Most superheroes come and go. Even the most popular of the bunch, the likes of Superman and Batman transition through hills and valleys, waxing and waning in popularity.
There’s a reason why most film franchises in the genre break off for several years at a time before re-launching. But you know who never falls out of fashion? Spiderman.
Some of us grew up following Toby Maguire. The Sam Raimi movies gave us our definitive Spiderman. But then that third movie essentially crashed and burned, killing that entire franchise. And for a while, most of us were quite certain that Spiderman would not return to the big screen anytime soon; not for a decade a least.
But then Andrew Garfield’s Spiderman exploded onto the movie landscape a short while after and those two follow-up films made hundreds of millions of dollars each.
Think about that. Mere years after Sam Raimi introduced and essentially cemented Spiderman as Toby Maguire, Garfield revamped the entire franchise, reworked the Spiderman formula and reintroduced an entirely new superhero to the public.
And they loved him for it. But then those movies also met a bloody end. Sure, the public loved them. But the critics were not quite as impressed. Garfield’s Spiderman never enjoyed the same level of acclaim as the Raimi movies, and Garfield’s final movie in the role was trashed by a considerable portion of his fans.
So once again, the Spiderman franchise died. And again, Hollywood professionals predicted that the webbed hero would spend at least a decade out of the public sphere.
But did that happen? No. First, Sony made a deal with Disney that allowed the Marvel Cinematic Universe to utilize the character. Then, Tom Holland’s Spiderman debuted in Captain America: Civil War and immediately proved to be the best Spiderman to date.
Fast forward to 2018, and consider the success the character has seen. Holland reprised the role in the most recent Avengers movie; the same movie that broke every box office record out there.
Then the Sony Playstation Spiderman game debuted and immediately catapulted Marvel to the top of the video game pyramid. And if that was not enough, the first Spiderman animated movie (Into the Spiderverse) premiered in December and instantly became one of the greatest animated movies to come out of 2018.
There is even talk of Into the Spiderverse walking away with a number of significant awards in 2019. Think about that. When 2018 started, Marvel was kicking all kinds of ass in the movie department but they could not hold a candle to DC when it came to video games and animation.
But by the time 2018 came to a close, the biggest animated movie of the year and the best video game of the last 12 months were both Marvel properties. There’s something about Spiderman that is infinitely appealing; a relatable, alluring aspect that has kept the hero permanently rooted in popular culture.