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As the indefatigable 92-year-old superhero conjurer and Marvel Comics chairman emeritus sees it, fan backlash up until this point hasn’t so much been spurred on by racism as much as unyielding fealty to the source material. “They’re outraged not because of any personal prejudice,” Lee says. “They’re outraged because they hate to see any change made on a series and characters they had gotten familiar with. In Spider-Man, when they got a new actor, that bothered them, even though it was a white actor. I don’t think it had to do with racial prejudice as much as they don’t like things changed.”

He adds: “But I think they’re gonna get to love this character. So I’m not the least bit worried about it. I always tried to pepper these groups with as much racial diversity as possible because that’s the way the world is.”

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