With the praise that Netflix’s recently launched Daredevil series has received from both fans and critics alike, it got me thinking that there’s another major character in the Marvel universe who deserves his own live-action television show.
Imagine for a moment if everyone’s favorite web-slinging superhero appeared on the small screen on a regular basis, rather than in movies every few years. Just the thought makes my Spidey-sense tingle.
Now that Spider-Man is finally a part of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, here are five reasons why Kevin Feige and company should consider giving him his own show in the future.
The Success of the Spider-Man Animated Series
I grew up a huge fan of the 90s Spider-Man cartoon which premiered in 1994 and ran through 1998. Focusing primarily on Peter Parker’s early days as Spidey, the show chronicled everything from his troubled love life to major battles with villains ranging from Doc-Ock to Mysterio. Maintaining a tone that was consistent with the original Stan Lee/Steve Ditko comics, this gem has a special place in the hearts of countless fans.
The show also overlapped with other Marvel animated shows at the time, allowing Spidey to team up with the X-Men, Daredevil and the Avengers, while also making enemies with characters like The Punisher. If it worked back then, imagine what the guys at Marvel could do today with a serialized format to tell great Spider-Man stories.
And while this show is a hard one to top, other popular Spidey cartoons have come since then. The Spectacular Spider-Man (2008-2009) is another fan-favorite, while the Disney XD show Ultimate Spider-Man (2012-present) currently has a large fan base as well, particularly with younger generations.
While I love the first two Sam Raimi Spider-Man films (I’d rather save my rants on 3 and the newer movies for another time), the animated series captured the essence of the character in a way the movies couldn’t. It made use of its episodic format and kept me tuning in every week. With the right budget and producers, I see no reason why Marvel couldn’t use this approach in a live-action format.
It Would Keep Some of Sony’s Ideas Alive
Before Marvel recently acquired the rights to the character from Sony, the latter company had an entire universe of films planned for Spidey. While their supposed idea for an Aunt May solo movie, which Screen Rant reported in February, is terrifying and makes me relieved that Marvel now owns the rights, other ideas they had would work great as storylines for a tv show.
One of these was a Sinister Six movie, which Daredevil‘s creator and original showrunner Drew Goddard was set to write and direct. In the comics, the Sinister Six originally consisted of Doc-Ock, Mysterio, Electro, Kraven the Hunter, Sandman and Vulture, all great Spider-Man villains. While delivering a quality story with an excess of heroes and villains can be particularly difficult in a two hour movie, television gives creators more time and freedom.
Despite Marvel currently having dozens of movies planned up through 2028, I highly doubt we’ll ever see a Sinister Six movie. We have yet to see them deliver a villain-focused movie, nor have they announced any plans for one in the future. However, with a TV show, a live-action Sinister Six and some of the other more interesting ideas Sony came up with might have a better chance of survival.
It Would be Easier to Incorporate Miles Morales
Ever since Marvel acquired the rights to Spider-Man, and even before that happened, many fans have hoped that the next movie would feature Peter’s black successor Miles Morales, with Community star Donald Glover playing him.
However, Fiege and the other executives have stated that the next Spider-Man film will once again star a teenage Peter Parker, who will be played by a new actor. The latest rumors have Asa Butterfield and Tom Holland as the top candidates, according to Collider and several other sources.
Nevertheless, Morales remains a possibility for the MCU, and a TV show in the same universe would make it easier to incorporate him. Let’s say a series ran somewhere between four to five seasons; Miles Morales could show up as early as season three. This could also lead to a live-action adaptation of the recent Spider-Verse storyline from the comics, which features dozens of Spider-Men (and women) from various timelines and alternate dimensions.
While I understand that this character is difficult to bring into the movies, a show offers the perfect solution to fans continually posting the #donaldforspiderman hashtag on Twitter. And even if someone else plays him, Morales is a great character who Marvel would be remiss to leave out.
It’s no secret that both Raimi and Marc Webb have repeated themes and storylines in each of their Spider-Man films. If you look at the five movies that have come out in the last 15 years, all of them deal with Peter going through some existentialist crisis and involve some kind of melodramatic romantic subplot.
Though these are true to the source material, there are plenty of other struggles and character arcs that Spider-Man goes through in the comics. Dan Slott’s run in particular is evidence of this; as he’s had Spidey lose to Doc-Ock and get his body taken over (see Superior Spider-Man), try to run his own company and fight a race of inter dimensional monsters in the aforementioned Spider-Verse series.
There’s so much material that the movies just aren’t exploring that a serialized TV show could, which brings me to my final point.
Spider-Man Has a Great Roster of Villains
In addition to giants such as Green Goblin and Doc-Ock, Spidey has other great foes like Carnage, Vulture and Black Cat who we have yet to see live-action versions of (the teased Vulture wings in the last movie don’t count).
With a TV show, Marvel could incorporate as many of the wall-crawler’s nemesis’ as they wanted. This would also have the potential of avoiding repeated plot devices, if the right writers and producers were involved.
If this format works for Daredevil, Arrow and The Flash, it could definitely work for Spidey. Is there any other superhero in comic book lore more deserving of his own live-action series? Maybe Batman, but if Marvel wants to continue its highly successful TV universe I say a Spider-Man show is definitely the way to go.
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