Spider-Man and the Politics of Race

The latest addition to the Amistad Research Center’s growing Comics and Graphic Novels Collection is issue #4 of Marvel Comics’ Ultimate Fallout series, which centers on the aftermath following the death of one of the comic world’s most well-known characters – Peter Parker, the original Spider-Man. The death of a well-known and long-standing character will always bring about debate among comics fans, but much of the media focus on this issue has been on Parker’s replacement, Miles Morales. Matthew Newton at Forbes.com has provided a look at the media coverage and racial politics in his article “How the Media Reacted to News of a Non-White Spider-Man.”

Ultimate Fallout #4.  Cover by Mark Bagley.

Ultimate Fallout #4.
Cover by Mark Bagley.

The points raised by Newton, as well as the ongoing dicussion of a multiracial Spider-Man on various internet blogs, fan sites, and online media outlets, brings to light the importance of maintaining a collection such as Amistad’s — one that reflects how society views not only its various members and communities, but ultimately how it views itself. Time will tell how the public will respond to the new Spider-Man, but the Center will collect the new Spider-Man issues as they become available so that fans, scholars, and the general public can judge for themselves the exploits of Miles Morales.

Posted by Christopher Harter

(Image from the Amistad Research Center. Image may not be reproduced without permission.)

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