I can’t understand why I’m not more excited about Amazing Spider-Man 2.
I grew up on Spider-Man back when Spider-Man himself was still growing up.
I started reading The Amazing Spider-Man comic books back when Steve Ditko was still drawing them. If you’re a real comics fan, you know how old that makes me feel. If not, then the less said the better.
If Amazing Spider-Man wasn’t my favorite comic book (it was usually neck-and-neck with Jack KIrby’s Fantastic Four), it was always in the top five.Spidey was brand new then, and being a fan felt like being a member of some exclusive secret society. When you met somebody else who loved Spider-Man, it was like discovering a brother from a different mother.
I saw him at his best (the classic Amazing Spider-Man #33, where he lifts the wreckage and frees himself. If you read it back then, no explanation is necessary; if you didn’t, no explanation is possible).
And, I saw him at his worst (take your pick–from the Spider-Mobile to the Spider-Clone to the whole Gwen Stacy-gets-pregnant-by-Norman-Osborn debacle, which still makes me cringe just to think about it).
Along the way, I watched the cartoons, bought the action figures, bought the hardcover reprints, even (when I could afford it) bought original art.
When the first Toby Maguire Spider-Man movie came out, I was somewhat excited (as much for my son as anything else), and we went to see it the first weekend. My enthusiasm waned slightly for the second and third installments, but I still conjured up enough interest to go and mostly enjoy them.
But when the first Andrew Garfield Amazing Spider-Man was announced, I was strangely apathetic. The idea of re-booting a franchise that had barely begun didn’t really appeal to me (nothing against Garfield, who does a perfectly adequate job). I also wasn’t at all excited about more Green Goblin, a villain who didn’t come along until the second year of the comic books, but was nevertheless retroactively turned into Spidey’s Great Nemesis. Yawn.
And now comes the second Garfield Spidey. I’m sure I’ll see it. I may even see it the first week, but there’s something lacking. Spider-Man fans are no longer a secret society–they ARE society.