To celebrate the upcoming 60th anniversary of Spider-Man, Marvel released a new comic featuring the character of Miles Morales in a hypothetical storyline.
Unfortunately, the comic was met with immediate backlash for racially stereotyping the character.
Morales is one of the characters known as Spider-Man from the Ultimate universe who was featured in the 2018 animated film, Enter the Spider-Verse.
The new comic in the What If? series shows what happens if Morales became Thor instead of the famed web-slinger.
However, the comic written by Yehudi Mercado and illustrated by Luigi Zagaria–who are both non-Black–was accused of perpetuating racist stereotypes about Black men and Black neighborhoods.
The latest issue explores Morales as the God of Thunder, Thor, in Asgard.
But the look of the realm associated with the deities of Norse mythology is quite a departure here.
The Asgard in which Morales is Thor is represented with buildings splattered with graffiti, shoes dangling from phone lines, and other urban aesthetics reminiscent of Brooklyn, New York where the original character is from.
Even his Moljnir, the divine hammer Thor uses, is covered in graffiti and Morales shouts, "It's hammer time!" whenever he is about to strike down with it.
The "hammer time" catchphrase is an on-the-nose nod to the one rapper MC Hammer used in the 1990s chart-topper, "U Can't Touch This."
Marvel fans found the new comics a parody of what a Black Thor would be.
Many fans were thrilled when writer Brian Michael Bendis introduced the 13-year-old Morales–who is the biracial son of an Black father and a Puerto Rican mother–in Ultimate Fallout #4 in 2011, following the death of Peter Paker.
Others at the time believed the introduction of a minority Spider-Man was a publicity stunt to attract more readers.
Now this iteration of Morales is being criticized for its lazy depiction of a Black character in a setting rife with Black stereotypes.
Marvel fans are hoping Shameik Moore will save the day when the actor and rapper returns to voice Miles Morales in the two-parter sequel to Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse.
Part One is scheduled for an October 7, 2022 release, with Part Two to follow at an undisclosed date in 2023.