Last night as I perused twitter absently like all members of the geek community, I was shocked to learn that after months of rumors and behind the scenes wrangling Marvel and Sony had finally agreed to destroy the Amazing Spider-Man cinematic universe and bring Peter Parker home to the proper Marvel Cinematic Universe. I met this news at first with a reflexive joy. This superhero era in film is everything I’ve always dreamed it was but there is a danger that the bubble will burst. See Batman and Robin for an example of how one horrible film can ruin the credibility of a whole genre. And I admit– looking at the slate of films between Warner Brothers with all of DC’s franchises, Disney/Marvel/Lucasfilm with the Marvel and Star Wars franchises, Fox with the Fantastic Four and X-Men Franchises, and Sony with its grandiose plans for Spider-Man I was worried because let’s face it all of those films won’t be good. And I’m pretty sure at least one of them will be terrible. But now that Sony is bowing out of the game.
Not sure what their plans are having Spidey back with Marvel, but why would you waste a second of your life watching a non-canon Spider-Man story?
We have a few less movies to look forward to and/or dread in the coming years. But now that I’ve indulged my reflexive joy and had an appropriate nerdgasm I’m here to kill Peter Parker. People who know dick about comics will think I’m just trolling or click baiting. But I have several compelling reasons to write Pete’s eulogy. Some will be obvious to everyone while others may come as a result of my unique way of loving movies and comics and especially movies based on comics.
The first reason Marvel should kill Peter Parker is that his origin story has been told plenty of times. Next to Batman’s parents no one has been shot more on screen than Pete’s Uncle Ben who told him that with “Great Power Comes Great Responsibility” to the point where my wife who has never read a comic book in her entire life could give you a pretty accurate synopsis. We are thoroughly acquainted with Peter Parker.
Also look at the timing.
This Spiderman film is due for 2017. The Amazing Spider-Man was 2012 that’s only five years. Whiny critics bashed that film for coming a “mere” ten years after Sam Raimi and Tobey Maguire’s SpiderMan in 2002 which also told Peter Parker’s origin story. And I’m sure they would hypocritically bend over backwards to commend Marvel for rescuing the franchise from Sony but to force us to watch yet another Uncle Ben fall victim to yet another blond haired sociopath who Peter Parker selfishly failed to apprehend as a comeuppance to a victim who had been a dick to Peter just moments before in a twist of double instant karma fit for a soap opera– we could just skip that whole headache. Because how do you introduce a character and establish a connection with an audience without an origin story?
Ironically there is a blueprint for this. Look towards the Marvel Netflix series Daredevil. Netflix’s Daredevil is the first of a series of shows about “street level” Marvel heroes in New York City. Theses heroes exist in the same world with the Avengers but while we will never see Captain America, Thor or The Hulk concerning themselves with actual crime as they battle threats to the existence of humanity like Alien Invasion, secretive paramilitary organizations hidden within our government, and Thanos somebody has to take on low level creeps like The Kingpin. So right away we can create a world where Peter Parker already existed as Spider-Man. And we can open the Spiderman movie by having him murdered by the Green Goblin. Ironically we can use that death as a springboard to have Spiderman rise from that street level to the level where he pals around with the Avengers. I would open the movie with Peter Parker (played by Andrew Garfield in a brief cameo that pays homage to the great work he did in those unfairly maligned Amazing Spider-Man films) pitched in a heated battle with a version of Green Goblin that looks like he could legitimately kill him. And then have that Green Goblin kill him. The battle would be televised and seen by all of America. The Avengers meanwhile would still be in Africa (as events of this scene would take place simultaneously with the Black Panther film) . Now that Peter Parker is dead after the first 10 minutes of the movie we can fast forward 6 months and launch straight into the origin story of the Ultimate Spiderman.
Miles Morales would be a thoroughly more entertaining protagonist to build a film series around. First of all there’s no age discrepancy in the source material. Miles has one origin, one incarnation, not 50 years of contradictory yet somehow firmly cemented canon to weed through in order to somehow refresh and construct yet another fresh narrative. His narrative is intrinsically fresh. When you pick up a book with Peter Parker in it he may be married to Mary Jane Watson Parker. He may be a high school student, a college student or a grown ass man, Miles is a teenager through and through. Also this would be a great time for Disney who has recently begun to embrace diversity among its princesses to check off two major movie going demographics. Miles Morales is Black and Latino. And I’d be willing to bet that Blacks and Latinos are over represented among the audience demographic and the coveted 18-35 male demographic who are basically advertiser’s wet dreams. Lets be honest folks, geeks of color are SUPER easy to market to. We love our comics and our movies. And we’ll see this movie even IF it stays Peter Parker, but making it Miles would be Disney/Marvel saying we appreciate you and we look forward to a world where a white man isn’t the default protagonist.
Also a Miles Morales featured movie would have the bonus side effect of sending double middle fingers to the haters. It would give one middle finger to haters of diversity in film. The kind of racist nerds who get mad when The Falcon takes over for Captain America and when Heimdall is played by Idris Elba. We should not suffer these fools gladly and it means a lot that Marvel continues to embrace diversity in their print line up and hopefully they’ll bring that diversity to the film universe with more than just the Black Panther. Another middle finger would go to the critics who whined obsessively about those Andrew Garfield Amazing Spiderman movies. Those movies were not terrible. I think a lot of people wanted them to be terrible. The source material was stale. But if you watched them in a mental vacuum where the Sam Raimi Spiderman films don’t exist (as the filmmakers intended when they decided to do a reboot) then they aren’t terrible and are actually better than Raimi’s films in some very important ways. But since you hate those films haters they’re dead now and guess what so is Peter Parker. This completely nullifies the main argument against ASM 1 and 2 which is that they were “unnecessary” and a “cash grab” as if every single superhero movie isn’t an unnecessary cash grab.
So Marvel is here primed with this opportunity to liberate itself from the rest of the pack. By taking one of its flagship heroes and giving you the youngest, freshest, most diverse version of it. I know Marvel doesn’t read my blog because we haven’t yet gotten the notice that Captain America will remain Black and Black Panther 2 hasn’t been announced. But my hope is that if enough people in the nerd community express their desire to see Miles Morales on the big screen that at the very least they feel the need to publicly acknowledge his existence and give us a credible reason why they decided against it. But still what an opportunity to shift Hollywood’s perception of what an American hero is.
P.S. Everybody should read Miles Morales: Ultimate Spiderman that book is incredible.
Republished with permission from Boxing With God
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