Marvel Comics has made a breakout when introducing a mild-mannered half-black, half-Latino teen from New York, Miles Morales, as a new Spider-Man in the new "Ultimate Comics Spider-Man". Marvel's chief editor Axel Alonso recently revealed that President Obama, in some way, inspired the birth of mixed-race Spider-Man.
According to AFP, Alonso said that the idea of a non-white Spider-Man first came up when President Barack Obama, who has an African descendant, ran for the White House and was elected as the first president with African-American roots. And the right occasion to introduce this new Spider-Man came when Peter Parker died in June.
"When the opportunity arose to create a new Spider-Man, we knew it had to be a character that represents the diversity-in background and experience-of the twenty-first century," Alonso said in a statement released a few days ago. "Miles is a character who not only follows in the tradition of relatable characters like Peter Parker, but also shows why he's a new, unique kind of Spider-Man-and worthy of that name."
As for the decision to go with mixed-race rather than plain black character, it apparently has a quite personal relation to Alonso as well as comic-book writer Brian Michael Bendis. Alonso's father is Mexican and his mother British, while Bendis is Jewish and has two adopted children from Africa.
Meanwhile, "Ultimate Spider-Man" writer Bendis credited Donald Glover, who launched an online campaign last year to play an African-American version of Spider-Man in "The Amazing Spider-Man", for the way Miles looks in the comic book. "He looked fantastic!" he recalled the time he saw the "Community" actor dressing in Spider-Man pajamas at a red carpet event. "I saw him in the costume and thought, 'I would like to read that book'."