Tag Archives: Spider-Man

This Week in Geek: Could a Black Spider-Man Work?

35537Since the big announcement came down a few weeks ago, the internet has been swirling with excitement and speculation. One thing that has been on everyone’s minds has been who will be playing Spider-Man in the Marvel Cinematic Universe? We know so far that Andrew Garfield is out, and that’s about it. One question that keeps coming up is whether Marvel should cast an African-American for the role of Spider-Man. The way I figure it, there are two things really pushing this. One is that Donald Glover joked about being the first black Spider-man back in 2011. Of course, at that time, Andrew Garfield was cast for the role. Now that he’s out, this has all come up again, many fans of Glover’s would like to see it happen. The other big thing pushing all of this is the cult following that Miles Morales has in the comics as Spider-Man in the Ultimate Universe. I have nothing against Miles Morales being Spider-Man in the Ultimate Comics, or if they wanted to put him in a movie. But they won’t. It will be Peter Parker, because that is what everyone knows, that’s what everyone expects. Miles is not as well-known as Spider- Man, so I think it would be a big gamble to go with him. It doesn’t mean that Miles Morales movie wouldn’t be as good, or even better than a new round of Peter Parker movies, it just wouldn’t be as profitable. Hollywood doesn’t make movies just to tell good stories. They make movies to make money. Peter Parker sells, Miles is unproven and untested. That’s what it comes down to.

That being said, why can’t Peter Parker be African-American? What about Peter Parker is tied to his race? I understand, in the comics, he has always been white, but what about him would be dramatically altered if he were African-American or Asian or Hispanic? What would change about the character? That is a gamble I think I wouldn’t mind Marvel taking. They have already said that their Spider-Man would be Peter Parker, but could Pete be black? Fox is taking that chance with the Human Torch in the upcoming Fantastic Four film, and I think it will work fine. Let’s talk a look at what makes Peter Parker/Spider-Man who he is.

High School Student

Granted, Pete’s not in High School anymore in the comics, but this is the direction Disney/Marvel wants to go, and it is an area where Spidey works well- balancing his school work and his home life and his love life with saving the world. Peter Parker in High School works well, and having him be a young kid in the movies will be fun to see as he interacts with fully grown superheroes like Cap and Iron Man. Here’s an interesting fact, African-American kids, like white kids, go to high school. This particular part of the character would work whether he is black or white. In fact, it is working in the ultimate Comics version.

Science Nerd

Peter Parker was always kind of a brainiac. That’s always been a part of who he is. He enjoys science and all of that stuff. I mean, he was the one who developed his webbing and how to shoot the webbing from his wrists. There is a long history of him even being able to hold his own with Tony Stark and Reed Richards. This is another aspect of his character that is definitely not tied to race. Anyone can be smart, anyone can be into science. You don’t have to be any kind of race or gender or anything like that. He would be just as believable as a young African-American kid who is into science as he would be as a white kid.

Strong Family Ties

Peter is always concerned about his Aunt Mae. He wants her to safe, he wants to protect her. He wants to help her by doing stuff around the house or whatever. He recognizes how much work she does to take care of him. He also has always had a strong tie to his deceased uncle, Ben Parker. We know that what happens to Ben is what really propels him into being Spider-Man. None of that would have to change if they cast a Black Peter Parker. These kinds of ties to family and emotions and what not are not exclusive to any one race.

Sarcastic Sense of Humor

One of my favorite attributes of Spider-Man is that he is always cracking wise as he is fighting the super villains. He is witty and funny and it just makes for a more entertaining read. This was something I thought Andrew Garfield portrayed better than anyone. His Spider-Man was almost irreverent with some of his humor, but it worked, and I liked it. Again, this is something that works regardless of race or skin color. Your sense of humor is not tied to your race. It’s just not. I have seen funny people of all races, and I have seen really not at all funny people of all races. Race simply does not matter here.

Big Heart

Spidey has one of the biggest hearts of any superhero out there. He really is just out there to help out the little guy. He goes out, day after day and puts his life on the line to protect people and to help people. I mean every superhero does that in the comics, but with Spidey, somehow it’s something more.  He really does simply because he wants to help and he feels like with his powers he can help. How does this make him white or Black or anything? It doesn’t. Big hearted, generous people come from all races and all walks of life. Race is not a factor here either.

From New York

You want to know something that defines Spider-Man? He is from New York. If you were to write a movie and have him come from Chicago or Boston or L.A., that would be ridiculous. Who cares what race he is, as long as he still comes from New York. The city is as much a character in the Spider-Man mythos as the Lizard, or Green Goblin, or Mary Jane. New York is absolutely central to the character. The good news here is that New York is also one of the most diverse places in the world, so anyone could come from New York.

The real reason Peter Parker is white in all the movies is simply because he always has been white. The only reason he always has been is because he was created in 1963, when all the major characters in mainstream media were white. That’s not the case anymore. It doesn’t represent who we are anymore. If Peter Parker/Spider-Man were to be created from scratch today, who’s to say he wouldn’t be a nerdy, African-American kid instead to a nerdy white kid? Chances are, he could be, and would that really change much about his story? The fact that the idea of Spidey being black in the next movie is even a big deal at all tells us that we need to have it happen. I don’t care who they cast as long as he can act well. That should be the only real requirement. This isn’t changing his race just to do it. We are talking about a fictional character who is not tied to any one race. Changing the race of a character just to change it would be making Thor Black. Thor is from Asgard, he is supposed to look Scandinavian. That’s Blue eyes, blonde hair. It would be wrong to change that for him. Spidey, though, is from New York. There is no cookie cutter New Yorker. This is saying, race is simply not a factor here, let’s find our best Spider-Man and put him on the screen. Race doesn’t matter here, so I am fine with whatever.

3 Things I Want to See Now That Spidey’s Home

Amazing_Spider-Man_Vol_3_1_Mhan_Variant_TextlessYesterday, Marvel announced that they had reached a deal with Sony that would bring Spider-Man into the Marvel Cinematic Universe, and of course the internet went crazy for it. This is big, big news. This goes beyond a supposed email chain or rumors about some “Spidey Summit,” this is official from Marvel. It’s really happening, and that’s really cool. I know that it’s only really been recently that Spider-Man had been part of the Avengers in the comics, but I still want to see it happen. Plus, whether he is a permanent member or not, just having him around in the universe will feel good. He is where he belongs. Now ultimately, Sony gets all the distribution rights and the final creative say on the Spider-Man movies, but let’s hope they’re smart about it and let Marvel do all the heavy lifting, while they reap all the benefits. Now that he’s home, there are 3 things I would like to see happen with the character in the MCU.

1. No Origin Movie

_1420258801Raise your hand if you don’t know the origin story of how Peter Parker becomes Spider-Man? I would imagine that no one is raising their hand right now. In the last 15 years we have seen the origin of Spider-Man twice on the big screen. Two summer blockbuster films have established for us that he gets bitten by a radioactive spider and gets his powers. We all also know that he doesn’t stop a thief, who he could have, but it wasn’t his problem. Said thief then murders his Uncle Ben. He learns that with great power comes great responsibility. We all know this, and we don’t need to see it in another 2 hour+ film. I am hoping that we won’t see it. According to the deal, Spider-Man will be appearing in a Marvel movie sometime between now and July 28, 2017, when he will be appearing in his first movie. That might indicate that we will be skipping the origin movie and just brushing over his origin story, since he will be in another property’s film.

2. I Want That Movie to be Civil War

civilwar02According to the deal, Spidey will appear in an upcoming Marvel film before appearing in his own film, which is now set to open on July 28, 2017. Let’s assume that Avengers: Age of Ultron  is out because we are so close to the release date of that one, and I don’t think they went to all this trouble to get Spidey to just throw him inputs credits. Let’s assume Ant-Man is out for the same reason, and it would be a weird one to introduce Spidey in. That leaves us  with 3 possibilities: Captain America: Civil War, Doctor Strange, and Guardians of the Galaxy 2. Of those 3, I would say that Civil War makes the most sense. Spider-Man has had crossovers with Doctor Strange before, so I guess it is possible, but that movie will for sure be an origin movie for Doctor Strange, so it would seem cumbersome and awkward to also introduce another new major character. Spider is a down to Earth guy, he doesn’t spend a lot of time in outer space, so a crossover with GOTG just doesn’t seem likely either. He did, however, play a major role in the Civil War storyline in the comics. In fact, when they announced Civil War as the title of the next Captain America film, I wondered how they could do it without Peter Parker. In fact, I didn’t think they could, so I theorized at that time that Spidey would be in the film. I think they were close to this deal when they announced the film and this was the plan all along.

3. It Needs to Be a New Spider-Man

I think this is a done deal. It will not be Andrew Garfield ad Peter Parker. Everything in the announcement from Marvel refers to it as a “new” Spider-Man. I think that it’s necessary for it to be someone new. Don’t get me wrong, I liked Andrew Garfield as Peter Parker and as Spider-Man, especially with Emma Stone. The two together had great chemistry onscreen. I just feel like, after Amazing Spider-Man 2, the franchise felt broken, beyond repair. I think a reboot of some sort was inevitable. I think this is a great point to bring in a new Spider-Man, letting everyone know that what happened before is not part of the MCU, and this is a new Spidey. I think it only makes sense. I have seen people start guessing at who it will be, and frankly, as long as it’s not Ben Afleck, then I am fine. What I would really like to see is a no-name actor that they kind of discover for this role, or who has had minor roles. That would just seem to fit the Spider-Man character.

Whatever happens with Spidey in the MCU, I think we can all agree that this is a good day, and a big day for Marvel and for Spider-Man. I can’t wait to see what will happen with the character and where they go next with the character and the whole universe. It is a good day to be a geek.

2 Follow Ups and FanX Wristbands Arrive-This Week in Geek, January 17, 2015

Good long weekend to you all, folks. I am back with the latex edition of “This Week in Geek,” and for this week we will be kind of returning to the original format in which I covered multiple stories and shared them here. That’s because I have some follow-up on a couple of features I ran last week and this week. One good, and one not so good. Plus, one new story that’s less of a story and more of a woo-hoo.

Netflix Confirms Doctor Who NOT Leaving

tv DOCTOR WHORemember last week when everyone was reporting that Doctor Who was going to be dropped from Netflix as of the end of this month? And some sites were even suggesting that maybe the show, along with other British shows, was being dropped to make room in the budget for “Friends.” Do you remember how your friendly neighborhood geeky Mormon attempted to talk all of you, my fellow Whovians, off the ledge by citing a different post on a different web site that suggested that it wasn’t so much of a drop, but an end to the existing contract, and that Netfilx was already working on a renewal? Well guess what those sites are reporting now. It turns out that it was never an issue of Netflix “dropping” the series in favor of something, but rather the end of the existing contract. A contract that was renewed, with no interruption to the ehh…Timeline…if you will. Good news for everyone, including my wife who is still trying to catch up on number 10. Allons-Y!

Spider-Man NOT Joining the Avengers, According to Sony

3317783-135251969351One of the big stories of this last week was that some deal had been struck between Marvel and Sony to make way for Spider-Man to appear in the 3rd Avengers film. The source of all the reports was the Latino Review, which has been accurate in the past. All fans of the MCU were hoping it was true. We wanted it to be true so badly. I think more than that, Marvel wants it to be true, they need it to happen, as I outlined, a little, in my post about all of this. As it turns out, according to Sony, none of this is happening. It was all based on an old rumor, and no such deal has been made. They are going to continue to muck up Spider-Man with too many villains and spin-offs, all in the name of keeping the rights to a character that is a gold mine, even if the movies tied to him kind of suck. I wish this wasn’t the case. I love Spidey, and I loved the idea of him being home where he blonds in the MCU, but it doesn’t look like that is happening again. I know, let’s just wait a couple of years, until you get close to losing those rights again, and then reboot the series with another film telling Spidey’s origin story, just so you can keep those rights. Poor Peter Parker. (Alliteration!)

My FanX Wristbands Came!

IMG_1108Oh Happy Day! For those of you who do not reside in or near Salt Lake City, Utah, this probably is not that big a deal, so I am sorry. I just wanted to share because it is getting so close now. Less than 2 weeks now, and FanX will be here. Somehow, getting the wristbands in the mail just made it feel that much closer. This will be the 4th major comic-type convention we have had here in Salt Lake, and my third time attending. I am getting better as an attendee with each one. As it gets closer, i will probably write more about it, and probably revise and update my convention survival checklist. As someone who is attending the con, I will also let you know how it went. I am particularly looking forward to our Doctor Who Ultimate “Xperience” which features Matt Smith, Karen Gillan, and Billie Piper. It should be loads of fun. I can’t wait for it.

Well, that’s it for this week. Hopefully we’ll have just good news next week, and not a downer story like Spider-Man never coming to the MCU.


Why We Need Spidey in The Avengers

If you haven’t heard the news, maybe because you have been hiding under some kind of digital rock, it looks like we may finally be getting Spidey in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Maybe. At least that is what is being reported. If it is true, it would be pretty amazing, considering all the legal hoops both Sony and Marvel would need to go through to make it happen. It looked like, just a year ago, that something like this would never happen, and now, according to the report, we will get Spidey in the MCU starting in the Infinity War part 1. More important than whether it will happen is why we need it to happen, or if we even need it to happen. I believe we need it. We need Spidey in the Avengers, we need him back home with Marvel, interacting with the other Marvel characters. Let me tell you why.

Super heroes are basically modern versions of gods. They are all-powerful and amazing and everything like that. They are basically everything we can never be, something that, no matter how hard we strive, we can never achieve. And that is part of why we love them, but it makes it hard for us to identify with them in the stories. I have never been injected with super serum, I have never been a billionaire, playboy, philanthropist. I have never been able to turn into a giant green monster. That kind of stuff just doesn’t happen. The Avengers, like the Justice League in DC, are gods, and we are the little people. This is why we need Spider-Man. He isn’t a god like the others. He is just a regular guy who just happens to have been bitten by a radioactive spider. And that is why we love him.

I have always enjoyed reading the Avengers comics that involve Spider-Man. It just seems like we are seeing the Avengers through our eyes, through Spidey’s. He is always a little starstruck, always feeling a little inadequate, like he doesn’t belong, but he is there. I think that’s how most of us would feel if we were invited to hang out with the Avengers. I know I would. So Spidey gives us that in the comics. He is awkward and nerdy for us, and we love it. Bringing this to the films would be incredible. It would add a whole new depth. I wish it were happening in the Civil War Movie, instead of the next Avengers movie. The role he played, being stuck between Captain America and Iron Man, in the comics was so crucial. It’s how we all felt. Iron Man and Cap were both our heroes, how are we supposed to choose between the two of them.  All of this was articulated in Spider-Man as the story progressed. He would be a key figure in Civil War if that were possible, but I’ll take what we can get.

We need Spider-Man to bridge that gap between us and them, for sure.  I think more than that, according to the report I linked to earlier in this post, if Iron Man is in space with Hulk and Cap is dead and Thor is captured, we will need Spidey just to have a familiar face in the crowd. And faces don’t come any more familiar in the Marvel Universe than Spidey. It will make the transition easier for us to the new Avengers, like daredevil or Iron Fist or Doctor Strange. We need Spidey to bridge that gap as well. The original Avengers are all supposed to come back for Infinity War part 2, but what about after that? That is possibly the end of our time with Stark and Rogers and Thor and Hulk. It may be the beginning of a whole new era with new Avengers, and Spider-Man would be a perfect anchor for the team.

The biggest reason we need Spidey in the Avengers is that we need Spidey away from Sony. Amazing Spider-Man and Amazing Spider-Man 2 weren’t horrible, like Daredevil horrible, but the studio’s plan for the Sinister Six and Venom and endless Spider-Man spin offs sounds bad. I personally don’t care about a Sinister Six movie, and I feel like the only reason they’re doing it is to keep the rights to Spider-Man and the Spider-Man characters. Spidey is at his best, though, when he is interacting with other Marvel heroes like Iron Man and Cap and Doctor Strange and so on. It would just be great to see Spider-Man get the MCU treatment and not have him stuck in his own contained universe. He needs the other heroes, and we need him to have them. As of now, the report is only that Spidey will make his debut in the Infinity War part 1, but there is no indication where that might leave Sony and their deal with the web slinger. I don’t know if that means the end of his time over at Sony or not.

This is big news all the way around, and I think it will lead to better movies with characters that are easier to identify with. I hope this means that Spidey will find his way home permanently. I think we would get better quality Spider-Man movies, more truly aligned with Marvel’s vision. Plus, it would be huge cash-flow for Marvel and Disney. Spider-Man is the most recognizable property Marvel has and the most marketable.

In the end, all of this may just end up being wishful thinking for Marvel fanboys everywhere. The report seems to be pretty legitimate, but it still just seems shocking considering how complicated all of this seemed just a short while ago. It would be pretty remarkable if it does turn out to be true, and would be a great turn of events for Marvel and Disney. They would have a marquee character to carry on after Iron Man and Captain America, and that is something that right now, they don’t have. Plus, it might end the constant reboots and relaunching we have seen thus far with Sony. Now, Marvel just needs to focus on bringing the Fantastic Four home, and save us from more Fox disasters like it sounds like this new Fantastic Four will be. Then, for the big guys, the X-Men. Maybe someday, if they can work out this deal, they can work out the X-Men stuff and we can see an Avengers vs. X-Men movie.  That would be awesome.