It turns out an article Alonso had written about two people on opposite ends of the marijuana debate — a D.E.A. agent and the former editor of High Times magazine — had caught Stathis’ attention. Mostly because Stathis and the former editor had recently been rivals over a mutual lady friend. Stathis kept Alonso’s article for comic relief. And, as Alonso put it: “That was that.” He got the gig.
Shortly after being hired, Alonso inherited Stathis’ position after his mentor’s untimely death. Alonso went on to oversee DC Comics from 1993 to 2000. He then moved on to Marvel Comics where he began as senior editor and ascended to his current position as Editor-In-Chief in 2011.
The Marvel World is a Changing…
Under Alonso’s watch, Marvel’s universe is beginning to reflect the various colors and people of the non-comic book world such as Miles Morales, the African-American and Puerto Rican Spider-Man. “[Miles Morales as Ultimate Comics Spider-Man] was a concept that we talked about for a while, and it was a concept that we felt was overdue.”
During a story meeting, Alonso and his writers realized that if they were willing to kill off Peter Parker they needed someone to replace him. “Then, we remembered this idea that we toyed with in the past…it was really beautiful,” he recalled.
“The notion that you could have this guy in red and blue strip back the mask and reveal a very different face — a face that would be welcoming to a whole different audience. It was [writer] Brian [Michael Bendis] that suggested, ‘Well, why stop there? Let’s reflect the larger diversity. Let’s make him Hispanic.’ And, of course, I did not object and Miles was born.”
He did not however stop with Miles. “Right now we’re in a period where we’re really showing diversity,” Alonso explained.
“We have just premiered the all-new Ghost Rider. Finally, I’ve got my Mexican-American superhero, Robbie Reyes. It’s red-hot! People love it! We made the cover of Lowrider magazine. We just debuted Kamala Khan who is the new Ms. Marvel, and she’s a Muslim girl from New Jersey. We have a variety of other characters popping up right and left of various ethnicities. We have six titles all with female leads which is unprecedented.”