In what can only be called an act of God, Sony and Marvel are working together to bring us a Spider-Man who is connected to the Marvel Cinematic Universe. He will be making his debut to the world in a few short weeks in CAPTAIN AMERICA: CIVIL WAR and next year we’ll get SPIDER-MAN: HOMECOMING. Early reviews for CAPTAIN AMERICA: CIVIL WAR are praising Tom Holland’s take on the webslinger, some going as far to say that he is the epitome of Peter Parker. This has me all kinds of excited inside.
With this new version of Spidey hitting theaters, I wanted to take a moment to look at five stories that I feel would make for some amazing, freaky Spider-man movies. Let’s not waste anymore time…
THE DEATH OF JEAN DEWOLFF
When Captain Jan DeWolff is found dead in her apartment, Spider-Man goes on the hunt for her killer. His investigation leads Spidey to finding himself chasing after a superpowered serial killer created by S.H.I.E.L.D and hunting down specific targets, including Daily Bugle publisher J. Jonah Jameson! Can Spidey stop the Sin-Eater before he strikes again?
THE DEATH OF JEAN DEWOLFF is widely considered one of the greatest Spider-Man stories ever written. It has everything we like about Spider-Man – jokes, guilt, action, suspense, and superhero battles! Spidey even dukes it out with Daredevil in the story!
There are two ways to go with Venom, and I think they both could work for a really great movie. You have the classic Venom story – Eddie Brock the disgraced reporter who wants revenge on Spider-Man finds the symbiote suit that also wants revenge on Spidey and together they turn Peter Parker’s life into a living hell – and you have the ULTIMATE SPIDER-MAN version – Eddie Brock college student who grew up with Peter comes across the Venom formula created by Eddie and Peter’s dads and becomes Venom. Where Peter uses his powers for good, Eddie (also a picked on nerd like Peter) uses his to get revenge on those who he feels wronged him, including Gwen Stacy and Peter Parker.
Either story has a great CAPE FEAR feel to it if done more in tone with the comics than how Venom was treated in SPIDER-MAN 3 aka as a rushed character only used to appease studio heads.
Now, this is one of the weirder Spider-Man stories. It was published as a graphic novel, and I’m pretty sure it was never considered as part of the continuity of the comics, but I love it.
Out looking for thugs to beat up, Spider-Man meets Marandi Sjorokker, a girl who appears to be homeless, but needs Spidey to either go get Doctor Strange or help her himself. Marandi needs someone to help her stop the evil Tordenkakerlakk, which is Swedish for thunder cockroach if Spidey’s Swedish translation book is right.
Spider-Man meets back up with Marandi, who takes him to a doorway to another dimension where they will fight Tordenkakerlakk. Turns out that every time you hurt Tordenkakerlakk, the monster evolves into something stronger, so that’s fun for Spidey.
Horror artist Bernie Wrightson is the artist on the book, and the designs he created for Tordenkakerlakk are insane, something akin to the look of the creature from John Carpenter’s THE THING.
KRAVEN’S LAST HUNT
KRAVEN’S LAST HUNT is easily a top five Spidey story. Part CITIZEN KANE, part identity theft thriller, part monster movie, the tale has something for everyone.
When Kraven “kills” Spider-Man he takes on the web slinger’s identity to prove to the world that he is superior to old Spidey. Kraven, dressed as Spider-Man, heads into the sewers to capture the feral Vermin, a ratman who feeds on people. Also, Kraven hangs out and eats spiders, which is just gross. They’re both gross.
Obviously, Peter isn’t dead, but how he returns and the ramifications of the story are fantastic. If you’ve never read it, get on it now! Or just wait and hope they make a great movie out of it.
THE MAD DOG WARD
When Spider-Man learns that the mother of three children has been illegally locked up in a mental institution, he goes undercover as Peter Parker to break her out. Before he has a chance, Peter is locked into the Mad Dog Ward – a ward in the asylum specifically for people who think they are superheroes. He is then kept drugged up to the point that Peter forgets he is Spider-Man. Inside the institution, Peter is forced to endure terrible treatment from the staff. With the help of a kindly nurse, Peter starts a revolution in the asylum.
This story was the direct follow up of KRAVEN’S LAST HUNT in the comics, and it picks up on many of the after effects from Kraven. It also has some amazing art and great writing of its own. For some reason THE MAD DOG WARD seems to have slipped through the cracks as a well remembered Spider-Man story, possibly because it is so outside of the conventional stories found in Spider-Man comics. Still a version of ONE FLEW OVER THE CUCKOO’s NEST starring Aunt May’s favorite nephew is something I’d love to see on the big screen.
*All Photos: Marvel Comics