Marvel should remember Spider Man's roots

News broke this week that, after lengthy negotiations, iconic superhero Spider-Man will finally join the official Marvel movie canon through Disney. Sony produced the first five Spider-Man films beginning in 2002 through Columbia Pictures. While the initial trilogy directed by Sam Raimi was hugely successful, disappointing returns from the most recent film starring Andrew Garfield in the title role no doubt led to the sale of Spidey’s film rights to Marvel Studios.

Marvel, true to form, has wasted no time in integrating Spider-man into the so-called Marvel Cinematic Universe. Plans have been announced for the web slinger to appear in the next Captain America sequel, as well as in his own movie in 2017.

For fans of Spidey on page and screen, this move is a welcome one. The recent Spider-Man films have been clumsy and anemic affairs that fail to live up to the source material, or even the earlier movies. Stars Andrew Garfield and Emma Stone gave charisma to the reboots, but a messy soup of villains and supporting characters that did not translate well to a summer blockbuster. Marvel Studios, meanwhile, has a proven ability to launch (and re-launch) franchises with stability that the Spider-Man series needs right now.

Marvel’s consistency, however, is also to its occasional detriment. Marvel’s extensive film canon is impressive, but comes at a narrative cost. Marvel heroes on film tend to all be fighting the same loud and exhausting space villains with the same vague and convenient space weapon. Their dialogue is clever enough, but their one liners can't do the work to set them apart from the homogeneous pack.

So now Spider-Man has swung into ostensibly more capable hands. It is this fan's hope that this lucrative acquisition leads to a return to form for our friendly neighborhood wall-crawler. Marvel now has a hot commodity in its wheelhouse and should proceed with reverence to the Spider-Man origins that have made the hero's story the massively popular brand it is today. Spider-Man's adventures have resonated with audiences on film before. I look forward to seeing if they can again.

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