Entertainment

All You Need To Know About The Latino Spider-Man: Miles Morales

With the release of the surprise animated hit and Oscar winner, “Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse,” the world is suddenly aware of one of the incarnations of Spidey: Miles Morales, a Latino superhero. However, the character has been a constant feature in the Marvel comic book universe for quite some time, since 2011 to be exact. Right in the middle of the Obama years, media, in general, started to move forward in terms of representation, and Marvel wasn’t left behind. Morales represented a huge step in terms of how popular culture manifestations such as comic books can, in fact, be representative of a multicultural, inclusive society. 

Here’s everything you need to know about our very own Latino Increíble Hombre-Araña.

His full name is Miles Gonzalo Morales

Credit: Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse / Sony Pictures

Very telenovelesco is you ask us. He is a half-Black, half-Latino Brooklyn teenager. 

He is fluent in Spanish which brings him closer to his Latina mom. 

Credit: Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse / Sony Pictures

Comic book writers have made him proud of his heritage, and one of his superpowers is being bilingual. He also has some uniquely Latino tastebuds: he loves his mom’s pasteles. He and his mom Rio share a bond by speaking Spanish, effectively creating a world that the two of them can share. 

The character was created in 2011 by comic book writers Brian Michael Bendis and Sara Pichelli

Credit: Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse / Sony Pictures

The reason? Bendis, who is African-American, wanted to create a character that young Black kids, like his own, could relate to. Repeat after us: Representation matters. 

He is Peter Parker’s successor with great power. 

Credit: miles-morales-spider-man-1149710. Digital image. ComicBook.com

After Peter dies (or did he?), Morales is bitten by a genetically enhanced spider, and with the aid of S.H.I.E.L.D., the family and friends of the late Peter Parker and other encapuchados he becomes the one and only Spidey. There is drama, of course, as his police officer father Jefferson totally loathes justice fighters. 

He is a superhero by pure chance.

Credit: 20-things-miles-morales-can-do-that-peter-parker-cant. Digital image. Beauty Milk. 

The story is a bit silly, actually. Miles was visiting his uncle, who robbed Oscorp and unknowingly got the arachnid bite too. He was bitten by surprise and got unexpected superhuman abilities. 

He was only 13-years-old when the transformation happened

Credit: 537bcfc2204f0_0. Digital image. SyFy. 

Because of this, Nick Fury and the rest of the S.H.I.E.L.D team had to keep a very close eye on him. 

He is hated by Venom.

Credit: sonys-animated-spider-man-film-will-feature-miles-morales-social. Digital image. Regionale. 

Venom is one of Spider-Man’s most violent foes. When he learned that a new Spidey was jumping around, he immediately sought a confrontation. The scenarios are eerily similar to the ones in the duels he had with Peter Parker. 

Miles had the Stan Lee seal of approval. 

Credit: stl090516-1533840341456_400w. Digital image. IGN. 

That’s right, Stan Lee himself, who passed away just last year, was one of the comic-book personalities who approved of Miles and silenced critics who said that Miles was an affirmative action move by Marvel. Lee considered that it was great for non-white youth to have a role model. 

He is inspired by Donald Glover.

Credit: Community / NBC

Miles Morales is the result of an unlikely source of inspiration: Donald Glover’s character in “Community,” in particular, the episode where he is wearing his Spider-Man pajamas.

He has two extra-awesome abilities that the original Spider-Man lacked.

Credit: 60b727f77961bd3be8779aabed7407ef. Digital image. AminoApps

Check this out: 1. He can camouflage himself. 2. Like many arachnids, he has a venom that paralyzes victims so Miles can serve justice. 

His father, Jefferson Davis, hates superheroes.

Credit: 2662157-miles. Digital image. Comic Vine. 

Miles kept his secret identity from his father for a long time, because his dad used to be a burglar and distrusts superheroes. In the comic books, there have been some great and tender father-son moments between Miles and Jefferson. 

He didn’t want to be Spider-Man at first.

Credit: 2662157-miles. Digital image. CBR Community. 

It actually took him a year… and we don’t blame him. Imagine being a 13-year-old suddenly invested with superpowers and super responsibilities. When he was 14, though, he finally embraced his new powerful identity. 

Conservative commentator Glenn Black said Miles looked “too much” like Barack Obama.

Credit: 2662157-miles. Digital image. The Verge. 

The host said that Marvel felt pushed to create this here after Former First Lady Michelle Obama said that some traditions needed to be changed. Oh, hay quienes siempre le ven tres pies al gato. 

He has teamed up with The Avengers


Credit: All-New, All-Different Avengers (2015) #1 _ Comics _ Marvel.com. Digital image. Marvel

Yes, this happened in the November 2015 issue All-New, All-Different Avengers #1. Wouldn’t it be great to see this in the Marvel Cinematic Universe?

He loves sneakers.

His favorite are his Air Jordans… he even fought Venom wearing a pair. In real life, Nike released a special edition to commemorate the release of “Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse.”This retro version has a black, white and red design, also in honor of Latino Spidey’s now iconic suit. 

He might just be immortal.

Credit: miles_morales_hero_image. Digital image. SyFy Wire. 

Norman Osborn sort of tells him that one of the side effects of the serum that gave him so much power could be immortality. That would be a lot to take in for a teenager. 

His mother is killed by Venom.

Credit: 5943c62c233d5a7986d115bb7ac61ce81e12b03a_hq. Digital image. Amino Apps

Yes, Rio Morales, a nurse, is killed by perhaps the most famous villain in the Spider-Man universe. 

He was once so sick he almost died.

Credit: Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse / Sony Pictures

Yes, it happened in “Spider-Man 240.” The creator Michael Bendis became ill, which served him as inspiration to write a whole issue in which the hero is mostly in bed, being supported by family and friends to stay alive. This is where the immortality superpower was put into question. 

Cuidado! Spoiler alert.

Credit: Spider-Men #1-5. Digital image. SyFy

Peter Parker wasn’t truly dead! No estaba muerto, andaba de parranda. Yes, Peter and Miles embark in some pretty amazing adventures together in “Spider-Men”issues 1 to 5. 

His best superpower: having a BFF.

Credit: spiderversemovie / Instagram

Let’s be honest, Peter Parker sorta sucks as a friend and has run into some bad luck. But not Miles, who can always count in his best friend Ganke Lee to listen to him, offer consolation and just be a wonderful sidekick in life. 

He has an evil uncle, and he kicks his ass.

Credit: prowler_ultimate_spider-man (1). Digital image. SyFy. 

His uncle Aaron, who got Jefferson into trouble many times in their youth, becomes the incarnation of Prowler. Time for his nephew Miles to put him in his place.

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Netflix’s ‘Ya No Estoy Aquí’ Will Represent Mexico At This Year’s Academy Awards

Entertainment

Netflix’s ‘Ya No Estoy Aquí’ Will Represent Mexico At This Year’s Academy Awards

Ya No Estoy Aqui / Netflix

Mexico has a storied history of successfully competing at the Academy Awards. In fact, it’s this long shadow of worldwide successes – such as last year’s Roma by Alfonso Cuarón – that hang over any Mexican film productions with Oscar ambitions.

And although not everyone agrees with this year’s choice for the country’s selection for the competition, many are rallying around Mexico’s chance at winning another golden statue.

Netflix Mexico is sending another film for Oscars consideration: Ya No Estoy Aquí.

The Mexican Academy of Cinematographic Arts and Sciences (AMACC) announced this week that Ya No Estoy Aquí, by director Fernando Frías and released by Netflix, will represent Mexico in competition for “Best Foreign Film” at the 93rd Annual Academy Awards.

Fernando Frías expressed his excitement in a statement shared by Netflix.

“The news took me by surprise and I am overwhelmed with happiness and emotion… The public shows us that they are ready to connect with our stories here in Mexico: here they found their way, from here they have been writing, and from here they go out into the world and not the other way around,” he stressed.

Although we’ll have to wait until March 15 to find out if Ya No Estoy Aquí actually makes the Academy’s short list of films officially nominated to the Best Foreign Film category. So far, more than 30 countries have submitted films, so there is still a long road ahead.

Other Mexican films considered for the competition included Nuevo Orden by Michel Franco, El ombligo de Guie’dani by Xavi Sala; Esto no es Berlín by Hari Sama; Mano de obra by David Zonana; and Te llevo conmigo by Heidi Ewing.

Ya No Estoy Aquí has earned huge praise for its powerful storyline.

Ya No Estoy Aquí has received praise for his cast of non-professional actors and for being shot on location across parts of Mexico and the United States. As a film, it addresses important issues that are particularly relevant in today’s political climate, such as belonging and immigration.

The film tells the story of Ulises (Juan Daniel Garcia), a young man who is part of the band Los Terkos, who are immersed in the culture of Kolombia music, popular for years in the northern city of Monterrey. But after problems with a local cartel, Ulises must escape to the United States where, not surprisingly, he suffers a thousand and one issues while adapting to his new life.

Since its debut at different festivals such as the Morelia Film Festival, the Cairo Film Festival and the Tribeca Film Festival, Ya No Estoy Aquí has captured the attention of critics, obtaining important recognitions in its wake. A few months ago it was the highest award-winning film at the Ariel Awards with ten awards, including Best Film.

It was just last year that the Mexican film Roma won big at the awards ceremony.

Credit: Roma / Netflix

Just last year Mexico won big at the Oscars, thanks to Alfonso Cuarón’s Roma, which took home many awards including Best Foreign category. Cuarón along with Guillermo del Toro (who won big in 2018) have both endorsed the academy’s selection of Ya No Estoy Aquí.

Prior to Roma and The Shape of Water, Mexico has competed eight times at the Academy Awards. Most recently with Biutiful (2011) by Alejandro González Iñárritu, Pan’s Labyrinth (2007) by Del Toro, The Crime of Padre Amaro (2002) by Carlos Carrera, Amores Perros (2000) by González Iñárritu, Actas de Marusia (1975) by Miguel Littin, Tlayucan (1962) by Luis Alcoriza, Ánimas Trujano, The Important Man (1961) by Ismael Rodríguez and Macario (1960) by Roberto Galvadón.

We will have to wait until April 2021 to know if AMACC’s choice was the right one. In the meantime, because of the pandemic, you can enjoy Ya No Estoy Aquí on Netflix and judge for yourself. 

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The Motion Picture Academy Just Dropped Diversity Requirements For Oscar Nominations And It’s Pretty Lit

Entertainment

The Motion Picture Academy Just Dropped Diversity Requirements For Oscar Nominations And It’s Pretty Lit

Andrew H. Walker / Getty

Equity is coming to the Oscars.

The Academy Awards have long received critique and backlash for their lack of effort to ensure diversity among its nominees. The criticism of these practices dates back to its first show in 1929. Since then, only 6.4% of academy award nominees have been people of color. Since 1991, only 11.2% of the academy’s nominees have been people of color. What’s worse, according to research, white actors have managed to build their careers on winning Oscars for roles in which they played the parts of POC. In fact, more women who are white have won Oscars for brownface and yellowface portrayals of women of color than actual actresses of color.

This year, the Academy is finally making an effort to change.

On Tuesday, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences announced they made new eligibility requirements for the top prize at the Oscars.

Under the new guidelines for the ceremony’s Best Picture award, films are required to meet two out of four standards. They are: “on-screen representation, themes and narratives; creative leadership and project team; industry access and opportunities; and audience development.”

“We believe these inclusion standards will be a catalyst for long-lasting, essential change in our industry,” the Academy said in a statement.

The new changes will be required in the Best Picture category starting with the 96th Academy Award which will air in 2024.

“The aperture must widen to reflect our diverse global population in both the creation of motion pictures and in the audiences who connect with them. The Academy is committed to playing a vital role in helping make this a reality,” Academy President David Rubin and Academy CEO Dawn Hudson said in a joint statement.

The academy’s newest requirements outline that “films must have at least one of the lead actors or significant supporting actors represent an underrepresented racial group, with at least 30 percent of all actors in minor roles from underrepresented groups.”

It gets better though! The show will require those submitting projects to ensure diversity and inclusion behind the camera as well. The academy is also encouraging projects to ensure women who are either part of an underrepresented racial or ethnic group, and part of the LGBTQ+ community as well as people with disabilities.

Here’s to a better award show!

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