There seems to be no shortage of drama and debate within the Spider-Man fan base.

Just weeks after fans were stunned to see that Insomniac Games accidentally mixed up the Puerto Rican and Cuban flags in the highly anticipated, record-breaking game Spider Man 2 video game, now the community is debating who the real Spider-Man is.

The game’s plot has Miles Morales and Peter Parker living and working together as separate versions of Spider-Man, consistent with the original comic storyline. There is no leader between the two and there is no “passing of the torch,” so to speak, when Parker decides to take a break in the game. (In the original comic, Parker dies.)

After completing the game, some members of the Marvel community resurfaced a statement first popularized by YouTuber Nerdrotic in 2021: “Peter Parker is Spider-Man; Miles Morales is Miles Morales.”

Nerdrotic, real name Gary Buechler, I first posted the sentence on X, formerly known as Twitter. In a subsequent livestream, Buechler explained that when the general public thinks about Spider-Man’s true identity, they think of Peter Parker, not Miles Morales.

However, some users thought this was the case a racist element to what Büchler said, especially since Morales is a black Puerto Rican character. That’s what supporters argued Morales is “tokenized” by using him as a replacement for an originally white comic book character, rather than having his own superhero identity.

Now the debate has started again Spider Man 2 Game release.

When asked for comment, Buechler told Yahoo’s In The Know: “It would be difficult for me to elaborate on factual allegations. Peter Parker is Spider-Man and Miles Morales is Miles Morales. What is then projected onto my tweets is entirely at the discretion of the internet.”

YouTuber Melonie Mac is one of the people bringing back the phrase in response Spider Man 2 Game. In a November 6 reaction video, Mac claimed that Marvel was trying to “smuggle Miles Morales into Peter Parker’s Spider-Man space.”

“Particularly in the realm of nerd culture, we constantly see old characters that many of us grew up with and love either get completely rebooted and transformed beyond recognition or remain sidelined in their own franchises,” said Mac told Yahoo’s In The Know. “In this case with Miles Morales, I personally found the character to be funny and likeable, but he is very different and therefore should have his own identity.”

“Peter Parker is such an iconic character; “He’s Spider-Man,” she continued. “Miles Morales is great, but Miles Morales is Miles Morales.”

Other fans seemed to interpret the statement as derogatory towards the character, who was introduced into the Marvel Universe in 2011. (For reference, Peter Parker was introduced in 1962.) Some still thought this was the case a racially motivated attitudewhich, according to fans, was contrary to what creator Stan Lee intended with the character design in the first place.

“Every kid can imagine they’re Spider-Man,” Lee said in a 2015 interview with Larry King. “He could be any race.”

One of those fans is Andres Bornacelli, who runs a Spider-Man Instagram account with nearly 60,000 followers and has been a cosplayer for nearly a decade.

“It’s a very immature and narrow-minded view of the Spider-Man mythos,” Bornacelli told Yahoo’s In The Know. “Peter Parker is absolutely my favorite version of the character and I would be sad if he was replaced, but that is NOT happening with Miles Morales.”

Jeremy Cascamisi, who has 26,000 followers on his Spider-Man fan account, told Yahoo’s In The Know that Parker couldn’t have achieved what Morales did and portrayed by being a black Puerto Rican superhero.

“[Morales is] provides diversity and representation in comics, video games, films and more,” argued Cascamisi. “[People] are upset with the role Miles has held since its inception. He was never a buddy; he was Spider-Man.”

“It’s so clear that these characters are supposed to support each other that Marvel just announced the launch of a new comic series starring both of them,” Bornacelli pointed out the new Spectacular Spider-Men Series. “That is completely clear [Morales] has earned his place as Spider-Man among younger generations of fans.”

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