[Updated with video]
It’s still hard to believe that the hopes and prayers of Marvel fans have been answered, with Spider-Man set to finally join Marvel’s Cinematic Universe. The clock is already ticking, with both Marvel and Sony eager to introduce a new actor in the role as part of Captain America: Civil War – and the debate over which actor, or even which version of Spidey to use is heating up.
What we DO know is that after his Marvel introduction, this new spin on the web-slinger will – if all goes to plan – have several standalone films ahead of him. And it’s safe to assume fans won’t be lining up to demand another origin story.
With that in mind, we’ve singled out a handful of the most memorable, refreshing, or ambitious “Spider-Man” stories that are well-suited for a live-action movie. With decades under his belt, it’s no surprise Peter Parker is at the core of all of them, but these stories are certainly strong enough for any version of the arachnid hero. Read on for our list of 5 Spider-Man Stories We Want To See On Film.
“The Death of Jean DeWolff”
The Spider-Man films to date have relied on several classic villains, but if The Amazing Spider-Man 2 proved anything, it’s that ‘comic book action’ doesn’t guarantee success. The upcoming reboot seems a perfect time to establish a grounded, emotional core to Peter Parker’s character – and “The Death of Jean DeWolff” by Peter David and Rich Buckler is tailor-made for the task.
At the time the story baffled fans, but it’s now recognized as one of the most acclaimed and ground-breaking in “Spider-Man” comics history. For starters, it opens with a shocking scene: the murder of police Captain Jean DeWolff, a long-time ally of Peter Parker’s. There was no maniacal or crazed villain to blame: simply an old-fashioned serial killer whose choice of victim puts Peter Parker on the case.
Some will no doubt balk at the idea of making Spider-Man as ‘dark’ or ‘gritty’ as some other modern heroes, but hitting a bit closer to home, and challenging Peter to fine-tune his non-acrobatic skills could prove a welcome change. Wading into the more realistic world of crime in New York City also brings Daredevil – soon to be introduced by Marvel and actor Charlie Cox – into the mix.
The blind hero wouldn’t need to be present for the pain and power of the story to surprise audiences used to the technicolor fantasy of previous films – and show that Spider-Man really can grow up (eventually).
“Back in Black”
We’re also willing to bet that if a story is strong enough, even skeptics would be convinced that bringing a more ‘mature’ story to Spider-Man would be worth the risk. And those who know the role Peter Parker played in Marvel’s “Civil War” comics event (assumed to be partially adapted by Marvel for Captain America 3) know the fallout he encountered as a result.
Or rather, the fallout that Aunt May, Peter’s guardian encountered: an assassin’s bullet leaving her clinging to life. Holding himself responsbile for May’s fate (like his Uncle Ben’s before it), the attempted murder sent Peter to his wits’ end, adopting his former suit of solid black as he sought to track down – and kill – those responsible.
Fear not, Spidey fans: Peter Parker is no murderer. But the “Back in Black” storyline showed the superhero the less glorious side of being a hero to the public at large, not to mention a few scenes that would sing on the big screen. The kind of no-holds-barred action of an enraged Peter would show a new side to Spider-Man, culminating in a final showdown that saw him remove his mask entirely – sending the message that it was Peter Parker seeking revenge, not his heroic alter ego.
It’s unclear just how the new Spider-Man franchise will handle Peter – taking him back to high school for another origin story, or heading into adult life – but if a reality check is needed for the high-flying hero a few years down the line, “Back in Black” would fit the bill.