Mixed-race Miles Morales is to officially replace Peter Parker in the Spider-Man comics. The teenage son of an African-American father and Puerto Rican mother, Morales will become the first black character to portray the superhero in the official Marvel comic book universe.

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Though Spider-Man will continued to be portrayed as Peter Parker in the upcoming Hollywood movies (Tom Holland was announced as the new star this week), Morales could get a big screen debut in the near future. A recent leaked email from Sony revealed that Parker must be "Caucasian and heterosexual" in the new film - though times are changing.

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"Many kids of colour who when they were playing superheroes with their friends, their friends wouldn't let them be Batman or Superman because they don't look like those heroes but they could be Spider-Man because anyone could be under that mask," Morales co-creator and comic book writer Brian Bendis told the New York Daily News. "But now it's true. It's meant a great deal to a great many people."

"Our message has to be it's not Spider-Man with an asterisk, it's the real-Spider-Man for kids of colour, for adults of colour and everybody else."

Previously, the half-Mexican geneticist Miguel O'Hara played a Latino Spider-Man in a 1993 comic book set.

Morales has played a version of Spider-Man since 2011, replacing the murdered Peter Parker in Marvel's offshoot "Ultimate" comic books.

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