Rules for depicting Spiderman in film are grimly bland


Welcome to the risk-averse, ersatz world of heroic characterization when hundreds of millions of dollars are on the line.

Why are the Spider-Man movies so bad? Maybe it's because the character has become stale, locked down by arbitrary contractual definitions? A leaked agreement between Marvel and Sony shows us why Peter Parker always looks like Peter Parker. … [the] legal licensing agreement between entertainment giants Sony Pictures and Marvel, released during the leak of the former, shows that the beloved superhero absolutely cannot be certain things, including black or gay. These mandatory and forbidden traits are spelled out individually

Comics themselves are doing much better, it must be pointed out, with all sorts of diversity creeping into the paper casts.

If you're angry that Spiderman can't be black, gay or naughty in flicks, however, I humbly suggest examining your desire for representation in the umpteenth commercial regurgitation of your grandparents' least-favorite Marvel character. Trying to take the 20th century out of superhero comics is like trying to lick shit out of a Kong toy. Make something new.


This article originally misspelled the name of the toy from which it is difficult to lick shit. Trying to remove the twentieth century from superhero comics is like trying to lick shit from a Kong toy, not a cong toy. Boing Boing regrets the error.