Apparently, August 1 is Spider-Man Day? Not sure when that decision was made, but the internet tells me it’s because Spider-Man’s debut in Amazing Fantasy #15 was in August 1962.
It’s surely not a coincidence, then, that someone — somewhere — restored the original teaser for the 2001 Spider-Man movie in high-definition for the occasion.
What’s the big deal? Unfortunately, the Twin Towers of the World Trade Center are prominently featured in the teaser. After what happened on 9/11, that just couldn’t be shown anymore. The teaser has been available since then, but the quality of the video wasn’t very good — until now.
So if you’ve never seen it, this is the first time Spider-Man appeared on the big screen. It was just enough to ignite excitement for the movie coming the next year:
Superhero movies were still an uphill climb for audiences in 2001, so clever teasers that looked like a different kind of movie were the gateway to win people over. No, this wasn’t a Michael Bay-esque helicopter heist film! It’s Spider-Man!
Anything was now possible! A guy crawling up walls! Swinging through New York City — between those skyscrapers — on his webs! This was no longer something comic book and movie nerds dreamed about for 20-plus years!
Now that we live in an era when four or five superhero movies are released each year, this seems like such a long time ago. Spider-Man has now appeared in 10 live-action films, including Captain America: Civil War, Avengers: Infinity War and Avengers: Endgame. It’s always special, but there can only be one first time, right?
And, uh, 18 years ago is indeed a long time ago, Old Man.
This might be one of my more anti-social tendencies, but I enjoy going to the movies by myself. Mark Serrels planted his flag for solo moviegoing, calling it one of “life’s secret pleasures” in a piece for CNET, so I figured I’d share my feelings on the topic too.
Most people I know — and I presume most people you know — have a big hang-up about it, like going alone says something about you socially. Or maybe they just don’t like being by themselves in that kind of environment.
I totally understand. That was something I needed to get over too. And I feel the same way on a Friday or Saturday night, when it’s all couples at the theater. It feels awkward, especially if I’m unfortunate enough to be seated between two couples or groups. Most of my solo moviegoing is done during the day, and I imagine that’s the case for the majority of people who see a movie alone.
It’s a multiple universe thrill ride this week on the Amusement Park Podcast! We go into the Spider-Verse to review the latest Spider-Man movie, then jump to the Arrowverse’s different Earths to cover the CW’s Elseworlds crossover. No Crisis here!
The Amusement Park Podcast is back! This week, we cover the rave reviews for Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse. Could it beat Aquaman at the box office? We also review The Grinch and Ralph Breaks the Internet. And which new Fall TV shows have we stuck with?
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Writing a tribute to Stan Lee was something I’d been thinking I should do for quite some time. After all, (Stan) the man was 95 years old and there were various reports about his deteriorating health. Just as a newspaper would get an obituary ready, I thought I should get something ready — whether the piece was written for another site or my own.
Sure, laziness and procrastination were probably the primary reasons for not getting that done. But the idea of writing something in anticipation of Stan Lee’s death was also very upsetting. He still appeared to be lively and vibrant in his many Marvel movie and TV cameos. It seemed as if Smilin’ Stan might just live forever.
Thanks to those movie cameos, even my sister knew who Stan Lee was. She grew up with me endlessly reading and collecting comic books, of course. But when I pointed out the guy who co-created Spider-Man on the screen, she recognized him every time he popped up in the handful of Marvel movies we saw together. She’ll never be able to escape superheroes entirely.
(By the way, will Lee’s last live-action cameo have been in Venom?) Unless he’s in Avengers 4, his final on-screen appearance may well be in the animated Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse, which hits theaters in mid-December.)
There will and have already been so many tributes, eulogies and obituaries dedicated to Stan Lee that I’m not sure I could possibly add anything. All I can contribute is what Lee and his many iconic creations mean to me to this day. So often when people write a tribute to someone, the piece ends up being about the writer more than the subject. As much as I’d like to avoid that, I don’t think it’s possible here.
Friday night brought some sad news for longtime comic book and superhero fans with the news that Steve Ditko, who co-created Spider-Man for Marvel Comics with Stan Lee, had passed away at the age of 90.
Ditko’s death (along with Harlan Ellison’s recent passing) is a reminder that many of the creators responsible for the stories and characters which established the geek culture we currently enjoy did so 50 to 60 years ago. Each time Stan Lee pops up on news alerts for lawsuits, estate disputes or elder abuse allegations, my initial instinct is that he died. The man is 95 years old, though he seems spry in his continued Marvel movie cameos.
Of course, it means we’re getting old too. I probably first read Ditko’s Spider-Man stories 30-plus years ago. When I began reading comics, John Romita Sr., Gil Kane and Ross Andru were the guys drawing Spidey. Marvel’s reprints of the original Spider-Man comics led me to Ditko.
Steve Ditko’s Spider-Man was a marvel of clear storytelling and clean rendering!He was bringing Stan full issues of pencils, which Stan ‘’wrote to.” No story conferences:) pic.twitter.com/FwQpesyUVI
Sure, maybe I just wanted more Spidey stories back then. But this was probably also an early example of appreciating artists by going to the beginning, like listening to a band’s first album or watching a director’s early films. What were those original Spider-Man comics like and how did they compare to the stories I first read?
Ditko’s art fit the idea of Spider-Man so well. A superhero with the powers of a spider would be a bit creepy, right? And Peter Parker was a nerd who got bullied, crushed on girls, was adored by his uncle and aunt, and was a brilliant student. Romita’s version of Spider-Man was a bit too polished, though fit the post-high school version of the character. But Ditko’s version, in addition to the world these characters populated, looked a bit unusual.