The Tangled Web of Spider-Man, Part VIII: Spider-Man: Far from Home (2019)

We've come a long way with Tom Holland's Spider-Man in just a few short years. Beginning with 2016's Captain America: Civil War, he has now played the character five times. It's amazing how his Peter Parker feels immediately of a piece with the rest of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. His first scene with Robert Downey … Continue reading The Tangled Web of Spider-Man, Part VIII: Spider-Man: Far from Home (2019)

The Tangled Web of Spider-Man, Part VII: Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse (2018)

In 2001, J. Michael Straczynski started a run on The Amazing Spider-Man that would last for seven years and become one of the more definitive takes on the character. Immediately, he introduced a new ripple in Spider-Man's origin: Peter Parker was the avatar of a "Spider Totem" and was always destined to be bitten and … Continue reading The Tangled Web of Spider-Man, Part VII: Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse (2018)

The Tangled Web of Spider-Man, Part VI: Venom (2018)

What is Venom? That's a somewhat silly question, but 30 years after the character was introduced it's worth investigating. The symbiotic alien suit and its hosts have appeared across many mediums and in many contexts, more often than not barely resembling earlier iterations. Of course, the latest version is Venom (2018), the Sony-produced movie starring … Continue reading The Tangled Web of Spider-Man, Part VI: Venom (2018)

The Tangled Web of Spider-Man, Part V: Spider-Man: Homecoming (2017)

I have a blast with Spider-Man: Homecoming (2017). It simultaneously understands Peter Parker and Spider-Man in ways the movies haven't before, and purposefully zigs where the others have zagged. For instance, Peter realizing he may have a bit of a fear of heights when he's up on the Washington Monument. In previous movies there's been … Continue reading The Tangled Web of Spider-Man, Part V: Spider-Man: Homecoming (2017)

The Tangled Web of Spider-Man, Part III: The Amazing Spider-Man (2012)

The Amazing Spider-Man (2012)¬†lacks the subtext I discussed last week in regards to the Sam Raimi films. This doesn't feel like a New York film. There's no Jewish persecution or even Catholic imagery. Thematically, it's pretty shallow, with vague ideas about heroism and a strange sense of elitism in relation to vigilantism. Like I've said … Continue reading The Tangled Web of Spider-Man, Part III: The Amazing Spider-Man (2012)

The Tangled Web of Spider-Man, Part II: Sam Raimi’s Spider-Man Trilogy

Spider-Man is a character and concept full of complications. He's a street level vigilante who is responsible, however indirectly, for most of the villains he fights. He's brilliant without profit, as being a super hero is not directly tied to his brilliance. He's also, simultaneously, portrayed as an everyman. He's racked by guilt but uses … Continue reading The Tangled Web of Spider-Man, Part II: Sam Raimi’s Spider-Man Trilogy

The Tangled Web of Spider-Man, Part I

An earlier version of this article was originally published on February 26, 2015. So I've been reading Stan Lee's original run through the Marvel Masterworks series at my local library, and have finished the first two volumes that cover about the first two years. It's really fascinating to see the wheel being invented with Spider-Man, … Continue reading The Tangled Web of Spider-Man, Part I