On February 9th I engaged in my usual nightly ritual of curling up in bed and watching something on my ipad just before I go to sleep. I wanted something funny, but wasn’t in the mood for Futurama, and I had run out of Daily Show episodes, so I decided to watch some Atop the Fourth Wall because dude ranting about comics on the internet entertains me for some reason. So as the episode finishes and I get ready to go the sweet dreamland of endless ice cream and friendly dragons, I notice Linkara’s twitter feed, and see the most recent (re)tweet. At this point I don’t know what happened, I should have had more sense, I should have just ignored the link as meaningless speculation, I should have turned off my ipad and gone to sleep right there. But something about the headline, it was “Marvel and Sony work out Spider-Man deal” or something. It somehow wanted me to click on it, and my tired mind said “screw it, the eyes can be open a bit longer,” and suddenly my finger clicks and a youtube video comes up. At this point I should have just told myself “this is some no name youtuber repeating wanky fanboy wet dreams, ignore him and tell yourself you dreamed about bear sky pirates tomorrow.” Yet there was something about this video, I just had to know more, so I check the description, and lo and behold a link. A link to Marvel’s official website no less. Everything is so much more real now. I have to click on this link. All my questions will finally be answered and with only a simple touch. I click. I wait. I refresh. I refresh again. Finally! Its loaded. I read, and my worst fear is confirmed: Spider-Man is now a part of the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
Just to be totally, 100% clear: I do not want Spidey joining the MCU. I don’t like this news. At. All. Now for the big question: Why? Haven’t comic fans been wanting this? Yes, some have and I’m not one them for 3 handy reasons which can turn this column into a list! You like lists right? Of course you do, you’re on the internet.
1) Marvel’s creativity
Marvel is better off without Spider-Man, the X-Men, and the Fantastic Four. I know fanboys may lament at “what could be”, but the reality is that we wouldn’t have MCU as we know it if Marvel had the rights to any of those characters. Sure we MIGHT have gotten interconnected movies, but I doubt it. Marvel was left with the less valuable properties and that allowed them to be riskier. We might would have gotten an Iron Man, Thor, or Captain America movie, hell we would probably end up with Black Panther and Captain Marvel because diversity. But Guardians of the Galaxy? Please! Marvel would be working on FF4 or Avengers vs. X-Men, because screw Han Solo: the movie, what audiences want is heroes knocking the shit out of heroes! Marvel created the MCU because they had to, they needed to stand out with characters most people hadn’t heard of or barely remember because they couldn’t just count on making a 5th X-Men.
This one is actually a bit more minor, after all Black Panther and Captain Marvel are still happening. However, we also got a view of Marvel’s priorities: boring, overexposed white kid is more important than actually interesting diverse characters. Ok that was a bit of the anger speaking, but in my defense a purposely diverse character is what got me into comics, I’m totally done with Peter Parker (more on that in a bit), and the pushing back of 4 movies (3 of them not being sequels, and 2 of them featuring either black or female superheroes) is really worrying. Plus they did this for Peter Parker. What about Miles Morales? Oh you sweet hopeful child, I have that wish as well, its not going to be granted, but I still wish for it. So Marvel pushed back two movies that would end their trend of white male protags, but they decided say “screw ’em!” to give Sony a spot to do another movie about a white male protag. They’re turning their backs on new and interesting storytelling to retread a story that’s been done at least twice now in not even 15 years. “But it may not be an orgin story!” Some hopefuls say, and to that I say……
3) I’m tired of Peter Parker.
When he first debuted, Peter was unique. In a world of demigods, billonaires, genuises, and super soldiers, Peter was the average guy. He was just some nerd trying to get through school who, by pure chance gets incredibe powers. That was different back in the 60’s, it made Peter relatable and unique. Now its 2015, and we’ve had two Peter Parkers, going on three in less than fifteen years, and I’m tired of him. I don’t want to see him on the silver screen for a whole nother decade. Consider that for a second. I’m worn out on the most relatable character Marvel is suppose to have. I’m tired of Spider-Man, I don’t want to see any more movies about a webslinger in New York, I want weird, fantastic stuff about a teleporting dog and the royal family that owns him. Or a group of teens who fight their supervillian parents. Or a group of teens fighting an interdimensional parasite in the form of an over bearing mother. Or perhaps a fangirl from Jersey who gets superpowers randomly and is new and fresh and popular? Just some ideas I’m tossing out.