Friday, December 21, 2018

AND SO THIS IS CHRISTMAS!

So many holiday classics reappear—like reindeer soaring across the sky—on our television screens every Christmas:  Miracle on 34th Street...It's a Wonderful Life...A Christmas Carol (to name three).  Here at Creation Point we have our own Yuletide tradition, a short Christmas tale of mine called The Truth About Santa Claus:  offered annually as a kind of cyber Christmas present.  My way of wishing all of you who visit this site the happiest of holidays and the most magical of Christmases.  I offer it again this year—along with a trio of wonderful illustrations by my friend and collaborator Vassilis Gogtzilas.  So while you're sitting by the fireplace waiting for Santa to descend, sit back, relax and enjoy!

THE TRUTH ABOUT
SANTA CLAUS

“THERE IS NO SANTA CLAUS!”

He’d been thinking about it for days—ever since he heard Big Mouth Jenny Rizzo announce it on the school bus—and he didn’t believe a word of it, not one word.  (Well, maybe ONE.)  But Cody had to be sure, absolutely, positively sure—

—and that’s why he was hiding behind the couch at midnight on Christmas Eve.



His mother was there, asleep in his dad’s old easy chair, the reds and blues of the Christmas tree lights making her look peaceful and happy and impossibly young.

The tree, by the way, had not ONE SINGLE PRESENT underneath it.

That didn’t make sense.  If there WAS no Santa Claus, if his mother was the one who bought the presents, wrapped the presents, stacked them under the tree, then how come she hadn’t done it?  How come she wasn’t awake RIGHT NOW arranging them all?

He got scared.  Maybe there wasn’t going to BE a Christmas this year.  Maybe Mom had lost her job and they didn’t have any money and so she COULDN’T buy him any presents and—

And then Cody glanced over at the windows and noticed that it was snowing.

Or was it?

If that was snow, it was the WHITEST snow he’d ever seen.  It was snow as bright as moonbeams, as bright as sunlight, as bright as...

Stardust.

Quickly, but quietly (he didn’t want to wake his mother), he scurried to the window and looked out.

It was coming down and coming down and COMING DOWN all across town, whirling and whipping, spinning and gyrating, out of the night sky.  Glowing so brightly that it almost hurt his eyes to look at it.  And Cody saw that it certainly wasn’t snow, and it absolutely wasn’t rain, it wasn’t ANYTHING he’d ever seen before.  But each drop, no...each flake, no... each BALL of glowing WHATEVER IT WAS, seemed to pulse and spin, soar and vibrate, as if it were alive.

And the stuff, the magical WHATEVER IT WAS (and he knew now that it was magic.  He just KNEW), wasn’t collecting on the streets, wasn’t piling up on the rooftops.  It was MELTING INTO (that’s the only way he could put it:  MELTING INTO) every house (no matter how small) and apartment building (no matter how big).




EVERY house and apartment building.

EVERY.

He looked up.

And there it was:  coming RIGHT THROUGH THE CEILING of Apartment 3F, HIS apartment, swirling, like a tornado of light, around the chandelier and then down, down, down—

—STRAIGHT FOR HIS MOTHER.

At first he almost yelled out a warning, “Mom!  Wake up!  MOM!”  But something made him stop.

Instead of yelling he ducked back behind the couch and watched, eyes peering over the top.

Watched as the light-tornado wheeled around his mother, so fast, so bright, that he could hardly even SEE her.  But he COULD see her.  Most of her, anyway.

And what he SAW...

The light poured in through the top of her head, through her eyes, through her chest, through her toes.  It lifted her up—still sleeping!—and carried her out of her chair and across the room.  And as she floated—

—she started to change:

Her hair became white, her nose became red, her belly ballooned like the most pregnant woman in the history of the world.  Her feet grew boots, her head grew a hat, her nightgown grew fur.  An overstuffed sack sprouted, like a lumpy angel’s wing, from her shoulder.  And then—

AndthenandthenandTHEN, it wasn’t his mother there at all, it was him, it was SANTA CLAUS!  STANDING RIGHT THERE IN CODY’S LIVING ROOM!  Santa Claus who, with a laugh (exactly like the laugh Cody always knew he had, only better) and a twinkle in his eyes (exactly like the twinkle he’d always imagined, ONLY BETTER) reached into his sack and pulled out package after package, present after present, and placed them, carefully, like some  Great Artist contemplating his masterpiece, under the tree.

When he was done, Santa Claus stood there, grinning and shaking his head, as if he couldn’t BELIEVE what a beautiful tree this was, how wonderful the presents looked beneath it.  As if this moment was the greatest moment in the history of Christmas, as if this apartment was the only place in all the universes that such a Christmas could ever POSSIBLY happen.

And then the MOST amazing thing happened:

Santa Claus turned.

He turned slowly.  So slowly Cody couldn’t even tell at first that he was moving at all.  And—slowly, SLOWLY—those twinkling eyes, that Smile of smiles, fixed itself on the two boy-eyes peering, in wonder, over the top of the couch.


And what Cody felt then he could never really say:  only that it was better than any present anyone could ever get.  Only that it made his heart so warm it melted like magical WHATEVER IT WAS, trickling down through his whole body.  Only that it made him want to reach out his arms and hug Santa Claus, hug his mother, hug his father (and FORGIVE him too, for running out on them) and his aunts and uncles and cousins (even his Cousin Erskine who was SUCH a pain) and Big Mouth Jenny Rizzo (who really wasn’t so bad most of the time) and all his  friends and teachers and the kid in his karate class who always smelled SO BAD and, embarrassing as it sounds, it made him want to hug everyone and everything in the whole world including rabbits and snakes and trees and lizards and grass and lions and mountains and, yes, the EARTH HERSELF.

Cody wanted to hold that gaze, to keep his eyes locked on Santa’s, forever. (Or longer, if he could.)  Wanted to swim in that incredible feeling, drown in it, till GOD HIMSELF came down to say:  “Enough!”

Except that he blinked.  Just once.  But in that wink of an eye, Santa was gone.  Cody’s mother was asleep in the chair again and, for one terrible moment, the boy thought that the whole thing must have been a dream.

Except, under the tree:  THERE WERE THE PRESENTS.

Except, out the window:  THERE WAS THE SNOW, the rain, the magical WHATEVER IT WAS, shooting up, like a blizzard in reverse, from every house, every apartment building.  Shooting up into the heavens, gathering together like a fireball, like a white-hot comet—

—and fading away into the night:  going, going...

Gone.

Without so much as a tinkling sleigh-bell or a “Ho-ho-ho.”

Not that it mattered.

Cody looked at his mom.

Cody kissed her.

“I love you,” he said.  And he was crying.  Happy tears.  Christmas tears.  Like moonbeams, like sunlight.  Like stardust.

Mom stirred in the chair, smiled the softest sweetest smile Cody had ever seen. “I love you, too,” she said.

And then she drifted back to sleep.

Cody sat at her feet, warming himself, warming his SOUL, by the lights of the tree.

And soon, he, too, was drifting off to sleep.  And as he drifted, a wonderful thought rose up, like a balloon, inside him.  Rose, then POPPED—spreading the thought to every corner of his mind.  Giving him great comfort.  Great delight:

“One day,” the thought whispered, “when you’re all grown-up, when you have children of your own.  ONE DAY,” the thought went on...

“It will be YOUR TURN.”

Merry Christmas.

Story ©copyright 2018 J.M. DeMatteis
Art ©copyright 2018 Vassilis Gogtzilas

37 comments:

  1. A Christmas tradition! Merry Christmas JMD and Creation Pointers!!

    --David

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    1. Thanks David! May all your Christmases be bright!

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  2. Dematteis... there is no such thing as Vassilis Gogtzilas.

    What? That is part of the tradition too.

    I never realized this until this year, but with a little reworking, this could be a horror story... and that is a compliment.

    Yeah, yeah I know, spirit of the holiday finds a way to provide a merry Christmas for the kid. Sure, nice Christmas message, no one except Tom Kaminsky, is denying that.

    But, watching a your mother turn into an obese, elderly, man, and then knowing it will one way being your turn... kind of creepy. Again, a compliment.

    Yes, it is an nice holiday story, but the fact that is could so easily be dark... well, that is how you know it was written by a comic book writer.

    Once again, I want to stress, this is not an attempt to disparage the story in any way. Just a weird little thing I noticed... admittedly not long after watching "I married a Monster from Outer Space."

    You can' run form the genre fiction Dematteis, it has you in its grasp. Even in you sweet little Christmas tale... It... Has.. You.

    Okay, I really might need to take a break from the 50s sci-fi flicks.


    Now, I just need to figure out how to trick you into seeing "Into the Spider Verse." I assume some kind of atomic powered monster would be needed. Perhaps a Praying mantis...made man size... with a serial killer's brain. Yes. I see know way that could do anything but god for the world.

    As for your mentioning of a Christmas Carol as a film, I have actually been wondering if that process has corrupted its interpretation a bit, to a large part of the populace.


    Jack

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    1. You don't have to trick me into seeing SPIDERVERSE, Jack. I've got plans to see it after Christmas with my nephew.

      I've sometimes pondered writing a horror novel, but never a Christmas one. Although A CHRISTMAS CAROL certainly has horror elements, so....

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    2. Wow Dematteis, way to steal my Christmas cheer.

      I was so excited to use a human-insect hybrid and atomic powered... no its fine, I guess.

      As for the Spider-Verse proper,I don't want to oversell it. I will just say while it is very much <Miles story, Peter Parker fans will not be denied a bit. Peter B. Parker is very much the comic spider-man... after a fashion. His story is deeper and more heartfelt than Marvel Comics have allowed in a decade.

      But, A Christmas Carol... I have come to the belief that the interpretations have tainted the story.

      I have made it clear my views on the interpretations of the story, on this site. That they lack some of the resonance of the story.

      It is about NOT doing bad. However, many movies have it that you should do good... so you will be loved. And YES, I believe doing good to be loved is selfish. I believe wanting to be loved is foolish. One should do right, because it is right.

      But Scrooge is a fallen man, not a bad man.

      I decided to reread A Christmas Carol this year (overestimating my time), and I realized why the disconnect.

      In the book... well, serialized novella... it does more to make clear that Scrooge had a fondness for Marley.

      Not surprising, since prose can give deeper meaning easily, at least compared to a movie. But, that early showing of Scrooge's fondness... even friendship... for Marley lays the table for a more sympathetic Scrooge.


      I will also say, I consider the line "there is more of gravy than of grave about yo," one of the finest phrases in English language literature.

      Perhaps that shows my working class roots, but by God, that is who Dickens wrote for! Or at least with an affection for.


      Seriously, Spider-Verse Peer Parker is great. I am not ready to say the Best superhero movie ever, or even the best Spider-MAn movie ever (it has been a while since I saw Spider-Man 2, it wouldn't be fair), but it is enjoyable for any fan of Spider-Man... even us old Peter Parker fans.


      Jack




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    3. I haven't seen INTO THE SPIDER-VERSE yet...but I have a devotion to SPIDER-MAN 2 that borders on religious.

      It just felt like the perfect encapsulation of everything I love about Peter Parker.

      --David

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    4. Not just my favorite Spidey movie, but one of my all time favorite superhero movies...right behind the first Chris Reeve Superman movie.

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    5. I'm not sure any entertainment should inspire a devotion that "borders on religious."

      And it is a fine movie. I was even avoided saying into the SPider-Verse was better than Spider-Man 2. It is great.

      But I will disagree about it being a perfect encapsulation of Peter Parker. I don't believe any live adaption has been. I'm not sure how possible that even is.

      It certainly came close to the core.

      I don't say that Into the Spider-Verse is a better interpretation of Peter Parker, I will say that it covers more parts of who he is. There is funny Pete, cynical Pete, depressed Pete, fun Pete, responsible Pete, in-love Pete, and more.


      They key is to wait for Peter B. Parker. The B. is the most important part.

      In all honesty, while not the direct star (that would be Miles Morales), that Peter Parker (the one with the "B."), has a story anyone over 20 will find worth paying attention to. Will be invested in.

      If you are a comic fan? Look, I would say it is better to see this movie, and decide what you think in comparison to Spider-Man 2, then just citing devotion for that admittedly great film.

      That film ain't changing. No one is arguing it is bad.

      If you want a statement that is more in-line, giving that it is a cartoon, and will seem blasphemous... I'm not sure how many Pixar movies are as touching, and well though tout as Peter B. Parker's arc.

      I don't want to over hype this movie. But I really do believe that, especially if you crave the type of Peter Parker stories the comics stopped writing around, say..2007 (wonder what could have caused that change).


      ack

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    6. I saw SUPERMAN on the big screen for the 40th anniversary re-release. Such a great experience!

      --David

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    7. Just a few more days till I see it, Jack. I'll let you know what I think!

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    8. Jack,

      I think we're pretty much agreed about what we want from Peter Parker's characterization, so your thoughts on the film have me more excited about seeing INTO THE SPIDER-VERSE than I already was.

      --David

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    9. I should warn you Dematteis, doing that may lead to me giving you a lot of opinions on the movie.


      Jack

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    10. So... what is the verdict, Dematteis?


      Jack

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    11. Thoroughly enjoyed it. Entertaining from start to finish. Amazing animation. I knew next to nothing about Miles Morales and was very engaged by the character. But my heart still belongs to Peter.

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    12. I will give you one last chance to speak up, before I nerd all over this film.

      It is only fair.

      Jack

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    13. I thought I just DID speak up: I said I thoroughly enjoyed it. I don't have a deep, philosophical exegesis to offer, just a warm appreciation for a job well done.

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    14. I believe the film could be viewed as a thesis statment on ol' webhead, as well as the love letter to him, his lore and fans.

      There is a lot of pent up nerd on this subject.


      Jack

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    15. Ok Dematteis, but remember that you have waived your ability to prevent this.

      For the matter of time and space, I will include other praise and comments alongside this observation.

      First, let us look at Peter Parker,not Peter B. Parker, the Peter Parker of Miles Morales universe.

      He is incredibly NOT Peter Parker. He technically he is, but he is about as fare from what makes Peter Peter as you can get.

      HE is confident, (in his own words) happy to be Spider-man, and the only thing anyone complains about is that he just disappears after he saves the day.

      Does that sound even remotely like any Peter Parker that has ever felt right? Of course not, Peter is a lovable loser. A bit of a sad sack.

      That is why he dies. In a Spider-Man story, well that can't fly. That type of hero doesn't work. They shouldn't know how to operate in Spider-man's world, so he dies.

      Also, he is practically a Silver Age DC hero. Really think about that. Right down to essentially having a Batcave and Aunt May acting like Alfred.

      That is the exact type of character that Spider-Man (leading the charge with the rest of the Marvel Revolution, as the most popular)supplanted. DC had to change to be more like them, if they wanted to survive.

      Now lets move onto Peter B. Parker. Oh there is so much to unpack here.

      First of all look at ti in comparison to Dark Knight Returns. Now there already is a sort of Spider-man DKR, called Spider-Man: Reign (And is a pretty good read, with unfortunate choice, that unfairly gets stuck in some people's minds), but go with me here.

      If BAtman were pushed to trhe extremes of his personality, he would be overly aggressive and authoritative. Like DKR.

      Peter would have his life stripped away, and fall into deep depression.

      The cause of that depression... the disillusionment of his relationship.

      MJ is still the love of his life. Very important, since MJ is one of teh few love interests that is a major part of a comic character's mythology. If you exclude fellow superfolk, it is really just her and Lois Lane.

      I love Bernie Rosenthal, but she isn't integral to the story of Captain America. It doesn't feel like a malformed story.

      The scenes in Miles' World with him and MJ, and the photo are classic. They show the depth of the caring.

      Back in his world, the relationship is a great symbol of the relationship between Spider-man's fans (MJ) and and how Marvel has decided to use him for the past 10 years (Spidey).

      What was the split about? Kids. Now, in real life there are plenty of good reason to not have kids. Truth.

      continued...

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    16. However, it is also the act that best represents adulthood. Many people say you aren't really an adult until you have one.

      Marvel COMICS has decided to force Peter to be stopped from growing as a character. Meanwhile, the fans want that. Best represented by the Spider-marriage.

      We are MJ saying that we love Peter, not just Peter in a small part of who he is. MJ even calls after they split, showing she still cares. Just like the jilted fans. And like MJ, we are ignored by someone who believes know what is best.

      But lets move on.

      Take a look at his personality. He is aloof. World-weary... even saying he may have saved the world too much.

      He clearly has a huge inferiority complex once he lands on this Earth. He lies to Miles about what his life had become on his Earth (the part where he says he was "doing sit-ups, doing crunches, getting strong" juxtaposed with him eating pizza on a bed was one of my favorite parts).

      He tries to belittle the Spider-Cave. He sort of insults Miles' universe, when they discuss the fries.

      However, it is all clearly wearing on him. Seeing a Spider-man with a perfect life cuts him to teh core. Makes him feel that he was even a loser among Peter Parkers.

      People always wonder if they coukd have been better. Petey B. sees not only it could have... someone did... and worst of all, it was another him.

      His depression is eating him alive, it could even be viewed that he was borderline suicidal. When he plans on sacrificing himself, he says he has nothing to live for.

      Now, these examples of clay feet are what make Peter Parker, Peter Parker. It is his unique outlook on the world.

      However, the potential to be consumed by it is his true greatest enemy. How many ties has he tried to quit (which is why this is also a re-telling of the penultimate Spider-man tale, Amazing Spider-man #50 'Spider-man No More' but I'll come back to that)?

      And just like whenever Spider-Man faces an enemy, he jokes. And Spider-Man jokes a lot in this.

      But not in a normal Spidey way. Not even in a "this is a comedy" way. It is cynical at times.

      The soul... the heart of the Spider is under siege. Nd that is what defines Peter Parker his heart. Unlike Superman or Captain America, who also have that characteristic, his heart is not always a true north. Remember, it did get his uncle killed.

      However, it is what defines him. Most importantly, it cn be effected by his loved ones. MJ's heart is leading him to try and be better again

      And Aunt May, that scene was subtle but great. Peter is nervous to meet her. HE is terrified of what the woman who raised him will think of what he became.


      continued...

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    17. She is what makes him remember he has worth, when she accepts him.

      Most interestingly, his heart is why he is the only one who has faith in Miles. And he does, he tries to sell him.

      In the Spider-Cave, he is the only one who genuinely sees Miles' potential.

      It is only when he listens to his head, over his heart that Peter B. distrusts Miles' potential. Or is heart tells him Miles will come though, if he gives the right push.

      ANd then look at the other Spider-people he is trying to sell Miles too, and just what they say about Spidey.

      Spider-Gwen. She is like a half way stop between teh two Peter PArkers.

      She has a bit of the guilt and grit. However, she is also a bit too together for a Spider-person.

      As such, she resists in a nether realm. She is likable much of the time, but a bit off. She has a bit of fallibility, but is a teenager who just seems to know what to do.


      She is the one at odds with Peter B. and Miles. She likes them, but seems frustrated, and she is also the one to lead the charge that Miles isn't ready to be spider-man.

      Again the nexus point. She believes in him, she sees his potential... just not right now.

      Then there is Spider-Man Noir and Spider-Ham. Both departures from their comic equivalents.

      The SPider-MAn Noir comci are great. I recomend. But he isn't a Sin city type character. HE was a young reporter, raised by a socialist Aunt May and Uncle Ben, where he learned the phrase, "If there is too much power, then it is the responsibility of the people to take it away."

      IN the movie he is different, but interesting. An adult with feet of clay, but still collected. However, very serious.

      Spider-Ham in the comics was sort of a one note joke, played largely straight by the characters. Here he is a Looney Toons character, in on the joke.

      The Part where he said "can you float when you smell a delicious pie," was amazing.

      They are two halves of Spider-man. Like Gwen, they see the potential, but not the immediate ability.

      Only the full formed, fully complex, fully comic accurate Peter B. Parker knows Miles IS a Spider-man not later... now.

      But what of MIles...?

      continued...

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    18. So lets get some real talk out of the way.

      Miles Morales is 13, I was in my 20s when he was created. That is a hard sell.

      He was created for the Ultimate Universe. I was never much of a reader of any of those books. I was neither a Miles fan or hater.

      My thought process is that Petr Parker is my Spider-man (despite the fact that he and I were on the outs that to 2007 decisions). If he is a good character, he is for the generations after me.

      I read a few issues where he teamed up with mainstream Marvel characters, and thought he was okay, but never saw a need to pick up his issues.

      I was coming in largely unknowing. I do not know how much is right.

      I was supportive of him as a character after this film... but still not one I need to read monthly. HE is by no means unworthy of the supreme title Spider-man.

      Stan Lee's amazing cameo said it all. And so did Peter B. Parker. If the costumer feels right, it probably isn't.

      continued...

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    19. ONe reason why he would not e for me is how different he is from Peter PArker. Peter is a loner. Miles is a joiner. He has a community, and he wants to join.

      He needs people. Peter lives in his head.... he needs a few persons.

      But hat is fine. HE is still neurotic. He is still unsure. HE still sees the world of superheroing as something he isn't sure about.

      Spider-man should be something everyone needs to feel outsdide of things. Everyone does. This does both.

      HE also is a look at the hard truths of the world. Peter was his own short comings. Miles it was that he couldn't count on people... at least not fully.

      Both reflect that conflict between the uniqueness of a character at odds with them self.

      They even did something better than the comics. When Miles met the mainstream-616 in the comics, it was wasted potential.

      Petr's life is a mes, Miles should have had to confront his character's shortcomings. It has yet to occur in teh comics.

      In this film, it does. HE is shocked by Peter B. Parker.

      There is even a great contrast between Mile's Uncle Peter B.. Miles thinks he can trust his uncle. That his uncle is amazing.

      Turns out not.

      Peter B. Parker seems terrible to him. Like he could never Miles' teacher.

      Turns out Miles was wrong. Not only is Peter a great teacher, but they grow close.

      They actually have a great chemistry, and symbolic relationship. They teach each other. And bring out the best in each other.

      That is part of what Spider-man is. The character that has to accept his weaknesses and iuse them, or over come them.

      HE is also the character that is painfully human. And both are painfully human.

      Now, there is something about Miles to talk about.

      He WAS created to promote diversity in Marvel characters. Which is not bad for creating, but it can be dangerous.

      Sometimes, too often, the 'diversity' is all there is to the character. If Miles in the comics is similar to this, in the core, this is clearly not the case.

      Marvel has had a problematic promotion of Miles.

      They said two things..

      1. "spider-man is for everyone." 100% true.
      2. Black and Latino people finally have a Spider-man.


      Those are contradictory statements. And there are plenty of Black and Latino people who have a deep affection for Peter Parker. I know I have met them.

      I also remember something said by Dwayne McDuffie. At a comic show, a kid came up to him dressed as Static Shock (arguably teh first black SPider-MAn).

      He was asked how cool it was. He said it was pretty cool. But, it would be even cooler if a white kid did it.

      Peter Parker IS beloved among races. The goal should be for Miles to be to.

      I honestly believe that this movie may succeed in that. I think there will be White kids who love Miles after seeing this movie.

      It is great if Black people love Miles. It is better if people from every walk of life do.

      This ws in many ways two movies. Peer B. Parker's movie, and more than that Miles Morales' movie.

      One movie for the classic fans one for the newer.

      But it wasn't one for the white Spider-man and one for the Black Spider-man. It was one for the old Spider-man and one for the new kid on the block.

      Continued...

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    20. So why is this a retelling of Amazing Spider-man #50?

      Well, there is a reason I call it the penultimate Spider-man story. It is.


      SPider-MAn sdown on himself quits, and justifies his actions.

      He then realizes that he has to be Spider-man. HE isn't Spider-man because ogf guilt (the SECOND time Stan Lee spelled this out) but rather because he learned a lesson that "with Great Power there must then come great responsibility."

      He remembered why he is Spider-man, because he is the guy who can't walk away from people in need.

      That is What Peter B. Parker remembers. That is what Miles learns about himself.

      Peter B. even rejects that famous line int eh movie. he won't let Miles say it. HE he is Spider-man: no more, down to his very being. HE rejects the premise.

      Kingpin is even the villain of the movie, and he was introduced in Amazing Spider-Man #50.

      so, what else was great?


      1. Kingpin. loved the dichotomy with Spider-man. Peter B. misses his wife as well, but didn't go crazy. MIles loses a part of his family but deals.

      The heroes and villains have similar themes, but they go about dealing with it different.

      And Fisk is a viscous villain.

      2. Lily Tomlin as who would have thought that would be so great. Detroit's own Lily Tomlin, I would like to point out.

      3. DOctor Octopus. That was a crazy reveal. And such an interesting personality. There is a theory that like in the comics, she and Aunt May had a thing. I hope so.

      3. The animation was fantastic. Loved the comic look... especially the Kirby dots.

      4. The Stan Lee and Steve Ditko "thank you" card.

      5. Spider-Ham's zaniness. I love Looney Toons. In know I already mentioned it, but still

      6. Spider-Amn Noir... but especially with the rubix cube.

      7. That early fight with Chris Pine Peter Parker (aka the one from Miles' universe) and the Goblin.

      8. Those comic book narrations for the character.

      9. A bunch of stuff I am too tired to think of right now.

      Any problems?

      Only two, and they are VERY minor.

      1. The ending fight was a bit too long.

      2. I wish when Peter B. Parker returned to MJ, she would have smiled after her shock. I know, they already established that they missed him.

      Hell, I will even admit that a sense of mystery about if things work out for Petr B. Parker may even be thematically better for his story.

      An assurance could weaken the narrative.

      But, goddammit, I want to know those crazy kids will be all right. Peter B.Parker earned it. The comic fans have earned it.

      Pretty small gripes from a comic fan.

      so, yeah. Ass you could probably tell, I hated every second of that movie. Worst money I spent all year.

      Jack

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    21. To paraphrase Captain Kirk: "Don't mince words, Jack, what did you REALLY think?"

      Says a lot about this wonderful movie that you had so many insightful things to say!

      Anyone else want to chime in?

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    22. Aren't the real question now:

      1. Did YOU use Captain Kirk, just because Chris Pine was in the film.

      2. Did my insane ramblings jostle anything loose you want to mention? Seriously, Lily Tomlin was a pretty good Aunt May.

      3. After seeing Into the Spider-Verse, am I the only one who thinks Peter Parker in Spider-Man Homecoming was written a but more like Miles than Peter.

      4. Were there any specifics J.M. Dematteis liked, and thought stood out?

      5. Was I the only one who found Dr. Octopus really enjoyable?

      6. I'm sure there are more not coming to mind.


      Jack

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    23. I was paraphrasing Kirk from WRATH OF KHAN, so I don't understand the question!

      Yes, Lilly Tomlin was a great Aunt May. I thought all the voice work was excellent.

      I'm sure Marvel is prepping a monthly Spider-Ham book right now and a movie (or series of shorts, as someone suggested) can't be far behind.

      Of course I liked Doctor Octopus, since we had our Lady Ock back in the Clone Saga and this could have been her.

      No specifics. Just enjoyed the whole thing. Especially the fact that it was a very character-driven, emotional story and not just an action romp.

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    24. Just think, this movie went a long way to tearing apart J.M. Dematteis' infamous, INFAMOUS, hatred of Spider-Man.

      As for Spider-Ham, they HAVE already started working on Spider-Ham shorts.

      I'm not sure what you mean by "Wrath of Kahn."

      I remember there was a Star Trek movie, the best Star Trek movie, with a similar line. OF course, that was called, "You know the one that was a sequel to an episode... which was a kind of weird choice, even if it paid off... with the whatchamacallit? Genesis Device! And the mind slugs. And showed our main character as a dead-beat-dad. My God, it was lucky we had a great writer, because this masterpiece could have gone south so fast."

      Its a great movie, but I feel that the title gave a few minor things away.

      But, YES, Spider-verse was very character driven. Interesting, since the story it was based off was... more reserved on the subject of character.

      No real shame in doing that now and then, just kind of interesting.

      It was amazing how much the characters led everything leading to a deep look at who Spider-man is, like when... you know, if you really care I already wrote about it. A lot.

      Jack

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    25. You did? How did I miss that? :)

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  3. So pretty... Thanks for the story!

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  4. I read it every year. Thank you for posting it. Merry Christmas to you JMD, and to ever loyal reader of your site!

    George

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