Ahead of ‘Across the Spider-Verse,’ one Marvel fan is spitting harsh truths about why some hate Miles Morales
Gatekeeping, petty arguments, and bigotry: these are the three defining features of every fandom once they reach a certain size, and nobody is quite as big as Marvel. The comic book-turned-all-things-media giant is responsible for countless bytes of content on the internet every day, and much of it is a bit catty. But, sometimes, even on Twitter, you’ll get an honest takedown of the MCU, especially if it’s about the racism of its fandom.
Although there’s an argument that the Marvel (and Disney, DC, etc.) version of diversity is a paint-by-numbers, college prospectus kind that doesn’t do much to engender real change, Miles Morales is one character who definitely does not fall into this category. Created in 2011, he took over Peter Parker’s role (and only in an alternative timeline) in a way that’s satisfied longtime readers of the comics and new fans alike. Many critics have praised his character, and the series he’s been in have all been rated highly, so it’s not like he’s being forced on anybody.
The character’s first mainstream film, Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse, is almost universally acclaimed with a 97 percent rating on Rotten Tomatoes. It was also subject to sparkling critical reviews, being praised for innovative animation, bold storytelling, and tons of enjoyable action. Many saw it as almost genre-redefining too, so not exactly a dud that’s only big because the character is black.
Even the 2020 Miles Morales video game is considered one of the best in the Spider-Man universe. Basically, he’s been a great replacement for an iconic character across multiple forms of media, yet some people can’t stand him — and there really is one major reason why.
The thing is, Miles Morales attracted criticism for being the result of political correctness before the first comic about him had been released. Famously, conservative talking head Lou Dodds was upset at Peter’s demise and replacement by a mixed-race kid, because we’re sure he was always such an avid reader of Spidey. Dodds was just the loudest of a chorus of annoying voices at the time, and we’re sure if we went in the wayback machine and searched Twitter we’d find some horrendous things.
Thankfully, as is usually the case with these sorts of things, the love seems to outweigh the hate. With the second installment of the Spider-Verse films coming out early next month (and a third in spring of next year), the racists will just have to cry more, because the wave of Morales love that’s coming will drown them out.