I remember back in ‘aught four picking up a new series called Marvel Knights: Spider-man. I’d read a couple issues of other characters under the banner, but mostly I picked it up because I enjoyed Spider-man, and I was still a good two months away from spending every penny I earned on a new computer, high-speed internet, and a little MMORPG called City of Heroes.
Anyway, the title ended up being pretty solid. Late last year, I was excited enough to see the return of the banner (and the actual Peter Parker) that I picked up the first issue of this new limited run.
The story can be summed up very easily. An exhausted and drugged Spider-man is forced to fight his way through a gauntlet of foes. That’s it. It doesn’t get any simpler, folks. And yet, simple ideas often allow for particularly exciting execution.
This is a solid enough soft reboot of a series I knew nothing about. The Eternals are a race of immortal beings created to guard and protect the Earth from whatever various threats, from both without and within. These beings were mistaken for gods by primitive mankind throughout the history of civilization, and were the foundation for many of our myths. They once raged a war against a race of beings known as “The Deviants”. Some time after that… something mysterious happened, and now only one of the Eternals, Ike Harris, remembers anything about their near-million-year history.
I now know that The Eternals was a new series created for Marvel by Jack Kirby in his Craziness-In-Space 70s phase. It ran for about 20 issues, and is reasonably well regarded. Certainly, it looked pretty. The characters were folded into the Marvel Universe, and some were used from time-to-time over the next 30 or so years. Looking for something exciting to work on after the success of 1602, Marvel and Gaiman hooked up once again, and re-introduced the Eternals.
I was very, very against the making of this movie from the first moments I heard about it. I had several objections, but the largest one was that I really didn’t feel that Spider-man 3 had failed so terribly that we needed to revisit Peter Parker’s origin. I felt that was covered perfectly in the first movie.
Sure, Gwen Stacy wasn’t there, and Mary Jane was, there were organic rather than home-made webshooters… but they weren’t… aren’t… the main focus of Peter’s origin. The main focus is Uncle Ben, the acquisition of great power, and the consequences of a lack of great responsibility. That’s all handled brilliantly in Raimi’s masterpiece.
So to hear that we were going to visit that again so soon, while attempting to make it more “realistic” and “grounded”… my FGWG feathers rustle. I avoided this movie for a long time. Almost six months exactly, apparently. I guess that’s not really that long… but it felt like it. If 13 year old me knew that 33 year old me was avoiding a movie about Spider-man, 13 year old me would have a cow, man.
I didn’t wait a specific planned amount of time, or anything. Teletoon was running a Spider-man cartoon marathon yesterday, which got me thinking about this movie. That combined with the (on average) good things I’ve heard and a post about fanboyish prejudice of entertainment at williamjepma’s blog, got me thinking about how I should give it a chance. I love movies. I love Spider-man. I should love even a mediocre Spider-man movie. So, I kept my expectations low, and gave it a shot.
So now that my darling little rugrat is approaching a year and a half old, she’s getting smart. She’s also starting to show interest in things on TV. She’s noticing how we’ll play certain ways with certain toys. Because I’m slow, and not very bright, I’m just starting to realize how unimaginably quick she is to notice things, remember things and repeat things. This means it’s high time to start exposing her to awesomeness in all its forms.
She hasn’t got a chance.
Over the past few months, with a little help from Mom & Dad, she’s started to develop several different favourites. Her favourite animals at the moment are raccoons, horses, frogs and bunnies. She absolutely loves reading any books. She now loves the classic cast of Sesame Street (Pre-Elmo, that is. Elmo can go tickle himself, for all I care.) She also likes Yo Gabba Gabba.
But thanks to yours truly, she’s also in love with stuff that is fucking awesome. One of her favourite toys is a Hulk action figure. When she picks it up, she shouts “HULK! RRRAAAARRRGHHHHH!” Her favourite cartoons are ’67’s Spider-man and She-Ra: Princess of Power. She practically loses her shit when their theme songs start. I tried getting her to watch He-Man and the Masters of the Universe first, but she had nothing to do with it. Maybe once she’s more interested in She-Ra’s origins… Also, on that sheet up there, she likes to point out Yoda. Why? ‘Cause he’s Yoda. Duh. Kids fucking love Yoda.