Study Guide

Spider-Man Genre

Genre

Comic Book; Action; Romance

Spider-Man isn't any ol' Marvel Comics movie. No, it's the Marvel Comics movie that kicked off the 21st-century wave of super successful superhero movies featuring Marvel characters. Iron Man. Thor. The Guardians of the Galaxy. Ant-Man.

Yep. Thanks to Spider-Man, even Ant-Man got his own star turn.

The comic-book genre is known for its special effects, massive action set pieces, bombastic villains, and incredible origin stories. Spider-Man has each in spades. He swings through New York on organic webs. He battles the Green Goblin, a psychopathic terrorist who chucks pumpkin bombs at his enemies and attacks old ladies. He fights said psychopath atop New York's Queensboro Bridge, among other places.

All this web-slinging and wall-crawling and hand-to-hand combat is only happening in the first place because of a freak spider bite Peter gets on a school field trip. Then his beloved uncle gets killed, right after imparting an important life lesson—a tragedy for which Peter feels wicked guilty. Spider-Man is so much of a comic-book movie that you can practically see the panels on screen.

Where does the romance come in? Peter says himself, right after the opening credits, that "this—like any story worth telling—is all about a girl. That girl. The girl next door."

The girl that he makes out with upside down in the rain, snagging Tobey Maguire and Kirsten Dunst the coveted, prestigious MTV Movie Award for Best Kiss. Yowza.

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