Marvel Comics revealed last week that it is introducing a variant of its iconic Spider-Man character who is gay, with “fearlessly femme” detailing.
One of Marvel’s Spider-Man writers posted a tweet on Thursday revealing “Web-Weaver” and the character’s costume designs. He wrote, “Something I realized immediately when conceiving Web-Weaver is that he can’t — and shouldn’t — represent ALL gay men. No single character can. His fearlessly femme identity is central to who he is, but it’s not the STORY— which you can experience for yourself in September!” he added.”
After some predictably harsh responses, Foxe later protected his Twitter account so that only his followers could see his posts.
The comics giant has scheduled the new character’s first appearance in Edge of the Spider-Verse #5 to be released in September. The new character’s secret identity is a “not-so-mild mannered fashion designer.” Marvel said that each issue of the special series will include three stories about variants of Spider-Man, and will end the story arc in a “blaze of glory.”
After acquiring super spider-powers, he is said to “show us a very different kind of Spider-Slayer.’
Some commenters who generally support the concept of a gay Spider-Man were critical of the design concept. One person said making the character “effeminate and camp could be really tone-deaf.” Another asked why Marvel felt compelled to make the new character such a “stereotype of a gay person.”
Sony Studios reportedly told developers in 2020 that it was interested in producing a movie with a bisexual Spider-Man who has a featured boyfriend. Tom Holland, the actor who currently portrays Spider-Man in Marvel movies, has actively campaigned for the superhero to be made gay for the films.
Marvel has depicted other gay characters in the past. The Spider-Man comics included a lesbian version of Peter Parker’s longtime girlfriend Mary-Jane Watson in 2003. Mary-Jane fell in love with female character Sunfire. However, there has never before been an expressly gay version of Spider-Man himself.
Last year, Marvel introduced a gay version of Captain America named Aaron Fischer. The new character took over for the original Captain America, Steve Rogers. The company said at the time that it was “proud to honor Pride Month with the rise of this new LGBTQ+ hero.” The writer who created the gay Captain America said that he “stands for the oppressed and the forgotten.”