I had never heard of Glenn Beck before this week, but apparently he is the go-to guy for extreme soundbites on the other side of the pond. His latest gem comes as Marvel reveals their new “Ultimate Fallout” comic starring Miles Morales, a half-black, half-Hispanic American teenager who is inspired to do good, spider style, after the death of Peter Parker. (Don’t worry, in another universe Parker is alive and well. You comic nerd.)
On his radio show, Beck said sarcastically “The new Spider-Man is really quite great, he looks just like President Obama.”
He then went on to say “Do I care if he’s half Hispanic, all Hispanic? No. Half black? I don’t care. I really don’t care. Half gay, all gay? I don’t really care! It’s a stupid comic book.” (People protesting their “I don’t care” status always go on a bit, don’t they? I find it especially annoying when they say “I don’t care if someone’s black, white, or green with purple spots!” as if they’re being really accepting of races by likening other skin colours to alien life forms.)
What was worrying Beck was that “I think a lot of this stuff is being done intentionally.....” Apparently concerned that a black Spiderman was part of a growing conspiracy, he recalled Michelle Obama saying “We’re going to have to change our traditions,” and decided “It’s strange how so much of this seems to all be happening.”
Oh, boo hoo. Did somebody use the wrong pencil to colour in your favourite fictional character? And yes, it is intentional. Marvel’s editor in chief Axel Alonso announced “This was a conscious decision. Here at Marvel, we pride ourselves on reflecting the real world in all its diversity.” He also pointed out that a black character is not a publicity gimmick – “it's reflective of an industry keeping pace with modern society.”
This is exactly the kind of move that we need to “normalise” the skin colours which certain people apparently find so abhorrent. See my earlier post:
Hurrah for Marvel comics!