Superhero fatigue is real. For many of us, it’s getting increasingly difficult to keep track of all the comic book movies on the horizon – they just keep coming so thick and fast that it’s difficult to remember all of them, or to even care.
If the disappointing box office takings from “Justice League” prove anything, it’s that even the big tentpole movies are not sure-fire hits anymore. There’s just too much competition for every single superhero film to prove a success.
One superhero that’s in danger of feeling over-exposed and stale is Spider-Man. While his recent reboot at the hands of Marvel Studios has proven, by and large, to be a relative success, it’s hard to escape the fact that the past fifteen years have seen seven movies starring the character, and their batting average isn’t fantastic.
“Spider-Man” felt fresh and exciting, while “Spider-Man 2” improved on the initial formula.
“Spider-Man 3” quickly became a cultural pariah, while the “Amazing Spider-Man” movies didn’t do enough original things to make audiences really care.
Even “Spider-Man: Homecoming” suffers a bit from feeling formulaic. It’s light and fluffy, but ultimately, it’s not really all that different, visually and thematically, from anything we’ve had before. With “Infinity War”, “Avengers 4”, and “Homecoming 2” all turning up over the next few years, there’s a danger that audiences might just get sick of Peter Parker and his endless arachnid adventures. This is to say nothing of the ancillary characters that are getting their own movies, like Venom and Black Cat.
The news that Sony was working on an animated “Spider-Man” movie always felt a little disinteresting. Where would this movie fit with so many other Spidey films on the movie landscape, and with even more comic book superhero movies crowding theaters beyond that. It seemed like this film would be little more than a distraction; an opportunity to get a few extra bucks out of fans of the character before “Homecoming 2” arrived.
Then, the trailer dropped over the weekend, and everything changed.
Without a doubt, this movie trailer is the most stylish, powerful, emotionally resonant thing that the comic book movie genre has produced in years.
Sure, the “Thor: Rangarok” trailer had a cool song, and the “Justice League” trailer teased the ultimate superhero team-up, but they both pale in comparison to the sheer beauty and originality that “Spider-Man: Enter the Spider-Verse” shows off.
The nice thing about creating everything for this movie in the computer, and aiming for an animated style, is that the film can have a very exaggerated, overly polished look that’s removed from reality far enough to be distinct and original.
The film trailer is gorgeous – every shot sparkles with color and vibrancy.
That said, what really makes this trailer stand out is the emotion; the heart; that’s present. We don’t see Miles Morales utter more than a few words, right at the end, but we have a feel for his character that goes beyond what we normally get from trailers.
Miles is a small, tiny person in a big, unfeeling, lonely city. He’s swept up in the draft created by a subway train, and lost in a sea of neon as he crouches on the side of a skyscraper.
He’s also filled with excitement, nervousness, and exhilaration at pulling off some successful webswinging. He’s able to convey a far deeper, richer sense of character than we’ve seen from any Spider-Man since Tobey Maguire.
Sure, Andrew Garfield was cool, and Tom Holland is charismatic, but this animated Miles Morales is earnest, and that makes him far more interesting.
It helps that we’re getting a different Spider-Man here. Miles replaced Peter in the “Ultimate Spider-Man” comics several years ago now, after the original Wall Crawler was killed by the Green Goblin.
The character has a different backstory and family life, and his own unique spin on life as the Web-Head. He’s proven to be a fan-favorite, to the point that audiences have been calling out to see him on the big screen for some time.
Then there’s the movie’s title – “Enter the Spider-Verse”. Any fan of “Spider-Man” comics or cartoons will be able to explain that the “Spider-Verse” storyline see different Spider-Men from parallel dimensions teaming up together to defeat a Big Bad.
While this is a risky story to adapt for the big screen, it’s one that ought to work well in animation, where things don’t necessarily need to seem realistic. It’ll also be possible to try out a variety of different looks and feels for New York, as Spider-Man web-swings between alternate worlds.
We’re also probably going to get some other popular Spider-Men and Women from throughout the history of comics. The obvious choice is Spider-Gwen, an alternate universe version of Gwen Stacy who got bitten by the radioactive spider instead of Peter.
This movie feels like it’s come out of nowhere to instantly become the most exciting prospect in a while. There’ll be a lot of new, fresh, original ideas bouncing around in here, which could well add some needed variety to the modern comic book movie scene.
It remains to be seen whether the movie will live up to the hype – we’ll have to wait until next year to find out – but in the meantime, this trailer is well worth watching on repeat.