Updated: Dec 29, 2018
(By Special Guest : Kia Sangria)
"I have always included minority characters in my stories, often as heroes. We live in a diverse society — in fact, a diverse world, and we must learn to live in peace and with respect for each other." – Stan Lee
The newest Spider-man movie "Spider-man: Into The Spider-verse" the first Marvel movie since the passing of Stan Lee is unlike any other Spider-man movie before it. The animation is fluid and features a vivid color palette with a hard-hitting soundtrack to boot.
The character Miles Morales (Shameik Moore) embodies the essence of what it means to really grow and become one with yourself. Seeing a black character take center stage in such a powerful way spoke to me on such a ground shaking level that to say I felt empowered is an understatement.
The movie follows Miles as a regular Afro-Hispanic teen growing up in NYC. He's surrounded by culture, he's quirky, he's big on music, and like many of us, he's also a comic book collector. However, unlike the rest of us he just happens to get bitten by a radioactive spider in a filthy NYC subway. Which causes his world to turn upside down as he tries to get a grip on his new powers and the reality that he is now a web shooter tasked with protecting his now vulnerable city.
Throughout the movie, we get to see the learning curve that all spider-men go through. We see Miles fail, we see him champion small victories, we see him laugh, and we see him cry. We see him in a way that we've seen Peter Parker before but through knowing the original Spider-man story. We are given the opportunity to dissect Miles In a more intimate way. We're able to find the familiarity that makes his character and his experience something we can all relate to.
There was no shyness in the showcasing of his blackness and his quirkiness. A trait that isn't explored enough when it comes to how black characters are portrayed in American Pop-culture.
In the Spider-verse miles is completely in control of his character while not being completely in control of his new spidey powers which follows the original story of Spider-man. At its core, this movie pays homage to many struggles of just being different. As is the story of Spider-man there are unique struggles that each web crawler tackles in their respective universe. For many, myself included Miles Morales is a love letter to Blerds.
This film was right on time at a moment when we're still actively fighting for proper representation in comics and in cinema. Miles Morales is the artsy creative black superhero we've always needed. His character and his development is a fresh take on a beloved comic series created by the late Stan Lee.
(Kia La Sangria is an NYC-based cosplayer, gamer, and unapologetically Black and nerdy! You can find her on Facebook!)