...who is gonna be the Spider-Man 4 villain?
by J.A. Hamilton
Iím a huge fan of all things Spider-Man, the first comic book I ever read was AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #313 featuring (coincidentally enough) the Lizard. Naturally I was hooked and started collecting every Spider-Man title out there. I also grew up watching the first animated cartoon (my favorite episode was the one with Sandman), and loved the follow up series in the nineties. So I was on cloud nine when the first feature film came out, the second one blew me away and the third had the potential to be great but got bogged down by too many elements and as such failed to deliver a coherent storyline. There have been rumors aplenty for SPIDER-MAN 4, and some of them have me worried.
They sure don't make em like this anymore
Firstly, Iím glad Sonyís excited about a fifth and sixth installment, but their focus should be on number four as far as Iím concerned. Though Spidey 3 wasnít a complete dud, the masses (me included) were disappointed with a variety of things and our confidence in the series must be restored. As Iíve said before, Iím happy as hell to hear James Vanderbilt (ZODIAC, THE RUNDOWN, BASIC) is penning the next two scripts, but Iím worried we might be getting ahead of ourselves here. I personally would have ended SPIDER-MAN 3 with Brock and the symbiote bonding and given part 4 to Venom but sadly thatís not how things went down.
I'm still haunted by what could have been...
Speaking of villains, thatís my next point of interest. I have nothing but respect for Dylan Baker (who worked well in Spidey 2 and 3), but I just canít get behind the Lizard as a villain, mainly because heís like an animal version of the Hulk and as such, a one dimensional character who doesnít really bring much to the table. A strong antagonist needs dialogue, without it, it becomes very hard to empathize or even enjoy the relationship between hero and villain. Some people are baffled by why fans love Venom so much, well go read some of the comics and youíll find out. The back and forth between Brock and Peter is the very definition of nemesis.
Sorry, but no thanks
Iím not at all fond of the Black Cat coming to town either. Iím not hating on the character per say, but I find it curious that Raimi or the writers would want to put yet another love interest between Peter and Mary Jane. We got more than enough of that with Gwen Stacy in the last film, and with Peter and MJ getting engaged Iím not sure another emotional obstacle is the right way to go. Furthermore, the rumor and or idea of a kid being thrown into the mix, is absolutely ridiculous (see Tony Langís article entitled Spidey has a baby). There is no reason for this whatsoever and in my opinion, this would only hurt the film and add yet another debatable angle that just doesnít need to be there.
This on the other hand, would make me smile
Iím definitely rooting for SPIDER-MAN 4, as I said Iím a die hard fan, but I strongly feel that this film will be a make or break point in the series. I made last weekís Requiem for Nachos joke about Bruce Campbell being Mysterio because thatís exactly what I personally would love to see. I think Campbell could carry the film as Spideyís nemesis this time around, and Mysterio is definitely a cool enough character to reinvigorate the fans much like Doc Ock did in part 2. Thatís the sort of edge this film needs, rather than another cheap gimmick (a kid) or leaning on another love interest. Time will tell, but I sincerely hope this is a sequel the fans will want to see.