(This article will not include content from instalments of 'The Amazing Spider-Man' video-game series, as they are non-canon. )
When we all heard the news that Sony Pictures were going to make a Spider-Man reboot, aptly titled; 'The Amazing Spider-Man' directed by Marc Webb (a bit ironic eh), a lot of fans were sceptical about how soon this was happening, what with Sam Raimi's 'Spider-Man' franchise featuring Tobey Maguire having ended only mere years before. None the less the film was a huge hit, and many fans were satisfied with their new; witty, lanky, and closer-to-the-comics Web-slinger!
Unfortunately, even though 'The Amazing Spider-Man' (2012) and it's sequel 'The Amazing Spider-Man 2: Rise of Electro' (2014) managed to gross over 1.4 billion American dollars world-wide, Sony Pictures pulled the plug on this franchise due to the SPECTACULAR news that the rights to the character are to be shared with Marvel Studios. That's right, if you didn't know (which I'm sure you did), Spider-Man is joining the Marvel Cinematic Universe!
It was only until after this news was announced that I noticed something after re-watching the films. I just want to say I don't think this is bad at all because I love all iterations of Spider-Man, and I find it cool how they've integrated many aspects of the different comics into the films, but have you noticed the similarities between Sony's 'The Amazing Spider-Man' movie franchise and the 'Ultimate Spider-Man' comic series? They are quite SENSATIONAL if I do say so myself!
Here are my current findings so far!
1. ORIGIN OF THE SPIDER-BITE:
In 'The Amazing Spider-Man' film series, we find that the enigmatic "super-spider" that gives our favourite young nerd his wondrous powers was all part of a series of experiments under Norman Osborn (aka: The Green Goblin in comic versions), in an attempt to cure him of his fatal degenerative disease.
Similarly to this, in the very first pages of 'Ultimate Spider-Man' we find Norman Osborn leading a number of scientists conducting experiments on a spider, testing a new super-soldier-esque serum which, guess what - ends up biting Peter Parker whilst on a field trip to Oscorp Industries, and henceforth grants him his powers!
If Norman Osborn's involvement doesn't count as one strong similarity, let's not forget that in 'The Amazing Spider-Man' movie, Peter finds his spider after he sneaks into Oscorp Industries with other school students on a field-trip, much alike the 'Ultimate Spider-Man' origin. IT'S GOT OSCORP WRITTEN ALL OVER IT - unlike the initial 'Amazing Spider-Man' comic continuation, in which Peter attends a science exposition and gets bitten by a spider which had been unintentionally exposed to radioactive beams.
2. PETER PARKER'S MYSTERIOUS PARENTS:
The background of Peter's parents; Richard and Mary, had remained a mystery to most of us Spidey fans until their story was delved into further in 'The Amazing Spider-Man' movies.
In the movie iteration, we learn that Richard Parker was once a brilliant scientist who worked under Norman Osborn at Oscorp, and was the leading figure in creating the genetically enhanced spiders that go on to bite Peter. He was also known to have worked with Doctor Kurt Connors in the cross species genetics department, which served as inspiration for the creation of the super-spider.
This is close to the 'Ultimate Spider-Man' series, in which he works with another similar leading omnipotent company; Trask Industries, as a selectively chosen scientist. With Trask Industries he accomplishes scientific feats, including the creation of the "Venom" suit.
'The Amazing Spider-Man' movies certainly looked to these versions of the characters, instead of taking the versions from 'The Amazing Spider-Man' comic continuity, where they are discovered to have been secret intelligence spies/agents.
3. THE VILLAINS: LOOKS AND/OR HOW THEY CAME TO BE:
True, the way in which Max Dillon becomes our sparky hot-head in 'The Amazing Spider-Man 2' is pretty much the same reasoning as in it's same-named comic. In the comic version, he has an accident whilst working on some power lines as an electrician. Blah blah blah - electrocuted - blah blah blah - electrical manipulation powers! The same basically happens in the movie, just he's working for Oscorp Industries (what a surprise) as an Electrical engineer when it does. Geez I hope he got an injury claim in!
Now for obvious reasons, revolving around realistic-ness (kinda...) and the film-maker's dignity, they weren't too happy using this look for good ol' sparkles:
So.....where better to look than the Ultimate Universe for inspiration?
Our favourite brute Aleksi Sytsevic was just your typical getaway driver in 'The Amazing Spider-Man 2', although he would soon get a second chance outside bars if he would adopt the high end military mechanical suit supplied so generously by Oscorp Industries (am I noticing a pattern here?).
At the end of the movie we find him reeking havoc upon the streets of Manhattan. This is where we can start the comparison!
The 'Ultimate Spider-Man' version; Alexander O'Hirn was a thief who stole the government's mechanic exoskeleton R.H.I.N.O. suit (Robotism Heuristic Intelligence Navigable Operative - just roles off the tongue doesn't it?), and then rampaged the streets at no initiative! Quite similar to the movies iteration don't you think?
Anyway, even if the motive is different, I think it's safe to say that the idea for the suit in the movie was definitely inspired by the Ultimate Universe's suit, not 'The Amazing Spider-Man' fleshy skin suit.
The Green Goblin:
Now this villain is great! I love him so much, I'm actually glad they kept his likeness to that of 'The Amazing Spider-Man' comics. Still, even though this iteration of Harry Osborn looks the same and still has the cackling madness of the original Green Goblin - and, still brings tears to our eyes *cough* - the way in which he gains his madness and ability is strikingly similar to the way in which his father, Norman, achieves his in the Ultimate comics.
Remember earlier we talked about the spider experimentation in both 'The Amazing Spider-Man' films and the 'Ultimate Spider-Man' comic series? Well in the Ultimate comics, the reasoning behind Osborn's experimentation with the spider was to ready his superhuman formula that he uses on himself, eventually turning him into the Goblin. In the movie, Harry believes that the serum extracted from the Venom of the same super-spider that gave Peter his powers, will save his life from his inherited disease, and injects himself with it. This then mutates and distorts his body and mind, turning him into the Green Goblin.
The comparison tells us that Sony took inspiration for the Goblin's source of power, being the very spider that bit Peter and gave him his own, from the Ultimate continuity.
Now as the last villain to be talked about, we will never truly know where the film-makers wanted to go with this character, as the series was cancelled before we could see his full form, but that doesn't mean that we can't make some pretty good guesses from the amazingly obvious easter-eggs presented to us in 'The Amazing Spider-Man 2'.
Towards the end of the film, we see our mysterious Mr. Fiers walking past a pretty sizeable tank containing a pretty suggestive set of mechanical arms. You can see this at the beginning of one of the movie's trailers below.
Oscorp's involvement could lead us to suggest that Otto Octavius worked for them already (would it really have been that surprising?), and this would makes sense as Harry and Fiers discuss how the Sinister Six project was ready to commence moments earlier.
"How does this relate to the Ultimate Universe" you ask? Well as fate would have it, Octavius was written in as scientist working with Norman Osborn and the super-serum, (whilst working as a spy for Hammer Industries, but that's not important) but when Norman Osborn destroyed the lab when he transformed into the Goblin (with Octavius in it), the mechanical arms sitting around fused themselves to his body amongst all debris of the explosions that ensued. This shows that good old Oscorp was the reason for Octavius' transformation, just as it was clearly intended in the 'Amazing Spider-Man' movie franchise.
.....and last but not least!
4. CAPTAIN GEORGE STACY:
They obviously wanted to go with a younger approach, and they definitely took that from the Ultimate comics....
....and he definitely looks younger than the 'Amazing Spider-Man' comic version:
So has this possibly shed light on the movies for you?
Have any other comparisons I might have missed? Drop a comment! Wanna debate? Also drop a comment!