'Spider-Man' Origin: What To Keep, What To Scrap

by Matt Harper

Earlier in the week, we posted a portion of our Summer Movie Preview week interview with "Amazing Spider-Man” director Marc Webb, who dropped a few juicy tidbits, the most revealing of which was his willingness to move away from Spider-Man origin staples. The director admitted that there were "obligations to the canon, in terms of Uncle Ben and the spider-bite, but the conditions under which those things happen are very different" in his movie.

And I for one as a Spider-Man fan couldn’t be happier to hear this. Like most comic characters that have been around long enough, Spidey’s history has gone through a few updates and retcons, and it’s a good sign for the movie that Marc Webb seems to be picking and choosing what works and what doesn’t for a modern audience.

So let’s talk about the elements of Spider-Man’s early history that should probably stay, and which should go the way of Ben Reilly…

Spider Bite: KEEP

Whether radioactive or genetically modified, this part is pretty essential. What will be interesting to see is the role Oscorp plays in the fateful Spider bite – the film’s trailer insinuates pretty heavily that there is a connection there.

Webshooters: KEEP

I actually originally liked the idea of this being part of Peter Parker’s spidey powers in Sam Raimi’s films… But the webshooters showcase a very important part of the Spider mythos: Peter Parker is a badass science genius. The Raimi films always made Parker out to be a little too much of a bumbling dweeb, and not enough of a brainy outcast.

Part-time Photography Job: LOSE

Come on… where does he even keep his camera when he’s swinging around the city? Also, I get that Peter Parker needed money, but he couldn’t find somewhere to sell his photos that didn’t want to negligently slander Spider-Man’s image?

Mary Jane Watson: LOSE

Gwen’s romance with Peter Parker, and (spoiler alert!) eventual death, are some of the more interesting and formative parts of Spider-Man’s history. Mary Jane was never that interesting, and spent most of the time just getting kidnapped by various villains. The inclusion of Gwen, and her father, Police Captain George Stacey, make me super excited for Marc Webb’s version of the story…even if the next few films might get a bit dark.

Richard and Mary Parker: ???

This is the big wild-card for me… I love that the film is drawing a connection between Peter Parker’s dad and the film’s villain, Curt Connors (aka The Lizard). In the Ultimate comics, Richard Parker was a biologist that played a part in creating Venom, another of Spidey’s iconic foes, so this isn’t a huge leap. But the track record with incorporating Richard and Mary Parker into the comics has been spotty at best. In the one particularly confusing retcon, Peter Parker’s parents were actually revealed to be employed by Nick Fury as covert S.H.E.I.L.D. agents. I smell an Avengers tie-in!

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