What Is Up With Spider-Man's Villains? And How Many [SPOILERS] Must Die?

I know I'm late to the party on this, but I finally sat down and watched Amazing Spider-Man 2 last night and I had some thoughts about what Sony and Marc Webb are doing with the series and what they might want to avoid next time out.

The_Amazing_Spider-Man_2_(film)_bannerThis is going to have spoilers… so be warned.

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First up… the villains. Everyone loved the first Spider-Man by Sam Raimi and a part of that was the Green Goblin played by Willem DaFoe. The key here is that Norman Osborn was a bad guy from the beginning of the movie until the end. Then we got Alfred Molina as Doc Ock and suddenly every villain after has been someone Peter Parker knew or cared about and they were turned evil by something… it wasn't their fault. Villains like that are great, but not EVERY TIME. Not every villain needs to be someone you can identify with. Sometimes you just want someone who is pure evil that you hero can beat the crap out of. We haven't seen that yet in this series… and no Rhino doesn't count, he was comic relief.

GoblinSecond… the way Max Dillon was portrayed was painful. Not funny, not sympathetic… painful. I couldn't wait until he was off the screen. It reminded me of the Venom-influenced montage from Spider-Man 3 that everyone hated. In this movie they gave us three villains and two of them were cardboard stereotypes played by award-winning actors. Dillon could have gotten his powers in a lot of different ways including trying to break into Oscorp. Making him pathetic and sympathetic was a waste of talent and screen time.

DillonThird… cut back a little on the guilt and killing folks off. Yes, the character of Spider-Man was greatly affected by the guilt he feels over the death of Uncle Ben and the death of Gwen Stacy. But in the comics there was like a decade in between the two events. The two movies take place while he's in high school. And while I'm at it, enough with killing off the Stacy family. I know both deaths were in the comics, but to end the first movie killing off Captain Stacy and then Gwen in the sequel… it didn't escape my notice that they lined up the last three Stacys at Gwen's grave to show the viewers there were three more to go. A Spider-Man movie should end with excitement and everyone wanting to be like him… killing a major character then showing him grieving in a montage is not enough time for the audience to get over it and be excited at the end. And no more ghost images of people looking at Peter disapprovingly.

GwenFourth… How the hell would Richard Parker get a secret lab built in an abandoned subway station? Not just one built in an empty room or something, but one that raises up from under the tracks after putting coins in a secret slot. In a movie where I've already accepted that a guy can get powers from being bitten by a radioactive spider, they found a way to go to the unbelievable. And didn't Curt Connors set up underground as well?

SubwayFifth… and finally, the after credit scene or lack thereof. If there is a red banner saying Marvel at the front of the movie then the audience wants a scene in or after the credits. That's just the way it is. You have to give us something. A laugh, a hint, an easter egg… and you already filmed one. Why would you cut it? You tease the sinister six in the closing credit animation… why not show the scene?

creditsSo here is my cheat sheet for Marc Webb for when he gets around to Amazing Spider-Man 3 which is already scheduled for 2018.

1)      Keep it simple, no more than two villains.
2)      Make at least one of them pure evil and needing of a butt-kicking.
3)      Leave the Stacys alone… hell, don't kill anyone important.
4)      Don't introduce Mary Jane yet. Been there, done that.
5)      Read Kraven's Last Hunt before starting on a plot.
Kraven6)      No more than one time-passing montage per movie.
7)      Do not even think about doing the clone saga… I can see you're thinking about it.
8)      Ask Fox to do a Wolverine / Spider-Man movie with you. It's worth a try.
9)      Re-read Kraven's Last Hunt, think how Black Cat could be added to it.
10)   And no black costume or Venom under any circumstances. It's too soon.

And Webb can feel free to call me to write the script for it. And now back to your holiday weekend.

About Dan Wickline

Has quietly been working at Bleeding Cool for over three years. He has written comics for Image, Top Cow, Shadowline, Avatar, IDW, Dynamite, Moonstone, Humanoids and Zenescope. He is the author of the Lucius Fogg series of novels and a published photographer.

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