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What Should Be in the New "Spider-Man"

I'm sure I don't need to tell you, but Spider-Man will now be a canonical part of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Yay! Everybody and their brother/sister is losing their shit over it, and for good reason. It's been a long time coming, especially after Sony has run the license into the ground and essentially lost the goodwill of comic fans everywhere. Now, look, I didn't think Amazing Spider-Man 2 was as bad as all that, personally, but there's no denying that it was a spit in the face to the comics, and a kick in the teeth to people who wanted something as good as, say, the original Spider-Man 2. And that first one? Jesus, that first one was bad.

So, yeah, I'm happy that Spidey's back, more or less (Sony still gets a heavy say in creative control.) But just how will he return? We know he'll be in an upcoming film. We know he'll get a new stand-alone feature. We know that, unfortunately, Andrew Garfield has been kicked to the curb and that his trilogy has been left on an unsatisfying cliffhanger. But what, exactly, can we expect from web-slinger going forward? I can't answer that for you, but here's some stuff I want.

Miles Morales

This is the big one. The one everybody's talking about. See, a few years ago, Marvel introduced Miles Morales, a half-African-American, half-Latino alternate universe version of Spidey, and the comic community collectively got their minds blown. Of course, a lot of the cynical, generally white "old guard" comic fans (the same people complaining about Spider-Woman's costume change and insisting political correctness is "ruining" comics,) got their knickers in a bunch and complained. Most people, though, really liked the alternate take on Spider-Man, seeing as we had a Hispanic Spider-Man, a few other white Spider-Men, and even some Spider-Girls/Spider-Women, but never one that was explicitly black. It was pretty cool, and Miles has quickly become a fan favorite.

And now, he could become a silver screen favorite. If Garfield is out, there's no reason somebody else couldn't be in, and not as Peter Parker at that. Now, look, I love Peter. I do.  In fact, he's the first superhero I really liked and cared about and identified with. But at this point, he's been in two franchises. We know his story. We know his personality. He's a bit beat, to be honest, and while I definitely want to see him in MCU at some point, I think it's time we get another perspective. And with fan pick Donald Glover apparently being a massive Spidey fan, who seems to be interested in the role, now's the perfect time for Marvel to listen to their audience and do something new, and fresh, and frankly, something really, really awesome. Do Morales. Do Spider-Man 2099 with Miguel O'Hara. I mean, hell, if you want another white guy, do Ben Reilly.

Look I just really love Scarlet Spider, okay?

But if they do go the Parker route (which they are, if early rumors are any indication,) they need to avoid something altogether...

Not Another Origin Story

We get it. Peter Parker's a geek, he gets bitten by a spider, Uncle Ben dies, he learns about responsibility and power and so on and so forth. I'm not trying to undermine the character arc, not one bit. I actually think it's one of the best ever committed to comics, still, and "with great power comes great responsibility" are words I live by. But it's a saddening bore, and we've seen it ten times or more. At this point, we need something new. We need something fresh. We need to just see Spider-Man after Uncle Ben, after the bite. Maybe in college or something, like in the comics. Perhaps he's already married to Mary-Jane, like in the comics. Perhaps he's already an established, divisive hero in New York City, like, you know, in the comics. There's a rich lore to draw from, especially the wealth of material Dan Slott has given us over the year.

What I'm trying to say is, Sony should look forward and do something different and draw more inspiration from-

Fucking hell.

Stop With The Re-Imagining Already

I'm all for creativity. I mean, I'm a writer for christ's sake, so I'm completely, 100% for creavity. But there's a line, I feel, when you're adapting something from an established work. It's a line that Sony has not only crossed, but ripped apart, stomped and spit on, then set ablaze and danced around its desecrated ruins. What do I mean by this? Well, for starters, there's this.

And then of course this.

Can't forget about this.

Or this, for that matter.

Seriously, what the fuck.

Okay, enough of that. I think you get my point. Sony has been obsessed with "reinventing" and "re-imagining" and "re-reinventing" the Spider-Man property that they've diluted it. What we got was absolutely nothing like the comics upon which they were based. Not even the same frame-work remained. Typically, I'm not obsessive with little details in comic adaptations. I know some things are hard to adapt. But these aren't little details. Green Goblin doesn't wear a Power Ranger suit, as cool as that did look, and he certainly isn't Harry Osborne, despite what the last movie would have you believe. Rhino isn't a Russian dude with a shitty mech suit. Electro isn't a borderline racist ripoff of Dr. Manhattan.

Why not, you know... just stick to the material? Keep the origin story faithful. Have the villains have some semblance of their original selves, or at the very least, keep their identities the same. Sam Raimi at least tried, with Doctor Octopus and Sandman. Try more of that, but for a whole franchise. The material at the heart of the Spider-Man franchise is strong enough to stand on its on. Why do you think the characters and world have remained consistently popular for, oh, I dunno, over half a decade?

Stick to the material, Sony. Don't fuck it up again.

Spider-Man Isn't A Lone Wolf

Give us this. Please.
From his inception, Spider-Man has teamed up with countless heroes, groups, anti-heroes, so on, so forth. He hasn't been some loner, doing everything on his own. If we're going with Peter Parker with this "new" direction, why not play up his strength in groups or duos? He's a funny, witty character, but in his past flicks, he's only really had villains to lay his zingers on. Otherwise, he kind of just talks to himself, or doesn't say anything at all. Which is, obviously, boring as all get-out.

Now, Sony was barking up the right tree, I won't lie. They were about to introduce Felicia Hardy aka Black Cat, which would have been cool (but they would have ruined it somehow, probably.) There was going to be a whole spin-off featuring the ladies of the Spider-Man universe, who might have teamed up with Spidey at some point. But see, this needs to happens sooner. One of Spidey's greatest strength, I've always felt, is his ability to seamlessly blend in with any group, whether that be The Fantastic Four (RIP,) Avengers, or his countless lone wolf companions, like Black Cat, DareDevil, The Punisher, She-Hulk... the list goes on.

Just imagine this. On the big screen. With Thomas Jane. Please.
If Sony really wants to do something new and fresh, give him more to interact with than a love interest, some villains, and Aunt May. And hey. Maybe bring in She-Hulk, They've teamed up a lot, so it would work, and maybe it could give us a solo Shulkie movie.

Really, just give us a Shulkie movie. Moving on...

Another Kicking Theme Song Would Be Cool

Say what you will about Nickelback, but damn, 2001's Spider-Man had a great theme song. Seriously. Listen to that. Pure, fist-pumping, cheesy heroics ooze out of this shit. I want more. Get Chad Kroeger again, even. Plus, hey, a movie having a hit single attached to it is never a bad idea, right?

Gwen Stacy, But Not Shitty

Amazing Spider-Man introduced Gwen Stacy to the silver screen, then promptly proceeded to fuck up her entire character and the entire relationship dynamic between her and Peter. There's no awkward, cutesy romance that naturally clicks. Gwen is in the "it" crowd. Peter is an awkward geek who everyone (particularly Flash Thompson, who should also come back,) hates. Their relationship is something Peter aspires to, not something that just works right off the bat. When they start dating, it's a sign that Peter has matured and grown and become somewhat less of a total loser. And I guess it's a sign that Gwen isn't a complete asshole, too.

Except when she needs to be.
I mean, hell, there's even an interesting backstory, called Sins Remembered or something, in the comics where Gwen slept around with Norman Osborne (the Green Goblin) before she got offed by him. That's an interesting story arc that something could be done with. Instead of having Stacy be a cutesy, cloying love interest, make her interesting. Give her depth. And make the relationship as a whole more dynamic and storied instead of "annoying adorable hipster quirky romance." Because nobody likes that shit. Juno was like, what? 20 years ago. Build a bridge and get over that shit.

Stuff That Actually Works

Look, I love Spider-Man. I think the movies aren't half bad. But they could be so much more. I just hope that, overall, aside from being a relatively faithful adaptation, the direction Sony takes works. That it doesn't become an incongruous mish-mash of shitty re-imaginings. That it just fits with the entirety of the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

Spidey is a great a character, and deserves a great franchise. I mean, when we live in a world that fucking Guardians of the Galaxy gets a better movie than Spider-Man, you know something's wrong. Here's hoping that the wrongs are righted, and that we get something that Stan Lee is and Steve Ditko would be proud of. 


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