It’s a little hard to go ahead and make assumptions since the first issue of Friendly Neighborhood Spider-Man just came out on Wednesday, January 9 2019. But, with a lengthy explanation of why the title was put out has my hopes extremely high.
The Spider-Man editor explained that this books was not replacing the . long running Amazing Spider-Man nor would it replace the Spectacular Spider-Man run, but it would focus on stories that were smaller in scale than the two of those. Where Amazing and Spectacular would focus on issues in Spidey’s life that impacted the whole of New York, the world, the Universe, or the multiverse; Friendly would focus on issues that were closer to Perter’s home and mainly his own neighborhood.
The first portion of the book Peter deals with being Spider-Man as well as helping out on of his elderly neighbors carry her groceries up the stair. He then is clued in about problems facing another resident in his building and he tries to help as Peter and then coming back and helping as Spider-Man. The problems are a bit too big for him to handle in one issue and we fade to black with Spidey going unconscious from a hit that he did not expect to be as strong.
This book shapes up to not really be about Spider-Man, but to be more about Peter Parker and his personal life. The book would be telling stories akin to my favorite Spider-Man stories of 2018 like Amazing Spider- Man 801 and Spectacular Spider-Man 310 where the writers say their goodbyes to the character in a story that truly defines what the character is all about.
I am very excited for more issues of this books run. It can only go up from the humble beginnings of issue 1. Hopefully it turns out to be everything I expect and even more.
Let me start this with one simple phrase: I LOVE SPIDER-MAN! Alright, that is out of the way. Spidey has had a great few years, cinematically at least, starting back with Holland’s appearance as Peter Parker in Civil War and everything coming to a head in Spider-Man: Into The Spider Verse.
Spider Verse tells the story of Miles Morales and how he becomes the one and only Spider-Man, sort of. He is Spider-Man as well as Peter B. Parker, Peter Porker, Gwen Stacy, Peter Parker from the 1930s, and Penni Parker. After getting bitten by a radioactive spider and gaining the ability to do “whatever a spider can” these characters try to teach him what it means to be Spider-Man. Everything about this movie brings back great memories of comics from this year, TASM 801 and Spectacular Spider-Man 301 truly told readers what it was to be Spider-Man and this movie does the same for everyone who loves Spidey, but doesn’t want to read the comics.
MIiles quickly learns that being Spider-Man is not easy and that doing the right thing is not always easy. He learns that the key to being Spidey is that it is a leap of faith. When he accepts that he truly becomes Spider-Man.
Spider Verse shows the best version of every spider person ever as well as the most important thing about the character, being a hero isn’t easy or clear cut. Most of us with powers would just be some kid running around trying to the most good possible and the best way possible. It also shows that no matter how great of a character Peter Parker is Miles’ story being more complicated makes him a far more interesting character to read.
The action and the story in the film are incredibly paced and the visuals are absolutely stunning. The use of color really brings the comic to the screen. The animation style also utilizes the old comic style of coloring with the dot coloring becoming more detailed as the camera zooms into the masks and faces of the characters.
All in all the movie isn’t perfect, but it is the best Spidey movie that has been aired and can make anyone fall in love with at least one Spider when they walk out of the theatre.
Weirdly yes and no. As someone who grew up in a household that encouraged comic reading and being immersed in the lore of those worlds I was let down by the movie. I liked the subtle nods to the comics that there were, but it is hard to have Venom in a universe where there is no Spider-Man. Venom’s entire arc through the comics is how much they hate Spider-Man. This is because the Symbiote hates Spidey as well as Eddie Brock. That hatred fuels them and is literally their only motivation through the beginning stories they are in. Recently Marvel has fleshed out the character more with a great solo title out now that I highly recommend picking up and reading. The movie takes the idea of Venom and plays with it.
Riot is not a Klyntar. Riot does have a lot to do with the LIFE foundation, but it was synthetically made in the comic books. Riot was made as a part of a team that eventually all fuse together to make another symbiote names Hybrid. Riot was never a pure blooded Klyntar and never had the powers that were show cased in the movie. Riot in the movie is more Carnage than anything. This brings up another questionable decision from the movie that I am still trying to wrap my head around.
Why in God’s is Woody Harrelson cast as Cletus Kasady? It sets up the next movie as Venom versus Carnage I get that, but the casting seems off. The wig is terrible, and Harrelson’s body type is far and away from what Cletus’ body type is. Cletus(Carnage) is scrawny. It seems like a bad choice, but I will give Harrelson credit that even in the few seconds that are the post credits scene he is in he does convey a very convincing psychopath that would make a great host for the Carnage symbiote.
How are they going to make Carnage a bigger threat than Riot was? I don’t know, Riot seemed to be able to do everything that Carnage can do so the sequel may just feel like a rehash of the same story line but with different stakes. I’m interested to see what they do but not hopeful for the franchise as a whole.
Now that I am done bitching about the weird things I will say, if you go into this movie with very little knowledge of who Venom is and the comics as a whole it is an enjoyable movie. It isn’t weirdly paced and there are only a few parts of it that don’t really make any sense that I assume can just be blamed on poor editing. The action sequences are good and Venom looks like a beast. They are tall, jacked out of their mind, and teeth and tongue were spot on. I don’t think it was an over all poor movie, but it was not a great movie.
Overall I think it is mediocre and a refreshing departure for the Superhero genre. Just the right amount of dark, grit, and gore with some scenes that were genuinely funny because they were written that way. I would give it 3 Spider-Men out of an X-Men.
Wow, I’ve been gone a while. Let’s get back into it talking about something that I have loved in my time away from the blog. Spider-Man specifically the new comic run that started after the events of “Going Down Swinging” and the fight with the Red Goblin.
“Back to Basics” is a great Spider-Man story line. While it is only in it’s beginning stage on the 4th issues of a twice monthly release comic. It started the story by undoing what I have called the “Peter Parker Success Story”. Without getting too spoil-y, Peter has left Parker Industries and is the science editor for the Bugle. An AI finds out the Doctor Octopus wrote his Doctoral thesis(during the events of the Superior Spider-Man comic) and Peter is subsequently fired from the Bugle after being accused of plagiarism and has his doctorate taken from him because the work was not his own. This sets the ground work for Peter being more of an average guy than being a baby Tony Stark.
The story plays with the idea of Parker not being able to be in two places at once and the age old situation of can he have a girlfriend, job, go to school to re-earn his degree, and be the web-slinging superhero Spider-Man. The writer introduces a fresh take on the concept by having the classroom in the basement of the University. As the story progresses Peter and Spider-Man are split because of a lab accident and that is where the meat of the story is taking place. The reader gets to see how Peter’s life is without the Spider-Man part of it and what Spider-Man would be like if he was a full time superhero. In all honesty this irks me a little. It is written well and works with story elements but for my personal taste Spidey is written a bit too much like a G/PG-13 rated Deadpool. In movie terms take Tobey Maguire’s Peter Parker and Andrew Garfield’s Spider-Man. It serves a purpose but the Spider-Man is a bit too over the top for me.
Since issue 5 and later are not out it is impossible to know where the story is headed but I am very excited to read it and find out.
I’m going to try and get back the weekly posts about fantasy and story structure and should soon be posting the rest of the Aftermath parts. I hope you enjoyed the review!