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  1. #1

    Default Slate: Miles Morales the 7th most important new character of the last 25 Years

    The website Slate did a list of the most important (not necessarily best) new characters of the last 25 years. Miles Morales is in seventh place.

    Spider-Man could be anyone under that spider-suit, but until 2011, he was only Peter Parker. The genius of that character was always that the shy, nerdy, unlikely hero was the audience proxy of the Marvel Universe: He battled among the demigods of the Avengers and saved the world from Doc Ock, then went home to fret over his chemistry final.

    But not everyone could be Peter Parker, right? Even in Marvel’s popular Ultimate imprint—a group of titles set outside the main Marvel Comics universe—he was the same white kid from Queens. So eight years ago, Ultimate Spider-Man creator Brian Michael Bendis—a white writer with two adopted children who are black—killed off Parker and gave his spider-job to Miles Morales, a 13-year-old from Brooklyn with a black dad and a Puerto Rican mom. It wasn’t a stunt, and it wasn’t pandering; instead, it provided the superhero world a model for thoughtfully diversifying the stories it told for as big an audience as possible. That model has continued through comics characters like Marvel’s Ironheart—a black teenage girl who builds a suit like Iron Man’s—and now, it seems, in the ascension of Anthony Mackie’s Sam Wilson into the position of Captain America in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

    It’s likely those moves wouldn’t have happened without Miles Morales. Miles was a compelling hero (reluctant, sensitive, eventually buoyant) whose story was not an imitation of Peter Parker’s but its own vibrant self. The character developed such a passionate fan base that Marvel eventually ported him over to their main superhero universe. The big payoff was 2018’s brilliant Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse, a Miles-centric movie that won the Oscar for Best Animated Feature. Sure, it had Peter Parker, too—actually, three or four Peter Parkers, and a Spider-Ham—but only one heart. That Miles isn’t the only Spider-Man no longer feels like a hedge. As Miles puts it in the film, in a heartening message for the world’s dominant pop culture storytelling mode to deliver: “Anyone can wear the mask. You can wear the mask. If you didn’t know that before, I hope you do now.”
    —Jonathan Fischer
    What do you guys think? Is Miles the most important comic book character to emerge in the last 25 years? Is the right description of why he's so important?

  2. #2

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    Miles is the biggest character in Spider-Man since Venom and Carnage. That much is true.

    Among Marvel Comics, he could be the biggest new character overall in the same time period.

    Among comics in general, I don't know.

  3. #3

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    I'd say Deadpool is overall Marvel's biggest new character in the last 30 years or so, overall.

  4. #4

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    Quote Originally Posted by Revolutionary_Jack View Post
    I'd say Deadpool is overall Marvel's biggest new character in the last 30 years or so, overall.
    He falls outside the 25 year range that the article considered.

  5. #5
    Fantastic Member etrumble's Avatar
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    Most of us were thinking comics characters.

    Click on the link.

    Miles is the only comic character listed.

    1 is the Sopranos
    2 is Donald Trump(the Apprentice).

    I'm honestly shocked Miles was there and is the only comics character to make the list!

    To me, it just shows how few new characters we are getting in comics with any staying power. Clearly, Into the Spider-Verse was on the writer's mind when they made the list.

  6. #6
    Ultimate Member Digifiend's Avatar
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    Yeah, this is based on movies and TV. Not comics. Otherwise, there would've surely been a couple more comics characters on there - Ms. Marvel and Harley Quinn. Kamala's not in the movies yet, and while Harley was a breakout in the comics, in the movies, she was part of an ensemble and in the cartoon she debuted in, she was just one of many villains. It's easy for a non-comics fan to ignore them.

  7. #7
    Astonishing Member CrimsonEchidna's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Digifiend View Post
    Yeah, this is based on movies and TV. Not comics. Otherwise, there would've surely been a couple more comics characters on there - Ms. Marvel and Harley Quinn. Kamala's not in the movies yet, and while Harley was a breakout in the comics, in the movies, she was part of an ensemble and in the cartoon she debuted in, she was just one of many villains. It's easy for a non-comics fan to ignore them.
    Harley Quinn debuted in 92, putting her at a 27 year old character.
    The artist formerly known as OrpheusTelos.

  8. #8

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    It has Jar Jar Binks. This list can't be taken seriously.

  9. #9
    Extraordinary Member Celgress's Avatar
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    An honor well deserved, IMO.
    "So you've come to the end now alive but dead inside."

  10. #10
    Astonishing Member CrimsonEchidna's Avatar
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    Really weird assortment of characters, especially given you got Trump and Palin listed. If we're talking straight up pop culture fixtures there's quite a few glaring snubs.

    Comics-wise I'd say Miles, especially with Spider-Verse giving him the edge, is probably the most relevant recently created character. A lot of other characters are just really breaking through themselves (Kamala Khan) or were reimaginings of already established characters (Spider-Gwen, Superior Spider-Man).

    One other character I think fits that bill is Jessica Jones.
    The artist formerly known as OrpheusTelos.

  11. #11
    Astonishing Member Tuck's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hugo Strange View Post
    It has Jar Jar Binks. This list can't be taken seriously.
    It being Slate is why it shouldn't be taken seriously long before you get to any items on the list.

  12. #12
    Moderator Frontier's Avatar
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    I think of newer characters, and legacy heroes in general, Miles has definitely had some of the biggest impact, especially with Into the Spider-Verse.

    Like it's one thing to do a legacy hero movie with Ant-Man, it's another thing to do it with Spider-Man.

    To be honest I think Marvel Entertainment in general is still trying to figure out how to balance Miles' success with the overall franchise as an IP.

  13. #13
    Fantastic Member Von's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hugo Strange View Post
    It has Jar Jar Binks. This list can't be taken seriously.
    It's an idiosyncratic, eclectic list from an ad hoc group of writers. I guess a group at Slate cooked up the idea and hashed out a list... then farmed out the descriptions to interesting people to flesh out.

    They publish it with a lot of custom graphics and lots of fancy wordsmithing to make it 'feel' important and definitive. And of course, the picks are reflective of Slate's political-social editorial guidelines.

    But it's only an opinion in the end. Without the custom GFX / wordsmithing / Slate publishing it might as well be another forum post. It's nice that Miles made her list though.

  14. #14

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    Quote Originally Posted by Hugo Strange View Post
    It has Jar Jar Binks. This list can't be taken seriously.
    The criteria is importance, not quality.

    Jar Jar Binks was an early completely CGI character in a major motion picture, and has been significant in myriad ways (IE- defining the prequels, think-pieces about stereotypes, etc.)

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