Okay, so that headline is kind of misleading. There are multiple version of the Marvel universe banging around, and in one of them (the Ultimate Comics one, to be exact), Peter Parker, the original Spider-Man, has died, and will be replaced with half-black, half-Latino teen Miles Morales when Ultimate Comics Fallout #4 drops Wednesday.
Axel Alonso, Marvel's Editor in Chief:
"When the opportunity arose to create a new Spider-Man, we knew it had to be a character that represents the diversity — in background and experience — of the twenty-first century… Miles is a character who not only follows in the tradition of relatable characters like Peter Parker, but also shows why he's a new, unique kind of Spider-Man — and worthy of that name."
Peter Parker died earlier this summer in Ultimate Spider-Man #160, though in the non-Ultimate universe, he's still web-slinging like a boss.
Writer Brian Michael Bendis told the Associated Press that Morales is "…younger than Peter Parker, he's coming from a different background, a completely different world view… It's Peter Parker's death that inspires this kid to step up."
Well, despite the fact that Spider-Man has always been one of the less-Aryan Marvel superheroes, unlike Thor or Captain America (and was already made into an "ethnic version" in Spider-Man 2099), this is a welcome development — Marvel's come a long way from the embarrassing Luke Cage days, when their idea of writing convincing ethnic dialogue involved copious use of phrases like "Sweet Christmas!"