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Spider-Man Review – Differences And Similarities Between Movies And Comics

Updated on June 15, 2015

Spider-Man or Peter Parker is one of the most popular comic characters around. Not surprisingly, Hollywood has produced some films based on the Spider-Man character. One of them was Spider-Man in 2002 and The Amazing Spider-Man in 2012.

Although the plot and characters in both films are based on the comics and largely similar, they are not the same. Those who have read the comics may have noticed some differences between the two movies and the comics.


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How the Spider-Man movies and comics are similar

Both movies basically deal with how Peter Parker goes from a normal human being to a superhero with superpowers. Overall, the movies should be familiar to those who have read the comics.

  • All the characters in the movies, such as Peter Parker, Mary Jane Watson, Gwen Stacy, Harry Orborn, Jonah Jameson, Green Goblin and the Lizard, can be found in the comics.
  • In both movies and comics, Peter Parker is a highly intelligent student, who works part-time as a freelance photographer.
  • In both movies, Peter Parker becomes Spider-Man due to being bitten by a spider as is the case in the comics.
  • The role of Uncle Ben and Aunt May is the same as in the comics. They were the ones who raised him.
  • The death of Uncle Ben and how Peter could have prevented it, is also how it played out in the comics.
  • That dramatic event was also the turning point in Peter's decision to try to use his powers to do good.

There are a few differences between the two Spider-Man movies. I'm not sure if it was done deliberately or just a case of not being totally familiar with the comics. But if you've read the comics, you may have noticed them.


Difference: Peter Parker and his girlfriend

In the comics, Peter Parker's first love was Gwen Stacy. It was only after Gwen's death at the hand's of the Green Goblin that Mary Jane Watson became Peter's girlfriend. In the movies, the role of Mary Jane and Gwen are different.

In Spider-Man, Peter's girlfriend is Mary Jane Watson and Gwen Stacy does not play a role. Gwen Stacy does appear in the second sequel as part of the Spider-Man trilogy. In The Amazing Spider-Man, Peter's girlfriend in the beginning is Gwen Stacy as it should be according to the comics.


Difference: Spider-Man and his web-shooters

Spider-Man has the ability to shoot spiderwebs out of his wrists. In both the comics and The Amazing Spider-Man, this ability was invented by Peter himself. He made the devices that he would wear around his wrists that would shoot these spiderwebs.

In Spider-Man, his ability to shoot spiderwebs is organic to him and not artificial as in the comics. The spiderwebs are excreted out of his body and not some device. He acquired it after he was bitten by the spider as one of the powers he has.


My opinion on Spider-Man and The Amazing Spider-Man

In my personal opinion, Spider-Man is a much better movie than The Amazing Spider-Man. Two things really stood out for me. The first movie did a much better job in portraying the death of Uncle Ben as it happened in the comics and the crucial role it has on Peter.

The moral story that with great powers comes great responsibilities is emphasized as it should according to the comics. It's what really turned Peter Parker from someone with powers into the crime-fighting superhero Spider-Man and not the actual bite from the spider itself.

In The Amazing Spider-Man, the scene related to Uncle Ben's death does not measure up to the original one. I think it's watered down and doesn't have as much as impact as it should have. In the comics, this single event would continue to haunt Peter even long after it happened.

I loved the role of Jonah Jameson in the first Spider-Man. The movie portrays him exactly as he is in the comics, including his looks, attitude and demeanor and everything else. His role is one of the strong points in Spider-Man. The Amazing Spider-Man lacks this and it's hurting the movie in my opinion.

I wouldn't say that The Amazing Spider-Man is a bad movie. It's okay and, as someone who knows the comics, I appreciate its efforts to fix some inaccuracies in its predecessor. However, it doesn't come close to matching the original Spider-Man. Spider-Man is the better movie.


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