The Power Of A Black Spider-Man

Tonight, it is possible that Marvel will pre-announce the identity of the new Ultimate Spider-Man to the Associated Press, or similar.

It is possible he will be a young African American, potentially the Ben Reilly scientist character who has stores the late Peter Parker’s DNA and that’s certainly what Bleeding Cool has been speculating.

But that’s all, purely based on Marvel’s belief that the comic will get lots of publicity, both the revelation in Ultimate Fallout #4 and the appearance in Ultimate Spider-Man #1, the attempt by Donald Glover to get the role of Spider-Man, an industry recognition of the lack of high profile black leads in their comics, and the fact that in the preview material of the new Ultimate Spider-Man cartoon we haven’t even seen Peter Parker’s face.

Some however… see it in different ways. Such as Larry of Larry’s Comics, a prominent New England retailer who has made a name for himself on social networking and setting up the regular Tuesday #comicmarket Twitter hashtag.

Larry has… shall we put it, and unfortunate way with words. I’ve debated with him his use of the word “gay” to mean lame before, and has a reputation for not exactly being progressive with his language in terms of women. Some people see this as refreshing anti-political correctness, I see it as a prominent businessman being needlessly offensive to a potential consumer base in an attempt to cause some controversy and get himself noticed.

Well, yesterday, he certainly got that, when he began discussing the possibility of a black Spider-Man. He tweeted;


Larry soon deleted the tweets as negative opinion began to flow in. But he still didn’t seem to think he’d done anything wrong. I pressed him on the matter and he replied.

google African American Jokes. Do it now. WHY is it good natured and funny When somebody BEDIDES Larry Doherty says it?

I asked him if he was drinking and tweeting. It was really the only reason I could come up with as to why a comic book retailer would be posting this kind of thing.

not drinking Rich. ( which is rare ) Genuinely thought it was funny. And appropriate. Guess I AM a dick. #comicmarket

I believe that Larry’s behaviour here is totally from ignorance rather than maliciousness. But for any businessperson to behave in this way publically…well, that’s takes ignorance to a new level.

So, no, I don’t think his kind of thing calls for a boycott. But maybe… a little education?

Admission: I appear to appear on the cover to Larry Comics’ retailer variant cover of Ultimate Spider-Man #666, photoshopped in, next to Barack Obama. Oh the ironies.

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