Bendis weakens established heroes to elevate Miles, readers notice cheap shortcut

Miles Blackheart

Writer Brian Michael Bendis has a tricky job ahead of him. He is trying to establish Miles Morales as the Spider-Man, but he wants to do it in a short amount of time. While the first issue of Spider-Man was admittedly a fun read, the second issue shows some of the challenges Bendis’ social-justice project presents.

SM #2 begins with Spider-Man — the original — asking Miles who or what took out all the Avengers, yet retreated when he entered the fray. As the two are discussing the matter, along with whether or not Miles should continue to go by just “Spider-Man,” the demon Blackheart returns from the spirit world and essentially takes Peter Parker out of the fight with a single blow. Miles uses multiple venom blasts and Captain America’s shield to quickly dispose of the villain.

“You did this?” Tony Stark asks as he regains consciousness and stumbles forward. Even Bendis knows this is absurd, so he has Miles reply, “Well, uh, I mean it was more like a group effort.”

Miles IronMan Falcon

There is only one problem with that line: It wasn’t a group effort. Everything about the first two issues — including the cover, with Miles triumphantly standing with Cap’s shield over helpless Avengers — screams, “Respect this Spider-Man! Respect him! Seriously! Please?”

The reason for the cheap shortcut comes soon afterward, when word spreads of the new Spider-Man. A girl calls Miles “black Spider-Man” and this annoys him.

“I don’t want to be the black Spider-Man. I want to be Spider-Man,” Miles tells his friend Ganke.

“Okay, poof, you’re Spider-Man,” his friend replies.

If only it were that easy — but it’s not.

Readers can simultaneously appreciate Bendis’ mastery of the craft of writing while acknowledging that Miles is getting an embarrassing assist in the credibility department.

Miles SM2

Fact: In a world where Peter Parker exists, he will always be seen as the Spider-Man. Any derivative of him can never be the Spider-Man because Peter Parker was and always will be the original. Readers can either call Miles “black Spider-Man” because he is black, or because he chose to wear a black costume.

At the end of the day, it is bizarre to arbitrarily make Captain America black, Thor a woman, and Spider-Man a black guy when the original characters — who are still popular — are something else. Many Marvel readers get this, despite the creators’ best efforts to brainwash them otherwise.

Is Spider-Man a good book? Sure. So far. Is it worth spending $4.00 on? Yes. Will I ever consider Miles Morales the Spider-Man? No — because he’s not. He’s a Spider-Man (a good one), who came after Peter Parker.

I look forward to reading the third issue of Spider-Man. I just hope Bendis doesn’t have Miles taking down Ultron to prove the character’s worth.


Bendis launches Spider-Man with a bang: Miles a fun read in opener

SpiderMan Miles

Brian Michael Bendis’ Spider-Man, featuring Miles Morales, finally hit stores this week. The event was an opportunity to sell readers like yours truly — a guy who never gave Marvel’s Ultimate Comics the time of day — on the character. The good news: It seems like it will be a really fun book. The bad news (at least for die-hard Peter Parker fans): This may be the Spider-Man you want to add to your pull list if you’re short on cash.


Bendis had certain notes that he had to hit in this issue for individuals who know nothing about Miles Morales.

  • Is he believable as a modern teenager? Yes.
  • Is he likable? Yes.
  • Are his interactions with his parents authentic? Yes.
  • Are his interactions with his peers authentic? Yes.
  • Are his interactions with authority figures in his life (e.g., teachers) authentic? Yes.
  • Does he seem like a version of Spider-Man I’d like to read about regularly? Yes.

Miles Morales

Fun fact: When I was a high-school kid I had a habit of not doing my homework. I used to go up into my room and read “The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy” and write short stories instead of doing my math homework. I watched movies with my girlfriend. I played basketball with my friends. And then, just like Miles, my mom asked me if I was on drugs.

While it would have been a better story if I was solving crime as Spider-Man, the underlying point is that kids often prioritize their lives differently than their parents would like — no matter how well the parents do their job — and “Are you on drugs?” is on the checklist of questions when they have no idea what’s going on.

These are the little things writers — good writers — need to know in order to convince new readers to plunk down $4.00 each month. Note to certain writers on The Amazing Spider-Man: It is possible to craft an exciting story that also includes character development. It’s a shocker, I know, but it’s true.

Long story short, if you want to see a day in the life of Miles Morales, which just so happens to involve ditching school to take on Blackheart and explaining to his parents why his grades are suffering, Bendis delivers the goods.

Finally, it should be noted that Sara Pichelli’s artwork a pleasing to the eye as well. There really is a depth and breadth to her work that is impressive. Whether Miles is sitting on a bench discussing life with his friend Ganke, trying to placate his angry parents, or taking on a demon who just leveled The Avengers, each situation is exquisitely crafted. One could argue that if all the dialogue were stripped from the book it would still be worth the cover price. If Pichelli has never done work as a Hollywood storyboard artist, then she may want to look into it.

Spider-Man is a worthy read. As long as Bendis does not get weirdly political on a regular basis, there is a high probability that I will continue to purchase the book going forward.


Miles Morales now Spider-Man ‘for kids of color’: Marvel enters era of Separate but Equal superheroes

Miles MarvelOne of my favorite G.I. Joe characters as a kid was Roadblock. When I watched the Rocky movies I loved Apollo Creed. My brother introduced me to Marvel’s Iron Man, and I took a liking to James Rhodes. My favorite football player was Marcus Allen. Likewise, I loved G.I. Joe’s Flint, Rocky’s “Italian Stallion,” Iron Man’s Tony Stark, and the New York Yankees’ Don Mattingly. My “heroes” weren’t heroes because they were black or white — they were heroes because they were just “cool.” These days, the politically correct, race-obsessed clowns at Marvel can’t have that. Instead, they have taken a page out of the pre-civil rights era mentality and started creating, for all intents and purposes, a “separate but equal” superhero class.

Here is what Brian Michael Bendis told the New York Daily News on Sunday regarding Marvel’s decision to make Miles Morales the new Spider-Man:

“Our message has to be it’s not Spider-Man with an asterisk, it’s the real Spider-Man for kids of color, for adults of color and everybody else.”

Here is the message Marvel is sending: If a superhero is a white man, then he isn’t for “everybody.” If the superhero is black, then he is for black children, for black adults, and, ummm, “everybody” else — once those first two groups are creatively coddled (usually by liberal white men).

If you think it’s weird to essentially make a separate-but-equal superhero class, then Marvel’s creative teams will probably label you a racist.

To see just how race-warped the minds of these creators are, one needs to only examine Bendis’ next statement:

The enormity of Miles Morales’ place in comic book history didn’t really hit Bendis, a father who has two kids of color among his four children, until recently. His 4-year-old adopted African-American daughter found a Miles Morales Spidey mask in the toy aisle of a department store, put it on and said, “Look daddy, I’m Spider-Man!” he recalls.

“I started crying in the middle of the aisle,” says Bendis. “I realized my kids are going to grow up in a world that has a multi-racial Spider-Man, and an African American Captain America and a female Thor.”

If “Douglas Jr.” put on a “War Machine” mask and said, “Look dad, I’m War Machine!” I would not correct my son and tell him that he was white/asian and couldn’t be James Rhodes. I would not start crying tears of joy because a half-white, half-asian Ernst child was pretending to be a black man. I would only start crying because he liked a character who was in the Air Force instead of an Army guy like Steve Rogers. (I’m joking about the Air Force making me cry. Sort of.)

Decades ago kids played “Cowboys and Indians.” They played “Cops and Robbers.” Fast forward in time and they pretend to be Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, but yet guys like Brian Michael Bendis want us to believe that little children spend odd amounts of time arguing over a superhero’s race.

Many kids of color who when they were playing superheroes with their friends, their friends wouldn’t let them be Batman or Superman because they don’t look like those heroes but they could be Spider-Man because anyone could be under that mask.

What? What neighborhood did Mr. Bendis grow up in, where little white kids were telling black friends they could pretend to have been bitten by a radioactive spider, but they couldn’t pretend to look like Steve Rogers?

What neighborhood did Mr. Bendis grow up in, where a white kid’s imagination allowed him to be a green ninja turtle, but not James Rhodes?

Marvel’s “House of Ideas” is really the “House of Political Correctness” — and it’s not really a house. It’s more like an insane asylum where the race-obsessed inmates are in charge.

Miles Morales is a cool character. I have no doubt that he will have many heart-stopping adventures in the post-Secret Wars Marvel Universe. The problem is that these days it is somehow problematic if popular superheroes are straight white men.

If Marvel’s sales decline in its separate-but-equal universe, then there is no doubt that “racist” and “sexist” white men will be blamed for not embracing She-Thor and suddenly-gay Iceman. Marvel employees can take all the racial palliatives they want, but the truth is much more biting: the creative process does not reward writers whose every move is determined by a complex algorithm of racial calculus mixed with politically correct engineering.

With each passing day, Marvel becomes more and more a shell of its former self. That is why people try out books like “Peter Panzerfaust,” “Deadly Class,” “The True Lives of the Fabulous Killjoys,” and any number of other books that do not have “Marvel” on the cover.

Indeed, this generation of kids will have a more diverse set of Marvel heroes. It’s just a shame that those Marvel heroes are directed by political activists masquerading as comic book writers.

Marvel’s New Spider-Man: Miles Morales. Is Your Spider-Sense Tingling?

Some people will be angered by the new Spider-Man's race. They have problems. Others will be angered by Marvel's obsession with alliteration. They are healthy.

In Marvel Comics’ Ultimates line, the new Peter Parker is Miles Morales. Miles is a half-black, half-hispanic boy. Of all the angles to this story, his race is one of the least noteworthy aspects—even more so than Marvel’s continued use of alliteration. (Will the next Spider-Man be named Guillermo Guillen?) Since I’m sure there are conservatives who will be annoyingly offering “unhelpful” comments about this new character, someone needs to set the record straight:

  1. The original Peter Parker is right where he’s always been. Unfortunately, liberal writers and editors had their way with him and he now makes deals with (for all intents and purposes) the Devil.  If Spidey fans are upset, their anger should be directed at what is quite possibly the worst editorial mistake in the history of the character. That’s saying a lot, since Marvel has botched him for years.
  2. The Ultimates line is completely separate from the universe casual fans know about.
  3. Everyone’s seen and experienced the black Nick Fury. It worked. Big time. Sometimes switching it up is a good thing.

With that said, here’s where the story gets interesting:

Italian artist Sara Pichelli, who was integral in designing the new Spider-Man’s look, says, “Maybe sooner or later a black or gay — or both — hero will be considered something absolutely normal.”

Note to Sara Pichelli: It is normal! It’s only not normal when it’s shoved in our faces. It’s only not normal when political points are shoe-horned into a story for no other reason than to make readers wear a Progressive worldview. There’s a difference between crafting a story that has—or requires—a black, gay hero, and crafting a story with a black, gay hero just so you can have one. Or so you can play sociological experiments with your readers.

As a business, it makes sense that Marvel would want to reach out to a growing demographic of young, multi-ethnic readers. As the pigment of our population changes, so will the color of our fictional heroes. And there isn’t anything wrong with that—as long as they’re fighting for Truth, Justice, and the American Way. Would you rather have a black Superman who fights for the American Way, or Brian Singer’s white Superman who fights for “all that stuff”? The answer is simple.

Fact: future generations of Americans will be increasingly brown. And no one in their right mind should care. What they should care about are the principles that will guide those future Americans. Will they be the kind of people who consider balanced budgets an “extremist” position, or will they be fiscally sane? Will they believe in limited government and the increased personal liberties that come with it, or will they allow an ever-expansive entitlement mentality to eat away at their entrepreneurial spirit? Will they believe in American Exceptionalism, or will they believe that America’s rightful place in the world is as an also-ran (or worse) with Belarus?

Welcome to the Marvel Universe, Miles Morales. Best of luck to you. I just wish the same could be said for those penning your exploits.