Dave, Charlotte, and Zack rewatch Sam Raimi’s 2002 Spider-Man ahead of 2021’s Spider-Man: No Way Home![Read more…] about Spider-Man (2002) Movie Rewatch!
What’s a great run on Spider-Man without adversity, for both its hero and its creator?
Under the pen of Roger Stern from 1980 through 1984, Spider-Man met some of his greatest physical and emotional challenges while his author left behind a legacy of unfinished business. [Read more…] about Spider-Man by Roger Stern: Unstoppable Highs & Unfinished Business
For more than five decades, Spider-Man has remained one of the most popular and enduring comic book heroes. Created by Steve Ditko and Stan Lee, Peter Parker was the ultimate power fantasy to millions of readers young and old: an ordinary, shy kid who was suddenly blessed with spectacular powers. But since swinging into our lives in 1962, Spider-Man’s stories have evolved, as Peter met fellow heroes, lost friends and family, fought a bunch of his clones, struggled with his own mortality, and even lived through the heat death of the Marvel Universe. Once an incredibly down-to-earth look at superheroes, Spider-Man began to outgrow his everyman roots, with each larger-than-life threat increasing the fantastical elements of Peter’s life. To many, this trend reached its peak during Dan Slott’s 10-year run on the title, with Spider-Man founding his own billion-dollar company, gaining an arsenal of high-tech equipment, leaping into a multiversal epic alongside other spider-people, and, yes, fighting even more clones somehow (Don’t know why people keep coming back to that.) While Slott’s run still had plenty of great moments, it became clear to readers that the creators involved with Spider-Man weren’t as interested in the man behind the mask. That is, until Tom Taylor, along with artist Juann Cabal began their own run in 2019, fittingly titled Friendly Neighborhood Spider-Man. Trading the high-tech, high-concept elements of Slott’s run for a more intimate adventure, Friendly Neighborhood Spider-Man is a celebration of the human heart of the character, and how even the smallest of actions can make a world of change.
*SPOILERS AHEAD FOR THIS RECENT LIMITED SERIES*
Though, in its defense, the main Amazing Spider-Man title hasn’t been consistently good since Peter Parker was possessed by the ghost of Doctor Octopus (though, even then, that run was hobbled by Dan Slott’s inclination towards mediocrity and continuity fetishism); and it hasn’t been consistently great since the ’90s. There are many reasons for this, from an inexplicable notion that Spider-Man is a character who has to function like a teenager (I blame John Byrne) to the far more understandable (if still depressing) notion that Peter Parker must be a straight white guy who suffers for our sins (I blame Sam Rami).
* Spoilers for the run to date follow *
Spider-Man doesn’t lack iconic villains, from the Green Goblin to Venom and Carnage or even Kraven and Mysterio. But if there’s one representing the wall-crawler’s mirror image, his darker reflection, it’s Otto Octavius. From fighting Spider-Man as the supervillain and mad scientist Doctor Octopus to replacing him as the Superior Spider-Man, Otto might not have ruined Peter’s life quite as much as Norman Osborn has, but he has challenged our hero in a way no one else can, as a constant reminder of the worst-case scenario of who he could become.
In recent years, Otto has turned towards a possible redemption and tried his luck at being a superhero, but he still has a lot to make up for despite his efforts. Currently, it would seem Otto is back to his roots of supervillainy, but who knows what the future may hold for the eight-limbed scientist with the best bowl cut in the Marvel Universe.