Thursday, July 08, 2004

Does whatever a spider can...

I'm still surprised how let down I feel about the new SPIDER-MAN movie. The trailers and stills I'd seen certainly whetted my appetite, to put it mildly: images of our hero in the clutches of Doc Ock, chained up, about to be unmasked, his outfit torn so badly there was barely anything left of it. (Stop me now before I shoot my spidey-webs on the keyboard!)

That's all there, and I'm sure the folks at the GaySpidermanFans Yahoo group will be posting plenty of pix in the weeks to come. But the movie itself was a tremendous disappointment: awful (yet not convincingly campy) dialogue, sloppy direction, one cliché after another. The first film still feels like one of the best comic-book movies thus far, even though I found most of the Peter-and-Mary-Jane business in that one really tedious. I've never been a fan of origin stories in any case, so I was really looking forward to the second installment, when we'd all be free to dive into interactions with villains without much set-up. (I think I developed my boredom with origins from the "Batman" tv show, in which we're plunged straight into the action from the very first episode--which, by the way, is also the only one in which Bruce Wayne's murdered parents and his subsequent vow to avenge them ever comes up, as far as I can remember. Who really cares WHY these hot guys suit up to do their business? Let's just see them in those outfits... and those deathtraps!)

No such luck with SPIDER-MAN 2. (Only minor spoilers in the rest of this paragraph.) First we have to deal with learning how the new bad guy comes into being, then Peter has to lose his powers and re-invent himself, which means MORE scenes of him training himself, blah blah blah. And that fucking Mary Jane! They're apart, they're together, they're apart, they're together, and so on and so on and SO on. Gimme a break. Leave the chick at home and go get yourself into the clutches of some supervillain bent on your destruction, Spidey hon. THAT's what we're paying the big bucks to see. Plus, by the end of the film--following a trend established by the BATMAN movies-- everyone and his brother knows who's under that mask.

A friend of mine said, "Come on, it's a comic book movie!" Pre-cisely. Comic books, for me--an old-school DC-er by birthright--are about the larger-than-life (and hotter-than-vanilla) interactions of heroes and villains fated to lock horns for years and years, not the mundane concerns of everyday people. If I wanted the latter, I'd watch "The O.C." This whole trend toward paying more attention to the Bruce Wayne side of a character than the Bat-self (see "Smallville," "Lois and Clark," "Daredevil," and, I fear, the forthcoming "Batman Begins") is for the birds, if you ask me. The problem with S-M 2 (oh, if only those initials were more descriptive of the actual film) is that it's NOT a comic-book movie at all, it's a fucking soap opera.


Okay, now if you've been keeping up with my OWN version of an origin story in the "Beginnings" serial/blog, you may be thinking to yourself, what's HE going on about? That thing is about as soap-opera as you can get without a cameo from Susan Lucci!

And maybe I am guilty as charged, after all. But all the Dick Grayson stuff early on is there for a reason. I'm really trying to retell a story we all know by heart, from scratch, with some serious revisions. I freely admit I'm fucking with some essential parts of the legend--all because I've been thinking about what conditions might lead to the appearance of a Batman in the, er, "real" world we all inhabit. ("We" being people -- like you, I assume -- who harbor fetishes about characters most everyone else discards after adolescence.) At the same time, I want to make it as sexy as the comic-book fantasies that have always gotten me hard. As of chapter 20 or so, I should have most of the basic framework laid out, and I have some major nastiness planned for our heroes, believe me.

But I'm eager to find out whether anyone cares. I've gotten a couple of encouraging and/or encouragingly horny e-mails so far, but I really want feedback--either via e-mail or the comments option below. I love plotting and writing "Beginnings" so much right now that I'll probably keep going for my own amusement/arousal for the next few weeks at least, but your response would be a great incentive to continue after that. So spill your guts -- or any gushy fluid of your choice.

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