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Just to clarify Spider-man and Peter Parker are actually 2 different characters.
Spider-man has mainly been Peter Parker, Ben Reilly (actually a clone of Peter Parker) and Miles Morales, the half-Black, half-Latino Spider-Man from the Ultimate Universe.
Spider-man must be:
- not a homosexual
- does not torture
- does not kill "unless in defense of self or others"
- doesn't smoke or abuse alcohol, sell or distribute drugs
- does not have sex before the age of 16 or with anyone below that age
Peter Parker on the other hand is defined as :
- Full name : Peter Benjamin Parker
- gains his powers while attending either middle school or college - so there is some room for age variance
- Has to be raised in Queens, New York
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Obviously Marvel is protecting its intellectual property.
Interesting clause for Spider-man though :
"If Marvel has portrayed that character as a homosexual" then it is OK to portray him as such.
Are they lining up a new story arch where Spider-man is homosexual ?
I think that would ruin the character.
Its a good thing for Marvel to set up these guidelines since studios seem to be playing fast and loose with our favorite characters. Marvel themselves have been guilty of that too, looking at the latest versions of our classic heroes. I know they are trying to move with the times but if it is not broken don't mess with it.