Love him or fear him, there's no denying the simple truth: Spider-Man had an "Amazing" year.
In 2012, everybody's favorite bug-eyed wall-crawler returned to the big screen with "The Amazing Spider-Man," director Marc Webb's reboot of the iconic Marvel Comics superhero, starring Andrew Garfield in the title role. With a compelling supporting cast featuring Emma Stone, Rhys Ifans and more at his side, Garfield led "Spider-Man" to victory, ranking as the sixth highest-grossing film of 2012, and easily one of the most enjoyable blockbuster adventures all year long.
With 2013 just around the bend, here's our look back on the "Amazing" 2012 that Spider-Man fans enjoyed.
The Itsy Bitsy Spider
Despite the superhero's popularity, many were skeptical of "The Amazing Spider-Man" at the top of the year. Some still felt it was far too soon for a full-scale reboot after Sam Raimi's beloved trilogy. Those sentiments were felt even here at MTV News, when Webb's "Spider-Man" only ranked third on our list of the most-anticipated superhero movies of 2012; soon after, it was knocked out in the first round of the 2012 MTV Movie Brawl, losing against "Dark Shadows." Not a great start, but...
A Hero Rises
Public opinion on the wall-crawler enjoyed a positive spin in February, when an all-new "Amazing Spider-Man" trailer dropped. Unlike the first spot for the film — which featured almost all of its wall-crawling action from Spidey's own point of view — the new trailer showcased everything from web-shooters to teenage romance, and plenty of other goodies worth pondering.
The Virus Spreads
Shortly after the "Spider-Man" trailer dropped in February, things took a turn for the weird. For starters, Peter Parker's backpack showed up at MTV Splash Page headquarters, filled with text books and notes and newspaper clippings, all seemingly related to the bug-eyed hero. Days later, a cell phone arrived, instructing us to meet fellow Spider-Man supporters at a location in New York City. We spent the evening with fans spreading the mark of Spider-Man all over the Big Apple, while other fans did the same thing across the country. Spider-fever was officially at an all-time high — and the viral madness only continued to go on, and on, and on in the weeks that followed.
A Meeting of the Minds
Trailers and viral campaigns aside, "Spider-Man" detractors still existed, particularly in the form of Raimi loyalists. But those supporters got a boost when Spider-Men old and new met in the form of an interview between outgoing Spidey Tobey Maguire, and the new guy on the street, Andrew Garfield. Maguire expressed his enthusiasm over Garfield's hiring, proving that there's room for both interpretations of the character in the world.
The Long View
With just months to go before its release, "Spider-Man" fans got their biggest look at the "Amazing" reboot yet in the form of a four-minute extended preview. The preview featured Spidey swinging along a battle-damaged bridge, saving a young boy from certain doom. It was the best indicator yet of the heart and humor at the core of Webb's vision for "Spider-Man," only furthering the building excitement for the coming film.
In the days leading up to the release of "The Amazing Spider-Man," MTV sat down with the cast and filmmakers behind the Marvel superhero flick. We got first-hand looks at Andrew Garfield and Emma Stone's adorable real-life romance, and got some dating advice in the process. We found out who Garfield's favorite Spider-Man bad guys are. We also found out about some costume modifications Garfield planned to request should a sequel get the green-light; and frankly, we've never appreciated the flies of our pants more.
The Not-So-Itsy-Bitsy Spider
The release of the new "Spider-Man" movie proved "Amazing" indeed: critics were initially mixed on Webb's reboot, but subsequent reviews were much kinder, and box office watchers predicted a very big opening for the superhero movie. They were right, too, as "Spider-Man" webbed up close to $140 million in its massive opening over the Fourth of July holiday weekend. Indeed, "Amazing" secured the second-highest Independence Day performance of all time, just behind 2007's "Transformers."
The Real Hero
Even if Peter Parker was the one swinging into harm's way more often than not, a different hero emerged in the eyes of many "Amazing" fans: Emma Stone and her portrayal of Gwen Stacy, the brilliant sweetheart of our web-slinging crime-fighter's dreams. Gwen ranked at number 17 on MTV News' list of the 50 best movie characters of 2012. Furthermore, she was named as one of MTV Splash Page's heroes of 2012. On top of that, Stone accepted the first-ever MTV Trailblazer Award at the MTV Movie Awards this year. Needless to say, it was a huge year for Stone, in no small part thanks to "Spider-Man."
So, with "Amazing" behind us, what comes next? Why, a sequel, of course! Things are already chugging along for the "Amazing" trilogy, with Alex Kurtzman and Roberto Orci writing the sequel, and the three key players — Webb, Garfield and Stone — all returning for round two. Newcomers include Jamie Foxx as villainous Electro, Dane DeHaan as Peter's best friend Harry Osborn, and Shailene Woodley as new love interest Mary Jane Watson. Even Martin Sheen's Uncle Ben is along for the ride. With shooting beginning in February and a May 2014 release date in the books, everything is truly coming up Spidey.
A Superior Twist of Fate
Well, almost everything. In a cruel twist of fate, Marvel Comics made a massive change to Spider-Man's status quo in the pages of "Amazing Spider-Man" #700 this week, when a dying Doctor Octopus switched bodies with Peter. Now, Doc Ock is running around in Spidey's body with all of his memories intact, while Parker lies dead and defeated inside his enemy's corpse. Ock's adventures will continue in the pages of "Superior Spider-Man" starting in 2013, but don't you fear — if anyone knows how to beat the odds, it's your friendly neighborhood Peter Parker.
Check out everything we've got on "The Amazing Spider-Man."