"U.S.Avengers": A Guide to Marvel's New Patriotic Superhero Team
When I see Beast Kingdom’s articulated Egg Attack Spider-Man figure, I can’t help but think of that Evian commercial from earlier this year that introduced Spider-Baby, the pint-sized mirror version of the wall-crawler. After all, the proportions are similar, even if the musculature differs. Plus, I’m pretty sure — pretty sure — that Spider-Baby’s hands aren’t exchangeable.
In any case, the 6-inch figure comes complete with five sets of hands and three web-fluid attachments … and an $85 price tag. Curiously, despite it being tied to The Amazing Spider-Man 2, Egg Attack Spider-Man won’t be released in Japan until April, a year after the film’s premiere.
The folks at How It Should Have Ended produce a lot of videos suggesting “fixes” for blockbusters ranging from Iron Man 3 to Frozen to Captain America: The Winter Soldier. But all of the scenes don’t necessarily make it into the final product, which brings us to this newly released “Bonus Bundle.”
“Often we write too many sketches when creating a HISHE and some scenes get left out,” they explain. “Sometimes they are cut because it didn’t fit the flow of the main video. Sometimes they are cut because they aren’t finished in time. Well rather than let them collect dust we bundled them all together in one collection so you can see those extra scenes that might have been.”
This fall has been particularly exceptional television adaptations: The Walking Dead season premiere pulled in more than 17 million viewers, while more than 8 million watched the first episode Gotham, making it Fox’s best fall drama debut in 14 years. More than 6 million raced to see The Flash pilot, giving The CW its highest ratings ever. About 5 million are regularly tuning in for Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., and nearly 3 million for the third season of Arrow.
It’s not limited to live-action series, either: 2 million people watch Teen Titans Go!, and more than 1 million tune in to Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles on Nickelodeon.
On the big screen, all four feature films starring Marvel characters — X-Men: Days of Future Past, Guardians of the Galaxy, Captain America: The Winter Soldier and The Amazing Spider-Man 2 — each grossed more than $700 million each worldwide. So far, comic book movies have generated more than $3.8 billion dollars this year. While it’s unknown how many of those dollars are from repeat viewings, that’s still a lot of people.
If you didn’t care for The Amazing Spider-Man 2, you definitely weren’t alone. But while star Andrew Garfield places the blame for the film’s shortcomings on the studio, the folks at How It Should Have Ended aren’t interested in pointing fingers. Instead, they aim to “fix” the problems, with some suggestions from fans … and maybe a little coercion on Spider-Man’s part.
There’s a pretty good dubstep gag in there, too, and you don’t even have to wait for the drop.
The Amazing Spider-Man star Andrew Garfield has managed to surprise time and again, whether by melting hearts at Comic-Con International 2011 with a heartfelt speech about what the wall-crawler meant to him as a child, shooting hoops with kids while wearing his movie costume, or making waves by asking why the superhero couldn’t be gay.
And Thursday on The Tonight Show he surprised again with an earnest rendition of the theme song from the 1960s Spider-Man animated series, with a little help from host Jimmy Fallon and the Roots.
Marvel and Paris-based mobile game developer Gameloft have released the launch trailer for The Amazing Spider-Man 2, a tie-in to the Sony Pictures movie sequel that pits the wall-crawler against villains ranging from Electro and the Green Goblin to Kraven and Venom.
Available now on iOS and Google Play, the action-adventure follows Spider-Man as he swings through Manhattan in an effort to save New York City from the chaos of a costumed crime wave.
If you were surprised by that promotional campaign by Sony Pictures and the United States Postal Service featuring Stan Lee and Spider-Man, you may want to sit down for this one: Evian stakes out its own Amazing Spider-Man 2 tie-in with a commercial that introduces the world to Spider-Baby, a web-slinging, rope-skipping, dancing infant-sized mirror version of the wall-crawler. The TV spot is either inspired, or completely insane, I can’t decide.
Titled “The Amazing Baby & Me 2,” it’s the latest commercial in Evian’s “Live Young” campaign (aka the baby series).
It’s common for film studios to partner with fast-food chains, cereal manufacturers and soft-drink companies to help market major releases, but here’s a tie-in few likely expected: The United States Postal Service has teamed with Sony Pictures for a campaign to promote Priority Mail and The Amazing Spider-Man 2 — and they’ve enlisted Stan Lee for a little help.
The effort launches with a television commercial (below), featuring appearances by both the wall-crawler and the legendary creator, and includes limited-edition Spider-Man shipping boxes, Spider-Man postage from self-service kiosks, and special signage that extends to USPS vehicles. The campaign will also cast a spotlight on “stories of ‘USPS super heroes’ – real-life Postal Service employees delivering for their customers.”
The TV spot was created by DNA Productions with The Amazing Spider-Man 2 director Marc Webb and commercials/music video director Rich Lee.
Spider-Man and Superman have very similar jobs in the world of comics: Both are the mascots for their respective publishers, both embody what kind of stories those companies tell (from the extremely powerful DC comics to the more personal Marvel style), both are unique in the realm of superheroes (or at least were at the time of their inception), and both underwent fresh reboots recently to update them for a new generation, much to the chagrin of their established fan bases.
On Thursday, we got the trailer for the second dose of Andrew Garfield and his super-excited-to-be-here hairdo swinging above New York City and facing down his next big threat. Or should I say threats, as this will not only continue his journey to find out about his parents but also about OsCorp’s role in their disappearance, making him the enemy of the Osborns plus Electro and the Rhino. We all saw the trailer, right? Spinoff Online has a nifty video with commentary from the actors and director.
After watching it, I wanted to compare the new Spider-Man to the new view we have of Superman, but really that’s just comparing apples and oranges. There are similarities, but the tone, style and message of both heroes are geared for different things. Especially now, with how modern movies are redefining major heroes for more general audiences and what’s in vogue story style-wise, both of these heroes are going to do different things for different people and to compare them would be a little antagonistic. A much better comparison would be looking at the new Spider-Man … and this guy:
Spider-Man co-creator Stan Lee has responded to actor Andrew Garfield’s recent what-if scenario in which Peter Parker could be gay or bisexual, joking, “I figure one sex is enough for anybody.”
Appearing over the weekend at Fandomfest in Louisville, Kentucky, the 90-year-old comics legend appeared caught off-guard by a question from the audience about Garfield’s “request to make Spider-Man bisexual and Mary Jane male.” Lee initially offered a glowing assessment of the actor’s performance in The Amazing Spider-Man, before the question was explained to him.
“He’s becoming bisexual?” Lee exclaimed in disbelief, eliciting roars of laughter from the audience. “Who have you been talking to? Seriously, I don’t know anything about that. And if it’s true, I’m going to make a couple of phone calls. I figure one sex is enough for anybody.”
Garfield, who’s filming The Amazing Spider-Man 2, sparked a good deal of discussion among comics fans when he related a conversation with a producer in which he said, “I was kind of joking, but kind of not joking about MJ. And I was like, ‘What if MJ is a dude?’ Why can’t we discover that Peter is exploring his sexuality? It’s hardly even groundbreaking! … So why can’t he be gay? Why can’t he be into boys?”
If you don’t hear about the super-secret screening at Comic-Con International of a clip from director Marc Webb’s The Amazing Spider-Man 2, you’re certainly not the only one. Fear not, though, as talk-show host Conan O’Brien has you covered.
“They showed it, and it was very private, very secret, and they showed it — fans lost their minds,” he said on last night’s episode of Conan. “They’re not going to show it again. We actually get a hold of the clip. Yes, you’re welcome! […] We got a hold of it, and we’re risking a lot of legal trouble here, but we’re just gonna go for it.”
“I was kind of joking, but kind of not joking about MJ. And I was like, ‘What if MJ is a dude?’ Why can’t we discover that Peter is exploring his sexuality? It’s hardly even groundbreaking! … So why can’t he be gay? Why can’t he be into boys?”
— The Amazing Spider-Man 2 star, and longtime Spider-Man fan, Andrew Garfield, recounting to Entertainment Weekly a conversation he had with producer Matt Tolmach about Mary Jane Watson. (The actor even has a male MJ in mind: Friday Night Lights and Chronicle star Michael B. Jordan.) In the process, Garfield may have just restarted the game of telephone some mainstream-media outlets played in 2011 when Marvel announced that biracial teen Miles Morales would be the new Ultimate Spider-Man.
When he’s not facing Electro or the Rhino, there are few things your friendly neighborhood Spider-Man enjoys more than playing basketball with a couple of local kids.
Taking a break from filming The Amazing Spider-Man 2 in New York City’s Chinatown, star Andrew Garfield headed to a nearby basketball court — in full costume, no less — to take on two pint-sized opponents. And, as the video below shows, they may have gotten the better of him. (As the person who shot the video notes, Garfield’s co-star and girlfriend Emma Stone, aka Gwen Stacy, can also be seen in the video, with the dog.)