Sunday, June 10, 2007

(sigh) Longtime Spidey Fan Speaks

My brother has been checking in with me over the past couple weeks asking if I've seen Spider-Man 3 yet. He knows my love for the Spider-Man Mythos. I started collecting the book in the 80's and as I got older started buying up some of the older issues. As a result I had a pretty good collection of 1st print Amazing Spider-Man comics before the first Sam Rami movie came about. I am by no means a crazed comic book fanboy. Over the past decade work and life have virtually ended my indulgence in comics. Somehow, however, I have found myself watching Spider-Man on the big screen. So, yes Jim... i finally saw Spider-Man 3!

I realize that it is a bit late in the game to be pointing out differences betwixt the movies and the comics but I feel complelled to say something about the following topic:

Gwen Stacy.

Why now? I gave the 1st movie an undeserved 'pass'. I guess I figured the pressure to create a good movie would override creating an accurate one. But switching Gwen out with MJ on the Brooklyn Bridge? Hmm... The 2nd one? Good... I guess. Lines were crossed in the first one so I just sat back and enjoyed 'this take' on Spider-Man (afterall, there have been countless takes on the character in the past). And now the 3rd one... What the hell is going on? It's really got me asking what is so wrong with the 'original' story of Peter's life? Would it have confused viewers of the 1st Spider-Man movie to have put in Gwen? Her existence in the comics shaped so many things in Peter's life. Before Gwen died at the hands of the Green Goblin MJ was a abused and broken girl that hid her pain behind her good looks and outgoing party persona.

Peter and the reader were the only two that knew this at the time much like it was only Peter and the reader that knew he was Spider-Man so the dynamic there was powerful. After Gwen's death MJ helped Peter get through things and eventually there friendship grew into love and in the process both of them matured. Why did they fall in love in the movie again? Was it the upside down kiss? or the fact that MJ was hot and Spider-Man was awesome?

Gwen Stacy gave hope to every geek who read the comics. She didn't know Peter Parker as Spider-Man. She liked him for him. She actually blamed Spider-Man for her fathers death (which, well, kinda hung over Peter's head during their courtship).

So Jim... i guess I'll have to say that the 3rd installment of Spider-Man made a mess of the other two and inspired me to write about things. It also made me realize that the quote real story un-quote of Peter Parker's plight is so much more interesting then what we are seeing on screen. I will say that broadening his love life to include other women and having villian chaos is an improvement and throwing in an extended campy 'dark Parker' kept the movie from turning into Daredevil... but don't even get me started on Betty Brant nor the change in the sandman's story nor just thowing venom in there as a sideshow act or the emo hair or the bonk on Harry's head and subsequent pesonality change... (sigh)...

They get J.J.J. right though. I'll give them that.