Thursday, May 23, 2002

MORE COMICS: Found via that AICN review below and kinda-sorta related to it is this Time piece on Spider-Man and the development of the more-human movie superhero. Hey look, there's Stan Lee:

"The other superheroes at other companies didn't seem to have too much vulnerability," says Stan Lee, who created Spider-Man at Marvel with artist Steve Ditko. "Peter had money troubles. He wasn't that popular with girls. Getting a date was a big deal with him." If Superman is a hero who dresses up as one of us, Spider-Man is one of us, dressed up as a hero. Says Jeff Ayers, manager of New York City's Forbidden Planet comics store: "Batman's a millionaire, Superman's an alien, and Wonder Woman's an Amazon goddess. Most superheroes are foreign to us, but Spider-Man is normal and flawed."

And then Dan Clowes and Scott McCloud show up:

"With Steve Ditko, Spider-Man had these sexual undertones to it that read as being the work of a singular artist," says Clowes. Today's successors, he says, are "just a 10th-generation regurgitation of the same stuff over and over." The comic crowd became older, insular and cultish while kids turned to video games. "Gamers really know how to do power fantasies right," says Scott McCloud, author of Understanding Comics, "and they're riding a wave of technological progress."

Neat read. Spider-Man was, by the way, one of the best superhero movies ever; I can only think of the first two Supermans as maybe being on the Spidey-level. I'll wait for the next Spider-Man to come out before I start drawing comparisons, but I think Spider-Mans I & II are going to stack up real well to the old Superman franchise. One thing Spider-Man (the movie) does have all over Superman (the movie): no identifiable cringe factor, and certainly nothing on the level of the Margot Kidder "Can you read my mind?" poem. Wham! Pow! Superheroes aren't just for camp purposes anymore. Take it to the bank.

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