The writer of the controversial Miles Morales’ Thor writer has offered a sincere apology for the character’s inauthentic portrayal.
Warning: contains spoilers for What If…? Miles Morales Became Thor? #4
Writer Yehudi Mercado is apologizing for his recent Miles Morales’ Thor story, which received considerable backlash after its publication by Marvel Comics. the What If…? story showcasing a new Thor variant trending on Twitter and Reddit this week, with many criticizing the inauthentic creative choices deemed insulting towards both the Black and Afro-Latinx culture and the usual Spider-Man’s own past.
Miles Morales has taken up the mantle of a handful of superheroes in the currently ongoing What If…? Miles Morales series from Marvel Comics. The stories have imagined Miles becoming heroes other than Spider-Man. So far, readers have been introduced to versions of the hero as Wolverine, Hulk, Captain America, and most recently, Thor. However, the newest Morales variant was immediately met with a confused and critical response, as many pointed out that the book and its version of Asgard played up harmful stereotypes while offering an inauthentic take on the Black experience. Among the issues pointed out included him rapping to open the issue, shoes hanging on power lines in Asgard, a graffiti-covered Mjolnir, an outdated catchphrase referencing MC Hammer, and Morales referring to his realm of him as “his hood of him.”
On his Twitter account, writer Yehudi Mercadowho penned the What If…? Miles Morales Thor becomes offered an apology for his portrayal of the character. He wrote that he acknowledges the criticism and backlash and understands that inauthenticity hurts him, mentioning his Jewish and Mexican background. Mercado admits he failed to make his story authentic and appreciates hearing from Black and Puerto Rican comic peers. The writer of the Thor variant of Miles Morales promised to do better and said he would donate the entire amount Marvel paid him to the Brooklyn Book Bogeda, an organization that works with kids to build literacy in New York City. Check out his complete statement below.
The apology seems genuine, as Mercado admits to missing the mark with the story. The backlash and warranted criticism should serve as a reminder that stories handling specific backgrounds and cultures should, at the very least, be read over by someone with real-life experience with them. The standard should be writers and artists with lived, authentic experience, but in hiring comics and other mediums, that’s unfortunately not the norm. Marvel has made some questionable mistakes with characters of color, while Marvel’s current editor-in-chief CB Cebulski once pretended to be Japanese to gain more work from the publisher, taking away opportunities from other writers. There’s still a long way to go to tell authentic stories.
Ultimately, Marvel Comics needs to be better at telling authentic stories, even ones about alternate versions of popular characters such as the Thor variant; otherwise, they’ll continue to get much-deserved criticism and backlash. Thankfully, Mercado recognized his mistake, apologized and owned up to it, listened to Black and Puerto Rican creators, and will do some good by donating the money he received from Marvel Comics to a good cause. Still, it’s a shame Miles Morales story was told in the way it was and that we got to this point.
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