Despite last week’s controversial announcement that in the movies, the depiction of Peter Parker a.k.a. Spider-Man can not stray too far from the classic comic book version, i.e. Caucasian and heterosexual, it looks like Marvel is free to play fast and loose with his other defining traits.

The publisher is relaunching its entire comics line this year, making sweeping changes to freshen things up and its most famous hero will be no exception.  Writer Dan Slott explains, “Peter Parker has stepped up. He’s grown. He’s become the Peter Parker we’ve always hoped he was going to be.”

With the Spidey movie franchise taking a step back, sending Parker back to high school, the comics are headed in the opposite direction, making him a grown up.  A very, VERY successful grown up.

“He’s operating with Parker Industries in not just New York, but also Shanghai and San Francisco and London.  He’s going to be a far more global Spider-Man, and with that is going to come all new global threats. Things that will really test Spider-Man like never before.”

Parker Industries is a technology company that Peter runs,which employs his science know-how to spread into a major business force.  (As readers know, Peter invented his innovative web shooters.  Why did he stop there?)

And he won’t just be a successful globe-trotting businessman.  He’ll be drowning in ladies.  Slott explains, “One of the things I always loved was there was always a [love] triangle.  There’s all these characters who are vying for Pete’s attention and I think you’re going to get back to that. You’re going to see all kinds of different characters we know and care about.”  (See the cover to the right.)

Peter isn’t just getting an upgrade in his everyday life.  Borrowing a page from Tony Stark, the new tycoon hires a new, high-profile bodyguard– Spider-Man.  Spidey swings in a new high tech suit designed by Alex Ross and will be cruising in a new tricked out Spider-Mobile with Transformers-like adaptive modes.

Spider-Man has one iconic look, but over the years, he’s donned different uniforms as situations called for them.  His new look is designed by superstar artist Alex Ross and looks very much like his basic costume, with just a few modifications.  You can check out Ross’ design below:

Slott described the new suit by saying, “The things this suit will be able to do and the innovations that Peter Parker has put into it will be astounding and when you want to take something to the next level, you go, and make it look real, you go, ’hey Alex Ross, take your best shot.’”

Here are illustrations of the new Spider-Mobile, demonstrating it’s form changing functions:

Marvel won’t let their movie version stray to far from the white, straight male Parker has always been, but those are superficial features.  It’s always been his outsider, downtrodden loser-dom that’s made him the ultimate relate-able hero.  He was a bullied nerd in high school.  His boss was a loud jerk.  He had to hide his secret identity from his feeble aunt.  He had to scramble to pay bills and those pesky super villains always seemed to strike when he was on a really important date.

Sure, Mary-Jane Watson and Gwen Stacy were goddesses and they were both in love with him, but we chalked that up to the Archie Andrews-effect.

Isn’t switching his entire persona to that of a globe-trotting, rich playboy a much more drastic deviation than making him black?  Or gay?

How do you feel about this remarkable change to Parker’s character?  Is making him more like Tony Stark or Bruce Wayne an intriguing new idea?

Source: Newsarama