Friday, July 02, 2010
Wonder Woman's Costume and a Re-Cast Spider-Man: What it Means
It seems like every week, something happens to get comic book fans all worked up, and this week was no different. First, on Wednesday, Wonder Woman #600 hit the stands, and everyone got their first glimpse of Wonder Woman's new costume -- and the new backstory that comes with it. Then yesterday it was confirmed that actor Andrew Garfield will be taking over the role of Peter Parker/Spider-Man in the new "Spider-Man" reboot, slated for 2012.
The internet basically exploded on Wednesday for hatred of Wonder Woman's new costume, however, most of the criticism wasn't directed at the costume itself but the fact that DC changed it at all. Look, I get that Wonder Woman's previous look was iconic, but if creators can kill Superman, kill Bruce Wayne, break up Peter Parker and Mary Jane and do whatever the hell else they've done in the past 25 years, they can do this. In fact, we should probably be surprised when a major character (or team of characters) goes five years WITHOUT a drastic change to his/her/their look or background. I think the only thing that really bothers me about the change is that to change Wonder Woman's costume, they felt the need to change her whole background too. I understand that opens up a whole world of new (or really old) stories for the character, but it seems like a lame in-universe explanation.
Now, if your criticism is about the outfit itself (like, say, Felicia Day's opinion here), then that's fine -- assuming your criticism is slightly more specific than "it looks stupid". I for one don't mind the pants look, but the jacket looks like something out of a bad '80s movie. Then again, my opinion on this subject matters little, since I wasn't a Wonder Woman reader before and I wasn't planning on picking up the book any time soon.
anti-reboot stance, mostly for the reasons stated above (basically what this comes down to is that the industry has beaten me down and I'm much more willing to accept the changes themselves as the status quo). But I'm not sure I can get behind the casting of Andrew Garfield as Tobey Maguire's replacement, at least not if this movie is truly designed to reboot the series. While Garfield may look young, the fact is he's already 26 years old, and turns 27 next month. By the time the new "Spider-Man" movie comes out in 2012, he'll be on the verge of his 29th birthday -- not exactly the age we'd be looking for from an actor playing Peter Parker in high school.
Now, if Sony's planning to ditch the whole "send Peter Parker back to high school" plan, than Garfield might not be a bad choice, but then why reboot the series at all? Is there any reason they couldn't continue the movie continuity, just with a new cast? I mean, aside from "they've already killed off all the good villains"? And if that's the only reason, does that mean we're going to be subjected to ANOTHER Green Goblin movie and ANOTHER Dr. Octopus movie? Is Sony not aware that there's a huge cast of Spider-Man villains who've yet to see the silver screen?
Wow, okay, that's a lot of questions, and unfortunately, I've got the answers to exactly none of them. And, knowing me, even if none of these questions are answered to my satisfaction, I'll still go to see the new "Spider-Man" movie -- which is exactly why companies like DC and Marvel can make unpopular decisions. They know that the core fans will keep reading/watching, and the few that do defect will be replaced by those intrigued by the changes (or those that didn't know the product existed until the changes were publicized by the media).