The Marvel Universe Gets A New Biracial Spider-Man

Marvel’s commitment to increasing diversity in their comic books and appealing to a broader range of fans continues. The Marvel Comics universe is set to release the first issue of a reboot of the popular Spider-Man comic this fall, and for the first time, the Spider-Man series will star a biracial hero. In the new version, we’ll follow the adventures of Miles Morales, a teen-turned-crime fighter born to an African-American father and a Puerto Rican mother.

Originally part of the Ultimate series, an alternate universe created by an imprint of the comic book publisher, Miles Morales will make the jump to the official Marvel universe as the Ultimate series wraps up. In the Ultimate offshoot, he was introduced in 2011 as a teenager who’d been bitten by a genetically-modified spider (scary!), giving him abilities similar to Peter Parker’s. When Parker was murdered by a villain, Morales found himself taking his fellow Spider-Man’s place.

For Peter Parker fans worrying that the addition of Miles Morales means the demise of Peter Parker, rest assured that it seems that we’ll be getting both in the reboot. The veteran superhero will mentor the teen. At least that’s the plan so far — no guarantees for the future, unfortunately.

In the meantime, the introduction of Morales is great news. Writer and co-creator Brian Bendis understood that many kids of color don’t have a superhero that looks like them and is thrilled that Morales’ promotion helps with that. “Our message has to be it’s not Spider-Man with an asterisk, it’s the real Spider-Man for kids of color, for adults of color and everybody else,” Bendis told the New York Daily News.

Marvel has added several heroes to their comics that appeal to a broader audience in recent years. In addition to introducing a female Thor and the new Captain America, The Falcon, Ms. Marvel debuted, starring Kamala Khan, a Pakastani-American teen with shape-shifting abilities, in 2014. Bendis has been glad to see the changes. “I realized my kids are going to grow up in a world that has a multi-racial Spider-Man, and an African-American Captain America and a female Thor,” he said.

If you’re not into comics yet, this may just be a reason to start.