A Marvel comic writer apologized after a Miles Morales story received backlash over racial stereotypes

“Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse.”sony pictures animation

  • Comics writer Yehudi Mercado apologized after a Marvel comic faced criticism for depicting racial stereotypes.

  • In the comic, Miles Morales refers to Thor’s home world as “the hood,” for instance.

  • Yehudi promised to donate his payment for the comic to a New York City charity.

A comic-book writer apologized after a story he wrote faced online backlash from fans over racial stereotypes.

The writer, Yehudi Mercado, wrote the latest issue of the Marvel series “What If? … Miles Morales,” which was drawn by the artists Luigi Zagaria and Paco Medina, and envisioned an alternate universe where Morales became Thor.

“While I’ve lived a different experience through my own Jewish and Mexican background, I still know inauthenticity hurts, and I’m sorry this failed on that front,” Mercado wrote in a statement on Twitter on Wednesday. “I’ve appreciated hearing from my Black and Puerto Rican comics peers and hope to use this moment to help promote better authenticity.”

Mercado also said that he would donate his pay from Marvel to the Brooklyn Book Bodega charity, which aims to provide books to youth in New York City.

His full statement is below:

Morales was first introduced in the comics in 2011 as a teenage half-Black, half-Puerto Rican Spider-Man. Since then, the character has grown in popularity with appearances in other media, including the animated movie “Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse” and PlayStation’s “Spider-Man” video games.

Some readers took to Twitter to criticize Mercado’s comic for depicting racial stereotypes, including calling Thor’s home world of Asgard “the hood” and depicting his hammer Mjolnir with graffiti on it.

“This is the only issue in the ‘What If? Miles Morales’ series not written by a Black author,” one person on Twitter wrote. “It’s also the only one that leans on racist tropes. I bet there’s a connection.”

Marvel has come under fire for offensive imagery before. For instance, Marvel recently cut ties with the artist Joe Bennett after he included antisemitic material in an “Immortal Hulk” comic.

In 2020, after Marvel pledged to improve diversity on its staff and in its comics, some insiders expressed skepticism to Insider, as the company had employed only two Black editorial staffers in five years at that time.

Marvel has aimed to improve diversity in its comics since, including the “Marvel’s Voices” series, which spotlights diverse characters and creators. But its leadership is still largely white, including editor-in-chief CB Cebulski, who faced controversy when he was hired in 2017 after admitting to writing comics in the early 2000s under a Japanese pseudonym.

Read the original article on Business Insider

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