Wizard Victor here, everyone! Murray asked me to fill in for this week and while thinking of what to write, I realized that I haven’t read a lot of comics recently. I thought I’d take this moment to share some of my feelings involving the new Amazing Spider-Man movie!
A couple months back, the first trailer for The Amazing Spider-Man hit the Internet and everyone was enthusiastic about the movie. It was different enough from Sam Raimi’s version, but close enough to the comics to become its own unique taking on the story. But just how close to the original comic is it?
Pretty close, actually!
I admit, I had my doubts when I saw the first picture of Andrew Garfield as my beloved Spidey. The picture was dark and gritty, and I thought Andrew Garfield looked too much like a pretty boy to fit the requirements of skinny nerdy Peter Parker. I was scared this was doing to be a dark “Twilight-esque” reboot of Spider-Man.
Thankfully, I was proven wrong, as another trailer came out. The first thing I noticed about the new Spidey is that he constantly cracks jokes and makes fun of his enemies during battles. This is exactly what Spidey does in the comics. Although Sam Raimi’s Spider-Man is fantastic and all, they never quite got Spider-Man’s personality right. They consistently focused on Peter’s grief and trials, his struggle with being a superhero, and keeping his identity a secret. In the comics, Spider-Man is an active part of the New York community. He swings around, chats with regular citizens, waits in line for hot dogs, and never shuts up. The tenser the situation, the more jokes he makes. That’s the Spider-Man I love and that’s the Spider-Man I saw in the trailer.
The costume is also pretty awesome, despite the spandex look.
Another cool thing they did was introduce Gwen Stacy early on. For those of you only familiar with the movies, Gwen Stacy was Peter’s first girlfriend and the second person he loved who died (the first being Uncle Ben). It’s because of her death that he realizes he needs to stop abusing his powers and start taking responsibility. Emma Stone seems like a perfect fit and I can’t wait to see what she’s made of! In place of the beloved J. Jonah Jameson is Gwen Stacy’s father, Captain George Stacey. While J. Jonah was more of a comic relief villain (and very VERY hilariously played by J.K. Simmons), Captain Stacy seems more gruff and serious. Like Commissioner Gordon, except very much against vigilantes. It’ll be interesting to see how that plays out.
Spidey’s spider-webs. One of the most obvious changes. It makes a lot of sense, actually. In the comics, Peter had to make his own web-shooters to swing around New York City. Only in the movie did they decide to make the web-shooting an effect of the radioactive spider. In fact, that part of the mythology became so popular that they reincorporated the biological web-shooters into the comics, though it’s now been reversed.
A Spidey movie with no Green Goblin and no Doc Ock?! Impossible! Outrageous! Mortifying! I admit, I’m a bit confused by their choice of the main villain, The Lizard. He’s a cool character, but not one of the most recognizable. I guess the filmmakers wanted to differentiate their film from Sam Raimi’s as much as possible. With that being said, I love the design of the character! He seems a lot more humanoid and twisted, rather than just a large lizard in a lab coat.
Another cool aspect of the movie, as shown from the trailer, is the origin of Richard and Mary Parker. They weren’t mentioned that much in Raimi’s, but they seem to have a very large presence in this film. In the comics, they’re secret agents and appeared under a comic called Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. (though they were never actually a part of the organization). Perhaps the filmmakers are trying to tie the movie to The Avengers? Will the filmmakers tie in the movie with the X-Men franchise by explaining the radioactive spider was from the same string of mutations that came from mutants? Only time will tell.
As you can see from the trailers, this Peter isn’t just the stereotypical high school nerd. He’s not ugly, skinny, l, and he doesn’t get shoved in lockers. He’s more of a 21st century geek, an antisocial mastermind, someone who heralds from the Internet generation. It’ll be interesting to see how this plays out, as we’re very much used to the original Peter Parker who can’t play basketball and routinely gets beat up by Flash Thompson.
All-in-all, I’m pretty excited for this movie! It’s a great change of pace from previous incarnations of Spider-Man, but it’s also very much true to the comic, and not just the basic origin story, but a lot of the backstory that evolved over the years.
Go web, fly!