Friday, August 12, 2011

Angst is Back!

So Spider-man has decided to change race, change name, change preferences - well, in short create an identity crisis to rediscover his teenage angst!

For those who came in late, here is the latest: Spider-man will now be the secret identity of Miles Morales, who is half-black and half-hispanic!

This is bigger than Spider-man’s death itself (which Stan Lee had been threatening us with since the swinging sixties) as killing a superhero is nothing but a different way of going about the reboot. Ask superman. And Batman and Robin and Captain America and Asterix! (Just Kidding)

Killing a superhero doesn't really help as most of them are under the mask; a situation which the Joker famously referred to as “the Killing Joke”. Besides you have to bring them back sooner or later.

On one level a Superhero is like a business. Once you create it, you just can't kill the beast. Stab it with the steely knife all you like!

Getting back to the point, altering Spider-man’s identity is bigger than death itself. Apart from creating a bit of hype, killing a character doesn’t do much good. But when you change the identity, in Spider-man’s case the name, race and preferences, you are actually bringing the character back to the original idea: Teenage Angst!

Teenage Angst! It was the web-slinger’s biggest arsenal and did Peter Parker use it to the last ounce! But honestly, it was a bit of a joke. I mean a science genius cum superhero with not one but two girls hitting on him talking about teenage angst while sitting in his own pad!

But with Miles Morales, it’s bound to be too real. Race change is gonna bring a whole new level to Spidey’s character. There is a lot more than just hype.

But those who are outraged, don’t worry, Peter Parker will continue to play the part in the Original Amazing Spider-man. Miles Morales takes over only in the more contemporary Ultimate Spider-man Series.

So far so good! But what bothers me is the dissolution of those wonderful characters over the time. For want of a better narrative, characters after characters have suffered. Universes multiplied, came together, exploded… to what end? Another series that will promise a lot and end up in the trash can?

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