US & Canada

Marvel Comics introduces mixed-race Spider-Man

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Media captionPeople at a comic book exhibition in Bolivia comment on the new character behind Spider-Man's mask

Marvel Comics has unveiled a new half-black, half-Latino Spider-Man, who replaces the recently killed-off Peter Parker.

Miles Morales, introduced in Marvel's Ultimate Fallout Issue 4, is a nerdy teenager from New York City.

Marvel editor-in-chief Axel Alonso said the new web-slinger "speaks to our rich cultural heritage" in the US.

Parker died in Ultimate Spider-Man Issue 160 in June during a fight with his bitter enemy, Green Goblin.

Like Parker, Morales is a geeky, working-class teenager from the boroughs of New York City.

Morales lives with his black and Latino parents in ethnically diverse Brooklyn, while Parker was white and raised by his aunt and uncle in a mainly white neighbourhood in Queens.

"Going into this we knew we wanted to make a statement about the 21st century," said Alonso.

The Marvel editor-in-chief, whose mother was from England and father from Mexico, said he cried when Barack Obama was elected president "partly because he was African-American but largely because of the fact that he was mixed race".

Alonso added that when Morales "peels off his mask now, he's going to have a very different look and he's going to resonate emotionally with all sorts of new readers".

He told AFP news agency Spidey writer Brian Michael Bendis is Jewish and has two adopted children from Africa.

"So I know for him it was definitely personal," Alonso said.

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