I keep thinking how much more powerful the Spiderman origin story would be if Peter Parker was an African American kid, whose Uncle Ben was shot by police while being arrested for a minor parking infraction. There is no formal investigation, and Peter decides to put himself on the line to prevent it happening again. He tackles the white crimes that go unpunished, punishes POC criminals fairly. He is the leveler, always fighting to be without bias, to be just. To protect people like his uncle.
This not only mirrors so much of what’s happening in America, but feeds right into the complex relationship between Spiderman, the authorities and the media.
Peter Parker is a brilliant student, awkward, a nerd, but is branded a thug, a gang member, a criminal, because of his appearance. The media latch on to that and misrepresent him totally.
The police, humilitated by the fact that he refuses to work with them and often punishes cops themselves for brutalizing innocent people, or guilty people who still deserve better treatment than they get, attempt to hunt him down.
Best comment: “J. Jonah Jameson’s attitude would be remarkably unchanged in this scenario.”
Hat tip to Suresh Naidu.
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