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Why The New Spider-Man Must Be Peter Parker And Only Peter Parker

Miles Morales has been an exciting, much-needed addition to the Marvel Comics universe, but it's Peter Parker who needs to be in the films.

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On Tuesday, it was announced that Spider-Man would be swinging into Marvel Studios, thanks to a new deal reached with Sony.

Sony Pictures

The announcement indicated that Spider-Man will be in an unspecified Marvel movie (Captain America: Civil War, duh) before a new movie is released on July 28, 2017; and Andrew Garfield — who played Peter Parker/Spider-Man in two Amazing Spider-Man movies for Sony — will not be reviving his role, which opens up the iconic character to a brand-new actor.

Many fans quickly flocked to Twitter to champion leaving Peter Parker behind for another character from the Marvel Comics who could legitimately call himself Spider-Man: Miles Morales.

Marvel

Miles debuted in the Marvel comics in August 2011, when Peter Parker died in the Ultimate Universe — an alternate universe that has largely existed outside of Marvel's normal continuity. (Don't worry: There are a lot of alternative universes in Marvel's comic books.) Miles is half-black, half-Puerto Rican, and has been a huge breath of fresh air in the normally homogenous comic book landscape.

Just. Give. Us. MILES. || http://t.co/CiG2zx0iPi via @broderick

Ashley Ford@iSmashFizzleFollow

Just. Give. Us. MILES. || http://t.co/CiG2zx0iPi via @broderick

9:44 AM - 10 Feb 15ReplyRetweetFavorite

No, really, @Marvel, Miles Morales best be your new Spidey. Peter had his chance. (And then get back F4 and X-Men and make it a real party.)

Laura Prudom@LauInLAFollow

No, really, @Marvel, Miles Morales best be your new Spidey. Peter had his chance. (And then get back F4 and X-Men and make it a real party.)

10:17 PM - 09 Feb 15ReplyRetweetFavorite

Prior to Miles' debut, a campaign began in 2010 to get Donald Glover cast as the new Spider-Man in Sony's reboot.

Miles Morales. Now is the time. #donald4spiderman

The effort was spearheaded by io9's Marc Bernardin, who wrote: "We just ran down the five bland white guys that are, reportedly, in the running to play Peter Parker in Sony's Spider-Man reboot. Yawn. In this day and age, why does Spidey have to be a white guy?"

In turn, Miles Morales became a saving grace for Spider-Man fans who wanted something, anything different than a tired retread of that origin story that's been rinsed, lathered, and repeated since 1962.

Jack Kirby/Marvel Comics

Miles taking on the mantle of Spider-Man was, to put it mildly, A BIG DEAL. Some comic book fans, who can be deeply passionate about their favorite characters, were very upset about it. But, despite the outcry — and the security of knowing Peter Parker is alive and well in the regular Marvel universe — Miles has existed as Spider-Man for four years in this alternate universe.

But growing up as an awkward, black, overweight middle schooler in the late '80s/early '90s, I related more to Peter Parker than Black Panther's T'Challa — A LITERAL AFRICAN KING.

Marvel / Via coverbrowser.com

Black superheroes like Luke Cage and Black Panther already existed when I was young, but when I picked up my first Spider-Man comics, starting with reprints of the '60s issues, Peter Parker immediately became my favorite superhero for two reasons: 1) I grew up in Milwaukee during Jeffrey Dahmer's heyday, and I developed an odd obsession with deranged serial killers that was fulfilled by Spidey villains like Carnage; 2) Peter Parker was all about GETTING THAT PAYCHECK.

In the comics, Peter Parker mainly wanted to join the Avengers because it would pay his bills. Things didn't exactly work out, because the cool kids were, well, too cool for him, and, as an outcast, he was used to being a grating smart-ass in every situation.

And Peter has 50 years worth of history with Thor, Hulk, Captain America, and Iron Man. If the best parts of the Avengers films are iconic characters interacting, then why pass up the chance to include Peter Parker in that universe?

There's also another key detail about Spider-Man worth noting: his mask. Part of the reason why he's popular around the world is because people can imagine Spider-Man as any ethnicity — and people of any ethnicity can imagine themselves as Spider-Man.

Columbia Pictures

Yes, the mask comes off, and the spell is broken. But it doesn't have to be. The wonderful thing about this new Spider-Man is that even if he is Peter Parker, he can be any ethnicity.

We had a white Peter Parker in the cartoons, a white Peter Parker with an awful bowl cut in the '70s animated TV series, and Tobey Maguire doing his best not to cry every time he's on screen in Sam Raimi's movies. Andrew Garfield was probably the best actor to play Peter Parker thus far, but still...he is really, really white.

Why not shake things up with an actor of color in the role? Certainly Marvel is no stranger to race-bent movie casting.

The Kingpin, a classic white villain, was portrayed by Michael Clarke Duncan in 2002's Daredevil. Thor's Heimdall, a white character in the comics, is played by Idris Elba in the films. And, of course, Samuel L. Jackson plays Nick Fury — one of the oldest Marvel Comics characters, who started out as white.

An ethnic Peter Parker would be divine. And Donald Glover is far from the only actor who could play the role:

Miles Morales has yet to have any iconic storylines. But give him time and he will. Until then, we need Peter Parker.

Miles will even be included in Marvel's normal continuity after this summer, when the Ultimate Universe no longer exists.

CORRECTION: Miles Morales is half-black and half-Puerto Rican. An earlier version of this item misstated him as half-black and half-Mexican. (2/11/15)

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