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Saturday, April 12, 2014 

Spider-Man stories that will never be adapted to film

What Culture listed 10 stories from Spider-Man they don't think will ever be turned into screenplays. Some of these examples are pretty recent, and most definitely should not be turned into movies. For example, there's the Inferior Time-Wasting Doc Ock in Spidey's Body tale, which they've unfortunately been sugarcoated about:
Despite the acrimony the storyline initially caused, The Superior Spider-Man has been an unqualified success. Writer Dan Slott found a way to develop an entire series around the idea of lifelong villain Doctor Octopus stealing the identity and body of his enemy Peter Parker/Spider-Man, and masquerading as a new and improved version of the Web Slinger.
Yawn. The story couldn't have caused much more acrimony than it did because not enough people are left to care about what happens with Spidey now. It should be pretty obvious from the declining sales receipts not many could be bothered to read it save for the most brain-dead collectors who fail to comprehend why their continuing purchase - sometimes for perceived monetary value only - will only prolong the nonsense. I've got a feeling their use of the word "unqualified" is meant more as a positive tip of the hat than a pan. Slott's vision was more along the lines of the "one man's terrorist is another's freedom fighter", and Dr. Octopus did take advantage of Mary Jane Watson, however briefly, at the beginning of the volume's run. "New and improved", my foot.
But, the tastes of comic book fans and moviegoers are not always aligned, and it’s more likely than not that The Superior Spider-Man is far too wacky and abstract of a concept to work as a two-plus hour feature film. [...]
"Wacky"? I wouldn't call it that at all. I'd only call it a ridiculously protracted shambles with an idea few moviegoers with good taste would care for that took at least a year to finish, when in better days, such a story would only go as far as 2 or 3 issues. Why would moviegoers care about a plot that focuses on the villain more than the hero who got kicked to the curb?

They also bring up the aforementioned miniseries called Reign, but here, they're less honest:
Despite the fact that it recycles much of its content from the far more acclaimed Dark Knight Returns, the Spider-Man: Reign miniseries by Kaare Andrews is filled with interesting ideas and good intentions. [...]

The problem with this storyline is that nobody who has read it can ever get past the reason Spider-Man is all alone: Peter’s wife, Mary Jane, died from radiation poisoning. She was exposed to this radiation via sexual intercourse and Peter’s semen.
Not mentioned here is that, IIRC, in the course of this miniseries, Peter fell victim to immolation, too repulsive to mention here. What good intentions or interesting ideas could a mini like this possibly boast? As for radiation poisoning, as if Betty Banner's own poisoning in 1998 wasn't enough. Ugh.
Fans of Reign will justify their love for the book by talking about Andrews’s elegant writing and art [...]
I'm no fan of such a book, and neither writing nor art will salvage such an embarrassment.

The Clone Saga is also brought up, and they say:
To make matters worse, in order to sell the clone idea in the comics, some writers had Ben talk about Peter as if he were a villain of sorts who had stolen his life away from him. Comic book fans responded poorly to this idea, and there’s no reason to believe moviegoers, who tend to have a lower tolerance for comic book logic, would respond any better to it.
Of course not. But it's worth noting that the 3rd Spider-movie borrowed a bit from this atrocity when Peter accidentally knocks Mary Jane over with his super-strength. That's a very galling moment in the movie, and anyone turned off by that scene who finds out about the Clone Saga is going to think - maybe with justification - that screenwriters get their ideas from the all the wrong places to create drama.

When they get to the part about One More Day, they fumble with the following:
Peter Parker’s marriage to Mary Jane Watson had been a point of contention within Marvel’s hierarchy for decades. Many saw the union as nothing but a sales-driven stunt concocted by former Marvel editor-in-chief Jim Shooter. Some thought it was unrealistic for an anti-social “wallflower” like Peter to land a supermodel like MJ, while others argued that married superheroes just don’t work, because creators inevitably have to “age” the characters by depicting them growing old together, having children, etc.
Oh please. Blondie and Dagwood Bumstead married early in their comic strip, had two children who grew to teenage years, and never lost their popularity. Dick Tracy may have married co-worker Tess Trueheart in the 1950s, and they didn't age by any stretch. Mr. Fantastic married Invisible Girl in the mid-60s and the Silver Age Flash married Iris West around the same time; the former had a child, and the latter went along fine without getting into all that hassle about whether they should have kids and aging. That part only came along post-Crisis on Infinite Earths, after Wally West took over the spotlight. So why would anyone think it couldn't be done with Peter and Mary Jane? They knew it could be, and resorted to denial tactics to justify their ghastly tactics breaking up the marriage.

All that aside, I don't see why they think this was a stunt concocted by Shooter. If memory serves, Stan Lee wanted it to happen, and the audience embraced it. I also don't get their terminology of Peter as "anti-social". He was anything but that, and when looking for a lady love, he usually handled himself best as possible.

They're also not fully honest about Sins Past:
[...] Marvel is so clearly embarrassed by “Sins Past” that nary a reference to the storyline has been made in the comics since it was first published in 2004. Either way, there’s no way “Sins Past” will ever find its way onto the big screen.
Wrong. Any editor who's willing to break up the marriage via Faustian pacts, then have Peter thrown out of his body in a pointless mind-switch with Dr. Octopus, is not somebody ashamed of their past mistakes. And Joe Quesada made it pretty clear he wasn't. I think they even hinted some of the elements from Sins Past are still in continuity. Come to think of it, what if Sins Past does find its way onto the silver screen one day? We shouldn't underestimate them.

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