Episode 1662 Talkback - Comic Talk

Comic Talk, Comic Talk, does whatever a podcast episode can! As we weave our tangled web of geeky gab, we salute that recently departed stenographic stalwart of the early days of Marvel Comics, 'Fabulous Flo' Steinberg; bandy about our favorite bits of news from SDCC 2017; catch up with an old friend, artist Martheus Wade; and share a few of our thoughts and concerns on Spider-Man: Homecoming. LOOK OUT--here comes some Comic Talk!! (1:47:52)

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Comments

  • Mark_EngblomMark_Engblom Posts: 287
    Great episode...as usual, I love the variety of the "Comic Tawwwwwk" episodes. Sorry to hear about your water heater, Pants....but glad your decision to pass on Comic Con ultimately helped you out on the home front. OH...and glad that Underdog comic book didn't usher you from this mortal coil! Yikes!

    Fun to hear all the different views on the new Spider-Man movie. I share all of your views to a certain extent, but ultimately came down closer to Chris' perspective. I agree that SOME creative acknowledgement of the origin would have helped...but sadly, I think this film was primarily geared toward the microscopic attention spans of the younger generations. Even the Civil War recap was done in a hurry-up, YouTube video fashion, so adding an origin flashback...even a quick one...probably would've been too much for our Millennial brethren.

    As far as the Uncle Ben "Great Power, Great Responsibility" quote, I didn't miss it that much, especially since the movie itself pretty much makes that same point. Peter botching the Staten Island ferry rescue made it clear that fabulous superpowers and a high tech costume aren't enough when the lives of people are in your hands. So, perhaps the quote could be modified to be "With Great Power Comes Great Maturity", as Peter himself realizes by the end of the movie.

    Loved Keaton as the Vulture. It didn't bother me one iota that he bore very little similarity to the comic book version, who, from my perspective (as a life-long Spidey fan) was never much to write home about. An old man with a big nose, green body suit, and feathered wings just would not translate to live action...at least not the live action movies I'm interested in watching.

    Looking forward to the sequel, as Peter and Aunt May deal with the fallout from the hilarious last second of the movie ("What the Fu.....?"). Overall rating: 4 out of 5 stars.
  • bralinatorbralinator Posts: 5,778
    How about "with great power (suit) comes (a lot less) responsibility"?
  • TheComicGuyTheComicGuy Posts: 1
    edited July 27
    Another great show. I was really glad the Spider-Man origin was left out of this movie. I have seen it twice now in films, read it in the Ultimate Spider-Man comic and again the original telling when I read the Amazing Spider-Man Omnibus and there is no telling how many times the origin has been told in the different cartoon shows over the years. I'm glad we didn't spend half the movie being told something we all already know. I think the Vulture was really one of the best villains in the Marvel movies. I don't feel like he was an evil man, in his view the world screwed him over and he just wanted to take care of his family. Not a justification for his actions but in my opinion it makes the villain much more interesting when you can see why they do what they do. I thought it was a great movie and looking forward to seeing Spidey in Infinity War.
  • bralinatorbralinator Posts: 5,778
    I agree with a lot of what was discussed here. I enjoyed the film for what it was, but I do have some issues with it if I can join in the nit-picking here.

    In my opinion, these were the cons:

    I think the lack of ANY mention of Uncle Ben was a serious oversight or a mistake. It felt more like Peter's motivation was to join the Avengers and not to make up for his failure to save his uncle which apparently took place within the previous year. No, I don't need another retelling of the origin. For instance, the James Bond films hardly ever refer to the past history of the character, but Peter's motivations seemingly being different this time out made the whole affair seem a little awkward for me. It felt off. Less like a Spider-Man movie. The studio can easily rectify this with the next installment, but I could've done without Tony Stark being the surrogate "dad".

    The A.I. "Karen" was another element I could've done without. I delight in the fact that Peter created his own costume and technology. However, I understand that "Karen" was a convenient way for us to "hear Peter's inner monologue," but it was a bit off-putting to me, in spite of hearing Jennifer Connelly's splendid voice.

    Some of the young cast were too clever-by-half for my tastes, but I'm the father of a teenager, hence no longer a teenager myself. On the other hand, my daughter enjoyed this so it may be that I'm no longer the demographic for this motion picture.

    The Pros:

    I think Tom Holland personifies Peter Parker better than any previous incarnation on screen. He was pitch-perfect for me.

    I thought Michael Keaton was an inspired choice for casting as well and really enjoyed his portrayal of Adrian Toomes, liked almost every scene he was in.

    The smaller, more personal story being told here. Much like Ant-Man, this story focused on family, the neighborhood, and friends. Not every superhero film has to be about saving the world.
    -----------------

    I feel like whatever perceived "wrongs" in this film can easily be "righted" in the next installment. There was probably a lot of scripting and editing done "by committee" to make all the suits happy and confident that this picture didn't under-perform like the last reboot did. Hence the heavy reliance on Iron Man. Hopefully the studios will be more confident and let Feige do what he does best next time without their interference. I have high-hopes.
  • Mark_EngblomMark_Engblom Posts: 287

    ...but I could've done without Tony Stark being the surrogate "dad".

    Tony's mentorship is certainly a new element for the Spidey mythos, but at the same time, it makes sense not only from a Marvel Cinematic Universe angle (perhaps setting up the emotional fallout of a likely Tony Stark death), but also from a character perspective. Uncle Ben is gone, and a teenage boy still needs a male role model. I was glad to see Peter pursuing this instead of disappearing into the black hole of his grief and guilt (as he often did in the comics). As for Peter's mercurial emotional states and focus, anyone who's ever raised a teenager can tell you that's pretty much par for the course. I don't blame a teenaged character for shifting their focus and motivation every two weeks. That's just how they're wired.
  • MattMatt Posts: 3,898

    ...but I could've done without Tony Stark being the surrogate "dad".

    Tony's mentorship is certainly a new element for the Spidey mythos, but at the same time, it makes sense not only from a Marvel Cinematic Universe angle (perhaps setting up the emotional fallout of a likely Tony Stark death), but also from a character perspective. Uncle Ben is gone, and a teenage boy still needs a male role model. I was glad to see Peter pursuing this instead of disappearing into the black hole of his grief and guilt (as he often did in the comics). As for Peter's mercurial emotional states and focus, anyone who's ever raised a teenager can tell you that's pretty much par for the course. I don't blame a teenaged character for shifting their focus and motivation every two weeks. That's just how they're wired.
    Not too much a "new element for the mythos." It reminded me of the Road to Civil War storyline.
  • bralinatorbralinator Posts: 5,778
    I don't disagree with what either of you have said, but RDJ's Tony Stark was not a suitable replacement for THIS comic curmudgeon's disappointment about there being absolutely no mention of Uncle Ben.
  • Mark_EngblomMark_Engblom Posts: 287
    edited July 31
    Matt said:

    Not too much a "new element for the mythos." It reminded me of the Road to Civil War storyline.

    Not from our point of view (hardcore comic book readers), but from the perspective of the movie-going public, it was something new after so many Spider-Man movies referencing the Uncle Ben thing. It was an interesting new direction to push Marvel Studio's take on the character.
  • i_am_scifii_am_scifi Posts: 520
    edited August 2
    It doesn't happen often, but I completely disagree with @Adam_Murdough on Spider-Man Homecoming. Easily my favorite version of Spider-Man on screen. This was the most realistic high school version of the character, along with the most New York a Spider-Man movie has felt. Of course a science and technology high school would be diverse in today's world, and I highly appreciated that not everybody in Peter's life was a perfect translation of their original Stan Lee counterpart. And let's not forget just how little Stan actually cared about a high school setting for the character, as Peter was only in it for a little more than 20 issues of the original comic.

    Flash worked as a rival, Zendaya breathed life and personality into her character who previously appeared lifeless and dull on screen, and for the very first time I legitimately felt like Peter was having fun out there as Spider-Man. Yes, there were the usual Spidey tropes of having to find balance between responsibilities and superheroics, and they pulled that off pretty perfectly.

    Yeah, I'm an Ultimate Spider-Man fan, so maybe this is why it resonated as much as it did, but simply put, Spider-Man in its infancy does not age well. Younger Aunt May makes sense, as Peter was supposed to be a teen, so why would his aunt be nearly 80 and helpless? It's never jived with me but I accepted it because comics, but Ultimate Spider-Man presented a confident, useful May, and we get that here. Mind you, I agree we could have used a little bit more of her, but we got too much of her in Amazing Spider-Man so I can see why they laid off a bit in favor of Peter's high school crowd.

    Ned was a little nerd stereotypical, but in a good way. I know Neds, and I probably would have been flipping out just like he did at the chance to be a second to a legit superhero. Their friendship was believable, their banter rang true. Liz was this movie's version of a Starter Pokémon, as she was the first crush. But it worked, especially with the movie's reveals.

    What was the best part? These kids were all kids first, and their ethnicity wasn't brought up at all. The movie avoided any and all of those movie stereotypes. Job well done.

    And making Michael Keaton's Vulture more of an actual vulture, hunting for scraps, was a terrific idea. Vulture is easily the most realistic, relatable villain of the MCU, and all it took was giving him a motivation and backstory you would remember more than five minutes after being introduced. Who knew? And Donald Glover's Aaron Davis needs to show up again, as I'm sure he will.

    As for the complaint about the suit doing most of the work, I'd say this is where power and responsibility come into play. Peter thought Tony was handicapping him by not giving full controls of his Spider-costume. But when he does, we understand why. It is not meant for beginners. Push the wrong button, enter the wrong command, and you blow somebody up. Power and responsibility. Boom. And I think in the end, the suit simply further enhances all the strength and abilities Peter already had, utilizing a version of Peter's web formula that has simply been tricked out by Tony. I'll refer back to how many times Reed Richards has helped Peter out with new web fluids and designs in the comics.

    No mention of Uncle Ben was also fine for me, because we all know already. It was the same with no overt Spider-sense. The other movies did this all and seven bags of chips. Do we really need to see Batman's parents die every time? To me, no. Same with Uncle Ben in this. Although yes, if he had been mentioned once that would have been fine, but I was more than fine with him not being there. Gives them time to cast Tobey Maguire as Uncle Ben in time for the sequel.

    Tobey Maguire was too old and stiff, Andrew Garfield was too hip, Tom Holland was everything I wanted. And any movie that takes the time to argue over where to get the best sandwich in Queens and has a bodega cat has my vote. I don't care about comic accuracy so much as long as I get something that works on screen, and still captures the hehart of the character. Re: Civil War, and how little that had to do with MIllar's comic version. Homecoming did that for me. Easily 4 out or 5 freckin' sweers from me. Can't wait to see where the franchise goes next!
  • TheOriginalGManTheOriginalGMan Posts: 1,609

    It doesn't happen often, but I completely disagree with @Adam_Murdough on Spider-Man Homecoming. Easily my favorite version of Spider-Man on screen. This was the most realistic high school version of the character, along with the most New York a Spider-Man movie has felt. (SNIP)

    image

  • MattMatt Posts: 3,898
    edited August 3

    It doesn't happen often, but I completely disagree with @Adam_Murdough on Spider-Man Homecoming. Easily my favorite version of Spider-Man on screen. This was the most realistic high school version of the character, along with the most New York a Spider-Man movie has felt. Of course a science and technology high school would be diverse in today's world, and I highly appreciated that not everybody in Peter's life was a perfect translation of their original Stan Lee counterpart. And let's not forget just how little Stan actually cared about a high school setting for the character, as Peter was only in it for a little more than 20 issues of the original comic.

    Flash worked as a rival, Zendaya breathed life and personality into her character who previously appeared lifeless and dull on screen, and for the very first time I legitimately felt like Peter was having fun out there as Spider-Man. Yes, there were the usual Spidey tropes of having to find balance between responsibilities and superheroics, and they pulled that off pretty perfectly.

    Yeah, I'm an Ultimate Spider-Man fan, so maybe this is why it resonated as much as it did, but simply put, Spider-Man in its infancy does not age well. Younger Aunt May makes sense, as Peter was supposed to be a teen, so why would his aunt be nearly 80 and helpless? It's never jived with me but I accepted it because comics, but Ultimate Spider-Man presented a confident, useful May, and we get that here. Mind you, I agree we could have used a little bit more of her, but we got too much of her in Amazing Spider-Man so I can see why they laid off a bit in favor of Peter's high school crowd.

    Ned was a little nerd stereotypical, but in a good way. I know Neds, and I probably would have been flipping out just like he did at the chance to be a second to a legit superhero. Their friendship was believable, their banter rang true. Liz was this movie's version of a Starter Pokémon, as she was the first crush. But it worked, especially with the movie's reveals.

    What was the best part? These kids were all kids first, and their ethnicity wasn't brought up at all. The movie avoided any and all of those movie stereotypes. Job well done.

    And making Michael Keaton's Vulture more of an actual vulture, hunting for scraps, was a terrific idea. Vulture is easily the most realistic, relatable villain of the MCU, and all it took was giving him a motivation and backstory you would remember more than five minutes after being introduced. Who knew? And Donald Glover's Aaron Davis needs to show up again, as I'm sure he will.

    As for the complaint about the suit doing most of the work, I'd say this is where power and responsibility come into play. Peter thought Tony was handicapping him by not giving full controls of his Spider-costume. But when he does, we understand why. It is not meant for beginners. Push the wrong button, enter the wrong command, and you blow somebody up. Power and responsibility. Boom. And I think in the end, the suit simply further enhances all the strength and abilities Peter already had, utilizing a version of Peter's web formula that has simply been tricked out by Tony. I'll refer back to how many times Reed Richards has helped Peter out with new web fluids and designs in the comics.

    No mention of Uncle Ben was also fine for me, because we all know already. It was the same with no overt Spider-sense. The other movies did this all and seven bags of chips. Do we really need to see Batman's parents die every time? To me, no. Same with Uncle Ben in this. Although yes, if he had been mentioned once that would have been fine, but I was more than fine with him not being there. Gives them time to cast Tobey Maguire as Uncle Ben in time for the sequel.

    Tobey Maguire was too old and stiff, Andrew Garfield was too hip, Tom Holland was everything I wanted. And any movie that takes the time to argue over where to get the best sandwich in Queens and has a bodega cat has my vote. I don't care about comic accuracy so much as long as I get something that works on screen, and still captures the hehart of the character. Re: Civil War, and how little that had to do with MIllar's comic version. Homecoming did that for me. Easily 4 out or 5 freckin' sweers from me. Can't wait to see where the franchise goes next!

    Michelle was an original character. She essentially was a no show in prior movies.

    Was Richards crafting web fluid for Pete an Ultimate Spider-man thing? I don't ever recall that being a thing in 616 before. Then again, if it's been added starting after OMD, that'd explain why I've never hear of it.

    I think the fact it was short-lived (and strongly disliked Ultimate Spider-man) is why I didn't care for the high school stuff.
  • bralinatorbralinator Posts: 5,778
    The death of Uncle Ben has always played a major role in Peter’s life and this movie didn’t directly address it in any way. Entertainment Weekly just published an interview with the writers where they have a chance to address this:
    “We did talk about there being a scene where [May] references him directly,” Daley says. “It was when [Peter] was getting ready for homecoming and the wardrobe she was giving Peter was all Uncle Ben’s clothes. It was a nice moment, but we also knew that it veered away from his arc. If you’re going to talk about someone’s death, you don’t want it to be a throwaway.”
    Now before you presume the sequel is where they can give Uncle Ben the respect he deserves, there was also the idea of Aunt May moving on from Ben and even dating that didn’t end up in the script. They're possibly saving that for the sequel.
    “We loved the idea of a cool aunt,” says Goldstein. “In an early draft we actually even had her dating a guy, and part of her relationship with Peter was this inappropriate frankness. It didn’t make the cut, but I could see in the sequel she could get a boyfriend. She doesn’t have to be a mourning widow.”

    We have a sequel on the way so there’s still plenty of time for the movie to address May. She was one of the best parts of the movie so any plot that involves more of her is a good thing.
    I think Aunt May dating would've seemed even MORE tone-deaf than simply not including any mention of Ben. Let's see how it turns out.
  • i_am_scifii_am_scifi Posts: 520
    Matt said:



    Michelle was an original character. She essentially was a no show in prior movies.

    Was Richards crafting web fluid for Pete an Ultimate Spider-man thing? I don't ever recall that being a thing in 616 before. Then again, if it's been added starting after OMD, that'd explain why I've never hear of it.

    I think the fact it was short-lived (and strongly disliked Ultimate Spider-man) is why I didn't care for the high school stuff.

    I'd have to do research, but I have vague recollections of Reed and Peter putting together web fluid to battle Hydro-Man and possibly Sandman together. Could be wrong, but even if I'm not I know that Reed has at least assisted Peter on technological advancements before outside of the fluid.

    Michelle is only kind of a new character, as they definitely based her off the archetype of Ultimate MJ.

    And your mileage may vary on Ultimate Spider-Man, but for me it worked wonderfully. To each their own and what have you.
  • MattMatt Posts: 3,898

    Matt said:



    Michelle was an original character. She essentially was a no show in prior movies.

    Was Richards crafting web fluid for Pete an Ultimate Spider-man thing? I don't ever recall that being a thing in 616 before. Then again, if it's been added starting after OMD, that'd explain why I've never hear of it.

    I think the fact it was short-lived (and strongly disliked Ultimate Spider-man) is why I didn't care for the high school stuff.

    I'd have to do research, but I have vague recollections of Reed and Peter putting together web fluid to battle Hydro-Man and possibly Sandman together. Could be wrong, but even if I'm not I know that Reed has at least assisted Peter on technological advancements before outside of the fluid.

    Michelle is only kind of a new character, as they definitely based her off the archetype of Ultimate MJ.

    And your mileage may vary on Ultimate Spider-Man, but for me it worked wonderfully. To each their own and what have you.
    Hmm. I'd have to think about a Hydro-man/Sandman issue. Actually, I probably have only read a handful of issues with Hydro-man.

    Perhaps it's a non-Spidey lead title with the web fluid. I do recall Richards being helpful with the symbiote removal.

    Side bar: when Stark took back the suit & Peter stated he had no other clothes, was anyone else getting flashbacks to the FF suit with the paper bag bit? I was hoping we'd get a scene with a variation of that outfit in Homecoming.
  • ChrisMurrinChrisMurrin Posts: 129
    I was hoping for the paper bag, too. Overall, my feelings on Spidey were closest to Chris'.

    Fun episode. Always good to hear Matt and Martheus.
  • BionicDaveBionicDave Posts: 249

    ...an interview with the writers where they have a chance to address this: “We did talk about there being a scene where [May] references him directly,” Daley says. “It was when [Peter] was getting ready for homecoming and the wardrobe she was giving Peter was all Uncle Ben’s clothes.

    It's a shame they did not include this cool beat in the film. It would've been a much-needed acknowledgement that Peter had an uncle who meant something to him. Perhaps we should merely be grateful that there were no flashbacks to Uncle Ben, I'm sure he'd have been played by Logan Paul.
  • alienalalienal Posts: 455
    edited August 24
    Oh, another episode that I somehow skipped over.@Pants : Such an interesting NOT going to Comic-Con story!

    Other snippets: Oooo, that Waid/Samnee Cap sounds delicious!

    Bendis' Iron Man: hm, I read the first couple of issues and it was good, but the way Bendis stretches out story lines in IM, JJ, Guardians and Defenders I just decided to drop all of his titles. I mean one issue of his just didn't seem to be worth the $3.99.

    Martheus Wade: Nice to hear another voice and different point of view mixed in with Chris, Murd, and Pants. Yeah, I was gonna ask how much did you guys pay Martheus for that CGS public service announcement?!? :wink:

    MATT!: Wow, nice to hear him on the show again, however briefly!

    SPIDEY:HOMECOMING - I didn't mind Uncle Ben not being mentioned (gosh, I've read the comics, seen TWO sets of comic movies and so on) so, FOR ME, I think it made sense to not mention it, but maybe for kids or people who don't know his origin, there might have been something missing. Still, since his ORIGIN wasn't even mentioned except briefly to his classmate, it's understandable that Unc wasn't mentioned. Somehow I think, from the 2 previous movie series, that Uncle Ben's death and the "With Great Power comes.." line (which Uncle Ben says in the first movie, but it's just a caption in the origin story) became the totality of Spidey's motivation. But really, after that sets him on right path in the Amazing Fantasy story how much does it motivate him? I started reading Spidey with #6 (Lizard) read sporadically through the 50's, started getting it every month from #65 and basically sure he knows he's supposed to be "doing good" not just using his powers to meet his own needs, but he gets other motivations (sick Aunt, paying bills, getting good photographs, trying to keep relationships etc.). So, with this current movie the motivation seems to be NOT just joining the Avengers, but being LIKE Tony Stark and the Avengers due to the "incident" in New York. Also, there were A LOT of assumptions made about what happened after Spidey got his powers, assumptions that have not yet been proven. Wait until the next movie. How about this? In the next movie, Aunt May (since she is still young and Ben WASN'T mentioned) what if she starts dating a guy named "BEN!" Or how about this? What if MAY herself becomes the motivation? Since she now knows his secret, what if he's out enjoying his adventures and the same thing happens: he let's some bad guy go and somehow that guy kills May. Well, I'd hate to see that happen especially after losing Gwen in the second movie series. Anyway, like Chris said, this is not the 616 Spider-Man it's the MCU Spider-man, but unlike Matt and Murd I didn't feel like I needed the classic version. And Peter didn't have friends in the comics? (Liz, Harry, Betty, etc.) Speaking of the high school stuff: I loved it! I wasn't a big fan of the Ultimate Spider-Man comic (read some issues of it, but didn't get wowed by it), but I still liked the feeling of being in high school and trying to fit in, thrilled about being invited to parties, etc. Well, I guess some people just can't escape the comic versions in their minds to be able to enjoy the movie versions.

  • bralinatorbralinator Posts: 5,778

    ...an interview with the writers where they have a chance to address this: “We did talk about there being a scene where [May] references him directly,” Daley says. “It was when [Peter] was getting ready for homecoming and the wardrobe she was giving Peter was all Uncle Ben’s clothes.

    It's a shame they did not include this cool beat in the film. It would've been a much-needed acknowledgement that Peter had an uncle who meant something to him. Perhaps we should merely be grateful that there were no flashbacks to Uncle Ben, I'm sure he'd have been played by Logan Paul.
    As I referenced earlier, they had a scene in the original script with Aunt May going out on a date. If I was mildly let-down by their failure to mention Uncle Ben at all in this movie, a guy who we know to be Peter's father-figure and mentor, I may have been #triggered like a snowflake over an Aunt May date scene :)
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