“I hope to use this moment to help promote better authenticity.”

Entertainment, Theater, News, Spider-Man, Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse

Miles Morales is about to return to the big screen in Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse. So what better way to celebrate than with a special Spider-Man crossover comic?

Unfortunately, the recent issue, 'What if… Miles Morales was Thor' didn’t quite live up to expectations, with comic book fans calling out the comic over its caricatured depictions of black people. Now, writer Yehudi Mercado has responded to the backlash.

“I’ve taken the last few days to step back and listen, and I acknowledge your criticism for my recent issue of What If…Miles Morales was Thor,” he said via Twitter. “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.”

“I’ve appreciated hearing and learning from my Black and Puerto Rican comics peers and hope to use this moment to help promote better authenticity,” he added. “I’m also going to donate what Marvel paid me to the Brooklyn Book Bodega, which works to build literacy and get more books to kids in NYC.”

Miles Morales is now best known for the recent Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse movie, which saw Morales suit up in an alternate universe alongside various other incarnations of Spider-Man.

The comic, written by Yehudi Mercado with art by Luigi Zagaria, is part of Marvel's upcoming 60th-anniversary celebration of the famous web-slinger. But the comic was met with instant backlash over its stereotypical black depictions.

“Of all the five realms, Asgard is his hood,” he says at one point. He also shouts “It’s hammer time,” while swinging his version of Mjolnir, which is covered in graffiti. And comic book fans were having none of it.

Nah bro. That new WHAT IF Miles Morales as Thor is lowkey– no HIGHKEY RACIST AS HELL. Gross as stereotypes.'Asgard is the hood''By Odin's Fade'
'Graffiti thor hammer' https://t.co/JvJfuCtjQG

— G 🧙🏾‍♂️ (@agravesmistake) June 18, 2022

In an unfortunate twist, this particular issue of What if… Miles Morales was the first to be penned by a non-black writer, with previous issues written by Cody Ziglar, Anthony Piper, and John Ridley.

Thankfully, Morales should make a far less stereotypical return in Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse which sees him take on the multiversal villain, The Spot.

Ryan Leston is an entertainment journalist and film critic for IGN. You can follow him on Twitter.

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