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Where are you coming from Spiderman…Nobody Knows Who You Are. May 3, 2014

Posted by regan222 in Books, Film and Television, General Ranting, Movie Madness.
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The Amazing SpidermanSpiderman 2…Just got back.  I am not a great movie reviewer but I do have a peculiarly accurate memory for certain details as well as a desire to see justice done.  I feel that something here is amiss.  I am an old man now but it hasn’t been THAT long since I faithfully followed your friendly neighborhood web-slinger through comics, TV cartoons, and even a 33 1/3 rpm vinyl album.  To say that I was a fan would be an understatement.  Having said that, I was more than willing to cater to my small boy’s request to brave the crowds and watch the latest reincarnation of Aunt May’s favorite nephew and New York’s “favorite” son.  Initial reaction was positive.  It was big, loud, and not overly complicated as a summer blockbuster should be.  However, all through the movie a tingling annoyance, not unlike our hero’s spider sense, bothered me.  They are really playing fast and loose with the story.

<spoiler alert>  If you haven’t see the movie you might want to go right now and get tickets.  It is probably showing somewhere near you and it is definitely worth a viewing.  It is really good in digital Hi-def. 3D.  The spoilers I am alerting you to, gentle reader, are details from the original story, not necessarily the film.  Here goes…

In 1962, in Amazing Fantasy #15, Peter Parker was bitten by an radioactive spider and the rest is history…amazingly profitable history and merchandising rights, and copy rights, and royalties.  Spiderman is the flagship character and mascot of the largest comics publisher in the world (as well as what is rapidly becoming the most profitable movie production house in America).  Based upon whichever biography one reads, Spiderman was invented by Stan Lee, Jack Kirby, Steve Ditko, or a combination of the three.  He was a teenaged “everyman” who had greatness thrust upon him by a million to one accident, and responsibility thrust on him by the tragic consequences of his own actions.  Peter and his supporting cast brought to life an alternate dimension very similar to our own but filled with amazing and sometimes frightening differences.  That is how I felt after watching this most recent movie.

In the comic story line, Gwen Stacy, Peter’s initial love interest, and Harry Osborne are all friends.  Harry’s father, Norman, becomes Spiderman’s arch nemesis, and Electro is a Caucasian.  The Rhino is a big guy in a suit and Professor Smyth is an employee of the King Pin.  Needless to say, Marvel is drastically rewriting history and it bothers me.  I felt the same cognitive dissonance that someone who is just beginning to feel the effects of Alzheimer’s Dementia must feel each day.  I understand the concept of editorial license and I am sure Marvel has perfectly good reasons for rewriting my childhood but what bothers me is WHY??  The story doesn’t NEED revamping.  It is still relevant and compelling.  The property is still amazingly profitable after 50 years and Spiderman is an icon.  Why mess with it?

Perhaps it is the way of things…The world changes.  It might interest you to know that in the cartoon story arc, the original Spiderman, Peter Parker, is, in fact, dead and his consciousness rests within the mind of his mortal enemy Dr. Octopus.  Could it get anymore convoluted?  In April of 2014, Parker’s brain returns to his body and there is no telling where it will go from there.

Well I’m glad I could get that out in the open.  It was really bothering me.  I also needed an excuse to write something as I have been sorely lacking in content lately.  I promise to return to form as soon as school is out.  Meanwhile, if you get the chance, give Spiderman 2 a look.  I like this guy better than Toby McGuire (he looks too much like Frodo from LOTR) and Harry Osborne was right…He does have an impressive uni-brow.

Excelsior (you know that is Styrofoam packing peanuts right)