Reaction to the First Image of the New Spider-man Movie

Columbia Pictures has released the first image from its Spider-man reboot.  It shows Andrew Garfield, the new actor who will be playing Peter Parker and Spidey, in costume, looking pretty beat up after a tough day and night of webslinging superheroics.  My first impression is that the image reminds me of some of artist Steve Ditko's original drawings of Spider-man, a young kid with special powers, struggling to use his new found gifts responsibly while facing the many challenges that teenagers experience on a daily basis.

Andrew Garfield is a lankier actor than Tobey Maguire who did a fine job of playing the character in the first three movies.  In the new image, Garfield definitely looks the part from those early comics -- a scrawny guy, just like writer Stan Lee envisioned and Ditko created on the page, with the weight of the world on his young shoulders. 

The image looks darker than what we saw in the Sam Raimi trilogy, especially the first two films, but we will have to wait and see the movie to really determine its tone.  All we know is that the story will be a relaunch of the series, possibly retelling Spider-man's origin, with Gwen Stacy as Peter Parker's love interest before he meets Mary Jane Watson. 

The costume itself in the first photo doesn't look that much different from the one worn by Maguire.  It seems to have the same texture (and raises the question about how a teenager could create such an intricate costume by himself), but slightly simpler than in the Raimi version.

We see the face of Peter Parker in the torn costume of Spider-man, an image that director Raimi used countless times in his three films.  The photo implies that the new film helmer, Marc Webb, also realizes that, unlike in the comic books, it's tough to show emotion on a face hidden by a mask. 

The pic hints at a movie that will be full of action, drama, and emotion.  Parker wears the Spider-man costume but carries a backpack, showing the duality of his life as he tries to balance his guilt-driven obsession to fight crime in order to avenge the death of his Uncle Ben who was killed by a criminal that Peter failed to stop, and his daily obligations in school, at home, at his part-time job, and in his social life.  The early comics by Ditko and Lee were spectacular and amazing (to use two adjectives linked to Spider-man) because they were full of imagination and exciting action, but they also made Spidey a hero that readers could relate to as he experienced self doubt trying to pay the bills and take care of his Aunt May as he tried to make things work with the girls who came into his life -- you know, all the stuff guys at that age have to juggle: money, school grades, love, and evil supervillains. 

Overall it's a good first image.  But I still need to be convinced that the studio did the right thing by deciding to start the franchise all over again instead of finding a way to continue the saga that Sam Raimi and his star Tobey Maquire were, for the most part, handling so well.  And eventually, when the rights to Spider-man revert to Disney, which now owns Marvel Entertainment, we'll likely see yet another reboot. 

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