MCU Spider-Man…. No More.

Hey Everyone,

Paul here…

So, for the past couple of weeks I’ve been working on a very long article about the different directions a 3rd MCU Spider-Man movie could go after after Spider-Man: Far From Home. Well, I wish I’d been a little more quick on the draw with that article, because yesterday, news broke that it’s very likely that Spider-Man will no longer be a part of The MCU.

   Before getting into any details, like a lot of you I’m sure your initial reaction to this news is something along the lines of “well that fucking sucks“. That’s pretty much how I feel, as well. Spider-Man has been a great addition to the MCU and I was looking forward to all of the story telling possibilities his character brings to the table. It’s really disappointing as a fan of The MCU and the wall-crawler .

  So, how did we arrive at this place?  Why is this tyhappening? Well the short answer is a very unsurprising one, one word: greed. When this new broke, many fans assumed that Sony was somehow fucking up this deal, due to their less than stellar track record in the past. But they’ve been able to turn things around a bit of the last few years (I’ll get back into that in a minute). This shit show rests squarely on the shoulders of Disney. 

     When Marvel was going bankrupt in the 90s, they sold the film and television rights to their characters to various movie and production studios. Which is why we didn’t see characters like Spider-Man, The X-Men, or The Fantastic Four in the MCU from the very beginning. Marvel Studios didn’t have access to those characters at the time because, legally when it came to the movies at least, these other movie studios owned the characters.

   Another factor is Disney’s acquisition of Fox. Disney bought the entertainment division of Fox, finally giving so many fans what they’ve been clamoring: The X-Men and The FF in the MCU. We should expect to see more on the Mutant and FF front as things progress, but don’t expect to see an X-Men or FF movie for a few more years. That’s just because Marvel had so many film and TV projects in the pipeline and ready for production when the Fox deal went through. They couldn’t bring everything they had been planning and building to a grinding halt and awkwardly shoehorn The X-Men and The FF into the MCU. I would rather wait and get excellent interpretations of these characters from the company that makes truly incredible marvel superhero films, than rush things and fuck it up.

  Marvel’s deal regarding Spider-Man is pretty different. It’s more of a partnership (Or maybe WAS a partnership, I suppose) with the movie studio, Sony. All of the characters that we’ve seen in the MCU so far, The Avengers, Guardians of the Galaxy, and many more were the characters already owned by Marvel Studios and Marvel can do whatever they want with them. 

     It’s different with Sony because, Sony still retains the film rights to Spider-Man. However, they reached an agreement with Marvel Studios where marvel can use Spider-Man in their movies like Avengers and Civil War. However, when a solo Spidey film is made, like Homecoming or Far From Home, Marvel makes those movies, they control the creative direction of the story and the characters. Sony essentially outsourced making Spider-Man movies to Marvel with the added benefit of the films taking place in The MCU, giving them a richer, more lived in feel to the world. Now like I said when Spider-Man is in Avengers movie, Sony doesn’t get any of the money that the film generates. But for solo Spider-Man films, Marvel gets 5% of the profits and merchandising rights, which is a lot of money. Plus having such an iconic Marvel character like Spider-Man back in the Marvel fold, is a huge win for the brand.

  The problems started when Spider-Man: Far From Home became the highest grossing movie in the history of Sony. Not just the highest grossing Spider-Man movie, the highest grossing movie in the history of the film studio. For some stupid reason Marvel wanted to renegotiate their already lucrative and valuable contract with Sony. It’s important to remember that when I say Marvel,  I mean Disney. The new deal Disney proposed ,was instead of getting 5% of the profits on Spider-Man solo films they get 50% of the profits. That’s insane. No movie studio would go for that. They were literally asking for 10 times the current deal. I don’t know what they expected from Sony as a response, but that’s an unreasonable demand. For Sony’s part they really wanted this deal to continue. They loved having Spider-Man in The MCU but they weren’t going to be strong-armed by Disney. Especially when they’ve had two big successes with the Spider-Man franchise on their own with Venom, which was a big hit for the studio, and Spider-Man: Into The Spiderverse which was not only a masterpiece of filmmaking, but a huge moneymaker as well. Sony is negotiating from a position of power. They have much more leverage than they did in the past. Which is why the actions of Disney seems so bizarre. But again, to be clear Sony did not want this deal to fall apart. It seems like Disney didn’t want to budge and Sony said, “fine” and walked away from the table.

  This whole thing being so public is slightly odd, though not completely because it seems like everything leaks these days. There is an argument to be made that making it public like this was a negotiation tactic, because of the inevitable fan outcry about not getting to see your friendly neighborhood Spider-Man in the next Avengers film. 

  There’s still hope though. There’s still time for egos to cool off and sit back down to the table to renegotiate. Word on the street is that Sony is at least open to it. It kind of reminds me of the situation when James Gunn was fired from Guardians of the Galaxy vol.3 for absurd reasons (Which upset me personally because I really wanted to see the end of his Guardians trilogy). He had always talked about a three film arc for these characters. Eventually, months after being fired and even moving on to other projects, Disney finally saw the light and hired him back. James Gunn was gracious enough to come back when he could’ve just as easily told them to fuck off. So hopefully something like this happens when it comes to Spider-Man. Hopefully this is just a hiccup and we will continue to see more Spider-Man in The MCU for years to come. Here’s hoping….

Thanks for reading!

-Paul

PODCAST: Spider-Man: Into The Spider-Verse Review! (Some SPOILERS)

Hey Everyone,

Paul here…

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  SpiderMan: Into The SpiderVerse has come along and done what so many people didn’t think was possible, the film yet again reinvents the superhero genre. For the past several years, a number of people in the industry, including individuals like Stephen Spielberg, called the comic book or superhero movie phenomena “a bubble” that will eventually burst like the Western, for example. They argued it’s a genre that will eventually no longer be relevant.

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  In my opinion, there are major flaws in this kind of thinking. First of all, the terms “comic book” and “superhero” are incorrectly, interchangeable used. Comic Books aren’t a genre, they’re a medium. Just like film, television, or prose literature. While superheroes are certainly the most recognizable type of comic book storytelling by far, comics tell a vast array of stories in dozens of different genres. Comic books and Graphic Novels tell hard boiled mysteries, fantasy sagas, countless sub-genres of science-fiction, coming-of-age romance stories, World War II memoirs, and many others. Comic books, like film and prose tell incredible tales in every genre. So, my point is, to say that there is some kind of “bubble” that will eventually burst, not only misunderstands the current business landscape in Hollywood, it also fundamentally misunderstands what comic books and superheroes stories are.

  What’s so brilliant, what’s so genius about Into The SpiderVerse is that it is a superhero film that truly reinvents the genre. Just when the critics thought there was no longer anything unique, compelling, or wildly original to find in a superhero film, here comes SpiderMan: Into The SpiderVerse. Without a doubt the biggest thrill ride you will have at the movies all year.

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   I know these are very bold statements, especially coming from me. After all, this is the same year that saw the release of Avengers: Infinity War, which is certainly up there vying for the top spot of my favorite MCU film. However, I feel to compare Infinity War and  Into The SpiderVerse is missing the point. These are very different movies, trying to do very different things for their audience. What’s so wonderful is that we can get two completely different superhero epics that are both game changers for the genre. They’re both brilliant pieces of entertainment, yet they’re nothing alike. I feel wonderfully grateful that in addition to several of the other very good superhero movies we saw this year, we get two genre redefining superhero film masterpieces that don’t feel like more of the same.

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Now, onto the podcast!

It’s been a long time coming, but I’m finally here to give my two cents on the terrifying, the terrible, the AMAAAAAAZING SPIDERMAN: INTO THE SPIDERVERSE!!!!! Even though it’s been out for a hot minuet, I still wanted to do an in-depth recap and review of what may be one of the best superhero movies ever made. Period. That’s some pretty high praise. There are SOME spoilers here, so proceed with caution, but this is NOT a full SPOILER-FILLED extravaganza. Also, I take some time to discuss the recent Arrowverse Crossover, Elseworlds! How does it rank among the other crossovers? Where is the Arrowverse heading from here? All this and more! Enjoy! Listen here or subscribe on Stitcher and iTunes:

https://www.spreaker.com/episode/16534399

iTunes:

https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/the-worlds-best-podcast/id1246038441?mt=2&i=1000426239297

Stitcher:

https://www.stitcher.com/s?eid=57830472&autoplay=1

Thanks for listening!

-Paul

 

Fall Comic Book Preview Part 2 MARVEL


Hey Everybody,

Paul here…

Welcome back to Part 2 of my Fall Comic Book Preview! In Part 1, we looked at some of the notable and interesting comics and graphic novels coming from DC Comics this fall, today we’ll be looking some of the big comics being put out by Marvel in the coming weeks and months. There’s a lot of cool stuff coming out of the “House of Ideas” (one of Marvel’s long time nicknames) before the end of 2018. Including a comic book miniseries marking the 20th Anniversary of Marvel’s Marvel Knights imprint, shown in the article’s banner image above. The comic, Marvel Knights: 20th,  will by written by Donny Cates and here’s an awesome cover for one of the issues from the project:

FBD98C17-F37E-4FCA-8C8B-3A151FECD8FABelow are just a few books that stuck out to me as being interesting and note worthy. However, these are only a few of the cool books coming out from Marvel soon, so make sure to keep your eyes open…

 

AVENGERS #700
Writer: Jason Aaron
Artist: David Marquez, Andy Kubert, Ed McGuinness
Release Date: 11/14/18

B5F099E1-B6C8-4154-96C4-652EFFEF63EFIn a massive milestone, Avengers has reached its landmark 700th issue. Jason Aaron is one of Marvel’s best writers, currently with one of the most interesting Avengers rosters in years on his kick ass Avengers title. Second only to perhaps Jonathan Hickman, Aaron excels at telling long, epic stories that pay off big time for loyal readers. With a milestone like issue #700, you can believe that this book will not only include some great Avengers nostalgia, but probably set up some big things to come for the series. Plus, you can’t beat that killer line up of artists working on this issue, so you can bet it will look fantastic.

As a cool side note, leading up to issue #700 The Avengers will be going up against The Submariner himself Namor!

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Namor often plays the bad guy more than the good guy, so whenever he shows up sparks fly. Especially considering his longtime rivalry with current Avengers chair person, T’Challa: The Black Panther…
Extermination

Writer: Ed Brisson
Artist: Pepe Larraz
Release Date: (Issues #1-2 Now Available) Issue #3 On Sale 9/26!

89BCFB7D-F62D-465A-9B6C-528C2D8145A1This miniseries has largely served the purpose of wiping the slate clean in the world of the X-Men. Ending many of the stories of the past few years for a new beginning. Most likely in an attempt to bring in new readers. The first few issues have been solid. This is the book to check out if you’re a lapsed X-Men fan looking for a place to jump back on the book.

 

Fantastic Four #5/ Fantastic Four: Wedding Special
Writer: Dan Slott
Artist: Adam Hughes, Mike Allred, Aaron Kuder, Laura Braga
Release Date: Fantastic Four: Wedding Special 12/12
Fantastic Four #5 12/26

282DC7EE-C829-4B8D-B9DB-6EFDC7980C4E48DFC885-F00D-4FF3-87B7-CEE1A11857FBI’ll keep this one short and sweet. Benjamin J. Grimm and His longtime girlfriend Alicia Masters are finally getting married. But what is a superhero wedding, especially a Fantastic Four wedding, without some crazy super villains crashing the party or some other catastrophic event making things more complicated for the happy couple and the rest of “Marvel’s First Family”? So far Dan slots re-launch of Fantastic Four has been pretty excellent so I definitely recommend checking this one out. Gail Simone will co-write the Wedding Special issue along with Slott. Plus, Johnny throwing Ben a bachelor party is worth the price of admission alone.

 

The Return of Wolverine
Writer: Charles Soule
Artist: Steve McNiven
Release Date: Issue #1 On Sale Now!

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This 5 Part miniseries marks the inevitable return of the one true Wolverine. C’mon did anyone think for a second that he wouldn’t be back within a few years or less? The problem is that he never really left. With Old Man Logan running around I The present day with the X-Men and Laura Kinney aka X-23 taking up the mantle of Wolverine, we never really felt the absence of the character. Another problem has been how his return has been handled. We had 4 tie in miniseries under the umbrella of “The Hunt For Wolverine”, setting up his return in the main “The Return of Wolverine” miniseries. Seems like a lot of money and time for readers to invest just to read the “The Return of Wolverine”. Having said that, I really enjoyed “The Death of Wolverine“ storyline miniseries a few years ago by Charles Soule and Steve McNiven. So at the very least, regardless of how you feel about the handling of deaths and resurrections in superhero comic books, I will bet “The Return of Wolverine” will at least be pretty entertaining.

 

Miles Morales: Spider-Man
Writer: Saladin Ahmed
Artist: Javier Garron
Release Date: Dec 2018

39B6BA03-99DE-47FD-83C3-97FC9F575DF0When Brian Michael Bendis moved on from Marvel to work over at DC, many fans wondered what the future held for some of the beloved characters Bendis created while working at Marvel. Like Miles Morales, Riri Williams, and Jessica Jones. Fortunately they’re all continuing on with new series’ from new writers and artists. Miles Morales is arguably the most influential, fan favorite character Bendis created while at Marvel (with the possible exception of Jessica Jones). Fortunately, Miles will live on in a new series, marking the first time the character starred in his own book not written by Bendis. Miles is one of my favorite Marvel characters and I really hope we get to see him in the MCU someday. I’m excited to see what a writer besides Bendis does with a solo book focused on Miles. This a character with limitless potential, so I’m excited to see someone else take a stab at my personal favorite Spider-Man (I know, I know let the hate mail flow in…).

Speaking of Riri Williams, Ironheart will be getting her own ongoing series from writer Eve Ewing in November. I’m also a big Ironheart fan, so this looks like it’s definitely going to be a book to grab as well.

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THOR

Writer: Jason Aaron
Artist: Various
Release Date: 10/17/18

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Jason Aaron’s Thor run has consistently been one of the best books in the comic book industry for the last several years. One of the brilliant thing is Aaron has done in his epic Thor story is show Thor at vastly different points in his life. Including my personal favorite, Old King Thor. In the present, Thor continues to fight in The War Of Realms. A massive conflict across all ten realms spearheaded by Malekith The Accursed.
As has been the case throughout Aaron’s run, we look forward to the end of time, where All Father Thor and his 3 granddaughters have restored a long desolate Earth, including creating new human life. Thor is a very benevolent and hands on God to his people. Unfortunately the universe is dying, even the afterlife is gone. SPOILER ALERT FROM HERE IF YOU HAVEN’T READ THOR#1-5 (2018)!!!!!!!
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Still here?

As Thor searches the cosmos for any kind of flicker of hope that the Universe can be rekindled, he encounters a Phoenix possessed Wolverine! While Old King Thor is initially thrilled to see his old ally, he quickly realizes that the Logan he knew had long ago been consumed by The Phoenix and a Universe shaking battle ensues. During the fight, Wolverine tells Thor he shouldn’t have restarted life on Earth. Earth’s time was done and there are far worse things than The Phoenix Logan out there.
At which point, we cut back to Earth where a large spaceship has arrived. The Dragon, Fin Fang Foom and other old school Marvel monsters proclaim Earth’s destruction, but Thor’s granddaughters make easy work of them. Unfortunately, they’re not the terrible force Logan alluded to. Fin Fang Foom says he is but a herald for his omnipotent master…DOOM! At which point an all powerful DOOM descends from his ship and we see in addition to his normal powers, he’s wielding the powers of Doctor Strange, Iron Fist, Starbrand, and Ghost Rider!

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The next chapter in the ongoing saga of Old King Thor will continue in Thor #6 released on 10/17, with Old King Thor and Old Man Phoenix facing off again DOOM!

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Issue #7 returns the series focus to present day Thor.

 

Anyway, thanks for reading! I hope you enjoyed Part 2 of my Fall Comic Book Preview!

-Paul

TRAILER: Spider-Man: Into The Spiderverse

It’s been a big Spider-Man week here at World’s Best Media. I wrote a pretty critical article of Peter Parker as a hero a few days ago, Mike just wrote an article about the Venom movie. Now we have this trailer for Spider-Man: Into The Spiderverse. I think this looks amazing. Even though I just wrote an article shiting all over Peter Parker, I LOVE Miles Morales. The first teaser for this movie was cool, but after seeing this trailer, this movie is on my radar in a big way. Check it out:

Why Spider-Man Is NOT A Hero or (Why Spider-Man Only Works When He’s A Teenager)

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Spider-Man reached a historic milestone this week with the publication of Amazing Spider-Man #800. This was also the penultimate chapter of writer Dan Slott’s celebrated run on the series. For the finale, Slott pulled out all the stops and gave Peter Parker a truly monumental threat to face for his last story arc on the book. Slott’s story has been building to an epic confrontation with Norman Osborn, unquestionably Peter’s greatest adversary.

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I mean, the guy looks so fucking creepy, why cover it up with this shitty mask?

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Christ…. Just awful. He looks better without the stupid costume.

Though memorably played by Willem Dafoe in Sam Raimi’s Spider-Man film series, I always hated Dafoe’s campy and cartoonish performance as one of comics’ best villains. But that’s an article for another day. In the above mentioned comic book story arc, Osborn has returned to once again torment Peter Parker and everyone around him, but this time not only has he regained his abilities that made him so dangerous as The Green Goblin, he’s also bonded with the alien symbiote worn by Carnage, creating the seemingly unstoppable: RED GOBLIN!

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This is an excellent character design by the artist on the book Stuart Immonen. It’s Norman Osborn juiced up on his Goblin Formula while bonded with the Carnage Symbiote. Bad. Fucking. News. Immune to normal symbiote weaknesses like fire and sound.

Osborn has never been so deadly and his new persona as THE RED GOBLIN  is a terrifying, unstoppable monster. To use a cliché: All the strengths of The Green Goblin and Carnage, but none of their weaknesses. It takes everything Peter has, including the aid of everyone from all the other Spider themed heroes like Miles Morales to semi-reformed villains Venom and Otto Octavius, to bring down The Red Goblin. Hell, even MJ and Aunt May get some licks in. Ultimately, Flash Thompson, Peter’s former high school bully, turned good friend, turns the tide of the battle. Now the military war vet/super hero Anti-Venom; Flash sacrifices himself to give Peter the chance to defeat Osborn.

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Flash Thompson as Anti-Venom. Giving Peter the edge he needs to win the fight.

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Tragically, Osborn has just enough left in him to deal a brutal killing blow to Flash.

With Osborn beaten, Peter takes a moment to appreciate his victory and take in the destruction caused by their fight. When J. Jonah Jameson walks out of the smoke with a gun, intending to finally put an end to the death and misery caused by Osborn. It was far too close this time, Peter didn’t even come close to beating Osborn on his own. It took unprecedented amounts of help and a whole lot of luck to just barely defeat this monster.

Jameson knows Norman will be back like he has so many times before to bring death and horror into their lives. Osborn has killed thousands of innocents, used a U.S. Intelligence agency as his personal kill squad when he became head of SHIELD, started a war with Asgard, and finally he was responsible for one of comic books’ most iconic and heartbreaking deaths: the love of Peter’s life Gwen Stacy.

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Well, he didn’t die. YOU didn’t kill him. He went on to kill hundreds more. How do you think Gwen would feel that you could have avenged her death, but didn’t because you’re a fucking hypocritical coward?

Not to mention the countless other innocent victims that have been caught in the crossfire between Osborn and Spider-Man over the years. He knows Peter can’t and wont do what needs to be done: kill Osborn. But this is a burden Jonah is willing to bear for the young man he once saw as a menace. So, doing what needs to be done, what he believes is right, he pulls the trigger to kill Norman Osborn….

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…. And Peter dives in front of the bullet to save Osborn. Taking a slug in the shoulder for the man who juts killed one of his best friends.    …..Wait…  …Um..  …Hold on a second… ….Ummmm… WHAT?!…. WHAT THE FUCK?!!!!….. WHY?!!!!!!

Because Peter Parker isn’t a hero, he’s a coward. With great power comes great responsibility. Flash Thompson understood that and gave his life for it. Jameson understood by the making the choice to take on the burden Peter didn’t have the strength to. When Peter took that bullet he spat on Flash’s sacrifice. Every death caused by Osborn from this moment on is Peter’s responsibility. Trust me, this is Comics. Osborn WILL be back to kill and maim again, in some form or another.

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Police and their use of firearms is a very touchy subject in this country right now, so I’m speaking hypothetically here. I understand that police using their firearms inappropriately is a serious problem in this county at the moment and I take that very seriously. But stay with me here for a second while I make a quick point, hypothetically in a world where police officers use their weapon in the line of duty only in the situations where it’s absolutely necessary or if  a psychopath is killing people, isn’t it their responsibility to save lives? Even if it means killing the perpetrator? Or what if an officer were defending themselves from an armed and dangerous individual? How is this different than the many times Norman Osborn has murdered people, put lives in danger, and terrorized people over and over again. If the police had encountered Osborn in almost ANY of the senario’s that Peter has, they would have killed him (if they could of course, Osborn is probably impossible for a normal human cop to take down). Peter should have put Osborn down for good a long time ago. If he really believed in dedicating his life to being a hero, he’d have realized that so many of the lives Osborn has taken are on him.

D2CE0547-9214-4780-AAED-2E8E0A4F2E36 I think this is a good time to point out that Peter Parker is a superpowered, masked vigilante whose identity isn’t known to the general public. You and I cant go around taking the law into our hands, but he can. In fact, he does it all the time. That’s what being Spider-Man is. He just doesnt have the guts to kill Osborn and because of his abilities and persona as Spider-Man, this is a crime he could very likely get away with, in a way normal people couldn’t.

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This isn’t the first time Peter has pulled something like this. A few years ago through a convoluted set of circumstances, Norman Osborn became head of SHILED and the Avengers instantly became outlaws. Hawkeye argues that Osborn is insane, homicidal, and cannot under any circumstances be allowed to keep control of SHIELD. Hawkeye thinks the only thing to do, the thing they need to do, have a responsibility to do is kill Osborn. The public doesn’t know that he’s a madman and potentially millions of lives are in danger with Osborn controlling the weapons at SHIELD’s disposal.

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At which point Spider-Man argues that HAWKEYE is the one who’s crazy for even suggesting they kill Osborn and tells the rest of the Avengers that Osborn will inevitably shoot himself in the foot and the public will see him for the monster he really is. Well, how many people will die while you just sit around waiting for this to happen, Peter? In a world where individuals can be classified as a “Person Of Mass Destruction” isn’t it dangerously negligent for Spider-Man to have this attitude? Isn’t this the very definition of “With great power, comes great responsibility”?

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Teenage Peter Parker from Ultimate Spider-Man

This is why I think Spider-Man only works as a character when he’s a teenager. I only read Amazing Spider-Man #800 because it was a milestone issue. The only Spider-Man book I currently read on a monthly basis is Spider-Man which stars the other younger Spider-Man, high schooler Miles Morales. When a teenager sees the world in such morally black and white terms… well, they’re teenagers. What the fuck do they know? I remember when I was 16 I thought good and evil were clear lines and I’d never see the world as a place where thing like “necessary evils” must exist. But of course as I grew up, I changed and so did my view of the world. It almost seems like Peter Parker never grew up. It seems as if he never matured past his childish and naive sense of morality. So when you read a Spider-Man book or see a Spider-Man movie, they tend to be at their best when Peter is a teenager. It’s no coincidence that my personal favorite Spider-Man stories ever told were part of Brian Michael Bendis’ Ultimate Spider-Man run, which chronicled Peter as he navigated the dangers of super villains and his New York City high school.

Tony Stark and Steve Rogers debate morality all the time, but they’ve never debated the morality of killing murderous, super-powered lunatics. Spider-Man is always talking about how “with great power, comes great responsibility”. But I say Peter Parker is a coward who doesn’t have the courage of his own convictions. Heroes do what needs to be done, they don’t hide behind some bullshit code. SPIDER-MAN IS NOT A HERO. SPIDER-MAN IS A COWARD. Let online onslaught of hate begin…

In all honesty, I’d love to hear your opinions on the points I bring up in this article. Please write you comments below or on our Facebook Page and maybe we’ll read your question or comment on an upcoming episode of The World’s Best Podcast.

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Fuck you, Peter. You deserve everything coming to you.

As always, thanks for reading!

-Paul

Trailer: Spider-Man: Into The Spider-VERSE

I normally don’t give theatrically released Animated films much attention. I love animation in general, but not what’s been put out lately for the most part. However, I do love the idea of a big budget Animated Spider-Man Movie with the Miles Morales as Spider-Man. This could be interesting. This trailer has a very cool look. Check it out.