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Archive for July 7th, 2012

By Bob Clark

The Spider-Man character is now celebrating its 50th anniversary in the pages of Marvel Comics, created by writer Stan Lee and artist Steve Ditko in the pages of Amazing Fantasy before being granted a full book of its own that would eventually become one of the flagship titles for both that particular publishing house and for superhero comics in general. It’s almost surprising that it took until 2002 for the first full-fledged motion picture starring Peter Parker, the science-geek turned teenage hero after a fateful bite from a radioactive spider, especially considering that before then there were no less than four Superman movies starring Christopher Reeve, four live action Batman films with three different Bruce Waynes (and another eventually on the way courtesy of Nolan & Co.), one big-screen X-Men adventure and countless animated versions on the small-screen, as well as a handful of live-action series like The Incredible Hulk (there was also that movie Ang Lee did, but whatever). But then Spider-Man, like most of the Marvel superheroes, relied on powers that weren’t quite so easy to put on screen given the limitations of physically captured special effects in the 70’s and 80’s. It’s really not that difficult to make us believe a man can fly, or make us wonder where a vigilante gets such wonderful toys, but asking us to buy that a high-school kid can climb a skyscraper with his bare hands and swing from the rooftops with spinneret silly string? All one has to do is look at the live-action Spider-Man series from the 70’s to see how dreadfully silly it could look without the right tools at your disposal.

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