4-Color to 35-Millimeter: Spider-Man (1977) and Dr. Strange (1978)


Marvel’s first two films are TV movies that serve as backdoor pilots (one went to series, one didn’t), both of which suffer from problematic origins, bland female leads, and poor pacing. The Great Superhero Movie Rewatch looks at the Nicholas Hammond Spider-Man and the Peter Hooten Dr. Strange.

An excerpt:

In each case, the adaptation removes any sense of character journey. Instead of a Peter Parker who is a nerd who is picked on by other kids, and who sees being a hero as a release, a way to become what puny Parker never could be, we just get an ordinary-ish grad student who is struggling to make ends meet. Instead of a kid who gets heady with power and then has a comeuppance when his newfound arrogance gets his father-figure killed, we just get a guy who gets powers and, uh, becomes a superhero and stuff.

Strange doesn’t go through any real changes. His world changes around him, but he’s still the same guy at the end that he is at the beginning, except now he has powers and an awful costume.

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