Well this really was a treat. After the enjoyably grim Endgame, Marvel/Disney have given the fans a bit of much-needed light relief.
The film follows Peter Parker on a whirlwind trip around Europe, during which the teenage superhero has to come to terms with the loss of his mentor, raging hormones, and a global threat in the form of elemental monsters from an alternate dimension.
Yes, there’s a lot going on, but the writers have managed to hold it all together (just), without wandering too far from the main ‘beat the bad guys’ plot line.
Yes, it’s a cartoon, and yes, I’m going to review it. I got a cheap Wednesday seat at the local multiplex, and I thought, why the hell not.
So what’s the deal here? Okay, the story is set in an alternative dimension where Spider-man is … different. Following the obligatory lab accident in a facility owned by the obligatory billionaire super-villain, the walls between dimensions are punctured, and Spider-folk from other realities start pouring through. The home-team Spider-man has to stop the villain and get his counterparts home … and that’s all I can say.
So what’s it like? Well, as I said, it’s a cartoon, so I wasn’t expecting to be blown away; but you know what? I think it was …
So you leave comics for a few years, come back and everything’s changed, and not necessarily for the better. I’ve been a fan of Spider-man since… well, since I was younger than he is now. In the good old days, Peter Parker bumbled through life, jobs, education, ulcers, women, other superheroes and a whole raft of unlikely villains who, truth told, should have cleaned his clock at every outing. Still, being possessed of weird powers derived from a creepy-crawly, a genius-level intellect (his own hard work, not a mutation or the after-effect of being bitten by a radioactive Stephen Hawking) was enough to dispatch enemies with fearsome names like The Rhino, the Scorpion, Doctor Octopus, and the somewhat less fearsome Tinkerer; there was even a super-villain called The Fly; things were never going to end well for that fella.
Yup, the good old days.
Fast forward a few years, after the wilderness period of high literature and arty hats, and I’m back reading comics, and Spider-man has changed beyond all recognition. Well, I say ‘all recognition’, but that’s not strictly true. I do recognise him: he looks a lot like Batman.