Spider-Man is one of the most iconic comic book characters of all time. From the spider bite, to the power and responsibility speech, all the way to the "thwip" sound his web shooters makes. One of the things that has kept Peter Parker so popular is the basics. Things like never breaking his rule about killing no matter how bad things get or always having the "Parker Luck" kick in whenever good things start happening.
Despite all of the constant things in Peter's life, he's also gone through a ton of changes. Some of these changes have upset the comic book community over and over again. Some of these could spell disaster if done in any of the Spider-Man movies.
- Story Arc: The Superior Spider-Man
- Collecting: Superior Spider-Man Issues 1-33
Dr. Octopus did something that few villains of any genre have ever accomplished. He defeated his arch-nemesis. Not only did he defeat him, he took his consciousness and put it inside Peter Parker's body. Doc Ock completely took over Peter Parker's entire life and left our hero in his own dying body. After becoming Spider-Man, Octavious realized how powerful Parker really was and how much he held back. Otto then vowed to become a different, better, and more efficient Spider-Man. He would become the Superior Spider-Man.
First off, I commend writer Dan Slott for taking a chance on a new direction for Peter Parker. While I enjoyed the arc, it wasn't something that would have lasted long term. Especially since people were sending Slott death threats. This is a story that would absolutely work as a TV arc, but not something fans would enjoy seeing.
First, people don't want to see an evil ruthless Spider-Man that's trying to be good. They want to see a nice and funny Spider-Man that sacrifices himself for the greater good. No matter how much it annoys us, seeing Peter Parker whine and get the short end of the stick is something we have become accustomed to seeing. Otto is angry, arrogant, and not funny at all.
- Story Arc: "One More Day"
- Collecting: Amazing Spider-Man Issues 544-545, Sensational Spider-Man Issue 41, Friendly Neighborhood Spider-Man Issue 24 and Marvel Spotlight: One More Day/Brand New Day.
If there was ever a part of Spider-Man's series that everyone wishes could be taken back, it's this one right here. After Civil War comic book series, Aunt May was shot by a bullet intended for Peter. He did everything he could to keep her alive (except go to the X-Men who have healers). His path led him on a mystical journey that ended with him and Mary Jane Watson meeting up with Mephisto.
Mephisto agreed to help cure Aunt May, but he wanted their marriage in return. MJ struck a deal and BOOM! Aunt May was saved. The problem now is MJ and Peter were never married which means a bunch of other events in Peter Parker's life never happened. In one four part series, forty plus years of Spider-Man continuity was erased.
J. Michael Straczynski ended his Amazing Spider-Man run with a bit of a dud. The Mephisto taking Peter's marriage idea seemed a bit unlike the writer. But it was Straczynski's last run and it literally erased everything he did in his previous stories. The most important thing to come out of this series is that no one remembered who Spider-Man's true identity was.
This isn't to say that Mephisto isn't a good character to add to Spider-Man, he absolutely would be. But the story really wasn't that good and the end result would have fans of the movies and not the comics scratching their heads wondering what just happened. It would also leave viewers upset that the ending of this story could lead to yet another reboot — and we are all tired of Spider-Man reboots.
No. More. Clones.
- Story Arc: "The Clone Saga"
- Collecting: Spider-Man: The Lost Years Issues 0-3, Web Of Spider-Man Issues 117-119, Amazing Spider-Man Issue 394, Spider-Man Issues 51-53, Spectacular Spider-Man Issue 217, Ultimate Spider-Man Issues 97-104
The Jackal had an obsession with Gwen Stacy and blamed Spider-Man for her death. So the jackal created a Spider-Man of his own using Spider-Man's DNA (with me so far?). The Jackal then made both of them fight and if they didn't, he was going to set off a bomb. The bomb goes off and supposedly the clone was killed. But later he comes back. The clone replaces Peter for a while because Peter thought he was the clone. And then realized he wasn't, but continued to be Ben Reilly for a little while. Where to start with this being a bad idea...
One thing that makes a good story is when it's simply easy to follow. That's not to say that deep movies aren't a good idea. But this story was all over the place. Topped with the "who is the real Spider-Man" part of the story, it would just be absolutely annoying and is a story usually reserved for cartoons.
In the Ultimate Universe, Spider-Man had a Clone Saga that made a bit more sense. Doc Ock made some clones that were monsters, an adult Peter Parker, a female Peter Parker (who later became Spider-Woman and later Black Widow) and Carnage that turned into Gwen Stacy later. While it seems silly — and it certainly is — the story was a lot easier to follow than the original clone saga. The original is also regarded as one of the worst comic book series of all time and it is easy to see why.
Gwen Stacy Having Babies With Norman Osborn. Yes, Really
- Story Arc: "Sins Past"
- Collecting: Amazing Spider-Man Issues 509-514
When the history books are written and the greatest comic book rivalries of all time are ranked, the Norman "Green Goblin" Osborn and Peter "Spider-Man" Parker rivalry will be one of, if not the best. Norman has tormented not just Spider-Man, but Peter Parker's life as well. Norman was so good at disrupting both Peter and Spider-Man's life that it would make even the likes of Sabretooth and Red Skull be proud. Norman's best "take that" moment had to be when Norman impregnated the love of Peter Parker's life Gwen Stacy with twin kids. It was ruthless, horrible, and flat out gross.
This story was just weird. Norman Osborn knocks up Gwen Stacy, she then goes to France and gives birth to twins, and put them up for adoption. Then the twins grow up fast because of the OZ formula in Norman's DNA. Norman goes to France, finds his kids and trains them to fight and kill both Spider-Man and Peter Parker, who they think is their father and abandoned them and their mother. Why? Because that's what Norman Osborn told them. But he later planned to tell them he was their father the whole time after they disposed of Parker and Spider-Man and turned them into his own personal new Goblins. Oh, Norman.
The story itself wasn't terrible, but it's way too silly to work in a movie. Ignoring the "Norman fathering twins and making it look like they were Peter's only to later say they were his" thing, this story is just way to complex to try and do in a two hour movie. There's also the involvement of Mary Jane that puts Peter in a weird place that's a pivotal part of the story and how Peter found out. Plus, does anyone want to have the image of Norman Osborn having sex in their heads? I'm going to guess no.
With so many Spider-Man and Peter Parker stories, these are the ones that need to be avoided at all costs when it comes to adapting them to the screen. While comic book movies are meant to have some silliness to them, some of these stories go way beyond silly. One more bad Spider-Man movie and we might have to do without your Friendly Neighborhood Spider-Man for a long time. I highly doubt Marvel will role out the red carpet for a clone saga or a Doc Ock filled Spider-Man flick. But I've been wong before.
What other Spider-Man stories should they avoid? Let me know in the comment below.