Amazing Spider-Man Message Board >> View Post
Post By
The Silver Surfer

Member Since: Sat May 17, 2008
In Reply To

Member Since: Fri Nov 26, 2021
Subj: Worth noting, it was not alwayts that way.
Posted: Wed Dec 15, 2021 at 03:54:13 am EST (Viewed 80 times)
Reply Subj: Miles Morales and the "Teenage Spider-Man" : Exploring the Development.
Posted: Sun Dec 05, 2021 at 05:12:16 pm EST (Viewed 132 times)

Previous Post

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:

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

Part 2:

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.

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.