Marvel Studios’ Great Black Spiderman Hope

amazing-spider-man-3Maybe Sony was tired of rebooting the franchise to so-so results. Maybe Marvel lined the execs’ pockets. Whatever the reason, Spiderman will be joining the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU). Oh yeah, and he might be Black.

The news was announced early this week, painting the move as a bridge of sorts between the two studios. Sony hasn’t given up the film property (it still plans to continue making Spider-films) and this won’t be a one-off occurrence for Marvel. But you can expect to see this new Spidey showing up for both companies going forward.

The heavily believed rumor is that the new Spiderman will make his debut in Marvel’s Captain America: Civil War dated for release on May 6, 2016, to be followed by his own Sony feature on July 28, 2017.

Bringing Spiderman into the MCU fold has been one of the items at the top of comic nerds’ wishlists for as long as the Universe has existed (right next to bringing the X-Men and Fantastic Four back). But no one ever believed that this wish would actually come true.

Still, the development that has the fangirls and fanboys truly losing their shit is that Andrew Garfield is out as Spiderman. The next, all-new Spiderman will be “much younger,” yet it seems there is no reboot on the horizon. This leads most to believe that the films will follow suit with Marvel’s Ultimate comics that infamously killed Peter Parker and introduced Black Spiderman Miles Morales.

If this is indeed true, it would be a revolutionary act. Marvel’s non-White hero tally would bump up to 3 (including Chadwick Boseman’s upcoming Black Panther and Anthony Mackie‘s Falcon). And in an industry that seems to believe Blacks are only suited for “race-themed” films (unless you are Denzel Washington or Will Smith), this would put another Black actor front and center of a major studio production.

The first test of altering the ethnicity of a beloved comic book character will come this August when Michael B. Jordan debuts as Johnny Storm in the new Fantastic Four movie. One can’t help but notice the sea change here; these studios are realizing the value in diversity, even if many still doubt it’s financial viability.

I hope the rumors are true. This could be the only conceivable way to revitalize a film property that has been run into the ground. If this enormous opportunity, spanning major films for two studios, is indeed earmarked for an up-and-coming Black actor, the face of comic book films is about to change for the better.

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Daren W. Jackson

Daren is one half of the Water Cooler Convos team. He's a writer, music connoisseur, and comic book geek who spends his free time working on his novel and other short stories.