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Revolutionary_Jack


Member Since: Fri Nov 26, 2021


For a long time I wanted to understand where Marvel Comics got the idea that Spider-Man was ideally a teenager really originated from, given that he aged and grew up for some 30-odd years.

So I wrote two long posts exploring that.

Part 1:
2021/12/04/re-examining-spider-man-05-part-1-teenage-wasteland/

I explore the various attempts at making a young Spider-Man leading up to Ultimate Spider-Man.

Part 2:
2021/12/05/re-examining-spider-man-05-part-2-i-can-see-for-miles/

I actually think I might have put in one place the most detailed behind-the-scenes stuff about Ultimate Spider-Man, namely the context in which it happened, the people who came up with the idea, the influences, and also the real reasons for its success.

I also argue that there's a case to be made that Miles Morales and not Peter is "The First Teenage Spider-Man".

But anyway, if you have time left from your weekend, I look forward to hearing from you all on this.




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Quoyle


Member Since: Sat Oct 08, 2016


Links did not work for me. \:\(


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Revolutionary_Jack


Member Since: Fri Nov 26, 2021


Sorry about that.

I have double checked and it seems fine on my side, but here it is again:

Part 1:


2021/12/04/re-examining-spider-man-05-part-1-teenage-wasteland/

Part 2:

2021/12/05/re-examining-spider-man-05-part-2-i-can-see-for-miles/




https://elvingsmusings.wordpress.com/
Posted with Mozilla Firefox 94.0 on Windows 10
The Silver Surfer


Member Since: Sat May 17, 2008


Starting in the 70s, the idea was to start Peter off in college when the story begins.

The Spider-Man newspaper strip, '77 TV show, 80s cartoon, Spider-Man and his Amazing Friends, 90s cartoon, planned 90s movie, the 00s animated series, all had him in college. Even the first Raimi has him in college for most of the film.

It seems that college was viewed as the ideal time to start him off, which makes sense. He is still young and in school, but has more flexible schedules. An adult, but still firmly in the young and you can excuse immaturity.

IN fact, the college years were seen as the golden age. Not surprising. Lee and Romita had really good chemistry, and that started when Pete was in college. The Ditko era was mostly Pete in High school, and while I like it, it did not have the same flow. Peter became more of who we know in college You would be surprised how many writings about the character refer to him as a :late bloomer." There has always been a preference for the dorky, but affable and even charming Pete that started with ROmita, than the angry nerd.

Not to mention, Conway, Wein, and Wolfman all wrote that era. Great writers. It also lasted over a decade, compared to three years in high school.

Of course, fans clearly wanted him out of school since the issue he graduates is called "the most demanded story of them all." Then they put him in grad school, and quickly had him quit.

It makes sense for them to like starting Pete young. He was the first success of a teenage hero as a solo act. However, college makes more sense, like I said still in school and finding his way, but more opportunities for stories.

I think two thingseffect the desire to keep him in high school specifically.

1) The success of Ultimate Spider-Man. That Peter Parker was in high school for 160 issues. I think Marvel took the lesson that high school is what people want, instead of just character based writing.

2) Rise of Anime and Mange. I don't care for anime or mange myself, but I know people who do, so I am aware how much they love using teen protagonists, especially in school. There is actually a cultural issue there, dating back to pre-WWII Japan. If you don;t know, it is described well in the "The Rape of Nan King" a great, if depressing, history book on a Japanese war crime. I have read about this being why the age is so important to Japan by fans of the medium, because it has had such effect on pre-war culture, so it just became ingrained.

In fact, the MCU Spider-man is the most popular of the franchise there. Both the MCU, and Spider-man.

I do think it is possible that the rise of popularity in the 90s and 00s may have effected many consumers buying habits.

Just thoughts.


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Revolutionary_Jack


Member Since: Fri Nov 26, 2021



    Quote:
    The Spider-Man newspaper strip, '77 TV show, 80s cartoon, Spider-Man and his Amazing Friends, 90s cartoon, planned 90s movie, the 00s animated series, all had him in college. Even the first Raimi has him in college for most of the film.


Yeah I cover all this in Part 1 of my post.


    Quote:
    1) The success of Ultimate Spider-Man. That Peter Parker was in high school for 160 issues. I think Marvel took the lesson that high school is what people want, instead of just character based writing.


The funny thing about the success of USM was that originally it didn't sell as well as people assumed. Bill Jemas basically broke the Gordian Knot of distribution to get it to retail stores, taking a loss for greater exposure. It worked but given the risk he took, it's an open guess as to how profitable it really was but it certainly did get USM to non-comics readers. Even then Ultimate X-Men and Ultimates sold a bit better.

Likewise, USM made its debut alongside Mackie's ASM run when MJ was "dead" and the titles were demoralizing. It's not a surprise that between a comic with the charismatic characters still alive and active and one where it wasn't, readers went for USM.



    Quote:
    2) Rise of Anime and Mange. I don't care for anime or mange myself, but I know people who do, so I am aware how much they love using teen protagonists, especially in school.


The USM Decompression style was inspired by manga certainly.

I also think the success of Harry Potter. Teen Spider-Man in adaptations certainly borrows a lot from HP, you see this in the MCU, where the three leads are basically Harry, Ron and Hermione though this time Harry and Hermione are the couple. For TASM-1 set in high school, they had Steve Kloves as screenwriter (He wrote the HP movies) and Emma Stone is very Hermione-ish.




https://elvingsmusings.wordpress.com/
Posted with Mozilla Firefox 95.0 on Windows 10

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