This dawned on me as I was sitting here and I was surprised by how badly it rubbed me the wrong way. Spider-man doesn't really have many prominent female villains.
The only one that ever posed a serious threat to him was the Queen. Even the Sinister Six was an all male team (apart from the recent one which had a female Beetle). He has had a few in the past like Stunner, Calypso and Menace but they are only minor threats and only stick around for a very short length of time. They also seem to be either killed off or just fade into obscurity. The rest if the women in his life are either friends, teammates or love interests.
I think its kind of strange that I can think of a LOT of major male Spider-man villains such as Electro, Doctor Octopus (well he's not exactly a villain now), Kraven, Venom, Carnage, Morlun and many more and yet the only female villain I can think of that posed enough of a threat is Shathra and to a lesser extent the Queen and they have both been killed off! Even if we look at his minor villains like Shocker level I still can't think of many. There was a female Scorpion once called Scorpia, Caroline Trainer who was briefly the Doc Ock , Ana Kravinoff (who seems to be Kaine's problem now rather than Spider-man's) and now a female Beetle. These are B listers at very best. The kind Spider-man when not playing around would most likely one-shot.
I'm not saying he needs to have a loads more but its getting tiresome just having members of the opposite sex as friends/love interests. Why can't we have a female villain who could be just as big a threat as Venom, Doc Ock or Kraven? I mean someone who is a top tier threat to the old web-head. Someone who makes you think the same thing as when Brock used to turn up as Venom. Whenever Brock-Venom turned up you knew Pete was gonna have a tough time and most likely get his ass kicked. I have never had that with any of Spider-man's female villains (aside from Shathra who i'll get to in a minute) even the Queen who is probably one the strongest female villains didn't inspire that kind of threat although she had a lot of potential......but I guess not now being dead and all. What it all comes down to is that most of his female villains are simply female copies of other ones and are thus living in the shadows of their male counter-parts. We've had a female Scorpion, Doc Ock, Kraven, Green Goblin, Venom and even a female Carnage. If we get a female Shocker I swear i'll punch someone. Is it too much to ask for an original creation!?
In my opinion they missed out on an opportunity with Shathra. For those of you who didn't read that arc it was discovered that Spider-man was a totem powered individual and Shathra was his opposite being the Spider-Wasp totem. A creature that feeds off spiders. Shathra was everything you need from a villain. She was cunning, brutal and single minded. In her first fight with Spider-man it was clear she was going to demolish him. Pete was then forced to retreat and rethink his options. Then Shathra did something I haven't seen many villains do. She went to the press and said that she was Spider-man's ex-lover and began saying awful things over all the TV stations about it. This of course prompted people like MJ and others who knew Peter was Spider-man to be hurt emotionally and question him.
This action threw Peter into a complete rage and he attacked her mid-interview. The resulting fight nearly demolished the city block. Spider-man was clearly angry enough not to hold back and Shathra took everything he had and kept going. She didn't just take Spider-man on physically but also hounded him personally as she knew his identity, turning his own family and friends on him. Not many villains have caused Spider-man this kind of problem. Not many people have made Spider-man angry enough for Pete to lose his Morals but she managed to do it! On his way to that fight Spider-man was seething with anger and perfectly prepared to rip her limb from limb and he proved that in his following fight. He was so angry he tore into her with everything he had even ignoring bystanders. This is the first time in ASM (that I remember) that a villain has pushed Spider-man to lash out with so much anger that he didn't even care about bystanders. Now that's a serious drop in morals. Shathra was a brilliant villain as she pushed Spider-man to the brink both physically and emotionally. In those 2 appearances she did more damage than most of Spider-man's enemies over a period of years.
Another thing I loved about Shathra was the fact that there was no sort of sexual tension simply because she was female. With villains such as Poison Ivy this is blatantly obvious. Shathra attacked with the kind of brutality and emotional devastation that rivaled Brock-Venom. There was no underlying agenda she just wanted Spider-man dead so she could feed him to her children and she was prepared to do anything to get it. She made an impact on him worthy of people like Doc Ock, Green Goblin etc... and what did Marvel do!? They killed her! 2 appearances and BAM dead. She followed the trend of all Spider-man's female villains brief appearance and faded into nothingness.
Out of complete interest when you comment on this page could you please say if you had or hadn't heard of Shathra or knew about her and what she did before this post? It does not matter if you have or have not i'm just curious.
Spider-man seems to be lacking a top tier female villain and hopefully someone will give one to him and not another friend, teammate or god forbid another love interest.
If you have not read Amazing Spider-man 700 or Avenging Spider-man 15.1 I advise you to stop reading now!
Ok i've heard a lot of complaints about why Superior Spider-man will suck or how its going to destroy Spider-man so i've decided to ignore all the complaints and focus on the positive side of this series!
Nothing is permanent:
This is the main thing that people need to get through their heads! Superior Spider-man is NOT the permanent status quo for Spider-man and as much as Wacker and Slott insist that it is they can't honestly believe it and probably don't. At some point a new writer will come on and we'll get the "Peter Returns" issue. You don't like the new Ock-Spider-man that is completely fine. Its your right as a consumer to decide what you do and do not like and change is normally hated initially anyway. However there is no point moaning about something that isn't permanent or sending death threats of all things to the writers (I mean c'mon death threats? Really!?).
Someone new will always appear to allow for more creative liberty and time. I know Ben Reilly wasn't well liked when he took over being Spider-man (granted different circumstances) but he still has fans to this day (including me). Another big clue that this is not a permanent change is how Slott is portraying Superior Spider-man. From what we've seen he is egotistical, rash, short tempered and condescending. All the makings of a true a$$hole. Do you think Slott doesn't know this? Of course he does and its on purpose. Superior Spider-man is going to be the guy you love to hate. It will make Peter's eventual return even more anticipated and demanded! Whenever a huge change takes place it boosts sales it doesn't matter if its positive or negative. If its positive then it shows how good the story is but we all know its so much easier to piss people off than it is to please them. The only reason It is called Superior Spider-man 1 instead of continuing with Amazing is because Slott wishes to reinforce his statement that this permanent to boost sales nothing more.
New Status Quo:
For one second put aside all the hate you feel whats being done. Just pretend its happening in a "What If" and not 616 if it makes it easier. I want you to tell me honestly that you are not in the least bit curious as to what Ock as Spider-man would be like? C'mon not even a little?
Putting Ock as Spider-man and leaving Peter out of the picture doesn't only make for some interesting stories it also gives the writers lots of time to think up new ideas for stories when Peter does make his inevitable come-back.
As Peter is out of the picture for the moment and we are focusing on this new Ock it opens up a hell of a lot of stories. As not only do you have one character with 50 years worth of stories but two combined into one. They both have such a rich past that together you could pull out almost any scenario. You can now repeat any position Spider-man has been placed in and see how his nemesis would react to the same thing. We also get to see how Peter's supporting cast takes to the new Spider-man and how they will figure out who this new Spider-man really is.
Not to mention with Ock's smarts we will get to see some new tech and gadgets. This will also change Ock's view on Peter. Seeing himself through his enemy's will not only change his view of Peter but also himself as he will see himself as Peter saw him. Replaying his own fights in his own head from Peter's side is going to change the way he thinks dramatically. This situation is incredibly unique not many characters yet alone major money maker ones have gone though this kind of change. How can it not be interesting?
When you look at objectively and without emotion how is having a new guy as Spider-man who will have unique stories to expand the Spider-man mythos a bad thing? Not to mention as I said previously it also allows writers to think ahead and have lots of time to think up fresh ideas for Peter.
Well we’ve had a years worth of comics from Scarlet Spider and I thought it was time to put my thoughts on the series into words so here goes.
When I heard the Scarlet Spider was returning like quite a few other people my mind lept straight to Ben Reilly. Before the conclusion of Spider-Island I thought we were going to see Ben back in the webs which neither pleased nor displeased me. When it turned out to be Kaine that was when I became interested. I picked up the first issue a week or so after it came out and had no idea what to expect from the creative team. Yost and Stegman were completely new names to me at that point. As soon as I’d finished the first issue I was convinced Christopher Yost had nailed Kaine’s character. My main fear was that due to his major connection to Spider-man we might not get a unique character and end up with a Back In Black or Grim hunt style Spider-man knock-off, on top of that Kaine has undergone a lot of changes since the clone saga and finding a balance between them was going to be a real challenge but it was a challenge that in my humble opinion Yost passed with flying colors and the supporting cast he introduced were quite refreshing compared to some of the others in other series.
The original creative team included Ryan Stegman who as I said just now was a completely new name to me before this series. His art in Scarlet Spider 1-4 and number 6 was incredible and his exit in issue 6 was bitter-sweet. The art for that issue was phenomenal but knowing that he was leaving the series interiors was upsetting. I had hoped that he might have done another arc before moving on but unfortunately this was not the case. At least we still get to see his awesome pencils on the covers of Scarlet Spider which Ryan has continued to do since his departure.
From issue 6, Stegman was replaced by Khoi Pham and my initial reaction of course was to compare him to Stegman which is a fatal move due to the fact that it was Stegman’s art that really began and defined the character. Personally I do not find Khoi’s art as detailed as Stegman’s (this is just personal preference though) but he has shown that he can draw really well. During Minimum Carnage a few pages lept out at me. As a whole Khoi hasn't done a bad job.
The stories that have been put across by Yost and the various artists he's worked with has been of a high quality in my opinion. We’ve gotten a much deeper glimpse into who and what Kaine is and how he thinks. His past as an assassin was also an interesting thing to develop and gave us an explanation as to what the mark was originally conceived for. All in all I have no real problems with the story ideas or how they have been portrayed and how his past has been expanded upon to fit into this series. I’ve enjoyed seeing Kaine’s past come back to haunt him, be it in the shape of the Assassins Guild or the Kravinoff family. The new supporting cast has actually grown on me a lot. In the beginning I was a little pessimistic about them but as the series wore on and Yost pushed them into their various roles I started to like them more and more and as from Scarlet Spider 12 Aracely is officially my favorite!
Next I suppose I should look at the things that I didn't like so much and although there weren't many and most of them were minor there were a few things I didn't quite get on board with. My first was Kaine’s vast change in moral conduct between Spider-Island and Scarlet Spider. Before hand Kaine was selfish, cold, brutal and all in all not a nice guy. I am aware that Kaine is trying to better himself however going from a murdering psychopath to an anti-hero doesn't happen overnight and I felt that was what occurred here. I know it might seem a macabre thing to say but I had hoped to see Kaine kill someone by now and when Ana Kravinoff showed up I really thought that she was going to be the first to die. Scarlet Spider’s morals are supposed to be questionable and for the most part they are. He doesn't seem to have an qualms brutally harming his enemies however if I divert to the current Venom series we have Flash Thompson who is generally calmer and more collected than Kaine and yet we’ve seen Flash kill numerous times since his ongoing began. I don’t think it’s a bad thing that Kaine isn't killing I just think it needs more building up and more of an explanation than what we got in these 13 issues. I was also not a fan of the Minimum Carnage story arc however that can be put down to it being a crossover event and i’m quite happy to overlook it. Another thing I can't make my mind up on is Annabelle. Now don't get me wrong I like her character however look very closely at her and ask yourself this. What other strong-willed, red-head with a thing for Spider-people do you know? It's plain to see where the basis of her character is from and I don't know whether this is a good tribute to the original red-head or whether it detracts from the differences that Yost is trying to build up. Either way thus far I've had a hard time caring about her due to the fact her character hasn't really been expanded on. Lastly was the slight disjointedness in some areas. The main one was between Scarlet Spider #4 and #5. Number 4 ended with Annabelle finding out that Kaine was the Scarlet Spider and yet in issue 5 where I would have thought a big discovery like this may have been addressed it was completely brushed aside and Kaine is suddenly running round Houston looking for a bomb. I honestly double checked I hadn't missed an issue because it threw me off so much.
Those things aside Scarlet Spider has been a brilliant read since its first issue back in March. It isn't just my favorite new ongoing but also my overall favorite series this year. I got much more of a kick out of reading this than I did Slott's Spider-man and Snyder's Batman. I also hope that the same caliber of story is kept for the next arc when it begins next year. I was worried that as Yost is now writing Avenging Spider-man (which is now on my pull-list because of him) he would be leaving Scarlet Spider but thankfully he isn't and is going to be on it through 2013. To top it off Reilly Brown the man responsible for bringing us the awesome pencils in Scarlet Spider #12 is staying on as one of the on-going artists for the series!
I am hoping to see the following things from Scarlet Spider in the new year:
An explanation about Kaine's powers and resurrection.
A wider look into his motivations about being the Scarlet Spider.
Some character development for Annabelle.
Well i'll leave it there! Have a great Christmas everyone!
Well I had some free time today so I took that time to re-read Slott's run on Spider-man to try and grasp who the new Spider-man could be. I have literally gone through every male candidate that I can think of. This is not a speculation thread as such but simply going through every character it could be and eliminating them 1 by 1 as they don't fit. This should allow us to end up with a rough idea of who it might be.
What we know about Superior:
Smarter, stronger and faster than Peter
Doesn't like children
Has less morals
We've seen this character before/has serious Spider-man pedigree
This has been building up since 600 and over Slott's run
Carlie knows whoever he is (whether she knows who's under the mask is another story but she knows him out of costume).
Has experience using his powers
Why it could be him:
Phil is Peter's polar opposite. He's selfish, egotistical and a complete a$$hole. However he does bare some similarities to Pete. He has a Uncle Ben he loves and wants to please and he takes videos and photos of himself in the Hobgoblin costume to make money (much like Spider-man use too). Phil is basically Negative-Peter there is no better way to describe him. Of course for those of us who remember Phil was once a good guy but he had a slight mental break down and took a trip to loony town which gives us the psycho we have today. Slott has made it his mission to make Phil quite a big part of Spider man as of late playing a big part in Spider man's life in and out of the suit so he does have the build up. Although he doesn't have Spider-powers he did have access to the Spider-tech that Osborn was designing including claws for wallcrawling. We have had no indication that Phil hates kids but I don't think he would particularly like them given his attitude. Ontop of that Carlie knows Phil out of the suit! Phil does tick a fair few boxes (188.8.131.52.184.108.40.206) Will Phil see the error of his ways and become Spider-man?
Why it can't be him:
Well first off Phil is not smarter than Peter. In fact he's as thick as plank in comparison to Pete. So already that makes him an unlikely candidate. Not to mention anyone who read the end of Danger Zone will know that Kingsley has hired Urich to be the new Hobgoblin officially so I don't see him taking up 2 identities. Although Phil was a hero now he is completely psychotic. I honestly don't see him changing his ways that quickly. Thus I think we can rule out Urich as Spider-man.
Conclusion: Not Spider-man
Why it could be him:
Norman Osborn has been designing Spider-technology (most notably claws that allow you to climb walls) ontop of that Norman is smarter than Peter. Perhaps not scientifically smarter but this is the man who took over SHIELD and brought the Avengers to their knees (twice). He has even demonstrated speed and strength to match Spider-man (after the gathering of 5 Peter was taken aback by how strong he was when not holding back). Norman Osborn is smart enough, strong enough and fast enough to be Spider-man. We also know he's not really a child person (look what happened with Harry), not to mention he has SERIOUS Spider-man pedigree. Norman ticks a lot of the boxes! (220.127.116.11.5.6.9)
Why it can't be him:
There is only 1 real reason Norman is unlikely to be Spider-man. He has not played a big part in Spider-man as of late. He got a mention in Big Time and in a few other arcs but thats about it.
Conclusion: Norman could be Spider-man
Why it could be him:
Harry is Peter's best friend and a good guy at heart however we saw a slightly darker side of him when Vin threatened him. He has the perfect mix of Morals to be Superior as he's not a flat out killer but he doesn't take crap either. Harry like his dad has SERIOUS (it needs to be in capitals) Spider-man pedigree. He also has experience with powers and being a hero. He became American Son during Dark Reign and beat the hell out of his dad. due to his days as the Green Goblin he has access to all his dad's tech including the Spider-tech. He ticks a few boxes (18.104.22.168.9)
Why it can't be him:
First Harry likes kids he even has one. He is not smarter than Peter. Peter had to help him through school. Harry isn't anywhere near Peter in intelligence. Apart from a very recent one in Danger Zone he hadn't had any real connection before hand.
Conclusion: Not Spider-man
Why it could be him:
Well why couldn't it? There are so many things that could happen over the next couple of issue to explain these new morals and abilities. There's no point in me going in depth here as this isn't theory thread and i'm pretty sure you can all guess for yourself why it could still be Parker.
Why it can't be him:
Have heard numerous accounts that it isn't Peter under the mask. However these could just be red herrings or a play on words.
Conclusion: Peter could be Spider-man
Why it could be him:
As anyone who read ASM 698 will know Doc Ock is currently in Peter Parkers body. This could be permanent or maybe Peter's and Ocks minds meld into one. Either way Ock is smarter than Peter, he would be just as strong, would have less morals, he has serious Spider-man pedigree, his story has been building up since issue 600 and he has experience with superpowers.
Why it can't be him:
Doc Ock is in Pete's body thus has his ability to climb walls. So why would he need claws? Slott has said that it all gets pieced together in issue 699 which means if Pete-Ock is Superior he's played his cards very early which is something I don't think he'd do.
Conclusion: Not Spider-man. (yes he ticks a lot of boxes but the few he doesn't are very damning)
Why it could be him:
I know this seems quite random but think about it. Kingsley's stroy began in 649 when Phil Urich killed his brother so he has been padded out for a while. He spent the remainder of the time in Mexico pretending to be someone called Devil-Spider. He does have serious Spider-man pedigree and he has a lot of experience using his super-powers. He has access to the Goblin lab's thus access to the Spider-tech. Another thing we know is he's recently gone into business becoming other super-villains. Would he consider becoming Spider-man?
Why it can't be him:
Although we have seen him a few times Roderick hasn't had a huge impact on Spider-man until recently I think it would be to out of nowhere for him to become Spider-man. Not to mention he has recently started up a super-villain business would he have time to be Spider-man? He also has no motivation to do good at all.
Conclusion: Not Spider-man
Why it could be one:
This is of course an immense cop-out in my opinion but Superior could be a new Spider-man clone. the Jackal has been brought back by Slott and his influence has been felt. We know that not all Spider-clones have Peters Morals or Powers *cough*Kaine*cough* a clone could potentially tick all the boxes.
Why it can't be:
Slott has said what is being done with Superior hasn't been done before and we already had a clone as Spider-man. Plus as I said this would be a big cop-out. While Kaine would be a logical choice for Spider-man (and to be quite frank the chance of Kaine not becoming Spider-man one day are very low) he currently has his own pretty successful ongoing series so to take him out of that would be silly.
Conclusion: Not Spider-man
Why it could be him:
Curt has recently revealed that he's stuck in the Lizard body but is back to being himself. If he managed to cure himself of the lizard physicality he has the stats and abilities required to be Spider-man. As a gifted geneticist it wouldn't be a push to say he's smarter than Peter. Due to the recent death of his son (by his own hands) Curt may feel a bit dodgy around children. The death of his son Billy has freed his character from emotional ties and commitments allowing a writer to build from that. Coincidence? Superior's eye lenses could be a result of enhanced vision and the claws are self-explanatory.
Why it can't be:
Connors has only been in one major arc since Slott's run began and even then it was to co-inside with the Amazing Spider-man movie which feature him as the antagonist. So his story hasn't really been built up. Like a few of the others he seems to randomly thrown in to be Superior.
Conclusion: Not Spider-man
I am only including him here because people keep asking me why I haven't included him so here i'll explain why
Why it could be him:
Aside from Kaine, Miguel is the only other person with Spider-man heritage. He is most likely smarter than Peter due to his professional capacity. He also has claws to climb walls and enhanced vision (in his comics he had to wear glasses to protect his sensitive eyes. Could that be the reason for the weird lenses?) Miguel has a hell of a lot of experience using his powers and his morals are more laxed than Peter's leading to a more violent approach to his enemies. Although Miguel is currently stuck in the 2099 timeline the X-men have recently time-skipped could this be what happens here?
Why it can't be him:
If there was a line in the sand representing how far removed a character was removed from the current storylines Miguel wouldn't be able to see the line he'd be out in tropical tundra regions of sand. He has no prior connection to Slott's storyline. Even more damning is the fact that Superior has artificial webshooters and Miguel has biological ones. Its not that I don't want him to be Spider-man in fact I made a post detailing why he deserves to be Superior (check it out here if you're interested http://www.comicvine.com/myvine/strider92/why-miguel-deserves-to-be-the-superior-spider-man/87-85932/) but given the circumstances its very very unlikely it will be him.
Conclusion: Not Spider-man
Why it could be him:
There is a reason I saved him for last and its because i'm about to attempt to mindscrew you! It mind screwed me when I came to this conclusion. Smythe ticks EVERY box! Everything we know about Superior fits with him! Everything! We saw in Big Time that Smythe is smarter, stronger and faster than Spider-man, he doesn't seem like a kid person given his attitude, he has retractable talons that he uses to climb walls (in Big Time we see him scaling a wall using claws), he has less morals, he has SERIOUS Spider-man pedigree (he used to build robots with the sole purpose of hunting Spider-man. He knows how the web-head acts and moves), Smythe has given himself Spider-powers if you reread the Big Time arc he gives all his creatures a Spider-sense which Superior has no been confirmed to have not only that he has a huge Spider icon on his new suit!!!!! Smythe has played a huge part in both Slott's major arcs (Big Time and Spider-Island) his story has been built up by Slott quite a bit, Carlie knows Smythe due to the whole Spider-Island and Big Time mess. He of course has experience using powers infact he can go one better! He has experience using Spider-powers! Alistair is also not a complete villain. He helped out during Spider-Island to cure the virus and his motivations are not purely evil so turning over a new leaf could be possible. One last thing is that Mr. Smythe is currently being held on the Raft along with other villains but guess what happens in ASM 699-700 thats right a break-out! Is Alistair getting out with the rest?
Why it can't be him:
There is honestly no reason why it can't be him. He has more experience using Spider-powers than anyone else around and even has a spider-sense. Heck he even has Superior's weird goggles that he can use for scanning and his claws!! Smythe also wants vengeance on Doc Ock for ruining his plans with the Spider-Slayers(during the Big Time arc) if he finds out Ock is in Spider-man's body.....things may go badly. I cannot find single thing that prevents him from being the new Spider-man.
Edit: as @kingjoeg keenly observed both Smythe and Superior have the same feet:
Is this more clues that Smythe is Superior? Another thing that I noticed from that image of Superior Spider-man is that he has artificial web-shooters (take a close look at his hand) thus that truly does eliminate Miguel as he has organic webbing.
Edit: This might be hint too. He says he can build a better spider and he has Superior's Spider on his back:
Well lets face it unless Tasky appears in Avengers as an enemy (unlikely given the caliber of enemy they are going for there) or in Deadpool as an enemy (would be likely if Deadpool wasn't stuck in production limbo) he isn't going to have a big screen appearance which is a shame really because as both a hero and a villain he could turn out a very good film if given the chance. So here's how I would do it:
Now I like Taskmaster's original costume. I think the skull-mask, cape etc.... are all awesome....In the comic world!!! When it comes to costumes some of them just don't work on the big screen. They look poorly put together or sometimes downright weird. For example I found Captain America's suit in the Avengers a bit stupid really.
So as much as i'd like to see the original Taskmaster suit I have a feeling that it would be one of those suits that just wouldn't work on screen. However that isn't Tasky's only suit we have the one that was given to us by UDON which was brilliant and has that modern techy feel about it. Another reason I would favor UDON's suit here is because of the gadgets Taskmaster had with it. The image inducer for example is something a top tier assassin should have to slip around unnoticed or the weapons generator that allowed him to copy other people's fighting equipment (Spider-man's webs, Wolverine's claws, Cap's shield etc...). Whether they copy UDON's design exactly (unlikely as movies always like to do their own thing) or not it should definitely be the basis for his suit.
As I said before one of the great things about Taskmaster is he walks that grey line between good and evil. Thus you have a lot of room to play with him character wise. One problem is fitting him into the Marvel timeline as we already have the Avengers and other Marvel-verse movies so establishing a timeline is key. There are multiple ways of creating a plot for Taskmaster this is just my idea for it:
The whole movie takes place a few years before the Avengers before movies like Iron Man, Thor etc.... Nick Fury has just become head of SHIELD and of course to prove he is up to the challenge wants to make his mark. HYDRA as we saw in Captain America the first Avenger is actually still operating under the radar in modern times but has evolved beyond a simple R&D department into a fully fledged terrorist organization. Fury decides that HYDRA must be dealt with and sends in his best agent and current SHIELD drill master at the time Tony Masters. His task is to infiltrate HYDRA and feed information back to SHIELD. Before however Masters agrees to undergo a procedure designed to increase his memory, cognitive functions and give him an eidetic memory. This would mean that he would be able to remember anything he saw in HYDRA without the need to steal files and risk discovery.
Months after he is posted in HYDRA things start to go wrong. The expansion of his mind allowed him to retain huge amounts of information however gradually he starts losing the rest of his memories as the vast amounts of information he stored from HYDRA overwrites everything else until one day he wakes up with no memory of SHIELD at all and believe's himself to be a HYDRA agent. So of course doesn't feed Fury anymore information. Fury assumes when Taskmaster stops making contact that he was compromised and killed. Due to his ability to instantly remember anything he see's (including fighting styles) Masters is chosen by the current head of HYDRA, Kraken to train HYDRA agents including his adoptive daughter Viper and is given the UDON style stealth suit and gadgets as a gift for his services. After a while Kraken notices that SHIELD has somehow gained information on HYDRA due to SHIELD agents appearing at key points in HYDRA business transactions and assign's Taskmaster to find out who the leak is and plug it. During his digging Taskmaster comes across a video surveillance tape that had been modified in such a slight way that anyone but him would probably have missed it. He manages to pull up the original surveillance tape and is horrified to see himself breaking into HYDRA security systems and stealing information with the use of a flash drive and hiding it in his quarters (when the video was taken Masters was panicking as he realized he was losing his memory and knew the only sure way of keeping the information was to store it somewhere other than his head. His panic was what caused him to poorly edit the video).
Unfortunately for Taskmaster as he hadn't been expecting to see himself there he'd played the video in the presence of Kraken and other HYDRA members. Of course they quickly turn on him and Taskmaster is forced to fight his way out just before stopping by his quarters and taking the flash drive with him. SHIELD however had been keeping tabs on HYDRA bases mainly due to Fury's guilt at getting Tony killed. As Taskmaster flees the HYDRA base a SHIELD agent's scanner picks up the flash drive as a piece of SHIELD technology. Upon informing Fury that someone just came out of HYDRA with a piece of SHIELD tech he sends a squad of agents after Taskmaster (of course due to the suit Nick doesn't recognize him as Masters). Both HYDRA and SHIELD then proceed to hunt down Taskmaster. HYDRA to kill him for his betrayal and retrieve the information on the flash drive and SHIELD to obtain the piece of tech they know was Master's and most likely has more HYDRA information on it. During the course of the film he gradually begins to remember who he is as he breaks into the flash drive and seeing the information stored there. When Fury realizes that his agents are failing to recover the drive he sends in his two new best operatives to hunt down Taskmaster. Black Widow and Hawkeye.
By now Taskmaster is fed up of people trying to kill him and lures both HYDRA and SHIELD into one area (heck you be clever and make that place somewhere in Budapest to match the quote from the Avengers about Black Widow and Hawkeye having a lot of trouble there). Which breaks out into a fight. The black and white video we see in The Avengers movie of Black Widow and Hawkeye fighting side by side could have been taken during this battle as we don't see who is shooting at them (another good way to tie in the Avengers). During the chaos of the fight Taskmaster tracks down Kraken and kills him knowing that is the only way to get HYDRA to leave him alone.
After the fight only Taskmaster, Black Widow and Hawkeye are left standing and the duo attack Taskmaster not knowing who he is. During the fight Black Widow see's how he predicts their every movement and that he knows exactly how she fights. This leads to a flashback and she realizes who he is as Black Widow was just an initiate before Taskmaster disappeared and he had been the drill master at SHIELD at the time thus Taskmaster had been her trainer after Barton had brought her into SHIELD. Realizing this is why they aren't beating Taskmaster she stops the fight just as more SHIELD agents arrive. Now knowing exactly who he is Taskmaster gives Fury the flash drive but still holding a grudge against Fury for just leaving him for dead says he wants nothing more to with SHIELD. The film ends with Taskmaster becoming a mercenary and Viper now the new head of HYDRA is seen over Kraken's dead body vowing to find Taskmaster and kill him for betraying them.
The part about how Taskmaster gained his powers and about him being a SHIELD agent is only revealed nearer the end of the film so that through the whole thing you are basically in the same boat as Taskmaster. Two agencies are hunting him and you have no idea whats going on until later on where it pieces together. This is of course a very very basic outline and there are so many other ways this could be done.
Director: There's only one person who can direct a film about an amnesiac killer and make it stunning and thats Paul Greengrass the director of The Bourne Supremacy and Ultimatum. I can see a Marvel/Bourne hybrid looking absolutely awesome. Greengrass knows how to deal with characters exactly like this!
Stunt/Fight Choreographer: Nicholas Powell. He was the fight choreographer for the Bourne Identity and won best fight choreography for it. He has also won multiple other awards in this are for different films. Some of his work includes: Push, War, 28 Days Later and the Last Samurai. My hope is that he would give Taskmaster the brutal efficiency in hand to hand he is known for.
Fury, Black Widow and Hawkeye can all be reprised by the actors that were in The Avengers.
Taskmaster: Matt Mullins
I'm a big fan of taking largely unknown actors and giving them a shot. I think Mullins would do a good job as Taskmaster. Reason one is because ontop of being an actor he is a very good martial artist. Another is because of when I saw him in Blood and Bone. The character he played in that (Price) resonated cockyness and suaveness which is exactly how Taskmaster acts in his confrontations. I watched that scene again and I could see him pulling of Taskmasters fighting style and personality brilliantly. For those of you who haven't seen it here is the scene I was referring too:
Kraken: Liam Neeson
Neeson has experience in playing comic book bad-guys in charge of a lot of men *cough*Batman*cough* he also has quite a bit of experience with fighting and action scenes he would play Kraken well in my opinion.
Viper: Diane Kruger
I think she would do a good job as Viper you'll have to imagine her with her hair dyed green lol. She's a pretty solid all round actress.
This was just my take on what route they should take. What I said earlier basically summed it up a Marvel/Bourne hybrid. A Taskmaster stand alone movie is most likely never ever going to happen even though people have expressed interest in the past: http://www.superherohype.com/news/articles/102138-exclusive-joe-carnahan-on-taskmaster-and-preacher I'm just hoping Marvel doesn't fall into the trap only using characters like Iron Man, Thor etc... because there are so many other characters out there that would make great movies an yet they are pushed to one-side in favor of the big guns.
So in a sense while I have used Taskmaster as the example here, this post is mainly about how other lesser known characters if given the chance are just as interesting as the more mainstream ones. However Marvel have been a lot more supple than DC in this area so if any company is going to make a film of one of their lesser known characters I would put my money on them. Not to mention it gives you an opportunity to pad out the universe by including other characters such as Black Widow, Nick Fury etc... and giving more information on how they got where they are today. Anyway this had just been rolling around my head for a bit so I decided to put it out there.
These are just some of the characters I would really want to see in the New 52 in the near future and where they should be.
One of my all time favorite characters. For those of you who don't know who he is shame on you!!! To sum him up briefly, like Zealot Marc Slayton(Backlash) is a kherubim who has the ability to project pisonic constructs in the shape of whips from his wrists, superhuman stats and has the ability to dematerialize himself (basically turning himself into living mist). Slayton was also considered the best hand to hand fighter in Wildstorm out classing Zealot by quite a bit (maybe someone will finally contend the position Batman has been trying to hang onto!). Due to his huge amount of combat experience (he is 3.000 years old and has trained as a ninja, knight, military intelligence operative, USAF Sergeant Rescue Commando, USAF Colonel and special forces operative) he was chosen by Stormwatch to be their drill master and trainer.
The reasons I want to see him (besides him being one of my all time favorite characters) are I liked the dynamic he had with Grifter (who has already appeared in the new 52) and i'd also like to see him and Midnighter finally duke it out as Midnighter was one of the few characters Slayton never got a chance to test himself against. Although we did get to see him beat Zealot.
Where should he appear?
If it ain't broke don't fix it. Put him back in charge of training Stormwatch. This adds another awesome member to an already awesome team. Due to the fact Marc has a very hands on approach to training we would undoubtedly get some good action scenes.
I'm talking about Micheal Lane here not Jean Paul Valley. I always preferred Lane's Azrael to JVP's there was something dark and unhinged about him but at the same time a desire to do good. For those of you who don't know who he is Lane was a police officer who came in contact with the Suit of Sorrows an ancient artifact that gives the wearer the combined strength, speed, experience and knowledge of everyone who has ever worn it (and consider its been around a while thats quite a damn lot) however there is the slight side effect of it attempting to drive you insane by turning you into a religious nutbag in the process. He also wielded a pair of swords that each had a different effect. One magnified the sins you had committed to the point that if you were really evil it would outright kill you. The other made you want to repent your sins and reduced you to a drooling mess depending on the amount.
There are many reasons I want to see him back. He is a very unique character one who is in a constant battle to retain his own sanity so the story potential is very high. Lane was also a sorely under-used character in the DC-verse before so i'm hoping that if he does return we'll see more of him this time.
Where should he appear?
Theres only one logical place for a supernatural based killing machine who hunts and destroys sinners and daemons and thats Justice League Dark. Lane's character makes him a perfect candidate for John and Zee's team.
Back to WS characters. Nemesis like Zealot and Backlash is also a kherubim however her gear is vastly superior to both. Forcefields, grenades that attack your DNA and a sword that can cut up Mr. Majestic like a turkey. She is also an empath which allows her to read peoples emotions and predict attacks much like Cassandra Cain. Nemesis was the former lover of Mr. Majestic who was forced to end his relationship with her due to the councils decision of and arranged relationship with Zealot which of course Nemesis didn't take to kindly to. It was due to this that when she was accused of something she hadn't done Mr. Majestic was all to quick to believe she had committed the crime (yes he is a bit of an a$$). Nemesis was eventually cleared and everyone was happy again until something happened (that I honestly can't remember lol need to reread my WS stuff) that led to her having a fight with Midnighter and Hawksmoor. Which ended with Hawksmoor on the ropes and Nemesis's sword inches from turning Midnighter into less of a man (yep shes that good).
The main reason I want to see her return is that she is a strong female character who is capable of having her own ongoing. Not to mention due to her personality she could be either a hero or villain.
Where should she appear?
As Mr. Majestic has yet to appear (and there are awful rumors that he may not due to Superman) her mythos will obviously have to be changed and this does beg the question as to where she should appear first and the only title I can think of is Stormwatch (won't bother with another picture) as in WS she had feud with a fair few of their members. So bringing her in as a villain (initially) could be the way to go.
The daughter of a Vietnamese woman who was raped and was then as a child sold into slavery. Jade didn't have the best of beginnings. She then proceeded to kill her master and was then adopted by a man named Weng Chan which began her transformation into the psychotic mercenary she became. Jade in the beginning was mainly an enemy of the Teen Titans but she gradually evolved beyond that (partly due to her relationship with Roy Harper) and became the second deadliest assassin in the DC-verse (the first being Lady Shiva).
As you may have noticed from the past two people i've brought up I have a thing for characters with a dark gritty past so this is one of the reasons i'd like to see Cheshire back. Another reason is that she is a solid character with a solid grounding in the previous DC-verse which is something i'd like to see in the new 52-verse aswell.
Where should she appear?
She was originally an enemy of the Teen Titans however she doesn't really have any connection to the current roaster so it would seem random and a little pointless to introduce her there. My choice would to introduce her in Red Hood and the Outlaws she already has a previous connection with Roy Harper from pre-52 and her character does seem to me like it would fit better in Jason Todd's world than the others.
After seeing the Spider-man reboot it got me thinking what other hero’s deserve/need a reboot.
First I’m going to start with the one I personally think needs the reboot the most. I may be slightly biased here as John Constantine is one of my favorite characters.
Dear god where do I begin here. The movie Constantine that came out in 2005 was just……well the problem is although I want to be mad with it I can’t because it was NOT a Hellblazer movie. The only thing that the character in the Constantine movie had in common with the Constantine from the Vertigo comics was his name. That’s it. It’s very hard to be mad at something that literally has no claim or resemblance to original character. The Constantine in the comics is a blond British guy with a cynical sense of humor and an incredible knack for getting out of trouble. The Constantine in the movie well just wasn’t……he just wasn’t.
I can’t even properly describe how I feel about it all I can say he was not Vertigo’s John Constantine at all. He wasn't British, blond and didn't have the sarcastic sense of humor I’m used to seeing in the comics. It’s almost as if the writers and producers sat down and said “lets make a movie about Hellblazer but let it be nothing like Hellblazer” which to me is completely stupid. Why adapt a movie from a comic if you don’t even want to use the material provided. If you’re going to do that go make an original character of your own don’t take another and change it simply because you feel like it. The comics have so many good stories (with 300 issues I should damn well hope so) you could use so there really is non rhyme, reason or excuse as to why they did what they did with Constantine.
Reboot it, set it in Britain and bring back the sarcastic Brit we all know and love.
For its time Spawn was not a terrible movie. However it has aged horribly and the story/lines just don’t come across well now. This is one of the reasons Spawn deserves a reboot despite the fact it has aged badly you can still see the potential in it for a good reboot with the new special effects we have today. The casting in the original film was also good. White and Leguizamo played their parts well and despite its age the CGI for Spawn’s cape still looks awesome even today.
However the storyline and lines are what let it down badly now. Another thing that seems to plague the movie is the fact they attempted to cram too much into one movie. For example Malbogia is undoubtedly the big baddy of age 1 Spawn but he only really becomes relevant nearer the end. For a Spawn movie you don’t need to try to cram the big bag guy in the first movie. The first few issues of age 1 Spawn really highlight the emotional trauma Al Simmons is going through not to mention Violator causing him trouble at every turn. These two elements are all you need to make a good Spawn reboot there's no need to rush into trying to cram everyone into one movie. Let it play out naturally like in the comics, throw in the modern special effects we now have and I can see Spawn making a very good reboot.
There seems to be a trend appearing. Do people have trouble making superhero movies that have connections to the occult/horror?
The first Ghost Rider fell to the thing that kills most movies. The director and producers trying to make it viewable for all audiences. This has and will continue to kill movies for years to come. The problem with Ghost Rider is that he is a character who isn’t for all audiences especially young children thus to treat him as such is stupid and should not be done. Say what you like Ghost Rider is a dark and creepy character and should not be seen with a pearly white skull or drinking jellybeans out of a glass.
I had high hopes for Spirit Of Vengeance however they too were not met unfortunately. However there were some vast improvements. This Ghost Rider was dark and gritty just as he should be. Physically he was also a lot more imposing (no more pretty pearly white skull) and the CGI that accompanied him was great. Even Nicholas Cage’s performance as Johnny Blaze increased dramatically and his “freak out” was a pretty convincing interpretation of what it might be like to be possessed by daemon/angel. This was not enough to save it however. Although this movie did not fall into the “trying to please everyone” area (thank you Neveldine and Tyler) it was let down so badly by the storyline. Go back and have a look at the movie all the raw materials were there for a good movie but for some reason they just weren't assembled properly. Great effects, scarier/grittier Ghost Rider and it was definitely not aimed at all audiences.
What is needed is to take the raw materials they had in SoV and give it to a capable writer and although I thought Nic Cage’s performance had improved I still can’t get on board with him as Johnny Blaze so I would bring in someone new.
Well we’ve left the occult/horror behind us and are now back in normalish regions. There was so much wrong with this movie that I will only go into a few things that plagued me the most. One was the fact that they tried to put to many people in the movie some of whom weren't needed. Another thing that ticked me off was that watching it I got the feeling I was watching an Elektra prequel rather than a DareDevil movie. This only made things worse. The movie is called DareDevil for Christ’s sake before you include more people in the movie ground the main character first. Make sure the audience know who he is. After that you can start enlarging his universe and adding/buffing out more characters. The first movie of any series should focus on showing who the main character is not skimming it quickly in favor of adding more characters. Too many characters have a habit of ruining superhero movies anyway *cough*Spider-man 3*cough*.
Although some comic based movies have pulled off a good movie by changing the characters origin slightly (Iron Man is a good example) they nearly always showed a good connection to the original story. It’s not that DareDevil ignored this as such but a lot of elements such as Elektra’s death and Kingpin finding out Matt’s identity (which were all Millar stories I believe?) while good stories are not his origin and have no real business being there. Bullseye was a good choice of villain but we didn’t need Kingpin too. He is the big bad guy who should really remain in the shadows until the sequel when he can be revealed as the big baddy pulling the strings. The whole movie seemed very rushed to me as if they wanted to cram in as much as possible for no real reason. Again I think this is another movie that fell into the “wanting to please everyone” trap. DareDevil is not Spider-man and as such shouldn't have a light tone to his movie. DareDevil’s world isn’t very child friendly and if you’re going to make a movie about it don’t dumb it down for that benefit. Hell’s Kitchen is a pretty awful place filled with crime, drugs, prostitution etc.. and should have a dark tone to reflect this (the sort of atmosphere that you got when watching The Dark Knight or V For Vendetta). Another thing that plagued me was DareDevil's shiny latex-like suit. Replace that material now!
There are many ways this could be very well adapted in a way that would make a good film however if they truly are insistent making it child-friendly then push that rating as high and as hard as you can.
Now I haven’t actually seen the original one so I can’t really go into how it could be improved however I don’t really need to. If Nick Fury gets a reboot it would be favorable to have absolutely no prior connection to the other what so ever. If there was ever a movie to act as prequel to the Avengers then it’s a movie based on Nick Fury. Get Jackson on board and make a movie about Nick Fury rising through the ranks of S.H.I.E.L.D make it a kind of Jame’s Bond meets Marvel type film. Heavily based on the spying and military intelligence aspect but with a few technologically enhanced villains thrown in (I’m talking Shocker type villains. Not superpowered but with advanced enough tech to show that it is situated in the Marvel-verse and not real life).
This movie was bad…..really bad. Again this is another that has so many faults I’m only going to go into the parts that really annoyed me rather than rant for pages. You may also be wondering why I even think she should have a reboot. Unlike any of the other people I’ve mentioned she isn't a big player in her universe so why do I think she should get a reboot? Well because I want to see more female standalone movies. There are so many female characters that are good enough to have their own movies but for some reason aren't considered.
My hope would be that if the reboot was successful more female lead comic-based movies would follow. This was another movie that fell prey to cramming too many characters into one movie , not to mention bad casting, acting, costumes, choice of villains….i’ll stop there. Suffice to say there was a lot to be disliked about this movie. They should reboot this and completely scrap every idea they had for the previous version. Make the main bad guy the Hand. Not a group of superpowered people. A whole fricking army of ninja’s is enough of a challenge, no need to throw in a guy with living tattoo’s. This movie could also co-inside with DareDevil explaining Elektra’s origin before appearing in a potential DareDevil sequel.
Well I was just sitting here and thinking about the job Webb did on ASM. In all fairness the film was good. In my opinion better than Raimi's although Spider-man 2 is almost as good. However I was also slightly disappointed that Webb decided to replay the origin story. Don't get me wrong I understand why he did it. Webb obviously wanted to leave his mark on the franchise and distance it from the original trilogy but doing the origin story again to me seemed slightly unnecessary when you have another option.
As Spider-man's origin story is so iconic a lot of people even if they aren't fans have a general idea of how it plays out so while replaying it does help to set the stage for the new universe it is also not completely necessary due to the general public awareness. I would have taken a leaf out of the the TV series book. Every TV show involving Spider-man animated or not has one thing in common:
Peter has been Spider-man for a long time when the story begins
Its true whether you look at the 90's TAS or the current (slightly cringable) Ultimate Spider-man or any of the others in between the origin story is never shown full on. We get flashbacks and other elements from it: Uncle Ben's death, the famous quote, the burgler etc.... but there is never a full episode devoted to this particular incident and the reason is that it just isn't needed and can easily be summed up in small scenes. So I would not have replayed the origin story but rather summed it up in brief flashbacks of Uncle Ben and the other incidents. You don't need to show people what they have already seen. It also allows the audience to picture their own version of how it may of happened.
This also brings me to my next point.
Another thing I would have preferred is to try and break this trend that Spider-man always has to be a teenager and always has to go through school. Which has happened in both Movies and also in the more modern Spider-man series (Spider-man TNAS, Spectacular and Ultimate). One of the reasons I liked the 90's TAS was because they weren't afraid to use a Peter who was no longer a child (I believe he was in his mid-twenties during TAS?) but still had his sense of humor just with a dose of maturity thrown in. Despite the fact that I didn't like Spider-man Unlimited I did like the fact they stuck with an adult Peter Parker and didn't bow to what has almost become a stereotype in the Spider-man cinematic and TV franchise.
I'm not sure why Marvel feels the need to make him a kid in all mainstream media now (except comics). I assume its because they think it makes him accessible to a younger audience? Well guess what when I saw the 90's TAS I could only have been about 9-10 and not once did I think that it would have been better if Spider-man was my age. The thought didn't even cross my mind. So this nigh-stereotypical view that Spider-man has to always be in his teens for the movie or TV series to work is blatantly wrong. Making him older also frees up his character a lot more. In my opinion this was a missed opportunity on Webb's part. With Raimi's Spider-man having literally just finished everyone had a very good idea of the Spider-man mythos. It was a brilliant chance to take a new swing (pun not intended) on the franchise and not start with the origin story we already know. Unfortunately this was not so.
His personality and job
Setting the film on an older more experienced Spider-man means we lose all that unnecessary stuff like learning curbs etc.. Despite in the comics being a character who is hugely devoted to responsibility (apart from a piece of PIS involving the Devil that we shall all pretend never happened) in the films he is largely portrayed as the opposite. In Raimi's trilogy especially the 3rd he was a bit of a jerk and in ASM as much as I liked it he was still the kid who promised to stay away from someone he loved so they wouldn't get hurt to their dying god damn dad and just let that role off his back a few scenes later. Doesn't seem very responsible to me although it could be argued that in Webb's ASM this was down to Peter being young and impetuous and still having a lot to learn. This is why having an older Spider-man would be great as we skip all the crying and learning curbs he had as a kid allowing his character to develop more rather than isolating him in child form. My two favorite moments in Spider-man's career life where when he was a freelance photographer (mainly because of Jameson) and when he became a science teacher at Midtown High.
As Peter's job as a freelancer is more closely associated with young Peter I would have had him set him up as the teacher in Midtown High. This in itself opens up good character development as Peter didn't like high-school (mainly because of a certain blond bully who is now running around wearing his nemesis) and opens the plot up to the flashbacks I talked about earlier so that his origin can be summed up and him using his sense of responsibility to try and help children in his class that maybe going through the same thing he did. It also opens up his other heroic side outside the costume. Which is quite prevalent in the comics (the best example being in the Shade arc). Putting Spider-man in this position also gives the plot another danger. Despite having best intentions at heart (wanting to pass on his knowledge and help children learn) he has also placed them between himself should a villain track him to his school and burst in on him and his class mid-lesson.
The one problem encountered with setting it with an older Peter is that we have to assume that he has already taken on super-villains in the past. So the villain you want for this film is one who doesn't play a huge part in the Spider-man mythos that he must have already appeared but is however still a very frightening and recognizable villain. To me the guy who fits this bill is the Scorpion. He is not a huge player in the grand scheme of Spider-man but he is none the less a very dangerous opponent. It is also in keeping with the whole animal theme that seems to go on in Spider-man's world (Vulture, Doctor Octopus, Rhino etc...) it also pits someone who has powers similar yet superior to Peter's because of the animal they are derived from. The only thing in the insect would I can think of that seems more dangerous than a spider is a scorpion. How Scorpion can be adapted into the film is also very versatile. He could be a super-powered individual like Peter or he could just be a guy in a robotic suit that grants him enhanced stats. Due to his character versatility where Scorpion comes from is also open. He could be a military experiment conducted by a certain Mr. Smythe, an Oscorp employee or heck even a mercenary hired to capture or kill the poor webhead.
Who should play him? One thing I liked about ASM was that they didn't use a really well known actor as Peter Parker this meant they had more to lose by doing it and the quality of the acting was high. My first thoughts were Timothy Olyphant (Hitman) or Vin Diesel (Fast and Furious) mainly because of their physical similarity to Gargan in the comics but finally I decided on Wentworth Millar (Prison Break). While not as physically muscular as the other two he is in my opinion the better actor and does still bare the resemblance to Gargan. Another thing that people seem to forget is that Gargan isn't exactly a muscle bound freak. In his first appearance he wasn't much bigger than Peter himself which was supposed to be the case. Just like Peter he was supposed to be sleek and agile but also physically stronger. Only recently thanks to Smythe's new suit has he become a hulking metal behemoth.
The Supporting Cast
This part is going to be very brief as the other movies have actually dealt with Peter's supporting cast very well. I have no complaints with how Aunt May has been portrayed by both actress's. Both Uncle Ben's where also great in my opinion so I would not be opposed to either Harris or Field coming back to play Aunt May and Robertson or Sheen returning as Uncle Ben. Not to mention Simmons should definitely come back as J.Jonah Jameson! He was the absolute best thing about the original Spider-man trilogy!
Due to the time-set of the film however Gwen would be a no-go due her dying when Peter was still quite young (this could be revisited over the course of the franchise as flashbacks) so of course Mary Jane is the logical choice. I didn't like Dunst as Mary Jane at all. The Mary Jane in the original trilogy was not the strong confident one from the comics. I won't go into it anymore than that as there was so much I disliked about her portrayal I risk ranting! To put it bluntly we need the Mary Jane who beat the crap out of the Chameleon with a baseball bat, the one who slapped god damn Wolverine and pulled a gun on someone pretending to be her husband. Not one who breaks down and gives up at every turn. She does not need to instantly be Spider-man's love interest in the film either as in the mythos due to her years of living next to Mr. Parker she saw Spider-man climbing into his window multiple times and put two and two together and decided to remain friends but try to keep him at a distance at the same time. So while it is inevitable they will eventually end up together why rush it? You already have enough supporting cast and plot (Peter's teacher job etc...) to keep it interesting. Simply adapt it like the comics where Peter was interested in her but she was trying to keep him at a distance no need to force it.
As to who should play her I honestly had trouble thinking of someone who fitted the profile. Until a few nights ago when I happened to catch a film with some friends called Catch .44 which wasn't a bad film actually. I have a habit after seeing a film I liked of going online and looking at the cast/creative team to see if they have made any other films I might like (you'd be surprised how many films i've found that way lol) anyway one of the characters in the film was played by and actress called Deborah Ann Woll which at the time hadn't stuck me at all then I happened to hit a photo of her during my search for a film and it surprised me how much she resembled Mary Jane physically (the film threw me as she had brown hair in it). So given her performance in that and her physical resemblance to Mary Jane I would go with her. i'll stop with the supporting cast there as this just a basic outline and I can't be bothered to go into detail.
Who plays Peter?
As I said at the very beginning my whole goal is to simply undo the stereotype that Spider-man has to be a teenager to be accessible to the entire audience. Parker is first and foremost an average guy so choosing some muscle bound hunky idiot (that Hollywood seems to be mainly comprised of nowadays) is a complete no-go. Andrew Garfield did stellar work as Peter but he seems to lack the slightly more adult look and while Peter even in comics has a boyish look about him he doesn't look like a teenager which to me Garfield does. However besides the skateboard and brief emo phase in ASM Andrew portrayed him perfectly as the nerd and slightly insecure guy he is. The only guy I could think of who fitted the profile I have in my head is Justin Bartha (National Treasure, The Hangover). For those of you who haven't seen National Treasure Justin's character was the source of comic-relief and the nerd of the group. He basically played Peter Parker but in another film and without the spider-powers. He looks the right age and basically played Peter Parker's character in another movie and did a good job of it at that. I'm confident he could pull Spider-man off.
As I have mentioned multiple times in this post I really really really want to kill this stereotype that Peter has to be a teenager. It's getting repetitive and annoying Spider-man doesn't need to be in high-school to be relatable he just has to be the same character he is in the comics. There is also no need to deviate into another realm of the Spider-verse. Spider-man doesn't need to be a cross-species and this whole complicated idea on how to approach his origin without butchering it can be avoided simply by not doing it as it has already been done. People don't need to see what they've already seen. Nor does the villain need to be someone integrated with Peter's personal life which has been the trend with every villain thus far. For once i'd like to see Peter face someone he has had no previous contact with. This puts him in a position he hasn't been in during any of the previous movies. One where he is facing a complete unknown someone he can't use his knowledge to predict or use against him. Forcing poor old webs to think on his feet.
I am happy with where Webb is taking the franchise and I hope the next two movies he turns out are as good if not better than the first! This is just something that has been nagging at me for a while so I thought i'd get it out in the open.
As a part Kherubim Marc has superhuman speed and agility.
Disappearing in front of 2 men at nigh point blank range before killing them:
Goes through Stormwatch's training room with ease. They even comment that he is the fastest member they have had thus far:
Easily evades Savage Dragon's shots:
More feats of Speed and agility:
In his 3000 years on earth he has been a ninja, knight, military intelligence operative, USAF Sergeant Rescue Commando, USAF Colonel, special forces operative, Stormwatch drill master and leader of WildCorps. Due to all this he is considered the best unarmed fighter in Wildstorm.
Easily takes out some thugs at a bar:
Recall's his ninja training while hallucinating:
Beats Battalion easily in H2H as soon as he stops holding back:
Toys with a Special Operative before one-shotting her:
During a sparring match with Zealot its is commented that he is a better hand to hand fighter than she is. Despite the fact that Slayton is not a full Kherubim and that he is also less than half her age:
In another fight with Zealot, Marc takes her down with relative ease despite the fact that he hadn't trained in a long time. This is the same Zealot that went for a 3 hour hand to hand fight with Midnighter:
Takes down multiple Stormwatch members in a training match while dodging lasers at the same time:
Takes down a super powered human with ease:
Takes down 3 superpowered brutes with relative ease:
Slayton also uses stealth a lot in his confrontations and its not uncommon for him to take out the enemy before they even know he's there:
Backlash's Gen-factor allows him to de-materialize on command rendering him intangible.
Backlash uses this ability a lot to disappear and take the enemy by surprise:
Another use is it allows him to escape from situations that would otherwise incapacitate him. Chains, ropes, enemy grasp etc...
He can also use this ability to infiltrate buildings undetected:
As he can mist himself on command it can render stabbing weapons useless:
Backlash's can project his ability onto other people not just himself:
Marc can also use this ability to enter people's bodies and tear his way out from the inside:
As a part Kherubim and his Gen-Factor Marc has superhuman durability.
Survives an explosion:
Due to his misting Backlash can survive huge falls and explosions without harm:
Survives being incinerated:
Survives a blast from Helspont who comments on his power:
Survives being sucked into space with no sign of discomfort:
Slayton is superhumanly strong and wields a pair of pisonically charged whips that can erupt from his hands.
Punches through bullet proof glass and destroys a few robots:
Takes a robot apart with his bare hands:
Knocks a wall down with his whips:
His whips are strong enough to 1-shot a military APC and Calobis (deamonite):
His Whips can be used to restrain people. They were even strong enough to hold Helspont in place briefly:
Telepath's get a psychic backlash (yay pun) if they attempt to enter his mind:
Backalsh can send his psionic energy through his whips to incapacitate or kill people:
Marc can also release his psionic powers in the form of telekinesis which was strong enough to force Helspont back:
Ok to start off with this not a theory post and no new information on who Superior will be has been provided to me this is just my opinion on why O'Hara should be Spider-man.
He's not all that different from Peter:
It may seem like an odd thing to say but his attitude and even how he looks physically are quite close to Peter's. Now you may wonder why this matters and in truth it shouldn't but for the most part people have trouble with drastic change. Miguel is similar in physical features enough for most people to swallow the change. Of course this is entirely dependent on artistic interpretation but all the basic features are there. Similar face, similar height, similar hair etc.... Even if we leave the physical side behind his morals aren't that different from Peter's. Yes he has a tendency to be impulsive and slightly less forgiving to his enemies but what we have to take into consideration is that Miguel had no heroic motivation to become Spider-man. He was the victim of Tyler Stone so vengeance was his main motivation. To me Miguel is how Peter was just before catching his Uncle's killer. Angry, impulsive and even a little cocky at times. With no good old Uncle for Miguel to aspire too he has a tendency to react without thinking and this has left quite a few of his villains badly injured or sometimes dead but would Peter Parker have been any different had he not had his Uncle to base his morals from? Probably not. Without his Uncle and with all that power Peter most likely would have gone on to badly injure and kill a few of his enemies by accident.
Despite this Miguel is not malicious and shows shock and even horror at what he does on occasion. For the most part he is a good guy but just has some anger issues. If you needed further proof that he isn't as bad as he comes across he was able to lift Thor's Mjolnir so i'm pretty sure that's a good qualification!
Miguel is also a very gifted geneticist so we would not lose the scientific side from Spider-man. Another interesting thing is that over the course of the 2099-verse Miguel was introduced to the "With great power comes great responsibility" line so even though he doesn't take it as seriously as Peter if Miguel were to replace him we wouldn't lose that famous quote from the Spider-man mythos and it gives Miguel a chance to grow and develop on this basis.
One thing that has people worried is that they think they will lose the old Spider-man who made quips during his fights and while Miguel is often portrayed as the strong silent type he does have a sense of humor so it wouldn't be hard to push this into his personality a bit more.
How he is different to Peter:
Despite the similarities Miguel is his own character and I have never thought of him as Peter Parker 2.0. Peter is always portrayed (sometimes wrongly) as a kid in adults clothing. Miguel certainly is not. His view on the world is slightly larger than Peter's as at one point he became the head of Alchemax's research and development department so he tends to see things in a more serious business-like quality. This is something Peter has never had the opportunity to do. Although he recently got a job at Horizon Labs that still pales in comparison to being head of one of the biggest genetics companies in the 2099-verse. So to put it bluntly he is more of an adult than Peter is but then again perhaps Peter could be if the writers actually gave him a chance.
Although Miguel doesn't intentionally kill in random encounters with his rogues there have been instances where he has gone in completely prepared to kill. This is something Peter no matter the circumstances would ever do. If Peter gets pushed too far he tends to snap and generally beat the hell out of anything that gets in his way. Miguel on the other hand becomes cold, calculating and ruthless applying that scientific mind to slightly less amiable actions. Suffice to say if Miguel were to take over he would approach Peter's villains a lot differently than Pete did and would adopt a more predator hunting its prey attitude to the whole thing.
Peter has a tendency to be quite reserved and sometimes shy (out of the costume that is) where as Miguel is the opposite he seems to say what he's thinking no matter the circumstances which has in the past landed him in hot water (in and out of the costume) by telling people exactly what he thinks of them. This could create some very interesting dialogue with Peter's supporting cast, especially in the Avengers where Spider-man is basically seen but not heard (unless the writer decides to throw in a joke). If Miguel were to become the new Spider-man then he would make his presence known on the Avengers and would tell them bluntly if he thought their idea was stupid which could put him on edge with a few members of the team leading to some interesting side-stories.
Miguel unlike Peter is also at near constant risk from exposure due to his powers. Peter's powers are quite subtle and can be hidden well when out of the costume. Miguel's on the other hand are not. For one he has claws protruding from his hands and feet (which he uses to scale walls) meaning normal everyday things can be a challenge. Unlike Wolverine's these claws are not retractable. Miguel can flatten them against his fingers to make them less noticeable but he cannot hide them entirely. Meaning that if he doesn't concentrate he could end up slicing through nearly anything he touches. He also has elongated canine teeth (essentially fangs) that can inject venom through a bite. These will be hard to hide from people who take a good look at him.
If that wasn't hard enough to hide Miguel also has another problem. Instead of the good old spider-sense Miguel has enhanced senses. These are very effective and have in the past allowed Miguel to hear a gunshot, pinpoint exactly where it was fired from and avoid getting hit at the same time. These senses come at a cost however, due to his enhanced vision Miguel's eyes are bright red. This means that Miguel in the 616-verse he would have to either wear glasses or invent some very big contact lenses!
Miguel in my opinion has proven that he can be Spider-man and not just a Peter Parker knock-off. His morals and attitude while not a million miles away from Peter's are different but not different to the extent that we would lose the Spider-man we all know and love. He would still be scientifically gifted, funny (to a certain extent) and a good guy at heart except with all of Miguel's qualities thrown in. the fact that his powers are so pronounced also means that hiding his identity will be a very big task so a lot of stories could divulged from this very problem. I personally would love it if Miguel became the new Spider-man and hey if you don't like him its not like Peter Parker will be gone for good. This is Marvel after all.