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Craig Robinson
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Posted: 02 August 2011 at 6:37am | IP Logged | 1  

I'm apparently behind the times, but there is a new Spider-Man debuting in the Ultimate Universe this week.

http://www.usatoday.com/life/comics/2011-08-01-black-spider- man_n.htm

While I think more diversity is great in comics (although I really dislike Ultimates), I have to wonder if this has any influence in Marvel Movie Universe plans.  As I understand it, Sony has the movie rights to Spider-Man tied up, so no Spider-Man in any sort of New Avengers spinoff (you know that's coming when RD jr. gets tired of playing Stark). 

Could this new Spider-Man be fair game for their movie continuity, or does Sony have a stranglehold on any species of Spider-Man iconography, etc?



Edited by Craig Robinson on 02 August 2011 at 6:46am
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Michael Todd
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Posted: 02 August 2011 at 6:44am | IP Logged | 2  

Marvel has just gone flipping NUTS!
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Kirk Campbell
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Posted: 02 August 2011 at 6:51am | IP Logged | 3  

Could this new Spider-Man be fair game for their movie continuity, or does Sony have a stranglehold on any species of Spider-Man iconography, etc?

My hunch would be that even if Marvel put a new guy in the suit, so long as he's called "Spider-Man" they can't use him in their films while the Sony contract is in place. 

I would also imagine that Sony also has rights to all Spider-Man related properties, such as his rogues gallery, his supporting cast, and anything else associated with the character.

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Kirk Campbell
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Posted: 02 August 2011 at 6:53am | IP Logged | 4  

Oh, and regarding the "new" Spider-Man...

Boy, it REALLY didn't take very long for Marvel to royally screw up a hot property, did it?

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Craig Robinson
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Posted: 02 August 2011 at 7:29am | IP Logged | 5  

I think also read somewhere (IGN maybe) that Sony relinquished TV rights back to Marvel?  Is this the first sign of what may eventually become a Donald Glover Spider-Man TV show?

IGN is work blocked, but here is a link to the TV rights story. 

http://www.digitalspy.co.uk/comics/news/a175597/sony-relinqu ishes-spider-man-tv-rights.html

 



Edited by Craig Robinson on 02 August 2011 at 7:31am
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Kirk Campbell
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Posted: 02 August 2011 at 7:43am | IP Logged | 6  

Is this the first sign of what may eventually become a Donald Glover Spider-Man TV show?

I think it has more to do with the Ultimate Spider-Man cartoon set to debut next year than a live-action TV show. 

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JT Molloy
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Posted: 02 August 2011 at 10:22am | IP Logged | 7  

I'm sorry, but until they introduce a Spider-Man who is of Irish descent, has a light complexion, green eyes, reddish blonde hair and is an artist, I simply cannot relate to the character.
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John Byrne
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Posted: 02 August 2011 at 10:31am | IP Logged | 8  

More creative bankruptcy. Remember the Black Panther? Remember Luke Cage?

Somewhere along the line -- and, sadly, it's not recent -- Black characters at Marvel suddenly were only allowed if they adopted the names of existing characters. Iron Man. Captain Marvel. Giant-Man (who'd begun with the staggeringly original name "Black Goliath"). Nick Fury. Now, a Black Spider-Man.

I'll admit to having created only a handful of Black characters, but at least NONE of them were forced to follow in some White guy's footsteps.

Aren't Black audiences weary yet of this modern-day Minstrel Show?

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Corey Morgan
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Posted: 02 August 2011 at 10:54am | IP Logged | 9  

Quite a few of us are weary of this, JB (I now have this hilarious image of JB standing here with his fist in the air;).  And if asked, would rather that a new black character (or for that matter, any of the previously existing ones) be allowed to flourish on his/her own merits (and that of the folks writing them), rather than latching onto the coattails of a previous character (whether white, black, yellow, green, etc) for legitimacy. 

A comic book character being something other than white shouldn't be a 'gimmick'. (and thereby validating the belief that "caucasian" is the default race in comics) And M***** should try trusting that people aren't going to run from a character that isn't white or otherwise connected with a previously existing white character. 



Edited by Corey Morgan on 02 August 2011 at 10:57am
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Juan Jose Colin Arciniega
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Posted: 02 August 2011 at 11:03am | IP Logged | 10  

I don't believe that changing a character in order to be "politically correct" is the right approach...how long until we get a "Black Superman"?
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Peter Svensson
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Posted: 02 August 2011 at 11:06am | IP Logged | 11  

The big issue is that comics featuring new characters don't sell well in today's market, which is mainly nostalgia driven. So if DC and Marvel want to make their lines more diverse so that they better reflect the real world, they're pretty much forced to introduce legacy and replacement characters who readers will try because they're familiar brands rather than new characters. It's a really terrible situation, and reflective of the awful state that the industry is in, but I can't blame them. The market is saturated with superhero books so that adding new ones is effectively impossible. If you're buying Batman and Superman and Flash, you have little incentive to also try NEW UNTESTED HERO! (Who happens to be a minority.)

That the tiny amount of new characters who have managed to retain some degree of footholding in the comic industry is slim, and yet the majority of them are white disappoints me. Witchblade? White woman. Deadpool? White man. Invincible? White man. Because most comic creators in this industry are straight middle-class white men, when left to their own devices they tend to create straight middle-class white men as their lead characters.
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Paul Anthony Llossas
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Posted: 02 August 2011 at 11:26am | IP Logged | 12  

"I don't believe that changing a character in order to be "politically correct" is the right approach...how long until we get a 'Black Superman'?"

 

One appeared at the end of "Final Crisis".

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Rick Whiting
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Posted: 02 August 2011 at 11:29am | IP Logged | 13  

Let's call it like it is. This is nothing more then another short term sales boosting publicity stunt. Marvel contacts the mainstream news media (most of whom, are ignorant about the history of comics) with their "shocking" and "ground breaking" story of replacing one of their long time white heroes with a new half black/half Latino character under the mask (I guess they never heard of Miguel O'Hara or James Rhodes). Then the even more ignorant and naive greedy non comic book reading speculators are going to either walk into or call up the nearest comic book shop looking ONLY for the comic with the first appearance of the new black/Latino Spider-Man.

Oh well, it could be worse. They could have made Ultimate Peter Parker black/Latino from the start like they did Ultimate Nick Fury.

Edited by Rick Whiting on 02 August 2011 at 11:31am

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Peter Svensson
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Posted: 02 August 2011 at 11:31am | IP Logged | 14  

Yeah, but that was part of a "Every alternate universe Superman possible" sequence. Not the same thing. And heck, when they actually tried Black Superman they made a new character who took on his own identity and is one of the few 90s characters to have any sort of traction. Steel was a good way of adding diversity to the Superman line in a natural way.
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John Byrne
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Posted: 02 August 2011 at 11:42am | IP Logged | 15  

The big issue is that comics featuring new characters don't sell well in today's market, which is mainly nostalgia driven. So if DC and Marvel want to make their lines more diverse so that they better reflect the real world, they're pretty much forced to introduce legacy and replacement characters who readers will try because they're familiar brands rather than new characters.

••

Bull.

The problem is not that new characters don't sell. The problem is that "creators" want to keep their "new" characters to themselves, so they can make big Hollywood deals, and not accidentally "give Marvel the next Spider-Man".

That, plus a mixture of laziness and cowardice in editorial. Why even "risk" a new character, when churning our fifteen more books with "X" in the title will get the job done without even raising a sweat.

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Stéphane Garrelie
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Posted: 02 August 2011 at 11:49am | IP Logged | 16  

The Dark X-Wolvespiders.

Coming soon.

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Craig Robinson
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Posted: 02 August 2011 at 12:15pm | IP Logged | 17  

You know, if this were a What-If or whatever Marvel's = of Elseworlds is, I would probably get behind it. "What if Peter Parker were from Harlem," only,  thoughtful and provocative rather than 70s blackspoitation.

JB's spot-on analysis upthread reminds me of one of Kevin Smith's Jersey films.... MALLRATS, when the black radical lectures the nerds at the convention about removing Darth Vader's powerful, black visage only to reveal a wrinkly old white guy.  Only, somewhat in reverse.

I don't know who created the character, but I always liked the Silver Age Black Super Soldier Subject Isaiah Bradley.  Seems like there was a lot of potential for the character (more than just a Black Captain America), but they passed it all on to his grandson in Young Avengers.  I would have loved to have read (and still would) a Marvel JSA-type book with Bradley and other characters of that era on the team.

 



Edited by Craig Robinson on 02 August 2011 at 12:17pm
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Rick Whiting
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Posted: 02 August 2011 at 12:19pm | IP Logged | 18  

I'll admit to having created only a handful of Black characters, but at least NONE of them were forced to follow in some White guy's footsteps.

_________________________

Notice how over the last 10 years at Marvel, original black (and other minority) characters who did not follow in an existing white characters footsteps were often the ones who were bought back only to be used as cannon fodder (killed off,maimed, or depowered). Black Goliath, Charcoal,Synch,Skin,Jubilee,Bishop,Gabe Jones,John Wraith,Night Thrasher,Aegis,Maggot,and Cecilia Reyes are a few examples that immediately spring to mind. If Marvel really want to make their universe more racially diverse, then they should use the existing minority characters they have for something other than cannon fodder.

Edited by Rick Whiting on 02 August 2011 at 12:22pm

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Paulo Pereira
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Posted: 02 August 2011 at 12:29pm | IP Logged | 19  

 Stéphane wrote:
The Dark X-Wolvespiders.

Coming soon.

Stop giving them ideas. You know they're hard up for them.



Edited by Paulo Pereira on 02 August 2011 at 12:29pm
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John Byrne
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Posted: 02 August 2011 at 12:31pm | IP Logged | 20  

I don't know who created the character, but I always liked the Silver Age Black Super Soldier Subject Isaiah Bradley.

••

He's not a Silver Age character. He's a modern retcon (2003), and exactly what I'm complaining about: shoehorning a Black character into an existing White character's role, rather than coming up with something actually NEW.

But somehow I suspect you know that.

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Corey Morgan
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Posted: 02 August 2011 at 12:34pm | IP Logged | 21  

I don't know who created the character, but I always liked the Silver Age Black Super Soldier Subject Isaiah Bradley.  Seems like there was a lot of potential for the character (more than just a Black Captain America), but they passed it all on to his grandson in Young Avengers.  I would have loved to have read (and still would) a Marvel JSA-type book with Bradley and other characters of that era on the team.

___________________________________

I don't have a problem with the fact that Isaiah Bradley's abilities wound up passed down to his grandson because Isaiah's current physical condition was very important to the story, in that the earlier version of the Super Soldier formula eventually ruined his mind.  It's unfortunately a very believable series of events, considering the US's history with using minorities in chemical tests back in the day.  Having something positive with Patriot come from something tragic in what happened with his Grandfather was a good turn, in my book.

Then again, we could get into the fact that even though continuity wise, Isaiah Bradley came before Steve Rogers, he was still the BLACK Captain America (or that his son patterned his costumed persona after Bucky).  Speaking of that, when naming the various black characters named after a white character of the same name, Lamar "Battlestar" Hoskins was indeed called "Bucky" and wore the same costume, while fighting alongside John Walker's Captain America, until I believe a backlash by some fans over a black man taking a name with racist overtones, caused M***** to change his name to Battlestar.

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Paulo Pereira
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Posted: 02 August 2011 at 12:36pm | IP Logged | 22  

Looks like someone was a little too taken in with this blog.

Edited by Paulo Pereira on 02 August 2011 at 12:36pm
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Corey Morgan
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Posted: 02 August 2011 at 12:53pm | IP Logged | 23  


I don't believe that changing a character in order to be "politically correct" is the right approach...how long until we get a "Black Superman"?

_____________________________

World Class Championship Wrestling did it in 1987 with "Black Superman" Tony Atlas ;)

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Peter Svensson
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Posted: 02 August 2011 at 12:57pm | IP Logged | 24  

Bull.

The problem is not that new characters don't sell. The problem is that "creators" want to keep their "new" characters to themselves, so they can make big Hollywood deals, and not accidentally "give Marvel the next Spider-Man".

That, plus a mixture of laziness and cowardice in editorial. Why even "risk" a new character, when churning our fifteen more books with "X" in the title will get the job done without even raising a sweat.

***

There's more than one problem plaguing the industry right now. I just feel that in today's market,  creators not making compelling new characters for DC and Marvel in favor of doing creator-owned work at say Image or Dark Horse isn't as much of a factor than the sheer weight of existing books on the stands. Or the price of books making it less likely for people to spend money on something they don't know anything about rather than a title with history they do. Or indeed, that really popular characters saturate the market so that there's no room for new ones.

Joe Reader goes to his comic shop, budgeted for four new comics this week. He sees Iron Man, Batman, Wolverine, Spider-Man, Justice League, X-Men, Teen Titans, Avengers and New Hero. New Hero has to be beyond outstanding for it to even stand a chance of competing for his hard earned cash. But if New Hero has a familiar codename, the odds of his being purchased go up. It's the same logic that leads Hollywood to do so many sequels, remakes and adaptations of existing properties. It's not the way things should be, but it's the way they are.

Yes, Marvel and DC play it safe in that making a dozen Batman or X titles are safer than making a bunch of new titles. Every Batman: The Darker Knight of Gotham's Shadow title is a sale taken away from potential new series. The comic industry is in bad times, and with comics as expensive as they are it's harder to get people to experiment with new titles.

I at times wonder what the American comic industry would look like had we adopted the idea that a character be discontinued once their creators had left the book. On the one hand, we'd be bereft of John Byrne FF, on the other hand who knows what amazing and compelling titles we'd have instead?
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Rick Whiting
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Posted: 02 August 2011 at 1:11pm | IP Logged | 25  

He's not a Silver Age character. He's a modern retcon (2003), and exactly what I'm complaining about: shoehorning a Black character into an existing White character's role, rather than coming up with something actually NEW.

But somehow I suspect you know that.

______________________________________

Speaking of the character Isaiah Bradley, I rcall Priest saying that when he was putting together the comic called The Crew for Marvel, he created an original black character called Joshua X with no connection to any other Marve character, but Marvel (specifically Quesada and Jemas) asked him to make that new character the son of Isaiah Bradley. So we now have a case of a stand alone new black character with his own stand alone origin now being tied to an existing character at the request of the editors.

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