The Unspectacular Spider-Man



Spider-Man was (and remains) my single favorite comic-book hero, and yet I can't seem to get excited about the reboot. I recently watched the trailer and got some sense for why--it really just feels old. Maybe it's because Spider-Man is the original patron-saint of nerds, but there's something limiting about the sense that he can't actually grow up.

I was thinking, this weekend, about arcs I'd like to see in the movie, but most of them go away from the core of what most people consider Spider-Man to really be about. There are a lot of reasons for why you wouldn't want to do, say, Kraven's Last Hunt, but among them is the fact that the story seems far removed from what most folks consider the essence of Spider-Man--goofy teenage years, great power/great responsibility, etc.

It also could simply be that I'm over-exposed to Spider-Man. I didn't read much Batman, but his various iterations, from Tim Burton to Christopher Nolan actually felt different. I'd throw Bruce Timm in there. I'd also add that X-Men: First Class also felt different--even from the trailers. Perhaps it's the ability to throw in new characters. I don't know. I just feel really "meh" about it.

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Ta-Nehisi Coates is a national correspondent at The Atlantic, where he writes about culture, politics, and social issues. He is the author of the memoir The Beautiful Struggle.

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