Hey, kiddies — before I get started tonight, I want to send some sweaty snugglebunnies out to those kind folks who took the time to nominate this humble little effort of mine for the Best of Blogs awards. Thanks, guys!
Also, while I’m throwing thanks around all willy-nilly, it was also awfully nice for Maria to devote a whole little post to linking to my nonsense about Blue’s Clues, from a while back. Thanks, Maria!
Okay — that was fun and all, but down to bidness now. Here we go.
So, I had an epiphany — gesundheit! — today about Spider-Man.
Which is not particularly commonplace for me — I’m not often struck with revelations regarding popular cartoon characters. I had to be told that Opus is a puffin, for instance. Or that Patty Bouvier is gay (as opposed to just mannishly asexual… like her twin sister). Or that Alice and Wally are secretly doin’ it on the side, to pass the time. Oh, no, wait — that one, I figured out. Everybody knows that.
(Of course, exactly what they’re doing is a matter of juicy speculation. Some people figure ’em for the ‘man on top, get it the hell over with’ type of couple. Others envision Alice letting her pointy hair down with some glory hole action with the Wallster in the cubicle farm.
Me, I’m somewhere in between. I can’t see them bumping uglies in public or anything, but I bet they get a little wild. I can see Wally liking it ‘Dogbert-style’. You know what I’m sayin’, people.)
Anyway, back to Spider-Man, before this gets any damned sillier.
So, I was thinking about it today, and I realized that the Spider-Man franchise really hasn’t been exploited (so far as I know, at least) the way the Superman and Batman characters have. Think about it — there’s been a Supergirl movie, a Superboy movie, and a TV, movie, and comic book Batgirl, to name a few.
But the Spidey spinoffs have been few and far between, with the few — *cough kaff* Spider-Girl *ahem* — executed really, really badly. For a while, I wondered why that is, exactly. I mean, they’re all big, nasty, mutated superheroes, right? They’ve all had their blockbuster movies — and sequels; don’t forget the sequels! — so why haven’t the Spider-Man near-clones popped up as often?
Then, I realized — it’s the theme song doing them in. No, really. I’ll explain.
What do you think of when you think of Superman? It’s that ‘speeding bullet’ and ‘tall buildings’ thing, right? And that’s easy to adapt — you can dream up Super kids, and Super uncles, and even Super hot wet grannies.
(Oh, no, wait. That last one’s a porn site. Um… never mind. Scratch the hot wet grannies. Wait, no, don’t do that — that’s nasty. I mean — er, yeah. Just never mind.)
And Batman — well, hell, all he’s got is that ‘na-na-na-na-na-na-na-na na-na-na-na-na-na-na-na Batman!‘ thing. That works for anything. Bat-girl, Bat-boy, Bat-bitch, Bat-ass — pretty much, if it’s two syllables, you can jam it in there at the end.
Ah, but then there’s Spider-Man. He’s got actual fuckin’ lyrics to contend with:
‘Spider-Man, Spider-Man —
Does whatever a spider can!‘
And therein lies the problem, you see. The lyrics are the web-encrusted kiss of death for any new spidery thing to come along. Because for any new character in the Spidey mold you want to create, you’ve got to work some version of the song around them, too. And that’s not as easy as it sounds, people. Not by half.
As a matter of fact, it’s pretty fricking hard. And the marketing boobjobs who come up with this shit aren’t the brightest torches on the wall, either, so they’d have an especially hard time making it work. Here’s the conversation I imagine happening, somewhere in Hollywood, a few months before that Spider-Man 2 movie came out:
Marketing Weenie #1: Jeez, that Spider-Man movie went well, huh? We cleaned up on that one.
Marketing Weenie #2: Yeah, not bad. But what he really needs is a sidekick. Something we can launch off into a new product. ‘Cause that Beemer I bought last year is starting to get dirty — it’s time for a cash injection.
MW#1: Agreed. But what to do? What’s gonna bring in the kids?
MW#2: How about ‘Spider-Woman’? A couple of webbed-up boobs oughta put ’em in the seats. That’s thexy!
MW#1: I dunno… a broad who’s a spider? Like, who’s got eight eyes, back hair, and shoots silk out her ass? Sounds like my ex-wife…
MW#2: Nah, it’ll be good. Trust me. We’ll sex it up, no problem.
MW#1: Fine. But we’ve still got to update the theme song. Whatcha gonna do with that?
MW#2: Right. Well… how’s this:
‘Spider-Woman, Spider-Woman —
Um… this is her song you will be hummin’!‘
MW#1: Dude. ‘Song you will be hummin’?‘ You’re a frickin’ moron.
MW#2: Well, it’s a first pass. Hey, can we rhyme ‘Woman’ with ‘Portman’ somehow? I smell jingle tie-ins, if we get the right actress…
MW#1: No. For the love of god, no. What else you got?
MW#2: We could try Spider-Boy:
‘Spider-Boy, Spider-Boy —
He… erm… plays with all of his spider toys?‘
MW#1: Spider toys? That’s what you’ve got?
MW#2: Sure. We could put ’em in Happy Meals. Big money.
MW#1: Nice. Have I told you lately that you’re a moron? Try again.
MW#2: Okay, let’s go for… Spider-Kid. It’s even gender-neutral:
‘Spider-Kid, Spider-Kid —
Don’ stuff just like Spidey did.‘
MW#1: Okay, that one’s catchier, I guess. Not terribly damned specific, though, is it?
MW#2: Well, we could always replace ‘doin’ stuff‘, I guess. How about ‘bustin’ heads‘?
MW#1: Too violent.
MW#2: ‘Livin’ life‘?
MW#2: ‘Knockin’ boots‘?
MW#1: Too far.
MW#2: ‘Droppin’ trou‘?
MW#1: And… yes. We’ve hit rock bottom. Congratulations, you’re still a moron. What else?
MW#1: Moving on.
MW#1: Wait, don’t tell me — is she ‘living in a big wigwam‘?
MW#2: What, no good?
MW#2: Um… what about Spider-Chick?
MW#1: Well, we might lose the feminists a bit there, but —
‘Spider-Chick, Spider-Chick —
She’s not Spider-Man ’cause she’s… uh, got no dick?‘
MW#1: Yeah… yeah, I think we definitely might lose the feminist crowd with that one. Just a hunch, there, Einstein.
MW#1: Not even possible.
MW#1: Crazy talk.
MW#2: Would you believe… Spider-Ass?
MW#1: The donkey, or the rear end?
MW#2: Which is better?
MW#1: Neither. You’re a douchebag. Now stop it.
MW#2: Spider-Boob? It’d rhyme with ‘lube’.
MW#1: You know… I’m pretty sure this isn’t gonna work. And I’m now convinced that you were dropped on your head as a child. Onto a railroad spike. Quite possibly rusty. How do you even tie your fuckin’ shoes, man?
MW#2: Um… I’m wearing sandals. It’s California — we’re all wearing sandals.
MW#1: Touche, my dim-witted friend. Fine. How about this — what if we just screw all of this and make a damned sequel, eh? Just Spider-Man — no chicks, no kids, no freakin’ cows. Just him, again, doin’ the same shit over again. How would that be?
MW#2: Wait… wouldn’t people see right through that? I mean, come on — I wanna rake in the money, too, but that’ll just piss ’em off, won’t it?
MW#1: Hey, we stuffed what, seven Rockys down their throat? Nine? Twelve? These people’ll watch anything, so long as we tell ’em the original was any good.
MW#2: Well, all right, then. Call the studio, and let’s get it on. Just know one thing, though.
MW#1: What’s that?
MW#2: I’m keeping the rights to ‘Spider-Boob’. That shit is gonna be porno gold someday! Gold, I tells ya!
And that, friends, is the story of how Spider-Man 2 came to be. Betcha won’t see that shit on the director’s cut DVD version. Yow.
All right, then — that was fun and all, but my ‘spidey sense’ is telling me that it’s two-thirty in the fricking morning. And I’ve got a big day planned tomorrow, so I’m hitting the sack. Don’t let the bed-spiders bite, people. I’m out.Permalink | 5 Comments