Flash! (so to speak): Spider-Man is now Black and Hispanic

Comic book superheroes have become very complicated of late…and very diverse. While the newest film-based Spider-Man, British actor Andrew Garfield, charmed the crowds at the San Diego Comic Con, a variation of the same hero in the comics themselves has changed name and race. In a line called the “Ultimates,” that claim a closer relationship to our ‘real’ world, the first and original Spider-Man, Peter Parker is dead; his replacement is Miles Morales, a half-black, half-Hispanic teen with a slightly different costume and slightly different powers…and a startling resemblance to Community’s Daniel Glover. (Stealing the ‘look’ of famous actors for character designs is nothing new for the Ultimates series. This is where a version of Nick Fury–previously a very white WWII vet–was first seen as an African American who looked exactly like Samuel L. Jackson with an eye-patch…the actor who, years, later, did and will play Nick Fury in Iron Man, Thor, the Hulk, Captain American and–soon–The Avengers…with an eye-patch.).

The smart kids over at mun2 have produced a VERY cool slide show of Latino comic book heroes and villains. Well worth taking a look by clicking here. (But guys: Kyle Rayner is Latino? Really?)

The new Spidey–whose existence won’t affect the mainstream stories of Petey and the gang–is the creation of one of Marvel’s hottest writers, Brian Michael Bendis. Bendis himself admits the resemblance to Glover who appeared in the show wearing Spider-Man pajamas in an episode of Community. “I saw him in the costume and thought, ‘I would like to read that book.’…What you have is a Spider-Man for the 21st century who’s reflective of our culture and diversity. It’s certainly long overdue. We think that readers will fall in love with Miles Morales the same way they fell in love with Peter Parker.”

Meanwhile, DC–the home of Superman, Batman, and Wonder Woman, among many others–is rebooting its entire line with a 52 new publicational premiering in September. Among them are new or returning superheroes of color, including a black man as half the team on Firestorm, the elevation of the African American Cyborg to “A” list status and a member of The Justice League, and the return of DC’s only Latino superhero, teenager Jamie Reyes as Blue Beetle, in a self-titled monthly comic all his own.

Oh, and one more thing: after years of marital bliss (relatively) both Peter Parker and Mary Jane and Clark Kent and Lois Lane have split. They are all once again, irrevocably single…and none of them even remember being married.

It’s a whole new world, hermanos e hermanas.

Read more here.