Comic Books Magazine


Posted on the 21 May 2014 by Geekasms @geekasms

Amazing Spider-Man #2, the comic, not the movie, just so we’re straight, continues the reintroduction of Peter Parker back into the world of Spider-Man.  He’s still picking up the pieces and this issue has him finally clearing up a few major situations.

We also get a little glimpse at who we can only assume is Silk, the girl bitten by the same radioactive spider as Peter.  It seems she spends all of her time watching videos of Spider-Man’s battles.  Hm…interesting.

Spider-Man has a meeting with the Avengers to prove that he is back and he also has a heart to heart with Anna Maria.  While reading this issue, I realized for the first time that I really like Anna Maria.  She’s great.  Spunky, confident, funny and I’m glad that she didn’t storm out of Peter’s door for good.  The way they integrate her in the story is wonderful and I’m happy to see that she might be a part of Peter’s life for some time to come.

This is also another great issue for Humberto Ramos.  I was surprised at how similar, yet different, his style looked in the last issue and that continues here.  It’s really impressive.  I’ve seen him draw Spider-Man for so long that I expect certain things and they aren’t always there anymore.  The way he draws Spider-Man’s eyes is very different than normal and it’s for the best.  He slips a few times and they get “expressive”, but mostly they stay in their new larger size.

Electro is the main villain in this issue, but the battle isn’t that big of a deal.  It’s more about what Ock did to him and how that is causing problems for Electro.  I said it through the Superior run that the one thing I hoped for is that Spider-Man’s villains would be villainous again.  With what Ock did, Electro and Black Cat are setting their sites on Spider-Man in a big way and I bet they are not going to be alone.

Two issues in and my concerns about how Slott was going to piece all this together have been virtually wiped away.  The only thing that I’m not sold on yet is Parker Industries.  Him being in charge of his own company just doesn’t feel right and I’m not sure it ever will.  I’m sure Slott has something major in mind and I’m happy to go along for the ride and see if he can change my mind.

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I want to come straight out and say I was wanting to like Amazing Spider-Man 2.  I’m a huge Spidey fan, and wanted to embrace it.  I actually am in the minority that enjoyed the first Amazing Spider-Man film, and had faith in Marc Webb.  I wasn’t so against the look of the Lizard in the first film as it was more like Ditko’s original design. This time around, while clearly taking from Ultimate Spider-Man versus the classis 616, I had no issue with the look of Electro or even Green Goblin.  I see all these designs as the initial phase of the character, something the build on.  I was going into the film optimistic, not expecting too much, but still was let down in ways.

With starting off the film with a revisit of when Peter’s parents left him, and expanding on that event and what lead up to it, I’m ok with, but ultimately it plays no real part in the film.  Yes I realize that certain details that Peter learns later in the film leads to the explanation of what turns Harry into the Goblin, the whole side story about his parents and the cover-up wasn’t needed though. Anyone that’s watching these films shouldn’t think that Oscorp is a great company.  Unless there’s a huge payoff in the next film (don’t see that being possible) the extra storyline with Peter’s parents is proving to be more unneeded than needed.  (Even though I like the added explanation as to why it’s Peter that was able to be Spider-Man and shows that no one else could, even if they were bitten.  Take that Original Sin!)

Moving on, the use of the Rhino in the film, I enjoyed.  Not a huge fan of the mech-armor we see at the end of the film, but the quick little battle in the beginning of the film, then moving on to battling him again at the end, feels right.  It’s a comic book movie, at least they’re taking some queues from comics.  Spider-Man doesn’t always have these huge big battles, he also faces some of the lesser villains.  With the use of villains in these shorter roles and scenes like here and in Captain America: The Winter Soldier with Batroc, it makes the world and the lives that these character live seem bigger, and hopefully it’s a pattern that continues through more superhero films.  My biggest complaint with Rhino, is that they showed all his scenes within the commercials and promos for the film.  Made him seem much more than he was, just part of showing how poor the marketing for this film was.

As for the next villain we meet; Electro.  Electro was billed as the “main” villain of the film, and was developed as such, which I feel was the wrong way to go.  Again, like with Peter’s parents, the extra story of Max Dillan being a nobody that obsesses with anyone that remembers him, was an unneeded aspect of the character.  Simply have him be the electrical engineer that he was.  Let us know that it was his plans that Oscorp used for their new power plant, without giving him proper credit.  Let the embattled employee be forced to work by his superiors, which causes his accident, then proceed.  Anger with both Spider-Man and Oscorp opens the door for his team-up with Harry, without the whole “you need me?”  “You remember me?” crap.

On to Harry.  If you ask me, he could have been, and really should have been the main focus of the film.  Expand on his and Peter’s friendship a little more.  Show the scenes they show in the trailer where Harry shows Peter that Oscorp has been watching him.  Give more emotion to Harry being the one who kills Gwen, and who appears to be the one forming the Sinister Six.  I realize they’re saving Harry for down the road, but it really feels like they missed the boat on him.  We’ll have plenty of time to learn and get familiar with the now evil Harry, we could have taken more time to learn and familiarize with the Harry that Peter knew, giving more substance to his character. Marc Webb enjoys flashbacks so much, was it so hard to give us at least one Peter and Harry flashback?  From the look of the features and trailers, there was going to be more to the story of Harry and Peter, and ultimately that was cut.  Those should have been saved, while other aspects cut, like the corny jokes and unnecessary scenes.  This film tried to be too many things all at once, and that’s what hurts it.

And speaking of the bad jokes, I’ll just glance over the really bad accents we got from not only Rhino, but the scientist in Ravencroft.  Did we need these?  I realize Giamatti was having fun with the character, but he could have toned it down just a little and had been golden.  As for the scientist, I’m going to act like he’s not in the film.

I realize this sounds like I’m picking the film apart and I hate it.  I don’t.  I would suggest people go watch it.  I’ll be watching it again, at least one additional time in theatres when I take my son, and then my opinions might even change a little.  The film has its flaws for sure, but through all the flaws, the film still has points where it shines.  Spider-man’s costume and the effects of him swinging and fighting, on point.  They look like they were ripped from the pages of Amazing Spider-Man.

Peter and Aunt May.  I might be in the minority here, but I’ve enjoyed how they’ve developed it, I feel more emotion to this Peter and May’s relationship than I ever did with the previous trilogy.

Peter and Gwen.  I know some people are going to argue about it, but it’s more an accurate account of a relationship than many would like to admit.  Bouncing back and forth between emotion, what’s familiar and change.  It’s all accurate.  It’s what happens, especially at that age, and I like that they make Gwen a strong female character who is capable of helping and doing things, a very nice departure from the always in trouble Mary Jane from the first trilogy.  Here’s hoping when we meet MJ in the next film, she’s not always the damsel in distress.

The origin of this Green Goblin works for me.  Yes it takes a lot from Ultimate Spider-Man in that it’s a physical change versus a guy wearing a mask. The deeper story that this Goblin is Harry, with the disease being genetic and connecting the Norman, the need for Peter’s blood, using the venom that was geared towards Parker DNA turning Harry into what he turned into.  This Green Goblin has motivation to hate both Peter Parker and Spider-Man, and he knows they’re the same person.  There’s motivation there, and they’ve laid the ground work for Harry to be a more menacing Goblin down the line.  I’m willing to bet his appearance continues to develop, just like the Lizard’s if we see him again.  While it did take a lot from the Ultimate Goblin, he was a mix of Ultimate and Classic, with his smile and laugh, this Goblin feels like one that will haunt Peter for a long time to come, similar to the comics.  While I know people hated his look in this film, I feel like its good stuff.

Electro worked for me beyond what I named.  He is who he is meant to be, and clearly is set up to be able to return later if they want.  He’s a powerful villain that challenges Peter to adapt, like with his webshooters.  Yes they’re taking more and more queues from Ultimate Spider-Man and Electro is making the most obvious in that, but with the success of the Ultimate Spider-Man cartoon on Disney XD, we’re likely to see that pattern continue.  The generation coming up now, know Electro as the blue glowing guy, not the guy in the green and yellow costume like all of us are familiar with.  The character has evolved, it’s up for interpretation if that’s for the good or bad.

Is the film flawed?  Yes, definitely.  It tries to be too many films in one.  It really just feels like they’re trying too hard.  They have the formula there, they have what they need, and if they simplified certain things, the film would be great.  It does hold many positive aspects, and can be a good foundation to build the Sinister Six film and a third Spider-Man film from, without trying too hard.

I wasn’t disappointed, but at the same time I wasn’t expecting them to reinvent the wheel.  If you go to watch it with an open mind, you’ll enjoy it for sure.

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