Et Cetera

The Words & Writings of Sean Richmond

Amazing. Spider-Man?

[youtube] The new trailer for the Amazing Spider-Man was released today, and for the most part, I think I'm loving it.

I've been told that I can be a bit obsessive when it comes to comic books. I read them pretty avidly when I was a kid, always getting my parents to buy me a couple whenever we went to the pharmacy/diner (no, I didn't grow up in the 1950s). Uncanny X-Men, Detective Comics, X-Force, and Amazing or Incredible Spider-Man were always instant purchases. Though to be honest, it wasn't until I got back into comics in highschool that I really started to appreciate Spider-Man and his strangely animal-themed rogues gallery.

There was a handful of years that I really didn't buy comics, but those "Dark Times" as I think of them seemed to have just compounded how obsessed I was with the medium. About halfway through highschool when I started reading them again, more out of curiositiy than anything else as to what had happened to Scott Summers and his band of merry mutants, I chased that rabbit down the hole and kept chasing it for years.

I don't even know how many comics I amassed in the time that the high point of my week was New Comics Wednesday (the day may have a different title where you live). I've tried cataloguing them several times, using different software suites for the job, but it was always a bigger job than I had anticipated and I soon found myself overwhelmed. All I can tell you was that I had a fifty-buck a week habit well into college, and everyone in my local Heroes & Fantasies comic book store knew me by name and knew what I wanted to read. I wasn't even one of the weird guys that hung around to talk about who would win in a fight between Wolverine and Batman. Maybe that endeared me to those that worked there, the fact that I could hang out and not be weird about my passion for comics.

Yes, this is the collection that is gathering dust at my parent's house.
And no, that's not all of it. That's just what I was motivated enough to catalog.

That stopped when I went cold turkey and stopped buying comics all together. I tried only getting a few issues for a while, but that never worked. The only way I could keep myself from spending every dime and nickel I had to my name on the pages of Brian Michael Bendis and his peers was to never set foot in that shop again. It's been years since I have, and I'm probably the wealthier for it (or at least less poor).

But again, I ramble. I wanted to talk about my passion to give you a sense of perspective on how much I care about the medium, the characters, and the translations to the big screen (and elsewhere). 


Comic books were pretty much my life, for a while. I lived and breathed the medium. Nowadays, not quit as much. Don't get me wrong,  I still read the latest company crossover or catch up on Ultimate Spider-Man whenever I get the chance on my iPad, but the Golden Age is over for me, I'm afraid.

Which is perhaps why I've been enjoying the latest line of Marvel movies, that began with Iron Man and seem to be culminating in some kind of impossible movie-crossover event of my dreams the Avengers (which I still can't believe is being directed by Joss Whedon). For years, I've talked with my friends about what exactly Marvel should do with their characters on the big screen. And one of the few things we could agree on was that they needed to create a shared universe that they could have crossovers in. And against all odds they seemed to have finally done that.

Unfortunately, Spider-Man, the Fantastic Four, and the X-Men still exist outside of that storied realm. Until that day when Tony Stark can call up Mr. Fantastic for advice on force field technology, or Peter Parker can go hang out with Kitty Pryde for an afternoon, those franchises will be walled off in an inferior corner of cinema. Finally going back to the title of the post (forgive me, I get sidetracked), I really really liked the new trailed for the upcoming Amazing Spider-Man film. It seems to have the right mix of comedy, drama, and superhero action/angst that a good Spider-Man film needs.

Don't get me wrong, I really enjoyed most of what Raimi did, especially at the time. Unfortunately, they don't really hold up in quality to the more recent superhero movies in quality. The costume is tacky as hell, Toby Maguire still sounds absolutely terrible as Peter Parker, and I don't even want to mention the third movie.

But this trailer seems to have pretty much everything I would like to see. Mechanical webshooters? Check. Relatively witty banter (for a teenager)? Check. Gwen Stacy? Check. And they finally got around to having the Lizard as the villain. The stars seem to be aligning.

Now, if only we could get Jonny Storm to drop in for lunch and get the X-Men to do something useful in the modern era, we'd be set.

Until all are one (and until we get a Moon Knight movie).