they wouldn’t toss the same level of hatred towards one group when they order one group to “accept everybody.” So… you want “white culture” to be accepting of everybody, but make them feel ashamed to be white themselves? Isn’t that what you are trying to combat? NOT being ashamed of one’s own skin colour?
Hypocrisy knows no limit really, but what REALLY makes me angry, is that I can look on my facebook page, go to a convention, and you want to know who are the ones largely responsible for forcing “diversity” onto people? OTHER WHITE PEOPLE. So you project your own insecurities and shame of being white and the supposed “privilege” that comes with it onto others so you can make yourself feel better and “progressive?” No. Progress comes with acceptance of all people, and all people INCLUDES the self, and if you yourself are white, you have as much right to be there as supposedly “everybody else.”
Your rage, on many levels, is understandable. These days people like Dan Slott try and paint people as racists (e.g., his “Jim Crow” references) if they disagree with him over whether it’s appropriate to change a character who has been white since his inception. Worse, there are entire communities dedicated to using such personal attacks if you don’t become an advocate on behalf of [insert aggrieved group of the day here].
Someone like you may have had all sorts of struggles growing up (e.g., poverty, abusive parents, disability), but yet you’re suddenly a bad guy if you don’t intellectually flog yourself as “privileged.” Even if your parents were meth heads in Oklahoma and you rose above it, it’s nothing compared to what [insert son of NASA engineer who happened to be from an aggrieved group] had to go through.
Yep. Having to deal with the Dan Slotts of the world (essentially saying “Shame on you for wanting to keep Peter Parker white! Bad Robert! Bad! Bad!”), fosters anger and resentment.
As your own creative efforts show, you’re not opposed to diversity — you’re opposed to being bullied into it or shamed if the world you create doesn’t have the proper allocation of black/female/gay superheroes in prominent roles.
Dan Slott doesn’t like that smart white men out there are willing to call him out on his claptrap. It annoys him that guys like us are going to take his words, write blog posts about what he says, and slap him around with his own stupidity. His Twitter feed is one giant stream of self-congratulation — and that’s fine — but when he starts race baiting people, he’s going to get push back. When he starts inserting it into his stories, he’s going to get called out on it. And that, my friend, is why he trolls the internet looking to right perceived wrongs like he was living his very own version of Quantum Leap. 😉
“Dan Slott’s only guide on this journey is Tom Brevoort, an observer from his own time, who appears in the form of a hologram that only Dan can see and hear.”
funny you say that, I WAS born with Asperger’s Syndrome, ODD, ADD, and I was picked on for my entire school life. Not to mention despite my mother on paper being a “middle class” member of society, I didn’t have NEARLY as much as all my friends, some of whom were in fact black, Latino, and Portuguese. I took me getting into my adult life to be able to use it as a strength and carve a small niche out for myself so I can do what I love and that is write, workout, and play music. But there are as many drawbacks of being disabled too, but nope I’m otherwise “straight white male” so I’m the “norm” so I am an evil slimeball.
Ironically a white friend once composed a list of things that state “have you felt any of these things?” that show “white privilege is real” including things like being pulled over by the cops based on how I dressed (I dressed as any punk rocker did in high school, so fuck yes I was pulled over,) or “being judged to get into college and not be taken seriously based on something beyond your control.” as I said, I was judged because I was handicapped, it was publicly known, and yet that didn’t stop me. Or things like “worrying about my children getting judged”, wait I’m 23 and have no children, so why does this even apply?
When it came down to it, 50 questions, 39 of which I could relate to (and I’m born and bred white bread) and 11 I could not, 4 of which involved children that I do not have. So then he turns around and goes “well you are the exception, not the norm! Cause I’m straight white male too yet I didn’t relate to any of this!” Okay, so you are justifying your own personal life, I point out all of mine, and even pointed out others who suffered in the same way and they weren’t even remotely black or latino and that suddenly means “White Privilege is real!?”
And why does this matter? Well because college professors using statistics and a handful of cherrypicked stories from that list in prison. Statistics can be doctored, professors are opinionated as well, and no amount of “going by the numbers” doesn’t equate to actually going out and live it. But no, I’m still white, I’m just an “exception” to the rule,” when by all other accounts beyond what goes on inside my head? I AM the norm!
It sounds like your friend read Peggy McIntosh’s essay White Privilege: Unpacking the Invisible Knapsack. It’s a sacred text of sorts for race baiters.
As you point out, you were born with Asperger’s Syndrome, but yet you’re somehow supposed to go around telling people how sorry you are for the “privileged” life you were given. Well, sorry, but many sane people aren’t going to do that. We all have obstacles in life to overcome. As any number of motivational speakers will tell you, it’s not the circumstances that define who you are — it’s how your respond to those circumstances.
Basically, there are people who want equal opportunity and those who want equal results. In the maniacal quest for equal results, you get the kind of psychobabble seen in Dan Slott’s Twitter feed. He’s the type of guy who will look at a statistic for Comcast call center technicians and wonder why 20 percent aren’t black because black people make up 20 percent of the population. He’ll see some sort of weird conspiracy behind it all when, in reality, it could very well be that black Americans as a whole have no interest in being Comcast call center technicians. Any disparity that isn’t in line with what the equality-of-results mindset demands is seen as some sort of proof of a diabolical effort to keep women/minorities/gay people under the thumb of the “straight…white…males.” **Insert ominous music here.**
If you start your own business and it turns out that you get zero female applicants, are you somehow sexist? Well, if the equal-results crowd looked at your payroll they’d probably accuse you of being sexist — facts be damned. It’s that sort of behavior that has guys like you understandably angry at times. It’s part of the reason why I blog.
Long story short: Keep writing, man. Do your thing and keep standing up for yourself. I’d try to cut back on some of the expletives if possible, but other than that it sounds like you’re totally on the right track. 🙂
I might be reading too much into this, but what if there’s another reason for why Dan Slott is bringing up the admittedly valid point that, given what Spider-Man represents, Peter Parker doesn’t necessarily have to be white? And yes, I actually agree with Stan Lee’s assertion in that, given how the Spider-Man’s costume covers him head-to-toe, any reader from any race, ethnicity, religion, background, etc. can imagine themselves in that costume, so it doesn’t, or shouldn’t matter, what he looks like under that costume so long as it’s Peter Parker.
Consider we have Secret Wars happening within a few months, which, among other things, is bringing together the 616 and Ultimate Marvel characters into the same universe, which includes Miles Morales. Consider also that one of the teasers for Secret Wars is Amazing Spider-Man: Renew Your Vows, which not appears to undo One More Day by having Peter and Mary Jane as a married couple, but also show them with a daughter (specifically the red-headed girl from OMD who was the child they were supposed to have had had they not made the deal with Mephisto). Marvel has stated in the past going as far back as the Clone Saga that if Peter Parker ever became a dad, then his responsibility towards his family would circumvent his being Spider-Man. Marvel has also stated time and time again, especially Tom Brevoort, that “Spider-Man is about youth,” and his being married went against this. However, they now have another youthful Spider-Man in Miles. So, what if, towards the end of Renew Your Vows, Slott makes it so something happens to Peter which makes him realize that his new family comes first? Thus he decides to pass the mantle and costume over to Miles. Thus, post-Secret Wars, Miles becomes the “All-New, All-Different Amazing Spider-Man” with Peter acting as his mentor. Perhaps Slott is reiterating the point that Spider-Man doesn’t have to be of a particular race or ethnicity is because he’s planning on having Miles take Peter’s place?
One other thing to add. While I do agree with the notion that Peter Parker doesn’t have be Caucasian, there’s nothing wrong with him being so. Furthermore, Peter Parker being depicted as white hasn’t diminished his popularity among non-whites one iota. Finally, with Slott putting all this attention of Peter’s race and ethnicity, he’s dangerously close to doing exactly what he’s accusing his critics of doing–by focusing so much attention on Spider-Man’s race and ethnicity, he ironically runs the risk of missing the very point he says he’s trying to make–that it shouldn’t matter what Spider-Man looks like under the costume.
Very interesting points all around, Mike. Thanks for commenting.
I think having Miles being mentored by Peter would be a pretty cool idea. However, I’m sure the race-baiters could also have a problem with that. Heh. (Are they ever happy?). I totally agree that anyone could be Spider-Man, and I’m fine with having multiple Spider-powered individuals running around the Marvel Universe, but it appears as though Dan Slott is compelled to go out of his way and diminish Peter Parker. It’s weird.
He kills the guy. He makes him a side-show in his own book. He invents “Silk” and makes her one-up Peter in various ways. He lets Doc Ock be the one who pushes alternate universe Uncle Ben into action. He goes to Twitter and starts talking about how you could just arbitrarily make Peter black next Wednesday and it should be no big deal (and if you disagree with him…’Jim Crow’ references follow). Time and time again it’s like Slott wants to hammer home to a new generation of comic fans that they shouldn’t really be all that psyched about Peter Parker. It’s annoying.
My version of M.J. and Peter as a married couple would draw from the best military spouses. The soldier must deploy to war zones, and the wife essentially becomes the glue that holds the family together. She has to be incredibly strong, yet flexible. She has to stoic, but also have endless wells of empathy. She has to put up with long periods of time when she doesn’t hear from her husband (Is he safe? Is he dead?), and through it all raise children into productive, honorable citizens. I honestly would not mind seeing a married Peter, provided it was handled correctly. Unfortunately, I don’t see Dan Slott pulling from healthy military families as a template for Peter and M.J.’s marriage. Who knows what he’d draw from at this point…
This who race ordeal was completely unnecessary — another unforced error on Dan Slott’s part, and by extension Marvel. I think about what it would be like to have a consummate professional working on ASM and then I look at Dan Slott’s antics and I can’t help but cringe. What did Peter Parker fans do to deserve this? I don’t get it, and I don’t get how even his friends like Tom Brevoort can’t pull him off to the side and say, “Knock if off, Dan. Seriously.”
it’s what happens when you suck c**k for 20+ years and do all the dirty work, you get a lengthy rope. And you know what happens when people are given enough rope.
And while I am anti-military as a concept, the notion you created about MJ and Peter has been explored and the one that works the best. But at the same time, she grounds him and gives him the notion that “okay, life sucks, but maybe, just maybe, it’s not all so bad. I lost Gwen, but that doesn’t mean the world is over.” And then he grew and became a man through these experiences. He isn’t a soldier, he knows this, he rarely follows orders and goes to the beat of his own drum, but nevertheless, the soldier’s wife is a very good comparison to make. A pity though Slott won’t see it that way because “drama makes for readership!”
What would I like to see? Not see Pete quit so much as go into semi-retirement a la Jay Garrick and mentor Miles much like Jay does for Wally West. It means Peter isn’t gone, and instead the wise writer can have him represent the older fans and how they grew and have Miles represent the new generation and that the two coming together is how a hero, and by extension a legacy, is forged. Would that allow Miles to grow into his own man over time without the need of his great mentor to excel? YES! But by living in a shadow and saying “I gotta be Peter Parker,” ironically makes him just a carbon copy of Peter Parker UNLIKE Hal Jordan to John Stewart over in Green Lantern, who from the get go were two completely different people, same with Rhodey to Stark in Iron Man.
However I disagree circa 2015 that PETER PARKER can be anybody BUT white now, and here is why:
1. Stan Lee was a progressive man in his day, made the Falcon, Black Panther, and women like Jean Grey, She-Hulk, and Invisible Woman, more prominent members of their teams than DC was doing at the time with Wonder Woman. Frickin’ WONDER WOMAN! Which means he could’ve made Peter Parker black at any time, especially since this was the time of the Civil Rights movement.
2. Any time since then, they could’ve made Peter Parker black if it meant moving to a demo, they did not. They could’ve done it in animation, other universes, or film, they did not. Instead we had the Japanese Spider-Man tokusatsu (which in turn re-ignited interest in the Super Sentai series, which later gave rise to Power Rangers,) which was targeted exclusively to its Japanese audience. We later got Miles Morales, Pavtir Paquah, Miguel O’Hara, and countless other ethnic versions of Spider-Man who all have Peter Parker’s personality pretty much to a tee, you start to raise the question: “If we really wanted to be ethnic, why don’t we use that version? Or that version? Why did we even MAKE those versions if we were just gonna race change the original?” So now circa 2015, Peter, because of Marvel and by extension the fans, forced him to be white. And BECAUSE of his being white, he must get gutted and tossed into the back because he is the champion of the underdog, and white people are NEEEEEVER underdogs, ’em-I-right?
So really Marvel did it to themselves, and the few like Dan Slott just can’t live with that so they have to dog it whereever they can to feel “acceptable.” Let’s face it, to quote the late great Dwayne McDuffie:
“Comic books as an INDUSTRY is made up of individuals who DESPERATELY want to be accepted, DESPERATELY want to be like mainstream America; so they imprint themselves on images that they wish they were, which is why Batman is a millionare and Superman is a farmer, real mainstream, REAL REAL America.” – Secret Origins: The History of DC Comics, 2011
Apply this to Dan Slott: A 50-something fat slobby misanthrope of a human being trying desperately to stay relevant in a changing culture and medium, so he has to overcompensate by imprinting himself on these images like Peter Parker, and carve out meaning for himself, when perhaps doing so isn’t so keen on it. So in his mind, Peter Parker isn’t relevant, but Spider-Man is, so get rid of the white guy, even though he himself is white (though any Jewish person will tell you they are not white,) so you “can be culturally accepted” because he sure shit isn’t based on his Mojo-esque appearance.
I have been biding my time on a blog post that touches on aspects of this issue for quite some time. It’s a very interesting subject, and given Dan Slott’s weird fixation with the race of Peter Parker, I can’t help but believe that you are onto something.
Do you remember when Dan Slott was first discussing Superior Spider-Man and he mockingly referred to ghost-Peter as Jiminy Cricket? That was an incredibly telling moment. You get the feeling that for all Mr. Slott’s assertions that there is nothing “inherently white” about Peter that deep down he is incredibly bothered by elements of the character’s personality that one can not help but trace back to, obviously, American culture around 1962 … and to some extent the 1940s (when Stan Lee would have been in his politically formative years).
“‘Parker luck’? What’s ‘Parker luck’? He’s got all those ‘unearned privileges’. He shouldn’t be talking about bad luck — he won the lottery when he was born. He’s white! Only a white person from the 60s could talk about bad luck with a straight face…”
Regulars on this blog will remember the time when Dan Slott bizarrely tried to distract readers on another website from discussing my Spider-Man blog posts by (erroneously) citing my opinions on the Trayvon Martin/George Zimmerman legal proceedings. Mr. Slott loves red herrings, if you haven’t noticed.
I’ll let Pearl Jam explain the race-baiter mindset further: WMA. (aka: White Male American)
“He won the lottery…when he was born. Took his mother’s white breast to his tongue. … Do no wrong. So clean cut. Dirty his hands, it comes right off.”
Like I say, my theory for what Dan Slott might have planned for Peter and Miles come Secret Wars may amount to nothing, but given how Miles has built up a popular and fan base among Spider-Man fans, and how he’s already been featured in video games and in that otherwise awful Ultimate Spider-Man cartoon, there’s no way Marvel will be getting rid of him any time soon. Which means, if the Ultimate Universe is indeed going the way of the Dodo come Secret Wars, Marvel will have to do something with him, so him becoming the sole Spider-Man with Peter acting as his mentor/gadget supplier would make sense. Especially if Marvel really is going to use Secret Wars to (finally) undo One More Day.
Being that you’re a regular reader of my reviews for the Spider-Man Crawlspace, you know that I’ve felt very much the same way about Slott’s characterization (or lack thereof) when it comes to Peter Parker. I’m convinced that Slott while writing Doc Ock as Spider-Man during Superior Spider-Man, he became so enamored with that character that, when he finally did bring Peter back, all the energy and enthusiasm he used to have for Peter was gone. For him, SpOck became a far more interesting character, and you can see this in his own writing. All through Spider-Verse, one couldn’t help have the feeling that Slott would much have rather this have been a Superior Spider-Man story like he said he originally planned “Spider-Verse” to be instead of it being a Peter Parker story. Even for all that story claimed about Peter being “the greatest [Spider-Man] of them all,” it certainly didn’t feel like it.
I agree, and the idea that Peter and MJ’s marriage would be akin to that involving police officers, soldiers, etc. is an excellent one. Sure, if Peter was still married and had kids, they’d obviously be the most important people in the world because they’re his family. Even before he gained superpowers, his Uncle Ben and Aunt May would always come first. However, I certainly wouldn’t think this would stop Peter from being Spider-Man. Because after all, the reason why he’s a superhero at all because he choose not to use his powers when could have and that choice cost him his Uncle Ben. Peter has first hand experience of Edmund Burke’s quote “The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.”
Mike, can you please write The Amazing Spider-Man? 🙂 I want a Marvel writer who a.) even knows who Edmund Burke is, and b.) knows when to use him.
I agree — Peter would not give up being Spider-Man, even as a married man with a child. He might scale back on his “work” load, but he knows that there are things that are bigger than all of us that are worth fighting and dying for. Not everyone has the ability (mentally, physically, or spiritually) to be the one who runs into a fire instead of away from it, but those who do and dedicate their lives to running towards danger are the ones we call heroes.
It will be interesting to see what happens with Peter in the months ahead. I’m looking forward to Crawlspace’s reviews as it all unfolds.
By the way, some “circumstantial evidence” that could lend credence to the idea Dan Slott might be setting things up for Miles Morales to fully take over the reigns from Peter as The Amazing Spider-Man post-Secret Wars might be found in this interview he gave The Verge last week, where Slott also talked about Spider-Man and race:
And this is why Dan Slott should not be writing The Amazing Spider-Man — he “cares” more for the “Superior Spider-Man” than Peter Parker. That is obvious. And even though Doc Ock is a genocidal maniac, it doesn’t matter because his claim as the one “true” Spider-Man is just as valid as the next guy. Moral relativism at it’s finest, my friend! Dan Slott’s Twitter feed tomorrow: “Even fans of genocidal maniacs need heroes, too.”
“Furthermore, Peter Parker being depicted as white hasn’t diminished his popularity among non-whites one iota.”
And that’s the crux of the matter right there. Why is it so important for some people to change Peter Parker’s race? Why is Dan Slott hell bent on using racial tensions to arouse the passion and ire of Spider-Man fans. Exceptional writers know how to make readers reevaluate what they think about race, gender, culture, and class lines, without all the conflict and division.
The idea of Peter mentoring Miles is a good idea, but really they should just give Miles a new codename.
In the “Verge” article Mike shared, Slott referred to the characters as “toys,” which fits in with a running theme here over the years — his stories are crafted as if he were a little kid making things up as he goes along. The draw of Dan Slott’s efforts while at the helm of the ASM has been events and never on the characterization. Remember when Marvel blatantly used anger to fuel sales? The company wouldn’t need to do that if its writer had any finesse.
It’s incredibly easy to inflame passions by saying and doing things that whill make people angry. Sadly, Marvel has opted for that short cut instead of building a unified community around positive developments. Who cares how you treat the fans if you can generate sales, right? Sigh…
Alright, let’s get this straight. The hairy little hobbit that forcibly turned Peter Parker into a “jack-booted thug,” who engaged in gruesome experimentation on human beings, and had ambitions of genocide unparalleled by the likes of Pol Pot, understands the character. In fact, that unnamed, miserable, little hobbit understands Peter Parker so well, that his tweets are Spider-dogma (ba-dum chsh). But if I — a fan who can’t even remember his life before Spider-Man comics — picture a skinny, white guy from Forest Hills when I think of Peter Parker, then I don’t get the character. And I’m also most certainly a racist. Time to break out the masterworks again…
Well said, Sal! I tip my hat to you on that one. 🙂
I have seen some major flaws in Dan’s arguments. It seems his biggest push is this:
This view is also flawed for a few reasons, first the assumption that socialist theory for diversity is the answer and by that I mean there is the assumption that you must take from one to give to another to make things even. It fails on the idea that there is a limited number to work with when the truth is the population is growing.
Diversity is additive and that means we can make and grow characters and we don’t need to take in order to make.
The last section sounds nice as well but it is also flawed.
The time factor is used but the diversity changed over time not over one day as well. Notice this:
“that’s the difference between whitewashing POC characters and making previously white characters POC. And that’s why every time a character’s race is ambiguous and we make them white, we’ve lost an opportunity.”
The flaw is that it is false logic, you must also apply that every time one ethnicity is taken the opportunity cost is at another ethnicity expense as well.
The view sounds nice but it just is not accurate.
In conclusion does anyone believe Dan with the anyone can be comment, what about Christians he said they should go to Christ land, can they be Spider-man as well.
He really means that Spider-man can be anyone as long as he agrees with it, he made a silly statement for publicity and it backfired and now he is trying to smooth it over.
Ah, Tumblr…home to race-goggle wearing socialist kiddies everywhere! As you astutely point out, by not mentioning that artists can literally create new “raisins” out of thin air instead of taking from the “jar,” the author misleads her readers. Faulty logic indeed on her part.
“And why does this matter? Well because college professors using statistics and a handful of cherrypicked stories from that list in prison. Statistics can be doctored, professors are opinionated as well, and no amount of “going by the numbers” doesn’t equate to actually going out and live it. But no, I’m still white, I’m just an “exception” to the rule,” when by all other accounts beyond what goes on inside my head? I AM the norm!”
Ouch….some of use like to show data and let the students decide for themselves……ouch
“Why is it so important for some people to change Peter Parker’s race? Why is Dan Slott hell bent on using racial tensions to arouse the passion and ire of Spider-Man fans. ”
It is for marketing purposes it creates buzz and get them attention which tends to get short term sales (usually at the expense of long term sales).
I can only think that Marvel doesn’t give a hoot what Slott, Brevoort, or anyone else says/does these days — because printed comics are dying. Maybe the co. is letting these morons hasten the effect.
Slott’s really gone off the deep end with this tripe.
That comment makes me want to laugh and cry at the same time. 🙂
Just to be clear, I am fine with Spider-man being any color but Peter Parker is white. The argument about characters not being iconic is also silly, look at how many characters have grown to be successful such as TMNT or Guardians of the Galaxy. As I said diversity changes over time and so can the diversity of characters, we do not have to take when we can add.
That’s the thing: No one is saying that Miles shouldn’t exist. No one is saying Miguel shouldn’t exist. But for whatever reason, by saying that the Peter Parker character you fell in love with over the course of decades is white, Dan Slott is prompted to start talking about Jim Crow laws and how you don’t understand the character. It’s insulting, and he needs to be intellectually slapped down every time he goes there.
I love how Slott calls Spider-Verse a “great fun adventure” and “the spider-man you care about is the real one”…yeah, anyone who read that event knows it was a demoralizing, negativly-charged story where the Spideys YOU care are frequently shown to be inferior, ineffective, prone to revisionism and have to be handed their victories, in short, every Spider YOU care about is a hollow reflection.
What is stunning is that here we have Dan Slott admitting to the world that he used Peter Parker’s own title as a vehicle from which to undercut the main character’s appeal. Unreal. How can any Peter Parker fan not be livid at that?
Axel Alonzo even said the Peter Parker featured in Renew Your Vows, the one that did not make the deal with Mephisto and was glimpsed in a Spider-Verse tie-in having a small chat with another Peter, will be “your Spider-Man”, at least over the summer…and it was clearly established that he is also an alt universe Spidey, so yeah, they’re not letting this thing settle even beyond Spider-Verse.
A solid point made in the BC forum:
1. Originally Posted by Dan Slott: So many people are spinning the idea of “race shouldn’t be a factor” as “Anti-White” or “Pro-Black”.
That’s because that is the underlying argument. That’s exactly why whenever anyone mentions non-white characters or racist white characters the response is that their race is intrinsic to who the character is and shouldn’t be changed. But why can’t there be a non-black Black Panther or Luke Cage? You’re telling me there are no other groups of people whose history mirrors those of the characters?
Of course not. Remember, these characters are really only metaphors and archetypes, so anyone can fill that role as long as they play to the character’s intrinsic trope. So it’s not really an issue of whether a Mexican could be Cage or a Romanian could be Black Panther. It’s really an issue of how pissed people would be if you swapped the race.
But that suddenly shouldn’t apply to white characters. Suddenly all the characteristics they represent as so nebulous that their race plays no role. If the issue is really white characters are no longer politically correct, you should admit that and move on. But don’t act like race doesn’t matter because clearly it does.
This has nothing to do with who’s the best actor and everything to do with making a really pathetic political statement. Spider-man wears a mask. That mask acts as a symbol. He can be anyone under that mask. That’s the point. If you have to make him fit some lame progressive view of “diversity,” you’ve missed the point.
I say that as a black person. I’m getting really tired of this. I like Spider-man as he is, and regardless of what people like you may think I’m not so ashamed of my skin color or so unimaginative or so shallow that I need every hero I like to look like me to feel like I belong. That’s the power of an icon. Peter Parker inspires me despite not looking anything like me. And that’s because he’s defined by what he does, not what he looks like.
So to borrow from Newsroom, I’m more than one thing. How dare you reduce me to the color of my skin. There are people who look just like me, thousands and thousands, who died for the freedom to define their own lives for themselves. How dare you presume to decide what I should think is important. Yes, when it comes to the depiction of minorities in comics, the industry has been wrong. But I’m far more insulted by your high-handed implication that I need your protection. I am not defined by my blackness, and if that doesn’t fit your narrow-minded expectation of who I’m supposed to be or what I should like, I don’t give a damn, because I’m not defined by you either. So get this through your head: I don’t need your help.
Peter Parker is fine just the way he is, and if that’s not good enough for you because he’s white, tough. Make a new character. Don’t mess with mine.
Truth, I know this may sound weird … but the passion with which you wrote this last reply made you sound like a completely different person. It was like someone who usually doesn’t speak in public just flung a table over, walked to the front of the room, and gave an amazing speech that translates “Enough! I’ve had enough of this!”
If my wife wasn’t sleeping right now (she’s on the night shift at work), I’d be cheering and clapping at my desk.
I am sorry don’t give me too much credit, I had a part in it but I was not clear that this is the feelings that one of my black friends has. I am white and this was a culmination of our discussion with our views.
I would love to take all of the credit but that would not be fair. I tend to like to listen twice as much as I talk but when things like this occur they tend to force me to speak.
Wow!…….now that was really inspiring. 🙂
Amen, Truth! It’s amazing that Slott cannot comprehend that black fans CAN dig Spider-Man despite his pallid skin. I mean, how many white comics fans don’t absolutely LOVE Blade? I watch the first movie each and every time it’s on … and I still can’t get enough! I LOVE Snipes and how he portrays the character. As a kid, I’d LOVE to be him!!
But using Slottian logic, since I’m white, I shouldn’t be able to relate. Because Blade is black and … I’m white.
Ye gad, talk about your “black and white thinking,” for heaven’s sake!
I am a HUGE Blade fanboy, and I am saddened he didn’t get as much attention. The vampires, the trench coat, the sword, the machine guns? What was not to love? I didn’t care he was black, he was just awesome! I didn’t need a white Blade, he was just Blade.
Why should I suddenly have to make concession and promote a Black Spider-Man? Because he’s black? Because it’s PC? No, I was raised on Peter Parker, and he was awesome too! If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it – – oh fuck me, it’s comics.
Coming in months after the fact on this one, Truth, specifically to say thank you for so eloquently hitting what’s screwed up about this whole raceswapping concept on the head.
The more the merrier, Carter. 🙂 Thanks for taking the time to read and comment. I appreciate it.
A BC response to the previous:
I’m with ya. And this is coming from a person of color too.
I’m all for diversity but I don’t want Spider-Man to be only defined by that. I want him to be defined by his character. When I look at Spider-Man I see the character, not the color of the guy underneath the costume.
From what I’m getting out of this whole argument is that all people see is a black guy in a Spider-Man costume. To hell with character!!!!
If you want diversity then there are other minority characters in Marvel. Campaign to have Marvel push those. Or hell campaign to have Marvel put Miles in and push him so that he can gain an even bigger audience than he had before. Don’t just change a person’s race for the hell of it.
This post is also a combination of my views and my friend Darren.
Tell Darren we’d like to hear more from him. 🙂
I will do, he is a highly intelligent black male conservative and the odd thing is that he is also a drummer!
One of my favorite childhood songs features a black drummer: Living Colour’s “Cult of Personality.” It’s actually quite appropriate for the political climate since 2008. 😉
What do you call it when someone mentally reject practical facts that run contrary to their ideology? it’s the opposite of thinking scientifically, which adjusts in response to logic or data. Religious fanaticism. Slott is more of a hostile fundamentalist than any Baptist preacher I have ever known. He is the Marvel equivalent of John Nathan-Turner, who ran Dr. Who into the ground in the 1980s. But you’re right, I don’t think Disney execs care about Marvel publishing.