This paper tackles the way in which fans legitimise ‘whiteness’ in the pantheon of American fictional heroes. Using the 2010 internet meme calling for an African-American actor be cast as the next Spider-Man, and the replacement of Peter Parker with a character of Hispanic and African-American descent, I examine online arguments made by fans that Peter Parker and Spider-Man have been and therefore should remain white. Specifically, I am interested in the way in which fans legitimise the ‘casting’ choices of characters through the use of canon – the officially recognised history of a fictional universe – and dominant characterisations of Spider-Man as a hero.
(2015). “Fear of a black Spider-Man: racebending and the colour-line in superhero (re) casting.” Journal of Graphic Novels and Comics. DOI: 10.1080/21504857.2014.994647