If we learned anything from yesterday's Supreme Court ruling involving a Spider-Man toy, it's that with great power must also come great responsibility. And now the comic book character's co-creator is using his power — to voice his opinions about Spider-Man's casting and character in the new movie adaptation.
Stan Lee thinks that Spider-Man should remain true to his origins for the Sony Pictures big screen adapation — meaning he doesn't think the superhero should be gay or a racial minority.
"I wouldn't mind, if Peter Parker had originally been black, a Latino, an Indian or anything else, that he stay that way," Lee told Newsarama. "But we originally made him white. I don't see any reason to change that."
The comment from the former president and chairman of Marvel Comics comes after a recent leak revealed contract details between Marvel and Sony Pictures. The document states that Spider-Man (hence Peter Parker) should always "strictly conform to the following 'Mandatory Character Traits.' " Among other things, those traits list him as being a straight man who doesn't smoke tobacco or drink alcohol, and that he doesn't have sex before the age of 16.
Peter Parker's character traits explicitly require him to be a middle-class white, heterosexual male from Queens, N.Y. He gains his power after being bitten by a spider, and goes on to design his first red-and-blue costume.
While these strict traits may lead some to consider Parker a dork (and to consider Lee closed-minded), Lee did add that there's room for gay and minority superheroes — just that's not who Spider-Man is.
"It has nothing to do with being anti-gay, or anti-black, or anti-Latino, or anything like that," Lee said. "I just see no reason to change that which has already been established when it's so easy to add new characters. I say create new characters the way you want to. Hell, I'll do it myself."
Lee may be happy that his superhero will stay true to the way he was originally envisioned for the new movie, but at least he's open to the creation of superheroes who aren't all straight white men.