Hank McCoy (Before the Fur)

Well I’d be crazy to not weigh in on Mr. Miles Morales here, so here’s what I think.

I don’t dislike the character at ALL.

In fact, I find the whole thing kind of intriguing.

We live in a country with an increasing bi-racial population (if you really want to call it that; I mean, if you go back far enough isn’t everyone biracial?) so why not have a superhero represent this?

The other nice touch, I think, is that he’s so YOUNG. At age thirteen, this sets Miles up to sort of re-live the experience of Peter Parker (in his own way) of learning about his powers and balancing his personal life with his superhero endeavors. But I also think it’s a reflection of the current climate. Like I said, the biracial community is growing.

What kinds of issues are going to come up for this generation of children with this kind of background do you think? We can’t totally know, but by making Miles young, the writers can sort of organically add to his experience as we, as a country, learn about the experience of these individuals. It’s a great-and I think timely-character. So what’s everyone so upset about??

Well I guess the number one issue people seem to have is that he’s Spider-Man and not his OWN character. People just love Peter Parker too much I suppose. We’ve been down this path before (God forbid) with the whole Ben Reily clone saga thing. Look how that turned out. Yikes. But why CAN’T Miles be Spider-Man? Why can’t he be center stage, right out of the gate?

Here’s where my opinion takes a left turn and maybe gets mildly off topic. I’ll try to articulate it as best I can.

I have no problem with Miles co-existing with Peter Parker on the rack in some form. Do you get upset when they come out with Anime Spider-Man? Or Spider-Man: India (which I think is totally cool and underrated, by the way)? See, it doesn’t matter to me if Miles is in the mainstream 616 continuity and Peter is in the Ultimate one or WHATEVER- as long as you could read about both of them in SOME form, I’m cool with it!

HERE’S the real thing. If I do have a problem with Mr. Morales, well, it isn’t even a problem with him. It’s a problem with the whole ultimate line at this point. I mean what HAPPENED here over the last five years?

Everything that was Ultimate: (blank) just went off the RAILS and fell apart! The idea behind the Ultimate line was that it was supposed to be a fan-friendly, easy to pick up, modern take on the Marvel universe. And I think for at least the first few years it went really well! I didn’t love every new incarnation of characters they cooked up. Honestly I always enjoyed it more when they used a modernized re-telling of a character than a total re-vamp. A lot of X-Men characters got touched up this way and I didn’t always love it. But for the most part the comic book characters you grew up with felt new and old again in the Ultimate books in a good way. And then?

I don’t know. Everything just went to hell. Susan Storm started falling in love with Ben Grimm (REALLLY uncomfortable here, guys). Magneto killed Charles Xavier. Quicksilver killed the Scarlet Witch (I think? I couldn’t even follow all that). Wolverine had SLEPT with the Scarlet Witch. Hawkeye just kept swearing at everyone and threatening them for no reason. It’s just a travesty now. And Ultimate books are reduced to one-shots, miniseries and so on.

I’m not unwilling to weather a few divergences (i.e. Miles Morales for example), but this is just TOO MUCH. Nothing that’s happening in the Ultimate line feel’s the way that those comics did when they started. The writing, the kind of stories that are being told. It’s way off course at this point. Which I think will almost ensure that Mr. Morales only gets a brief moment to shine in a quickly dying and forgettable footnote in the history of Marvel continuity.

I don’t dislike Mr. Morales at all. I just think it’s kind of like "Go Big or Go Home" here, Marvel. Either:

A. Put him in 616. What the hell, right? And put this whole Peter and Mary Jane don’t remember each other business to bed for God’s sake.
B. Okay, have him in the ultimate line- but CLEAN the Ultimate line UP. If Miles is Spider-man, fine, but put everyone who was everyone back in place and start making monthly books. And maybe just forget that that whole business with Magento, Tidal Waves and the Blob eating Wasp ever happened. Please.
C. Give him his own continuity, Spider-Man only. And make it count by bringing in some big guns to write it and have it published monthly. No one-shots, no miniseries.

I guess I’m going the other way with Miles and saying do it. Just do it better.