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SPIDERTEMBER: The Not So Amazing Spider-Man

Written by Ben McCarthy

Ah, Spider-Man.

Arguably Marvel Comics’ most popular superhero, the story of dorky Peter Parker and that pesky radioactive spider is well-known throughout the world. Or it should be by now. Hell, since 2002 we’ve had five movies, 2 franchises, and one particular bar dance scene that stuck in people’s minds long after they left the cinema. Like a persistent Jar Jar Binks, it seems he’ll always be hanging around in some shape or form.

But now, the dream of all geeks around the world has come true – Marvel Studios has gotten Spider-Man back. The web slinger has come home, free to shoot along with the Avengers, the Guardians, and even Daredevil if he wants to. We have a new actor taking on the role, a new movie announced… Everything is therefore perfect, right?

So why do I feel uneasy? Why, whenever the topic of future Spider-Man movies comes up, do I not feel as thrilled by the prospect of more Spidey flicks than I should?

I suppose it’s possible I’m Spider-Manned out. After 5 movies, with over half of them being very average, I guess I’m just not that excited by yet another one, and a reboot to boot. I’m left wondering just what else they can do with it now. We’ve already seen Uncle Ben die. We’ve seen flying surf boards, mechanical arms, and two Gwen Stacys. What else can a new film offer?

Ah, I hear you say, but Marvel Studios own it now! They have yet to really make a bad film, or at least not one as bad as the Amazing Spider-Man 2 (eeesh), and now Spider-Man is in their Cinematic Universe, so he can be an Avenger! We may actually get a seriously good Spider-Man movie! Unfortunately, Marvel Studios are not the sole occupiers of the Spidey world – Sony are regrettably still holding onto distribution rights. They will make Spider-Man movies. Even if God himself would rather they just gave the hell up already.

This is the studio that thought an Aunt May movie would be a good idea. The studio that basically made a film to stop another one doing it. A studio that will insist on Spider-Man-related content, regardless of what Marvel has already got on its agenda. And regardless of its overall quality. Do we really want Sony anyway near Marvel, having a say in what it does? Demanding a slice of the pie for each appearance of Spider-Man in a Marvel movie, and wanting creative input to boot?

I mean, when Marvel got the rights back, it instantly significantly altered its plans for the next few years. Thor 3 has been pushed back, Black Panther is going to appear in two Marvel films before actually getting his own movie… and Inhumans seems over a decade away. I can’t help wondering if pushing back new content for yet another Spider-Man movie is worth it. We’ve swapped a story we’ve never seen… for a story seen many, many times before. I mean, does Marvel even need Spider-Man?

But hey. Maybe I’m being pessimistic. Maybe a Marvel kick up the creative backside is just what Spider-Man needs going forward. After all, we were always going to get new Spidey movies – at least now a studio is involved that seems to know what they are doing. And anything is better than an Aunt May movie. I mean, really?

So, while I remain sceptical, and do think that maybe Spider-Man should be left alone for a bit, let’s sit back and see how it goes. After all, having an Avengers team that features both Ant-Man and Spider-Man is worth it for the laughs alone.

What do you think about Spider-Man’s introduction to the Marvel Cinematic Universe? Do you have high hopes or will we get yet another mediocre installment? Sound off in the comments or on Twitter.

About the author

Ben McCarthy