And then, in 2010, Marvel Comics presented a Spider-Man (the ‘Ultimate’ version) who was 13 years old and brown. To see Spider-Man pulling his mask over a tiny brown chin – to see a boy with short curly hair sticking to the ceiling of his bedroom— well, something happened. Dagim has been Spider-Man for two Halloweens in a row. He takes a bath with his Spider-Man and a toy killer whale. He has Spider-Man toothpaste and a Spider-Man toothbrush. If Spider-Man offered medical coverage, I think he would want that, too.
I thought for a while that my son would never be interested in my comics. I was afraid they would just represent another club he couldn’t join: all those big-jawed white guys with their hair parted to the side. But thanks to Spider-Man, my son imagines himself jumping on giant robots and saving the city. I hear him doing that behind the door of his room.