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Classic Comic Cover Corner – Amazing Spider-Man Annual #1

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Every Sunday morning we showcase a classic comic cover, complete with compelling commentary, for your cordial contemplation. It’s the Classic Comic Cover Corner!

Amazing Spider-Man Annual #1 – October, 1964

Cover Art by Steve Ditko

Amazing Spider-Man Annual #1 - October, 1964
Amazing Spider-Man Annual #1 – October, 1964

Last Friday Sony Pictures Entertainment broke the word that their Amazing Spider-Man movie universe is going to be expanding with films focused on Spidey villains like Venom and The Sinister Six — which will include (I’m  assuming) Electro, Doctor Octopus, Kraven the Hunter, The Vulture, Sandman and Mysterio.

Although “a galaxy of the most gol-darned” villains makes for great times in comic books, like Amazing Spider-Man Annual #1 (the first appearance of The Sinister Six), multiple bad guys do not necessarily make for a better movie, and in fact can spread necessary character development thin by having too wide of focus.

I touched on the problems involved with too many characters spoiling the cinematic soup in last week’s episode of Classic Comic Cover Corner, so instead of covering the same ground let me just ask these questions: Why should the Sinister Six get their own movie? Is this an ingenious move on Sony Pictures part, or is it a potential nail in the coffin for future Spider-Man films?

Disney has already been dropping hints about a potential Boba Fett film as part of their plans for the new phase of Star Wars films, and good luck to them, but I can’t think of a film franchise that has ever had a successful spin-off movie of a villain or otherwise secondary character. (Cat Woman and Elektra come to mind – and we know how those went.)

Amazing Spider-Man Annual #1 - October, 1964If Sony goes forward with these villainous films and fails, then what does that mean for the future of Spidey movies? The one silver lining in these potentially disastrous plans is the involvement of writer/director Drew Goddard, who will be writing (and possibly directing) the Sinister Six film (as well as the upcoming Daredevil series on Netflix.)

Goddard is a smart guy, a comics fan and longtime collaborator with Joss Whedon. He’s the mastermind behind The Cabin in the Woods (read our CITW interview) and I think he’s one of the few people on the planet that might actually be able to pull off a successful movie about six Spidey bad guys, and hopefully set-up a great Spider-Man film in the process. [Fingers-crossed!]

The first Spider-Man Annual is where the Sinister Six was born, and Spidey creators Stan Lee and Steve Ditko definitely went big on this classic tale, having our hero go up against almost his entire rogues gallery (up to that point), with guest appearances by several other Marvel heroes as well.

The Sinister Six are the brainchild of Doc Ock, who gathers the bad guys together and kidnaps Betty Brant and Aunt May in an effort to lure Spider-Man into their clutches. They spread out throughout New York City and mess with Spidey’s head by making him defeat each villain individually before the clue to the next hideout is revealed. And, of course, this all happens just as poor Peter Parker has temporarily lost his super-powers. Fun times!   

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