Sunday, January 25, 2015

Parkers

A while back I wrote about the ongoing (still...ongoing...) "Spider-Verse" story arc going on with Marvel Comics.  It is still plodding along, although this week seems to be drawing everything to a head.

My kids and I do still love the whole concept of alternate-universe Spider-Men, or women, or pigs, but if there is one thing that the whole series has illustrated (unintentionally) it is that the Peter Parker of Earth 616 (mainstream Marvel Earth) is the least interesting Spider-Man out there.

Even less than this guy. Who actually admits to being lame in the comic book.

Which might be why Marvel Comics recently announced that they were going to do some sort of collapse/recon/coalesce of their universe in some ground-shaking way this May, making many comic book store owners wonder how they are going to get people to buy the new Silk comic book if the universe might be thrown into disarray five months into the series.

Or, what I've heard kicked around the geek-o-sphere, if this isn't an attempt of Disney/Marvel to make Michael Morales, the Spider-Man from the Ultimates universe, the mainstream Spider-Man, and hence not Sony's intellectual property when it comes to making a movie.  Called, say, Spiderman, which would be of course completely different.

All of this is just because while in the midst of a fantasy RPG campaign, I still miss superheroes.


2 comments:

  1. It's funny...I am not a Spiderman fan. Never was.

    It's not that I don't like Spiderman, I just never loved him, or really cared that much about him, or his story.

    I'm a big picture, epic adventure, science fiction guy. I like the Legion of Superheroes, Green Lantern, Nova, The Avengers, The Justice League, and the Teen Titans (Wolfman/Perez Era largely). I want my superheroes really super, battling alien invasions, world-conquering megalomaniacs, and demons from beyond.

    Spiderman was always too mundane for me, too terrestrial. He was street level in a universe with cosmic potential. Not much interest for me there.

    After Ends of the Earth, Superior Spiderman, and now Spider-Verse, for the first time ever I care about Spidey. Not just his neat alternate selves, but the man himself.

    To me, to see Peter Parker of Earth-616 as the least interesting Spiderman kind of misses the point a little. All the others are reflections of him. They are made interesting in how they differ from the original, the prototype. Would they be half as interesting to us if he wasn't there? If he'd never been there they wouldn't even exist.

    Celebrate the diversity, but remember where it all came from. I happen to love Spider-Gwen, Miles Morales, and Spider-Punk (not to mention Spider-Ham!), but the man of the hour is still our boy from Queens, Peter Parker-616.

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  2. I've got two sort of takes on why I feel about Parker-616 the way that I do.

    The first has to do with the way they have set up the narrative of the Spider-Verse storyline, especially the main title. Amazing Spider-Man has, for the most part, been a way to connect together all of the other gazillion spin-off titles (and boy can I not wait to be buying five more Spider-books each month once this is over). So Spider-Man 616 seems to spend a lot of time "checking in" with all the other characters rather than doing much other than being bullied by Superior Spider-Man.

    *Spoiler alert*

    Now, where this could really change for me is the Uncle Ben Spider-man. In Spider-Verse #5, Spider-Man and Superior Spider-Man both confront Uncle Ben in a sort of gentle-love/tough-love kind of one-two punch. If there was a way to use that exchange, and any future outcome (I kind of feel like Uncle Ben Spidey might as well be played by Sean Bean because he's that doomed to die) as a way to affect some change in Peter's personality, that would be a great leap in the Spider-Man mythology. By that I mean if Peter could have some sense of closure, and mature into a different understanding of why he is a hero, reconcile some of the elements in his life, and then take on new challenges (getting married again, although not necessarily to Mary Jane Watson, juggling his company and superheroics, and maybe mentoring Miles Morales), it would bring a lot of fresh air into a stale character concept.

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