Wednesday, August 3, 2011

There's a new webslinger in town.

Marvel is debuting a new Spider-Man.

1. First surprising thing: the new Spider-Man is biracial.

2. Second surprising thing: neither of those races is white.

The sadly not surprising thing is the number of fanboy heads that are exploding over this. Guys. Guys. Chill out, you're making the fine dork tradition look bad. The vast majority of superheroes are straight, white, male, and cisgendered. The majority of the human race is not. Hell, even in the US, where Marvel will presumably be concentrating most of its publicity dollars and expecting the majority of its sales, straight, white cis-dudes are still the minority. That means the rest of us who enjoy a good hero now and then? Are already completely down and well-versed in empathizing with someone who isn't like us demographically. Trust me, it's not that hard. If you can believe that a man can fly, a couple of gods can come down from Asgard to play out their Shakespearean family dramas amongst the mortals, and Batman can have a sleepover without accidentally killing someone in a rage blackout, you can handle a black Spider-Man. I promise. Here, take my hand. Now: deep breath in, deep breath out, deep breath in. Now remind yourself that Miles Morales is stepping up to do the right thing armed only with inexplicable powers and/or pluck, just like Peter Parker before him.

There. That's not nearly as scary as you thought it would be, is it?

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