The new Marvel’s 616 documentary series on Disney+ looks at the culture and history of the comics company and its creations. We take a look at episode 2, which deals with the history of female creators at the company, and discuss the rosy picture it paints, and where it falls short. Then it’s a Giant Size Superhero Sweep, covering the latest Spider-Man 3 casting (everything old is new again), filming on the Hawkeye series, and the latest developments in the Arrowverse. Finally, your letters.
In this final appendix to our Summer of Spider-Man, we watch a movie that’s probably much better than you’ve heard—2012’s “The Amazing Spider-Man.” Yes, it wasn’t necessary to re-tell Spidey’s origin ten years after the Tobey Maguire version, but you know what? This movie does it better, Andrew Garfield is pretty great as a mopey skateboarding Peter Parker, and Emma Stone is a fun and smart Gwen Stacy. We also discuss “The Amazing Spider-Man 2,” which is a movie that reminds us of Batman movies—the really awful ones.
As we await the fall debut of a myriad of superhero shows, the newly dubbed Super Squad takes this week as an opportunity for a giant-sized Superhero Sweep segment, discussing the recent resolution of Spider-Man in the MCU, casting for Crisis on Infinite Earths, and news of an upcoming Arrow spin-off. Then we answer a letter about some fantasy casting, and indulge in a lively debate about the pronunciation of everybody’s favorite jerk superhero.
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The Summer of Spider-Man concludes with 2007’s “Spider-Man 3”, a controversial sequel that’s packed full with villains (Sandman, Venom, and Extreme Sports Goblin) battling the increasingly unpleasant emo version of Peter Parker. Sandman’s daughter is very ill. Eddie Brock is an awfully unpleasant person. And at long last, the greatest character in the franchise—Bernard the Butler—gets his due. We watched it so you don’t have to!
Our Summer of Spider-Man swings on with 2004’s “Spider-Man 2.” Flush with the success of the first film, this is a much more confident outing that’s also more clearly set in modern times, isn’t afraid to have a sense of humor, and makes great use of director Sam Raimi’s horror-movie resume. And at the center is perhaps the biggest reason for the film’s success: Alfred Molina as Dr. Otto Octavius, a Frankenstein who is his own monster, after having created a set of robotic limbs so intelligent that each pair needs its own jacket.
We live in a world awash with superhero films today, but back at the beginning of this century it was a dark age. 2002’s “Spider-Man” finally brought one of the world’s most popular superheroes to the big screen, setting the stage for the genre’s elevation later in the decade. The Summer of Spider-Man is here, as we revisit Sam Raimi’s three Spidey films and judge how well they hold up to modern eyes. Up, up and away, web!
Fresh from the theater, we tackle “Spider-Man: Far From Home.” We consider the lighter side of the death and resurrection of billions of people, the unique position this Spider-Man has in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, and the value of various surrogate dads. We’re also surprised at how interesting Mysterio turned out to be despite the fact that he’s Mysterio.
We all suspected Sony’s new animated Spider-Man movie would be a slapdash cash grab. Instead, “Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse” is one of the best animated movies of this or any other year, with great characters, an exciting story, and a mind-boggling visual style that changes the game for animation and superhero movies alike. We come in praise of Miles Morales, Peter B. Parker, and all the other spiders who populate this delightful gift of a film.
Despite a lot of trepidation based on previous lackluster film efforts, our panel rushed out to their local cinemas to see “Spider-Man: Homecoming” and came away with a pleasant surprise! They made a good Spider-Man movie! But did Tony Stark save the day, or just get in the way? Does Michael Keaton give a better villain performance than he ever did as a superhero? Did Tom Holland wear the suit, or did the suit (which talks, by the way) wear him? Our very own sinister six take apart the highs and lows of this exciting new chapter in the cinematic life of our favorite wall-crawler.
Flash! Direct from theaters to this podcast, we convene a panel of recent viewers of the latest Marvel superhero epic, “Captain America: Civil War.” Do the rationales of the two sides hold together in the face of reality? Is Tony a bad dude for recruiting a kid to use against his opponents? How do the new faces, including Spider-Man and Black Panther, fare? And how well does this movie fit into the entire Marvel Cinematic Universe series as a whole?
With great power comes the responsibility to book great guests. And so when it came time to discuss “The Amazing Spider-Man” and Spidey in general, Jason turned to reknowned spider-fans Andy Ihnatko and Dan Benjamin. We discuss how the Spidey in the new movie is a different sort of guilt-trip superhero. Dan explains why you can’t actually kill a spider. Andy previews his new comic book, The Indigestible Spider-Man. We touch on the changes in Ultimate Spider-Man and speculate about the soon-to-arrive Amazing Spider-Man #700. Jason sings two different Spidey theme songs and does his J. Jonah Jameson impression. This giant-sized episode is more Spidey than you can shake a web at.