On Spiderman

Raimi vs. Bendis

Reimagining Spider-Man

By Robert Brian Taylor

In issue no. 54 of the comic book Ultimate Spider-Man, every-one’s favorite teenage superhero slings down from the sky onto a New York street doubling as a set for the movie Spider-Man, starring Tobey Maguire and directed by Sam Raimi . . . or, at least, cartoony comic-book versions of them. Spidey drops down alongside Maguire, who’s harnessed to the side of a building, faces Raimi and his fellow filmmakers, and proceeds to tell them off: “You suck! And you suck and you suck. All right, Evil Dead 2 was cool, but the rest of you suck.” A few panels later, he adds: “And your movie is going to tank! You know why? Because you aren’t me. You’re fake. You can’t do this!” And with that he backflips gracefully through the air, landing high up on top of some filmmaking equipment.

 

Picked-on high-school student/costumed crime fighter Peter Parker might have been a little harsh toward Raimi and crew. In Parker’s defense, he was a bit miffed. And not because cameras were rolling during this entire exchange (thus saving Sony $1.2 million in special effects, a producer notes), but because his already-hectic life was subject to big-screen treatment at all and he wasn’t able to earn a dime off the project. So there was plenty of pent-up anger involved. At least he wisely credited Raimi for Evil Dead 2–apparently a masterpiece in any universe. And certainly he was off base when he predicted the movie’s failure, an unlikely scenario if the Ultimate  …

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