He’s us. We’re a legion of Peter Parkers. We know a ton about comic book history, but it hasn’t earned us any free belly button shootings so far. Some of us are reasonably fit, but we live in a world in which The Rock exists, so fuck me, right? And we have a lot of talents that we wish we could tell the world about, but whenever we do, J. Jonah Jameson gets in the comments segment and writes “Daniel’s jokes? THREAT or MENACE? “
“You’re no Cracked Magazine, kid.”
But when Tom Holland sets on the costume and gets to swing about and beat up robbers, it’s thrilling, because he’s turning into the person we’d like to be. Peter Parker stimulates jokes and the cheerleaders look at him like he has serpents for eyes. Spider-Man can construct gags and fight the Vulture at the same hour, and he does both reasonably well. I have to pause my conversation when I open a peanut butter jar because my stupid can-tell-duck-billed-dinosaurs-apart-just-by-looking-at-their-crests brain can’t manage that kind of multi-tasking stress. I wanna be Spider-Man. But being simply Peter Parker? God , no. Thanks, but I know how that one ends.
And Peter/ Spider-Man stands out among Marvel heroes in this way. We’d like to be Iron Man, but it we were just Tony Stark, that wouldn’t be so bad. And have you ensure Steve Roger’s biceps? Not being able to put on the patriotic tactical gear wouldn’t be a huge loss if I could deadlift a Mercedes.
This all seems really easy to accomplish. But look at the previous Spider-Man series, and you’ll see how easily someone can mess it up. When Sony couldn’t lift Sam Raimi’s Spider-Man out of the rubble of itself fast enough, they decided to simply reboot the whole thing with The Amazing Spider-Man . And instead of giving us a Peter Parker we’d never want to step in the shoes of, we got a Peter Parker who was definitely cooler than us.
Andrew Garfield’s Peter Parker would be describing dicks on the sleeping face of Tobey Maguire’s Peter Parker. He wouldn’t tell Tom Holland’s Peter Parker where he got his hair cut. And if he met me, he’d likely say something painfully sarcastic while I fumbled hopelessly for a reply. In an effort to give us a cool, millennial interpretation of the webslinger, what we got was a detached Peter Parker and a thrill-less Spider-Man. It was as if they thought that modern audiences were too “advanced” to buy into the idea of the corny loser underdog, so instead they gave us a walk-to Instagram caption.
Sony Pictures Releasing
[ insert glib dialogue here ]
I give the Amazing Spider-Man series a lot of flak for its attempt to introduce about a half-dozen sequel ideas in one movie, but its biggest problem is that its Spider-Man does not feel like a triumph. He’s an angsty, mysterious, funny loner, and he puts on a costume to become the Amazing Angsty Mysterious Funny Loner. There’s no thrill in that. And there’s no wish-fulfillment.
More than with Batman, or Iron Man, or Elektra, the mark of a good Spider-Man movie is you feeling the same various kinds of release and exhilaration that Peter Parker feels where reference is puts on the costume. The world dunks your head in the toilet at all opportunities, and the best Spider-Man movies tell you “Yeah, we get it. Being Peter Parker sucks. But for the next two hours, you’re gonna get to be Spider-Man, and that’s awesome. And then a Chad Kroeger song will probably play, signifying that it’s time to go home.”
Daniel has a podcast about Top 40 music and a Twitter . Hey, Cracked Podcast fans: Join Alex Schmidt, Daniel O’Brien, Katie Goldin, and our favorite LA comedians for a deep dive into which animals could conquer the world if they tried. Get your tickets here . For more, check out 6 Scientific Reasons Famous Superheroes’ Lives Would Suck and 6 Realistic Changes That Would Improve Superhero Movies . Subscribe to our YouTube channel, and check out Four Reasons Spider-Man is Secretly Bad at His Job, and watch other videos you won’t find on the site ! Also follow us on Facebook. Go, web, run !
If we’ve ever stimulated you giggle or guess, we now have a route which allows you thank and support us!