Thursday, July 2, 2015

Ideas for the new Spider-Man franchise

I already wrote my thoughts on the new Spider-Man re-reboot, but after doing so I kept thinking about stories that I would like to see adapted into the movies. After all, one of the best of the current superhero movies, Captain America: The Winter Soldier came right out of the comics. Did it follow the story beat-for-beat? No, but the comics were a clear inspiration. That's the kind of thing that I'm talking about here. I'd like to see these stories as a starting point for some movies as perhaps direct adaptations wouldn't work as well in a movie as they do in monthly serialized comics.

Before I get into specific stories, there are a couple of other things that I'd like to see. For one, the Marvel movies have shown us that you can have a lot of villains without bogging down the story. For instance, to use The Winter Soldier again, Batroc the Leaper, one of Captain America's oldest foes, was in there. For people who don't know the comics, he was just a really tough bad guy for Cap to fight, and they didn't need to know what the fans knew about him. Cap knocked him out, and the story moved on from there. I think that with Spider-Man, you could do the same thing. For instance, I don't think that Mysterio could carry an entire movie as the villain, but he'd be really cool for an opening action sequence, much like how The Avengers took down Baron Strucker and Hydra in the beginning of Age of Ultron.

Also, both versions of the Spider-Man movies got caught up in a bit of a formula. Every villain that Spider-Man fought was a good guy at first and had some sort of a connection with Peter Parker. This really isn't necessary. Sure, they did a good job of it with Doctor Octopus in Spider-Man 2, adding a whole new dimension to the character that previously did not exist. But did we really need it for Sandman and Electro? There's nothing wrong with just having some bad guys.

Okay, so here's what I'd like to see inspire the movies:

Kraven's Last Hunt - Yeah, I know that pretty much every Spider-Man fan is saying this if they're making suggestions like I am. What can I say? Just like a lot of other fans, I remember reading this one when it originally came out when I was in middle school. The gist of the story is that Kraven the Hunter, a bit of a C-list villain, finally decides to "kill" Spider-Man rather than get into one of their standard grudge match fights. Kraven traps Spidey, shoots him, puts him in a coffin, and he buries him. Then, to finally prove that he's better than Spider-Man, he puts on the costume and goes out fighting crime, as well as bringing in a particularly nasty villain named Vermin that Spider-Man failed to catch. (Spoiler alert - Kraven didn't actually kill Spider-Man. He just knocked him out. He did bury him though to complete the ritual. Still, he wanted his old foe to live so Spider-Man could know that he had been bested once and for all.)

As much as I'd like to see this, I think that it would be a capital mistake to hit the ground running with this story. Maybe save it for the second or third new Spider-Man movie, as it's a bit intense for an opener when they want to establish a younger, lighter version of the character for starters.

Hooky - This was a graphic novel by Susan Putney and Bernie Wrightson that came out when I was a kid. Just like "Kraven's", it had a pretty profound affect on me. In fact, I think that I need to do a "Read These Comics!" entry on it one of these days as I want to get into how awesome Wrightson's artwork is.

But that's not the point of this. I want to say why I think it'd make a good movie. The premise involves Spider-Man meeting up with a young girl who turns out to be the daughter of a couple of really powerful wizards. She asks him to come to her dimension to help her out with a little problem of hers, as there's a curse that's been placed on her, resulting in a monster that's trying to get her. Spidey agrees to go with her, and he quickly finds himself getting way in over his head, as the monster transforms and gets bigger and bigger. Ultimately, it's a coming-of-age story for the girl, as she learns to handle the problem herself (and Spidey is there to inspire her).

Perhaps adapting this would be too much of a risk, as audiences might not be expecting this much magic in a Spider-Man movie. All they need to do is establish some ties with Dr. Strange (who's getting his own movie) and maybe they can do something with it.

The Spider-Totem - The original appearance of Morlun would be a great inspiration for a movie. Essentially the premise behind Morlun is that he's a being who periodically hunts "totems" down and drains all of their life energy. He's been doing it for thousands of years, and in the story, he has his sights set on Spider-Man. What was so great about the original story was that Morlun was just so unstoppable, and the suspense was really high as to just how Peter was going to defeat him. He'd throw everything he possibly could at Morlun, and the villain wouldn't even get winded. This could make for a pretty intense movie.

The Sin Eater / Return of the Sin Eater - Both of these stories could probably be adapted together into a movie if they did it right. Essentially, the Sin Eater is a villain who winds up killing a good friend of Spidey's, Detective Jean DeWolff. When Spider-Man finally catches up to the criminal and unmasks him, he loses his cool and beats the ever-living-crap out of him. In fact, he gets so out of control that it takes Daredevil to pull him off.

In the "Return" story, the Sin Eater is let out of jail. A bit more is learned about the man behind the mask, Stan Carter, who turns out to have been Jean's lover. Stan is "cured" of his Sin Eater personality, but Spider-Man goes to him to threaten him that he'll be keeping an eye on him. During the confrontation, Spidey learns that Carter has some permanent injuries due to the beating he took. As a result, Spidey becomes nervous about using his powers, and in a confrontation with Electro, he winds up getting his butt handed to him.

The story packs a pretty emotional punch, and it has a good story arc for Peter Parker as he has to find his purpose again. It's another look at the basic premise of the character and the "great responsibility" that comes with this "great power".

So, those are the story ideas off the top of my head. Any of you Spidey fans have some other suggestions?

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