In 2010, Donald Glover launched a Twitter campaign for the chance to audition for Marc Webb's Spider-Man reboot. The role eventually went to Andrew Garfield (and I can't be mad about it because it gave us Garfield and Emma Stone, or Stonefield), but at the time the hashtag #donald4spiderman was a pretty big deal. An African-American Spider-Man would have been a truly groundbreaking deal seeing as all the major superheroes, especially ones who get whole movies devoted to them and them alone, are usually white. Four years later, Glover's prayers have been answered — sort of. Glover will be playing Spider-Man in an upcoming episode of Disney XD's Ultimate Spider-Man: Web Warriors cartoon. Specifically, he'll be voicing the Miles Morales incarnation, from an alternate universe in which Peter Parker is dead.
Miles Morales is a character that was almost directly spawned from Glover's failed Twitter campaign. According to Wikipedia, the concept of an African-American Spider-Man had been on the table, but it really solidified after Community paid homage to Glover's campaign in the episode "Anthropology 101", which featured Troy Barnes in a pair of Spider-Man pajamas. The new season of Ultimate Spider-Man: Web Warriors will take Peter Parker (played by Drake Bell) "through various parallel worlds, including one where he meets Miles Morales, his half-Hispanic, half-black counterpart."
This cartoon appearance will be the first time Miles Morales appears on the screen. He has been a playable character in at least two video games, but Miles has yet to appear in a television show or movie. At present, The Amazing Spider-Man producers have no intention of introducing him to that franchise at all. The fact that Ultimate Spider-Man: Web Warriors will be the first real appearance of Miles outside of the comic books, and that's he's voiced by the same man that inspired him, is huge. Not that Glover realizes that yet.
"I don't think it's hit me necessarily yet how big of a deal that is," Glover said of the fact that he inspired a comic book character. "I'm very grateful for that, and it's cool to read the comic now." Hopefully, the episode will get such a positive response that it becomes all the evidence movie producers need to bring a Spider-Man who is a person of color to the big screen. Between introducing an African-American Captain America and a female Thor, Marvel is really beating DC in the diversity game these days.
Watch a clip from the cartoon below.