Thursday, July 12, 2012

The Amazing Spider-Douche?

Over at The Null Zone Cameron poses a few interesting questions.

For years, people have complained that One More Day was an out of character moment for Peter. I've heard people say it made him look irresponsible or immature or even kind of douchey. All kinds of things like this.

Out comes The Amazing Spider-Man, wherein Peter is immature, irresponsible and a douche and stays that way even after the film ends...and fans (longtime fans, at that) are defending this lack of (or just bad) character development by saying that's how the character has always been.

So if that's the case, how was it unbelievable that Peter would selfishly make a deal with the devil to safe his aunt and give up his marriage in return? Because if TASM's portrayal is true to the character, I could see this guy making that deal.

This is a pretty multi faceted series of questions and deserves some equally multi faceted answers. I will do my best here to defend my favorite super hero in the face of the indefensible. First of all, not only do I believe Peter was out of character in OMD, but also Mary Jane and even Mephisto were completely off character in that. One More Day might have been the worse thing Marvel ever did, and remember this is a company that gave us this.

 Now as for the new Amazing Spider-man movie, Cameron is totally right. Peter is a douche when the film starts, he's a douche when the film ends. The theme of responsibility is incredibly downplayed in this movie. Even the death of Uncle Ben never seems to inspire a sense of 'lesson learned' on Peter's part. It inspires a need to find the killer and take revenge, but that's far from the real moral behind Spider-man's origin. Peter is no real different at the end of the movie as opposed to the beginning. So I would say that TASM is NOT a true portrayal of Peter's character.

So why are so many fans saying it is more true than the Sam Raimi 2002 film? Because I am hearing this from some fans as well. This is largely speculation on my part but I think it's because Amazing is truer to Spider-man in superficial ways. The jokes, the way he moved in fight scenes, the inclusion of the Stacys, the mechanical webshooters, visually and superficially this is definitely truer to the source material then the Raimi films, which as I discussed in an earlier post were pretty piss poor visually. But while Amazing might have been visually stronger it completely missed the heart and soul of the character. I mean seriously, how can you tell Spider-man's origin without the famous phrase With great power, must come great responsibility?

So is Spider-man a douche? Well this new movie seems to think so. Joe Quasada seemed to think so when he gave us OMD. Many of the writers on Spidey post OMD seemed to think so as well. But to me Spidey you'll always be the man with a great sense of responsibility I remember reading about.

1 comment:

  1. I felt like they hit the "great power/great responsibility" thing pretty well. It's just SUCH an awkward line for an old man to be telling his teenage "son", who HAS no great power, to this man's knowledge. Peter stepped up and took responsibility. He made the choice to save the kid instead of pursue the Lizard off the bridge. I feel like a kid who hadn't taken to heart what Uncle Ben said about responsibility wouldn't have chased The Lizard across NYC nursing a bullet wound.