Thursday, 28 November 2019

Episode 136: Why in the Spiderverse is genre so HARD?

In the beginning was Superman, and shortly thereafter Tim Burton's Batman. Marvel characters had no movies and the fanboys went without. And Fox brought forth X-Men. And Hugh Jackman probably didn't know how many times he would be called upon to play Wolverine, but the audience loved it, and so the studios saw that it was good. Shortly thereafter Sony brought forth the first Spider-man, Raimi's Spider-man, and, despite being a little bit creepy, generally, he too was deemed to be a good.

Sony returned to the Spider-man well twice more, but on the third occasion the well of lucre was poisoned with unnecessary Venom, and the audience did feel that Spider-man 3 was bloated and now Spidey himself was just creepy, and even the Sandman and Hobgoblin could not save the movie from being underwhelming in the extreme. And Raimi did wander in the desert until making Drag Me To Hell, which was more his cup of tea.

A very short time following Spider-man 3 Sony attempted to refresh the well. "Lo!" they said unto the audience. "Look thou upon new Spider-man, for he is Amazing!" And the audience did look upon the tall and handsome face of new Spider-man and did say: "Well, maybe not Amazing, but Adequate, definitely." And Sony spake thus: "We cannot call a movie franchise 'The Adequate Spider-man', so we will stick with Amazing."

And Sony returned again to the well of lucre, but they did see in the next land that Marvel's well of lucre brought forth the wonders of yon "Cinematic Universe" and they were sore with envy. So when the Adequate... sorry, Amazing Spider-man 2 came forth from Sony's well of lucre it was tainted with envy and mutated by the worn stubs of a failed "Cinematic Universe".

Thus did Sony come to Marvel and propose a deal. They offered to return Spider-man (who was just on indefinite loan from Marvel) on a limited basis if they would bless the Spider-man with the water of the "Cinematic Universe". And Marvel did work out the deal with Sony, and they plunged a newly minted Spider-man into a Civil War between the mid-ranking officer of the Americas and the man forged of Iron. The audience did see it and were now Amazed. And Sony and Marvel did turn to the audience and spake thus: "No, this Spider-man is NOT Amazing, he is just Spider-man" and the audience did say: "Well, if you're sure." At home later the audience did in secret speak thusly: "I am confident this Spider-man is more Amazing than the last one."

And Spider-man did have his own movie in Marvel's "Cinematic Universe" which they did call "Homecoming" and Sony gritted their teeth, for the well of lucre did flow. And Spider-man partook in the Infinity War and survived the Endgame of those who Avenge, finally he found himself "Far From Home" and the well of lucre was bountiful for both Marvel and Sony.

But Sony, once more overconfident and partaking of the iffy Venom, did snatch back the Spider-man. Marvel offered unto Sony a couple of possible deals but Sony declared them to be not good enough. The fandom saw this sundering of the "Cinematic Universe" and there was wailing, and gnashing of teeth.

But Sony did not immediately back down. They spoke to the people and said: "Did we not deliver an averagely good Venom movie? And did we not also deliver unto thee 'Into The Spiderverse' which was much better than anyone expected?" And the people did accept this, but they did not wholly believe Sony could pull this off and they were sore afraid that the next Spider-man movie would be a big pile of poo.

Lo! Marvel did offer another bag of money unto Sony, and they also passed secrets amongst themselves. And suddenly Spider-man was back in the "Cinematic Universe" and some people were even a bit disappointed because they had wanted to see what Sony would do.

The stout ones, those Kids from the 80s watched upon all of this and shook their ancient heads. "Spider-man should literally be a license to print money," spake Ian. "I know." spake Leo. "People trivialise genre, but it is a lot harder and more complicated than it looks."

And Martin Scorsese said nothing further.

This episode uses an excerpt of Bongo Avenger by Eric & Ryan Kilkenny

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