If there ever was a superhero that deserves to be Asian American, it’s our friendly, neighborhood Spider-man.
Let’s examine the evidence for this, shall we?
Let’s start by taking a look at Spider-man’s alter ego, Peter Parker. He’s a bit of a geek and an outsider who doesn’t really fit in with his classmates. He’s incredibly intelligent and has a special aptitude for science. If that’s not enough of the Asian American “Model Minority” stereotype for you, let’s not forget that Peter’s also a photographer—taking pictures a.k.a. another Asian stereotype. Hell, even his name is just two letters from being Asian. Just erase the “er” from his last name and you have…Peter Park.
And notice something else “Asian-y” when he puts on that mask:
Yup, just take a look at those eyes—kind of slanted, aren’t they?
I should point out that none of what I’m saying here is new or original either. The “Spider-man should be Asian” discussion was even happening among my friends when I was a kid (and if you didn’t know, the stuntman who doubled for Andrew Garfield in The Amazing Spider-man is Asian American Ilrma Choi).
But in all seriousness, why shouldn’t Peter Parker/Spider-man be Asian American? Perhaps in August 1962, when the character first debuted in the pages of Marvel Comics,
the world America wasn’t ready for a mainstream Asian superhero, but we’re living in a different time now. If Nick Fury can go from this:
Why not Spider-man? And if fans can campaign en masse for the casting of someone like African American Community star Donald Glover to play the web-slinger in this latest movie, by the time studio execs are ready to reboot the series in another ten years or so, I don’t think it’ll be strange to imagine an Asian face could lie underneath that red, webbed and, yes, slanty-eyed-looking mask.
But fortunately for us, until that day comes, at least we have the comfort of knowing that somewhere out there, there is an Indian Spider-Man keeping us safe from evil:
(Thanks to Offender David for his KevJumba-inspired photoshop skills)