Year of the Spider

July 08, 2012 | 3:09 p.m.

Spider-Man at 50: The strange tale of ‘Amazing Fantasy’

A key panel from "Amazing Fantasy" No. 15 (Marvel Comics)
These are days of silver and gold for Spider-Man. This week he returned to the silver screen in director Marc Webb’s “The Amazing Spider-Man” and next month he celebrates his golden anniversary — it will be 50 years since “Amazing Fantasy” No. 15 introduced a character who would become the gold-standard creation of the silver age. The new film takes its title from a slab of Marvel bedrock: “The Amazing Spider-Man” was the name of the series that began in 1963 with No. 1 and is now closing in on issue No. 700. But what was the deal with “Amazing Fantasy”? How did the 15th and final issue of a series with something of tin-bucket heritage end up with a holy grail character that would revolutionize comics and define the Marvel brand of melodrama? It’s an elusive question, in a way, […]
July 08, 2012 | 10:37 a.m.

‘Amazing Spider-Man’: Emma Stone and Andrew Garfield are ‘magic’

“The Amazing Spider-Man” is off to a strong start, and director Marc Webb’s film has escaped the clutches of its biggest foe — the crowded summer schedule. Trapped between “The Avengers” and “The Dark Knight Rises,” the Sony reboot was in real danger of becoming the friendly neighborhood afterthought. Our readers got to see “Amazing Spider-Man” early thanks to the Hero Complex IMAX Screening Series. In the Q&A portion of the evening, Webb spoke about the chemistry between his lead actors, Andrew Garfield and Emma Stone, and said that “casting them was the single most important” thing. Take a look at the video above to learn more about the casting of Garfield, the differing style of the two young stars and the director’s funny line about the off-screen romance between the two actors. “We did a lot of work in […]
April 18, 2012 | 6:59 a.m.

Spider-Man at 50: Kevin Feige feels Peter Parker’s pain

A page from "The Amazing Spider-Man" no. 50 (Marvel Comics)
SPIDER-MAN AT 50: It’s the 50th anniversary of Marvel’s greatest icon, and all year Hero Complex will talk to notable names about the character’s success and singular appeal. In this installment: Kevin Feige, the president of Marvel Studios, talks about his favorite issue of Spider-Man. Before the Marvel Comics of the 1960s, the typical comic book superhero might have to stand up to bullets, boulders, magic spells or even the occasional alien missile but none of them ever got hit with hard luck in their personal life quite the way Peter Parker did in the July 1967 story called “Spider-Man No More!” The tale, by writer Stan Lee and artist John Romita, appeared in the 50th issue of “The Amazing Spider-Man,” found young Parker reeling from the news of his Aunt May’s failing health but also dealing with his sinking school grades and a bounty put on his head by the […]
March 14, 2012 | 10:56 a.m.

Spider-Man at 50: Damon Lindelof on a hero defined by his guilt

Joe Jusko's recreation of John Romita's classic "Amazing Spider-Man" No. 50 cover. (Marvel)
SPIDER-MAN AT 50: It’s the 50th anniversary of Marvel’s greatest icon, and all year Hero Complex will talk to notable names about the character’s success and singular appeal. Today: A few thoughts on the hero from Damon Lindelof, the co-creator of “Lost” and screenwriter of “Prometheus,” “Cowboys and Aliens” and the upcoming “Star Trek” sequel. GB: It’s the 50th anniversary of Spider-Man, is he one of your favorite characters? If so, why? DL: Seriously, who doesn’t like Spider-Man? Tell me who that person is so I can punch them. Why is he so special? There are so many reasons. First and foremost, his entire origin story is wrapped around the idea that he made a horrible error in judgment… that his own selfishness resulted in a terrible tragedy that he is personally responsible for. This would be the equivalent of Kal-El callously ignoring Krypton’s impending […]
March 06, 2012 | 10:15 a.m.

Spider-Man at 50: Darwyn Cooke found a career in 1973 issue

amazingspider-manannual-9
SPIDER-MAN at 50: This is the 50th anniversary of the Marvel icon and all year Hero Complex will be talking to notable names about the character’s success and singular appeal. Today: Darwyn Cooke explains how he found a connection — and a career — in early Spider-Man comics. If you look his audacious career, you might think Darwyn Cooke doesn’t believe in the concept of sacred ground — this is, after all, the writer-artist behind an upcoming prequel to “Watchmen,” an acclaimed revival of Will Eisner’s “The Spirit”  and IDW’s ambitious, ongoing adapations of Donald Westlake’s Parker novels — but the Nova Scotian said that in his youth there was a holy text that arrived and inspired his entire artistic life: “The Amazing Spider-Man” King Size Special No. 9 back in 1973. “For me, the greatest Spidey story I ever read was the first. It was […]
Feb. 22, 2012 | 8:32 a.m.

Spider-Man’s monster appeal: A guest essay by Neal Adams

Spider-Man (featured image)
SPIDER-MAN at 50: It’s the 50th anniversary of Marvel’s greatest icon, and all year Hero Complex will talk to notable names about the character’s success and singular appeal. Today: A guest essay by Neal Adams, one of the most influential comic-book artists of the modern era and one of the industry’s leading voices for artists’ rights. Spider-Man is the epitome of the difference between DC Comics and that eruption of creation that became Marvel Comics. It’s a difference that has been clouded by time. Comics historians (of which there are too many – don’t ruin comics, comic historians, remember what happened to jazz and rock ‘n’ roll) will remember Jerry and Joe’s Superman was intended to be a bad guy. At first, that is. Then before he appeared, he became a good guy. That was the beginning of superhero comics; a guy gets super powers and “decides to […]
Feb. 16, 2012 | 5:59 p.m.

‘Amazing Spider-Man’: Denis Leary has date with destiny

denies leary feature
SPIDER-MAN at 50: This is the 50th anniversary of the Marvel icon and all year Hero Complex will talk to notable names about the character’s success and singular appeal.  Denis Leary didn’t grow up loving Spider-Man – when he picked up a comic book it was usually about Gotham City — but the co-star of “The Amazing Spider-Man” said that in recent years he has come to appreciate the Marvel web-slinger’s everyman aura and hard-luck saga. “I never read Spider-Man comics as a kid,” Leary confessed. “I was always more of a Batman guy. But my wife has always loved the Spider-Man character and found the working class ethos, the young teenager turning into a man melodrama and his orphan back story intriguing — as did I once she’d introduced me to the series. He’s far from a billionaire and he’s born of […]
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