New Spider-Man awaits Superman

The new alternative Spider-Man, a black-Hispanic youth named Miles Morales, apparently will back education reform, including charter schools, notes Education Intelligence Agency. That’s causing angst for those who see education reform as a plot by the Sinister Syndicate.

In an interview with Comic Book Resources, Joe Quesada, the chief creative officer at Marvel Comics, explained the back story for the new alter ego, who replaces Peter Parker in the Ultimate Spider-Man alternative comic universe. A fan of Geoffrey Canada, who created the Harlem Children’s Zone, Quesada urged colleagues to watch “Waiting For Superman.” Art pages released so far show Morales as a child at a charter school lottery.

Will the new Spider-Man smash teachers’ unions? asks Joe Macaré of In These Times. Peter Parker was a struggling science teacher, he observes.

. . . he’s exactly the kind of person vilified by the steadfastedly anti-union Geoffrey Canada, by Waiting For Superman and by the so-called education reformers for whom the movie is a touchstone.

…Faced with this PR onslaught, vigilance is demanded of those of us who’d like to see popular culture not become further contaminated by anti-union sentiment and the insane belief that the private sector will save us all.

Elana Levin, co-host of the Graphic Policy podcast, thinks “teachers’ unions are like the X-Men,” not the Sinister Six, while “the business interests trying to privatize our education system through money and manipulation are just like the new incarnation of the Hellfire Club (as written by Kieron Gillen in Uncanny X-Men).”

Marvel Comics and Joe Quesada aren’t exactly right-wingers, responds EIA. Of course, that makes it worse.

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Comments

  1. J. Remarque says:

    Did Macaré really say that when ideas he doesn’t like seep into popular culture, it’s “contamination”? As if popular culture is some pure vessel needing to be rescued from the “wrong” ideas?

    He writes: “Faced with this PR onslaught, vigilance is demanded of those of us who’d like to see popular culture not become further contaminated by anti-union sentiment…”

    He’s living in a fantasy world. Other than the very rare crack about teamsters on a sitcom, or a quickly forgotten one-off film like “Bad Teacher,” where else in pop culture do we see “anti-union sentiment”? Pretty much nowhere. The people who write television and the movies and most of the technical staff who make them, not to mention all the performers, are in unions.

    But it tells me a lot about who’s winning the public debate about teachers’ unions that he’s afraid the ideological slant of a single comic book in the shrinking comic book industry might “contaminate” those of us who would just like to see our kids come home from school with a “letter from the principal” that doesn’t need an average of five corrections with a red pencil.

  2. “contaminated by anti-union sentiment”?

    “insane belief that private sector will save us all”?

    Wow. Engage in demagoguery much, Joe?

  3. Michael E. Lopez says:

    Who cares what happens in any of the Ultimate titles? It’s not like they’re the real stories or anything.

  4. Pow! Bam! Joanne Jacobs, caped reformy superheroine, using snark to attack and destroy: “That’s causing angst for those who see education reform as a plot by the Sinister Syndicate.”

  5. Richard Aubrey says:

    You’d think teachers’ advocates would have something more important to do. Wouldn’t you?