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The Black Hero Origin Algorithm

A recent Komplicated webcast (which you should really check out every Sunday evening at 9:00PM PST/12:00 EST if you aren’t already) discussing Miles Morales, the new Ultimate Spider-Man, brought up a well remembered web relic- the Black Hero Origin Algorithm. Basically, the Black Hero Origin Algorithm was a set of four basic criteria that most black superheroes published by the two major superhero comic publishers (Marvel and DC) all seemed to fall into at least one of the categories, as follows-

  • They were raised in poverty
  • They have been in the Olympics
  • They have a criminal background
  • They have been inspired by white heroes


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Half-black, half-Hispanic Spider-Man revealed

This is old-hat by now, I’m just posting it for the random Google hits it’ll pick up 5 months from now :). At the end of the day, I think this move represents the ultimate (pun partly intended) embodiment of what the Ultimate universe was originally supposed to be about. It might be 11 years overdue and the publicity stunt feel to it rubs me the wrong way (I don’t think it’s actually a publicity stunt, I just think Marvel is exploiting it as such to it’s full potential) but no matter what, I applaud them.

Revealed in Marvel Comics’ Ultimate Fallout Issue 4, out Wednesday, the new Spider-Man in the Ultimate universe is a half-black, half-Hispanic teen named Miles Morales. He takes over the gig held by Peter Parker, who was killed in Ultimate Spider-Man Issue 160 in June.

In his first appearance, he simply breaks up a fight. But readers will learn the true origin of Morales and how he became the new Spider-Man when Ultimate Spider-Man relaunches in September with a new No. 1 issue.

“The theme is the same: With great power comes great responsibility,” says writer Brian Michael Bendis. “He’s going to learn that. Then he has to figure out what that means.”

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