Hello, my friends. Even though we’ve reach the end of one web strand from this overall movie line, there’s still a lot more for us to weave upon another one. On that note, I welcome you all to the next chapter of this group of reviews known as…
As mentioned last time, “Spider-Man 3” made a healthy profit, but it wasn’t as critically-beloved as its two predecessors and fans were incredibly irked by the final result, due to the troubled production that stemmed from director Sam Raimi, producer Avi Arad and Sony Pictures on what to include here. While a fourth film within this story strand was initially set in motion, Raimi & Sony couldn’t agree on what to do with that film’s story. As such, “Spider-Man 4” was ultimately canceled in 2010 and Sony decided to just reboot their film series.
Released in North America on July 3, 2012, this fresh start to Sony’s signature superhero movie franchise saw Marc Webb take the director’s chair, while James Vanderbilt came up with the story and helmed the screenplay alongside Alvin Sargent & Steve Kloves. Made on a $230 million budget, it went on to modestly wrap up just shy of $758 million while receiving mostly positive reviews from critics.
For our first piece of comic book tie-ins to this entry, we have the two-issue mini-series called “The Amazing Spider-Man: The Movie Prelude”, with both parts being originally released in June 2012. Issue 1 would go on to sell 62,680 copies, while Issue 2 had 59,493 copies sold. With Tom Cohen on writing duty, Neil Edwards on pencils, Rick Magyar, Rick Ketcham, Mark Pennington, Roland Paris & Loreno Ruggiero all over the inks and Veronica Candini riding solo on colors, what kind of bonus tale lies in wait within this particular entry? Let’s load up our web-shooters and find out.
We open at a particular place within the film, specifically the part where Peter Parker had just attended dinner over at Gwen Stacy’s family’s apartment and that he’s just revealed his secret identity to her within a tender moment prior to taking off towards an emergency. Peter also narrates how heading up to this point, he’d gotten superpowers and became a costumed figure called Spider-Man. However, Gwen’s father named Capt. George Stacy doesn’t like the masked figure’s vigilante approach and Peter had just came off a tense argument with him about said figure. Despite that, there’s trouble brewing in the distance and Parker wants to help him out. As George and his officers head out to the incident, Peter discards his civilian clothes while he narrates about his recent argument with Capt. Stacy, specifically about a carjacker that Parker stopped as Spider-Man, but it interrupted with the police strategy of tailing said criminal towards the true head of a car jacking ring. After he properly suits up, he web-swings off in hot pursuit.
As he’s following the cop cars, Peter narrates how there must be a major incident going down and that he hopes that he can handle it. After he manages to correct himself with his web-swinging, he goes to narrate that he’s a little nervous, especially since he’s fallen for a young woman whose father thinks that his costumed identity is detrimental to his job and to his fellow officers. He then remembers how not much time has passed since Gwen had gotten to know him, to which we then flashback to a moment at Midtown Science High where Parker was the school’s yearbook photographer and he’s about to take a picture of Stacy and her fellow Debate Team. On top of the fact that he’s attracted to her, Peter even narrates that she’s well-read, including the likes of “Kerouac & Vonnegut”. As a fellow student named Danny tries to go with him about his “test”, Flash Thompson tells Peter to get on with their picture session since they have to get to basketball practice, yet Parker makes a playful joke about his head size. As Flash starts to get furious, Gwen simply tells him to chill. Thompson then says that he and his teammates will simply get their picture taken later before he then tells Danny that they’ll talk later about the “test”. As Peter proceeds to take the group’s picture, he then narrates how he didn’t know then what was up with Danny at that moment. Later on as school has ended for the day, Parker is met upon by Danny and gets told about the situation that he’s currently in with Flash. Specifically, Thompson is using him to cheat on his tests and Danny doesn’t want to help him anymore. However, he’s worried that he’ll get caught himself. Despite that, Peter doesn’t think that he’ll be able to be effectively helpful and tells Danny that he’ll figure it out. From there, he heads out on his skateboard while narrating that while he didn’t like blowing his fellow classmate off like that, he’s already got his own Flash-related worries.
He goes on to mention that while he’s out doing some skateboarding, it frees him up and let’s him be himself without any worries of trying to fit in. As he gets closer to his house however, the thought of Danny’s situation begins to hang over him, especially when he tries to impress a pair of women with a skateboarding trick, but ends up falling onto his face as a result. He ultimately makes it back home as Aunt May reminds him that it’s meatloaf night, to which he says that he has to process some photos. As he reaches his room, he also narrates how this is his “sanctuary” before he proceeds to work on the yearbook photos. When he reaches Gwen’s snapshot and admires her (even though she doesn’t entirely know him), May suddenly walks in on him, causing him to overreact. She initially thinks that he’s looking at something naughty on the internet, but he assures her that he’s only stressed out from this photo project and that he was only startled. From there, she goes on to remind him about dinner and that he doesn’t have to worry about taking her to work tonight, since she’s changed her shifts. Afterwards, Peter tries to lock his door, but the chain ends up snapping off before he decides to fix it.
From there, he heads down to the basement where Uncle Ben is hard at work. Peter then narrates that his uncle regularly likes to fix old watches and clocks and that while he got his love for science from his father, his love for taking gadgets apart and putting them back together came from Ben. Peter mentions his desire to have a new lock for his room, to which Ben asks him about his school life while he works on a clock that May got during their honeymoon. Peter then explains that while Flash makes it hard on him at school, Thompson is also being miserable towards a fellow student. However, if he helps said classmate, he’ll get labeled as a rat and Flash will lay his bullying vengeance upon him. Ben then proceeds to offer some advice where just like the clocks & watches that he fixes and the bridges that he used to build, life is one big puzzle and Peter must place them in certain spots, since no other way will work. Afterwards, they hear the freezer making mechanical noises before Peter decides to work on his room lock. As he uses the various parts at his disposal, he narrates how he would’ve spent more time down here had he known the cruel fate that awaited his uncle. He appreciates how practically anything Ben said to him would resonate in some way and that tinkering with his tools rekindles a childhood thrill of his, especially since it would help him create the same tools that he uses for his crime-fighting persona. Later, Peter attaches his newly-created automated lock on his door and tests it out to a resounding success. Afterwards, Ben commends him for his invention and that he’s been impressed with his nephew ever since he was little. From there, Ben tells him that he’s “a good man” and that he’ll find his way through the tough parts of his life. From there, Peter narrates how he’s found a way to help out Danny.
While he does some online work in order to get in contact with Gwen and inform him of the situation, we then shift back to the present as Spider-Man continues to web-swing towards the perilous situation. Suddenly, one of his web-shooters malfunctions as he’s forced to hastily recover. While he manages to get off a shot from his lone working web-shooter, he ends up getting violently flung towards a building before he smacks into it and lands on the ground. As if that wasn’t bad enough, a street gang consisting of hockey mask-wearing thugs are nearby as Issue 1 ends with them noticing this as they head over to cause some physical harm to our hero.
Issue 2 begins with the masked street gang swarming over and assaulting Spider-Man, keeping up their relentless assault. Spidey manages to get a brief break after delivering a surprise punch to the gang leader, but he quickly retaliates by grabbing Peter’s ankle and throwing him onto the ground. Just as Parker narrates about how he convinced Gwen to help him with Danny’s problem, we cut back over to the Stacy’s apartment not too long after dinner and the moment after Gwen learned about Peter’s secret identity. She’s then told by her mother Helen that she likes Peter for being “smart” & “gutsy” and that deep down, she believes that George is impressed with him for standing his ground on their argument. After Gwen says that she felt like her dad actually had “deep-seated resentment”, she returns to her room before she hears her cell phone buzzing. However, it turns out to be Flash as she confirms their tutoring session tomorrow. She then narrates how it was only mere weeks ago that she was tipped off about Danny’s situation, not knowing at the time that the “Good Samaritan” was Peter himself. We then head into the flashback as Stacy meets up with Danny and offers to buy him a smoothie. From there, they meet up at a coffee shop called Ditko’s Coffee (cute nod) as she tells him to be honest with her and that she won’t tell anyone about his current situation.
He explains that it all started when he did Flash’s math & science homework in exchange for hanging out with his friends. However, it soon got to the point where Thompson would refrain from beating him up if he does all of his homework. Now with his final test coming up, Flash wants him to cheat for his benefit. Gwen then tells him to refrain from depending on Thompson and his goons in order to look cool. Danny then says that he doesn’t want to help Flash cheat, but he also doesn’t want to get beat up again. Just as Gwen tells him that she’ll help him deal with this, they soon notice Thompson walking towards the coffee shop as Danny worries about being seen with her. Soon enough, she says that she’ll handle this as she heads outside and meets up with Flash. As they head out for a walk, she says that she’s aware of what he’s doing to Danny and that it has to end. However, Thompson simply denies it and heads out as Gwen narrates how this situation isn’t going to go smoothly. We then cut to the next day at Oscorp where she’s working there as an intern and is in charge of the intern program. While she’s looking over the paperwork containing the newest batch of interns, she can’t stop thinking about Danny’s dire situation. She then narrates that while her father would take a far-more blunt approach to this situation, she feels that a more nuanced touch would suffice instead and that she know whom to turn to for said advise. Specifically, her mentor named Dr. Curt Connors, who’s also written a college recommendation letter for her. At that moment however, Curt is being confronted by his unit’s superior named Rajit Ratha, especially since he’s been on Connors’ case concerning cross-species. Just as she enters the room, Rajit tells Curt to get “some positive results” soon, since their head boss is running thin on patience and has already poured lots of money into these experiments. Connors then says that he’s almost at a breakthrough, but he just needs a little more time. Ratha then says that he better make some significant progress, or else he’ll be replaced by Smythe and his “Nanotech Project” before taking his leave. Afterwards, Gwen steps in and explains her current plight at school, since she doesn’t want Danny to be labeled as a rat nor does she want Flash to get expelled. Curt then describes Thompson as a “classic bully” that needs to be treated with empathy, since they’re most likely “scared and insecure”. He then says that she’ll find her solution in there that will help resolve this situation, to which she then narrates how his clear point of view has given her an idea.
We then cut to the next day at school as Gwen sees Flash in the hallway and proceeds to carry out her plan. Thompson says that he’s aware of his situation with Danny as he says that if he doesn’t pass this final test, then not only will he get kicked off the basketball team, but he’ll get expelled from school as well. Stacy then says that she’s going to tutor him every single day until his final exam comes around and that she’ll make him work hard in order for him to pass it. If he goes back against their deal, then she’ll walk away and he’ll flunk his way out of the school. Flash ultimately agrees, to which she says that they’ll start immediately after school. From there, he meets up with Parker in order to voice his concern about his basketball team’s yearbook photo. We then shift back to the present time as Gwen narrates how Thompson has been keeping his end of the deal, but her immediate concern is with Peter as she decides to contact him. Back with Spider-Man, he continues to get beaten up by the street gang. Suddenly, a young kid pops out of his window and cheers for Spidey to fight back. This served as the timely distraction that he’s been desperate for as he proceeds to fight his way out, leap at a safe-enough distance onto a building, fix his web-shooters and then wrap the goons up. After thanking the boy for his help, he tells him to call the cops before taking his leave.
Spider-Man then makes it to the rooftop in order to catch his breath. He then narrates how even though he hears the sirens in the distance, he’s lost Capt. Stacy’s trail. Just then, he gets a text from Gwen and gets informed that the dangerous situation is occurring on the Williamsburg Bridge. After he spots a helicopter that’s heading that way, Spidey manages to web-swing onto it and ride his way there. Gwen then calls up her father and asks about the current incident, to which George says that he has his fellow officers have this “tactical alert” under control and that he want her to tell her family to not worry. Back with Spider-Man, he narrates how even though the street gang cost him some time, the young boy’s timely help has made him realize that he can use his powers to help change the bad reception that the public and Capt. Stacy have on him. Just as he reaches the Williamsburg Bridge, he narrates how even though his journey has just begun, he can potentially do some good in this world. Not only that, but he can help out his aunt, honor his murdered uncle and help George right some wrongs. As for Gwen, he wants “to be there for her and with her”. And so, the comic ends with him scoping out the horrifying situation. With this serving as a major chance to finally be a hero, he web-swings in to make this count.
Now that this world has gotten some background details, let’s make our way back to the translation trail as we now cover a two-part tale called “The Amazing Spider-Man: The Movie Adaptation”. Published in January & February 2014, the first issue would sell 7,563 copies while the second had 6,721 books purchased. While Cohen & Alves return to write and draw this book respectively, they’re joined by Manny Clark & Anderson Silva who’re on inking duties, while Chris Sotomayor handles the colors. So, how does the movie’s plot handle its two-part transfer to print? Let’s wall-crawl towards this hero’s journey and find out.
We open within the past as a five-year old Peter Parker is playing hide-and-seek with his parents. As he makes his way into his father’s office, he discovers that it’s been ransacked before he calls out to his dad. From there, Richard realizes what’s going on as he tells his son to get his mother and that they have to go right now. He then accesses a secret compartment from his desk drawer and takes out a key file before the three of them make their way towards Ben & May’s house. Just as they arrive, Richard tells Peter that he & his mother have to take care of something and that he’ll be staying with his aunt and uncle before Mary says that it’ll only be for a short while. In his narration, Peter says that he didn’t understand why his parents left him there after all these years. After Richard & Mary inform Ben and May about their situation before saying good-bye to their son, Peter then narrates how that was the last time he ever saw them.
We then shift to the present day over at Midtown Science High School as a seventeen-year-old Peter narrates how he’s unsure how much different he would be if his parents were still here, since he would still have a nerdy love for science. As he makes his way outside, he notices Gwen Stacy from afar and narrates how he still has a crush for her, especially since she reads Vonnegut. At that moment, a crowd of students have gathered to watch Flash hold a student named Gordon up and force him to eat his food. As Parker makes his way to the central action, Thompson tells him to take a picture of this. Thankfully, Peter refuses to do so before he tells “Eugene” to put their classmate down. Even though he complies, Flash responds by assaulting Parker. From there, Gwen steps in and reminds him of their tutoring session if he intends on passing his Algebra class. After Thompson takes his leave and the crowd disperses, she then checks up on Peter and makes sure that he’s OK (slightly modified from the movie since this specific conversation happened in class). Later after Peter has returned home, Ben has come up from the basement with a box of his stuff and informs his family that his defective freezer has flooded their basement. He then has Peter head down to inspect it, to which he tells Ben that it’ll need a new fill line and that he’ll pick one up after school tomorrow. As Ben takes up another box, Peter then looks underneath the stairs to see if there’s anything they can salvage. At that moment, he soon finds his father’s briefcase lying in there before he brings it up to show his uncle & aunt. Ben tells Peter that his father left it here and asked him to keep it safe. Peter then finds an old picture of his dad with another scientist and asks who the other guy is, but Ben doesn’t recognize him. Later, Peter is in his room as he thoroughly examines the briefcase before he ultimately finds a hidden pouch that contains the double-zero file as he opens it up and sees that it contains something that his dad worked on called the Decay Rate Algorithm. Suddenly, Ben comes in and informs his nephew that he identified the guy who’s in the photo with his father: Dr. Curt Connors. He explains that Curt used to work alongside Richard at Oscorp and that they were on the verge of a major breakthrough. However, they haven’t heard from Connors ever since the fateful day that Richard & Mary lost their lives in a plane crash and that he apologizes for keeping this secret alongside May. From there, Peter checks out an online review of Curt’s recent book and decides to go talk to him in order to learn about his father.
After skipping over a brief moment where Parker sneaks his way in by taking another intern’s ID badge while the receptionist asks him if he’s “having trouble finding yourself”, he joins the rest of the interns before he discovers that Gwen works here as an intern herself and is going to be their tour guide. After they reach the central lab, the group gets introduced to Dr. Connors, who’s a Herpetology expert. He explains that he has a personal interest in reptiles, since he wants to tap into their ability to regenerate their own tissue in order to regrow his right arm, as well as help the worldwide populace who’re suffering in similar predicaments. When he asks the group how this can be accomplished, Peter answers with “cross-species genetics”. While Curt is impressed, Gwen is stunned to see him here. From there, Connors gets called away before Stacy asks Parker why he’s here. Ultimately, she tells him that she has to watch over this group, so she asks him to not get her into trouble. We then skip over a brief moment where Peter bumps into Rajit Ratha and realizes that he has his own double-zero file before he discreetly follow him. From there, Parker sneaks his way into the bio-cable lab as he discovers that Oscorp is “harvesting spider silk”. He then makes his way into the spider nursey where he discovers hundreds of genetically-modified spiders. Suddenly (and most likely after he plucks a web strand like in the film), the machine wraps up its webs as several spiders fall down, with Peter getting pelted by several of them. By the time that he gets back to the main lab, Gwen had already noticed that he went off on his own as she tells him to hand over the I.D. badge and leave. Afterwards, one of those spiders has crept onto the back of his neck and manages to bite him. From there (and in a minor bit of scene rearrangement), Parker examines the web strand hanging off of him as he discovers the spider that bit him had died. Later that night, he’s taking a subway train back to his house and decides to sleep along the way. Suddenly, a guy decides to balance a beer bottle on Parker’s head. Just as a drop falls onto his face, Peter suddenly wakes up and leaps onto the ceiling, surprising the passengers with his sudden ability to hang off of there without any sort of harness. After he reacts his way through a scuffle (which was started by him after he accidentally ripped a woman’s shirt off of her due to his hand sticking onto her), he gets off at the first available stop and runs all the way home. From there, the adaptation omits the scene where he arrives back to Ben & May’s worry before his spider-sense allows him to catch a fly right in front of her, followed by him taking several pieces of food (including her meatloaf) out of the refrigerator and heading upstairs, which also had a moment where May finds out that Ben secretly didn’t like her meatloaf over all of these years.
We then shift to the next day as Peter visits Curt at his home and informs him that he’s Richard’s son. They ultimately have a conversation where Connors explains how he and Richard were working on a project that would “change the world”, but then Richard left him while he hasn’t been able to solve the Decay Rate Algorithm. Peter then proves that he was able to crack it himself, as Curt admires this breakthrough before asking Parker to meet him at Oscorp after school so that they work on this. We then shift ahead to the next school day as Peter is in the gymnasium and asks a fellow classmate for some candid shots of her for the yearbook. At that moment, Flash is participating in basketball practice when he suddenly sends the ball her way, knocking over her paint bowl and spilling paint onto her banner, where she then calls him out for purposefully doing this. Peter then picks up the ball and uses his enhanced agility and tactile touch to embarrass Thompson before he drives past him, leaps into the air and slams the ball into the basket with enough force to shatter the backboard. The comic then skips over several scenes where Parker got sent to the principal’s office and Ben had to be brought in for this, thus requiring him to change his shift and have Peter been responsible for picking his aunt up. Not only that, but Peter finally talks to Gwen and they agree in principle to do something together before he heads out and practices his newfound agility. He would then meet up with Curt and spend several hours helping him crack the algorithm in just the right way, while Peter ignores a call from his uncle. We then rejoin the adaptation as Peter returns home, only for an irritated Ben to be waiting for him on the front porch. As they head inside, Ben then chastises his nephew for making his aunt wait longer than needed to get picked up before he then delivers his version of “With Great Power Comes Great Responsibility”. However, Peter throws it back in his face and asks why his actual father isn’t here to tell him that before he storms out of the house. From there, Ben goes after him. Peter then tries to buy some chocolate milk at a convenience store, but the clerk won’t let him due to him being just shy of exact change. In the film, he was a mere two cents short and the clerk only allows customers to take-a-penny if they spend at least $10. Afterwards, the guy behind him robs the place and escapes. The clerk asks for some help, but Peter simply tells him that it’s “Not My Policy”. The thief then makes his way towards Ben before he takes out a handgun. A struggle ensues before Ben gets shot as Peter is left to grieve over his dead uncle’s body. Eventually, the police inform May about this incident before they let Peter have a sketch drawing of the robber’s face. With his new set of powers, Peter decides to sneak out and hunt down his uncle’s murderer.
He ultimately finds a thug hassling a woman in an alley and engages him. However, the guy had his own gang as Parker is forced to run for his life. He makes his way to the roof before he falls through and lands on a wrestling ring. With a familiar wrestling banner as inspiration, he decides that he needs a disguise in order to shield his identity. After he finally creates a suit and perfects his web-shooters, he ultimately creates his Spider-Man outfit. Then one day at school, Gwen invites Peter over to her parents’ apartment for dinner and that her mother is making some Branzino. Over at his Oscorp office, Curt informs Rajit that he’s cracked the formula and things are looking up, especially since an injected three-legged lab rat has regrown a leg. Ratha then tells him that they must move to human trials immediately, but Connors says that it’s too soon for that and that they would need some time to find some volunteers. As such, Rajit says that he’s shutting him down and moving on with the process himself, even mentioning that he’ll find some limbless volunteers over at the V.A. hospital. With him now in a tight bind, Curt proceeds to inject himself with the serum.
Later that night, Spider-Man manages to stop a carjacker. However, the cop tells him to freeze. Ultimately, Spidey is able to evade several officers and escape, while George is furious with his squad mates over their inability to catch a single person. Later, Peter has arrived at the Stacy’s apartment for dinner. Where asked by one of his son’s if he’s caught Spider-Man yet, Capt. Stacy says that he will and that he describes the masked vigilante as “an amateur”. Peter argues that Spidey is actually doing some public service, to which George rebuts by saying that Spider-Man interrupted their attempt to tear down a massive sting operation involving carjackers. Ultimately, Gwen takes Peter up to the roof. From there, he attempts to share something big with her, but he’s struggling to get the words out. Just as she’s about to leave, he fires his web-shooter at her, pulls her in and kisses her. Just then, her mother Helen comes up and tells her to come back inside since her father had to head out to deal with a tactical alert. As such, Peter discreetly jumps off the roof to join the fight. Back with Curt, he wakes up to discover that the serum has regrown his right arm. Just as he learns where Ratha has gone to, he gets into a taxi and heads out towards the Williamsburg Bridge, all the while his serum continues to mutate him. And so, Issue 1 ends with him bursting out of the cab and making his way onto the bridge just as Spidey arrives and notices him.
Issue 2 begins with Rajit stuck in gridlock bridge traffic as he tells his driver to investigate the cause. Suddenly, the Lizard arrives and attacks him, even picking up the car with him in it and throwing it over the side. Thankfully, Spider-Man arrives in time and uses some web to hang the vehicle onto the bridge. Just as Spidey is about to go after the monstrous fiend, he hears a father yelling for help since his son named Jack in trapped in a car that Peter previously managed to save. Spider-Man heads down to save the boy, but he’s too scared of him. As such, Peter takes off his mask and shows that he’s a regular guy. Not only that, but he lets Jack wear in order to feel brave. With the vehicle already on fire, the boy climbs up as Spidey ultimately saves him and reunites him with his dad. Afterwards, he narrates how he started to feel like he could make an actual difference.
We then shift to the next morning as Peter reaches Curt’s office in order to ask him about the Lizard incident. However, he soon discovers that Connors had been hard at work at the formula that he helped set in motion. Just as Curt returns, Parker tries to ask him about “Reptiles”. However, Connors brings up a recent report on how Capt. Stacy has put out an arrest warrant for Spider-Man. He then mentions some “rumors” about “a new species of reptile” within the city that can be “aggressive” before he heads out to take care of a project. However, Peter notices that the injected lab rat has mutated into a carnivorous being that’s eaten its fellow lab rat. Later, Spidey heads into the water system and creates his own web in order to find his target. Not only that, but he’s set up his camera in order to get proof of it. Suddenly, he hears some tugs on his web before the Lizard appears and pounces on him. Ultimately, they fall into the current as Peter ends up within another part of the system. Back with the Lizard, he notices a camera in the initial area and recognizes that Peter Parker is Spider-Man (unlike the movie where Peter literally put his name on the camera).
We then cut to the next day at Midtown Science High as Parker informs Gwen how he believes that Curt is the Lizard. Just then, they hear a disturbance as the students flee alongside Stacy. It turns out that Lizard has come up through the restroom in order to slay Spidey. Peter manages to suit up and engage his foe for a while before he attempts to subdue it with loads of webs. Even though the Lizard breaks out, he begins to mutate back as he flees while Peter follows him. As he sees Curt’s torn lab coat, it helps confirm to Parker that he and the Lizard are the same being.
Later, Peter sneaks into Connors’ underground lab and learns of what he’s planning. Specifically, he’s going to use his serum in order to turn the citizens into lizard people. He then calls up Gwen (who’s already at Oscorp as opposed to being right outside the school in the movie) and tells her that Curt has aerosolized his serum and is going to use the Ganali device to launch it into the air and carry out his plan. As such, he wants her to help counteract his compound and turn the Lizard back into Connors. From there, Spider-Man web-swings his way towards Oscorp. However, George and his fellow officers are more concerned with taking him down as one of them shoots him with a taser. As they swarm in and arrest Spidey, Capt. Stacy then takes his mask off. Despite the comic omitting the moment where Peter takes out those cops, his identity is ultimately revealed to George. As such, he explains that the Lizard is heading towards Oscorp and that Gwen is also there. As such, Capt. Stacy lets him go as the adaptation omits the moment where an armored official recovers and manages to shoot Spidey in his leg. Either way, Spider-Man has to get across town in a hurry as he uses several construction cranes to web-swing his way over to Oscorp. In the movie, that part was possible thanks to the dad repaying our hero for saving his boy by getting his fellow workers to line up their cranes and help him with his web-swinging. Ultimately, Peter reaches the roof as the Lizard has gotten the Ganali device and is about to launch his serum.
Spider-Man swings in and fights him, while Gwen meets up with her father and gives him the antidote. He then assures her that he knows Spidey’s true identity before telling to get in the police car for her safety. Back on the roof, the Lizard has captured Spider-Man and unmasked him before he tells him that he’s “all alone”. Thankfully, George arrive and uses a shotgun against him to free Spidey. While he’s holding the Lizard off, he gives Peter the antidote. Just as Parker heads out, the Lizard recovers and fatally wounds Capt. Stacy. Curt then tries to stop Spider-Man, but he’s too late as Peter puts the antidote into the Ganali device before launching it into the air. As Connors transforms back into his human self, Parker meets up with the mortally-wounded George and gets told that he’ll make a lot of enemies. As such, he makes Peter promise to leave Gwen alone for her safety before he succumbs to his wounds.
We then cut to sometime later as Parker attends Capt. Stacy’s funeral from afar. Afterwards, Gwen drops by his house and asks him why he didn’t properly come to her father’s funeral. However, he simply tells her that he can’t see her anymore. Just as she heads out, she realizes that her dad made him promise to stay away from her for her safety. Afterwards, May tells her nephew to ask Gwen out, but he simply says that he’s not good for her. However, she then tells him that she knows that he’s good. Later, Peter finally listens to Uncle Ben’s final voice mail, who tells him that despite how hard things are going for him, there’s always another day waiting for him to make things right. As Peter makes his way towards school the next day, he notices a group of kids running out of an alley as he discovers that they’ve spray-painted Spidey’s symbol there. Then on one particular day, he shows up late to class as he promises to not do it again. As his teacher tells him to not make promises that he can’t keep, he then whispers to Gwen how “those are the best kind”. He then narrates how despite this going against his promise to George, she means everything to him and that he’ll do his best to protect her. We then shift to the film’s mid-credit scene where Curt is being held at the Beloit Psychiatric Hospital. Suddenly, he’s met upon by a mysterious man in black who asks him if “the boy” knows the truth about his dad. And so, the comic ends with Spider-Man web-swinging through the night sky while he narrates how despite his upcoming troubles, everything for him right now is simply “amazing”.
Now, we’ve gotten to the last piece of tie-in material for this film, even though this actually came out closer to its sequel. This particular piece is called “The Amazing Spider-Man: Cinematic Infinite Comic” and was released online on February 7, 2014. As for what kind of venture our main hero found himself on, let’s walk across this web-sized tightrope and find out with Tom Cohen in the writer’s chair, Daniel Govar as our storyboard artist, Andrea DiVito as our primary artist & Laura Villari handling the colors.
We open with Spider-Man hanging out on a building. As he listens to his police scanner for any crimes in progress, he soon realizes that he’s supposed to be at Gwen’s apartment tonight to study. As such, he calls her up and lets her know that he’s out trying to get more shots for the Daily Bugle. Just as Gwen mentions how he should update his costume if he’s going to wind up as “a media star”, especially to “something simpler” with “a more expressive mask”, Peter gets a call for some suspicious activity involving a power outage as he proceeds to head out.
He ultimately arrives and finds a pair of goons unloading some boxes from their van. After he sets up his camera, Spidey swings down and subdues one of the thugs with his web.
He then interrogates the last henchman and learns that they’re subcontracting for these “new heavy-hitters” who’re solely interested in high-end technology. After finding out that they’re going to pilfer a Brooklyn-based warehouse, the guy also tells him that these men are a fully-armed group. Afterwards, Spider-Man sticks him to the wall with his web before heading out.
Later, he arrives at the building and sees the armed thugs preparing to make off with a powerful machine.
Peter then places his camera in a certain spot before he drops down and intervenes.
He manages to evade their gunfire while he systematically beats each member up. As such, the remaining goons split up in order to gain some kind of advantage. Afterwards, Peter’s Spider-Sense goes off and alerts him of incoming danger. Even though two guys manage to tackle him, Spidey is still able to shoot his web at their heads and slam them together before he wall-crawls up to the walkway.
Despite his best attempt to sneak around, the structure’s set up ends up making his footsteps noisy. Just as Spider-Man discovers a massive centrifuge right below him, one of the goons turns it on before he opens fire on our hero. Even though Peter didn’t get hit, he still got forced off as he starts to fall towards the centrifuge.
He manages to shoot a web strand onto the walkway and hang on for dear life, but a mercenary comes in and attempts to finish him off. Spidey manages to take him out with some webs, but the perp managed to have a stray shot hit Peter’s wrist, causing him to lose his grip and plummet towards the centrifuge.
He tries to fire one last web strand and stop his free fall, but it’s no use as he falls in and gets beaten up by the machine before he’s thrown out onto the floor.
He then sees the final mercenary trying to flee as he aims his lone working web-shooter at the perp and manages to capture the guy. And so, the comic ends with the goons getting arrested while Peter calls up Gwen and lets her know that he’ll need a new suit and new web-shooters as well. After she agrees and suggests him to have bigger eyes on his mask, Parker takes the subway back to his house while he designs his new suit.
To close out this section, we’ve reached the film that was supposed to launch the character into his own cinematic universe, but instead brought a premature end to this era of the series. While James Vanderbilt did return to help craft the story, he would end up working alongside Jeff Pinkner and the now-infamous writing duo of Alex Kurtman & Roberto Orci, with the latter three exclusively doing the screenplay. Released on May 2, 2014, the film was made on (at least) a $200 million budget and would go on to rake in just shy of $709 million. Despite its monetary haul, it still wound up as the lowest-grossing, live-action Spider-Man film. In addition to its mixed critical reception that criticized its overly-stuffed story amongst its many problems, Sony’s plans to continue building this universe ultimately fell apart by 2015.
As for the lone piece of tie-in material for this flick, we have a mini-comic called “The Amazing Spider-Man 2: Rise Of Electro” (which is ironically the movie’s international title) that was published on August 19. With Tom Cohen serving as the writer, Wellington Alves & Ivan Rodriguez sharing artistic duties, Manny Clark mostly serving as our inker and Chris Sotomayor all over the colors, how does this comic close out a short-lived time period? Let’s charge up and find out.
We open with Max Dillon getting saved by Spider-Man while our hero is trying to stop Aleksei Sytsevich from his radioactive theft. Max says that he’s considered by his peers as a “nobody”, while Spidey tells him that he’s “somebody” and that he wants him to be his “eyes and ears” before he heads out. Sometime later, Max is at his job over at Oscorp as he continues to think a bit too much about Spider-Man. Despite it being near the end of the day and the fact that it’s his birthday, he’s then approached by Alistair Smythe who tells him to stay put and fix a “current flow problem” over in the chemical genomics lab before he and his fellow staff mates head out. Later, he thinks about Alistair stealing his ideas for the hydroelectric power plant. Just as he thinks how he couldn’t get anyone to temporarily turn off the power before he does this, Max finds the problem and manages to reconnect some electric cables. Suddenly, he gets viciously shocked before he falls into a tank where he gets severely zapped by several electric eels, resulting in the tank exploding and him spilling out.
Later, he wakes up in the morgue as his whole body is entirely colored in electric blue. As he stumbles about, his electric makeup causes several nearby tools to act on their own. After he gets some clothes, he then feels the electric energy from the several parked cars as he gets a small taste before he feels the massive energy over in Times Square. He makes his way over there before he senses a primary electric cable underneath him as he opens a grid and begins to absorb its shocking energy. Suddenly, he’s quickly approached by several officers who order him to surrender before they throw some tear gas his way. However, Electro uses his shocking power to force the officials away, even sending a cop car into the air.
Just then, Spider-Man web-swings in and catches the vehicle before he walks towards Max in order to calmly talk to him and offer to help him out. Unbeknownst to them, a police sniper was in position should any rash action breaks out. Just as a sudden spark emits from Dillon, the sniper gets cleared to fire at him. However, this causes Electro to strike back as Spidey ends up with one of his web-shooters getting electrically disabled. Just as Peter saves a civilian, the crowd starts cheering for him. Electro then takes this as Spider-Man being a false friend before he fires a massive electrical surge at our hero. Thankfully, Spidey uses his lone working web-shooter to save a guy from a flung police car (in addition to preventing a few civilians from touching the electrified railing upon the TKTS bleacher, as shown in the film).
As Max continues to chastise him for betraying their friendship, Spider-Man rips a fire hydrant out with his webs and hurls it at him. Despite getting hit and landing in a viewing screen, Dillon easily recovers and prepares to strike back. Thankfully, Spidey managed to team up with several firefighters in order to soak Electro and have him short out. And so, the comic ends with Max getting arrested as he thinks how this isn’t over since he potentially has “the power”.
Overall, these tie-in books mainly stuck itself to the narratives of its films, yet sometimes added some background content to its pocket universe. The two-part prelude does add some nice touches that Peter would take advantage of, like using his uncle’s basement workshop to create his automated room lock before he would use it to create his web-shooters. Not to mention, it showed how far he’ll be traveling on his personal journey towards better self-responsibility when he initially doesn’t want to help a student who’s being taken advantage of by Flash. On that same note, it also does a nice job in showing Gwen’s self-assuring strength in dealing with Thompson, not to mention how she became his tutor by the beginning of the film. Plus, it lays a bit of a foundation for her friendship with Peter that would ultimately blossom into a tragic relationship. It was a bit odd that following his dinner date at the Stacy’s apartment and his self-identity reveal to her, it’s a faulty web-shooter that led to Spider-Man getting beaten up by a street gang while he was on his way to confront the Lizard. It’s a detail that nobody really asked for, but at least a young boy and his timely intervention would be a nice touch with contrasting Parker’s movie journey from selfish vigilante to selfless hero, especially given the child that he would ultimately save on the bridge. In the end, it’s not the deepest of expansive background material, but it fits rather nicely with what’s here and the art work is good throughout to present these events. As for the first film’s adaptation comic, it felt very confident with containing as much content from the movie as possible. While it does truncate a few spots, it makes sense for the somewhat limited space within the comic. Only in a few spots does it omit a crucial scene or two, but it nicely handles its translation to paper. With some nicely-handled artwork balanced with decent pacing, it carries the pros and cons of its cinematic counterpart with flying colors. As for the story that sees Peter get a costume upgrade before his doomed sequel, it acts as a nice mini-adventure. Though the armed mercenaries only pose an oppositional challenge when they successfully get the surprising drop on him, the whole ordeal was decent for Peter to overcome within professionally colorful artwork. For a comic that’s digital only, it may not have provided too much in crucial plot details to tie itself into its films, but it’s still an enjoyable read nonetheless. Finally, we have the Electro-focused mini-comic that ties into the second and final entry for this line of Spider-Man films. It’s mainly a mini-adaptation that focuses on Max Dillon and how he became the electric-based entity up to his initial fight in Times Square. It does scale down the obsessive behavior that he would gain after being saved by Spidey, but it essentially gets his first several scenes translated as effectively as it can, especially given its status as a mini-comic. With some nice artwork to help balance the brisk pace of this tiny comic, it’s a breezy read that’s worth both collecting and checking out. It doesn’t provide any substantial background details that could’ve expanded upon the ill-fated sequel, but for what’s present, it still provides a spark to its fans.
Even though we’re saying good-bye to this short-lived duology, our web-head will get one last live-action iteration with tie-in comics that must be covered. As such, come back next time as Sony joins forces with the House of Mouse in order to provide us with our third cinematic version and his first few adventures captured on the panels. Until then, keep your Spider Senses tuned.
Spider-Man (created by Stan Lee & Steve Ditko) is owned by Marvel.