Madame Web Is More Like An Infamous DC Show Than A Marvel Movie


Every studio dreams of building its own massive cinematic universe and no studio has come close to matching Marvel Cinematic Universe in terms of success - with many trying (recall Dark Universe!), none being nearly as successful. Sony Pictures Universe of Marvel Characters or SPUMC now features four movies (at least two more coming this year); all these movies focus on supporting characters found within "Spider-Man" comic books rather than those who appear directly, such as villains; that will soon change this weekend though when "Venom: Let There Be Carnage" makes its debut.

Sony's Marvel universe continues its transformation with "Madame Web," its inaugural movie that does not center around an antagonist but instead on one of his allies: Cassandra Webb is the heroine in "Madame Web," perhaps as evidence of civilizational decline or superhero fatigue; she plays Cassandra Webb a paramedic with spider-like powers who takes it upon herself to protect three young girls (Sydney Sweeney, Celeste O'Connor and Isabela Merced) from an evil spider-powered villain bent on murdering them all and protect her fellow allies: Spider-Man.

"Madame Web" is full of Spider-People, their powers, and traditional societies based on spiders - but no Spider-Man himself! Sony's approach brings back memories of an iconic but excellent DC TV show called Gotham which told an origin story for all characters rather than one central hero character; perhaps now is an appropriate time to revisit "Gotham."

An origin story without its main protagonist.

Fox first unveiled "Gotham," it seemed ridiculous at first. A Batman show without Batman? Who cared about a prequel with Gordon as just another detective? Who would watch something about Penguin and Riddler when they're young? Yet this absurd concept quickly blossomed into something successful; beginning as just another police procedural but peppered with comic book references quickly evolved into what became "Riverdale."

"Gotham" showcased intriguing origin stories for several iconic villains like Penguin while giving more nuanced attention to lesser known ones like Professor Pyg, Mat Hatter, and Solomon Grundy -- fully embracing some of their quirkier and cartoonier aspects, like Grundy being an actual zombie! Of course Bruce Wayne played an integral part of this series; however, his character had yet to don his iconic cowl and cape as Batman. Gotham City is already filled with supervillains and has already seen adaptations of major comic book events like "Court of Owls", "Hush", and "No Man's Land", even without Batman himself being present in its universe. Similar to how Sony Spider-Man movies already feature established characters like Venom, Morbius (with Kraven joining soon enough) in their universe without necessarily needing him in this respect either.

One of the boldest moves "Gotham" ever made was introducing Joker long before Batman arrives and, even bolder still, giving us two Jokers! In such an economy? Somehow it all worked; by populating an entire city with supervillains instead of comic book heroes "Gotham" turned Batman's arrival as its salvation rather than starting over from scratch; perhaps "Madame Web" can follow this same strategy?

Madame Web's spider will most certainly live long and prosper!

Madame Web" makes no attempt at being subtle with its Spider-Man references, wearing Ezekiel Sims (Tahar Rahim) in an outfit similar to Spider-Man from time to time and meeting Adam Scott as younger Ben Parker alongside pregnant sister-in-law Mary (Emma Roberts), giving birth at the end of the film to whom we meet an infant who could potentially become Peter Parker himself some day! Although no mention is ever made in regards to that child being named officially throughout, subtle clues point towards his potential destiny - likely his future status in both worlds!

It seems clear that Sony Spider-Man Universe intends on rebooting Peter Parker as part of a future reboot without depending on any big screen adaptation we've seen so far. After all, this universe offers Peter an entirely different starting point than before with established characters like Venom, Vulture, Madame Web and her group of teenage spider-girls all around him in addition to both Venom and Morbius technically being considered heroes within Sony's comic book universe.

"Gotham" makes sense since Gotham City itself serves as a living comic book hellscape and Batman is seen as its salvation; while Spider-Man may present more challenges. What exactly distinguishes Peter Parker if not only one hero is inspired by spider-themed themes? Eventually, SPUMC may need to figure this one out but maybe with "Madame Web"'s epic failure it may become less difficult - after all, as its conclusion suggests: The greatest aspect of our future lies within its being unknown!

"Madame Web" has just hit theaters nationwide and should provide plenty of thrills.

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