New Daredevil series in the works: What to expect and what to be wary of

With the news that Marvel have all but officially confirmed that a new series of Daredevil is on the way, I am nothing short of thrilled, not at all surprised, and only a little bit wary. According to, NBC drama writers Matt Corman and Chris Ord are set to write and executive produce a new Daredevil series for Disney plus. Reps for Marvel and both Corman and Ord have yet to comment, making this news an ‘unofficial’ announcement. However, with the previous news that a Daredevil reboot was listed as an upcoming project in Production Weekly, and given the appearances of Charlie Cox’s Matt Murdock and Vincent D’Onofrio’s Kingpin in mainstream MCU projects, the news comes as little surprise.

Given the grand, cinematic finale to 10 years of films that was Avengers: Endgame, it seems Marvel are going in new directions as they attempt to keep their golden MCU goose afloat. For the most part, these new directions have paid off. The more visceral, psychological tone of the Moon Knight series, and the darker, much more violent nature of Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness has been something which I and other fans alike have substantially appreciated. Topped with the fact all of Marvel’s darker, grittier Netflix shows have moved over to Disney plus, there is indication that Marvel is looking to focus on some more gritty, street-level stories and characters. Creating a new Daredevil series would certainly benefit the MCU in this way. Amongst Marvel’s street-level vigilantes, Daredevil certainly ranks as one of their most popular. It would be interesting to see some real vigilantism and crime occurring in the MCU, which would provide refreshing respite from all the cosmic multiverse madness. This would help to ground the MCU in reality much more, and give it an edge which many argue it has been lacking in recent years.

Netflix’s Daredevil series is possibly one of the best things Marvel has produced in recent years, and it wasn’t even truly acknowledged by the wider MCU until recently. As previously mentioned, the biggest allusion to more Daredevil content was the appearance of its two key players in Spider-Man: No Way Home and Hawkeye, but the second biggest was Marvel’s announcement of an Echo Disney plus series. Echo/Maya Lopez (Alaqua Cox) appeared in Hawkeye as an antagonist; the leader of the Tracksuit Mafia, overseen by D’Onofrio’s Kingpin. Echo made her first comic book appearance in David Mack’s Daredevil: Parts of a Hole in which her alter ego, Maya, falls in love with Matt Murdock, but Echo has a blood lust for Daredevil. Much of the plot involving Echo and Kingpin in Hawkeye was directly inspired by this storyline, from their uneasy father-daughter relationship to the ambiguous ending of the Kingpin’s fate at Echo’s hand. The fact that much of Hawkeye was inspired by a Daredevil comic, introducing two key players in Daredevil’s world, it wouldn’t surprise me if Charlie Cox made his first official MCU appearance as the Man Without Fear in the Echo series. Perhaps this would lead on to explore his relationship with Echo in the series, or in any future Daredevil content. Furthermore, given that in Parts of a Hole Kingpin survives the assassination attempt on his life at Echo’s hand, I can only hope they follow they same route in future MCU projects and give us the portentous reunion between Daredevil and Kingpin.

As excited as I am at the potential for more content of my favourite Marvel character, I can’t help but be wary of how Marvel will go about producing said content. Whilst I have thoroughly enjoyed Marvel’s recent exploration into darker tones, I still feel as if they are clinging on to that comical, light-hearted MCU formula which is what has kept general audiences coming back. For example, I appreciated Moon Knight‘s acknowledgement of darker themes such as mental disorders, childhood trauma and abuse, as well as an ominous-themed vigilante who isn’t afraid to get his hands bloody. However, this was constantly counter-balanced with light-heartedness and humour, giving me the impression Marvel were afraid to go all out, dark, ‘Netflix-level’ of grit with it’s story. Now, I am not saying this is bad thing – I loved Moon Knight’s bumbling, British alter ego Steven Grant, and generally the MCU’s trademark humour always brings some enjoyment. However, what made Netflix’s Daredevil series so good was the fact it was able to fully embrace the darker, bloodier tone of its comic book roots. It wasn’t afraid to show us how far Daredevil or Wilson Fisk are willing to go to ‘protect’ their city from each other. So, given that this potential new Daredevil series will be officially part of the MCU, the concern lies in the fact Marvel may make it too light-hearted for it’s own good. There is essentially no humour at all in the Netflix series, and if Marvel decide to coat it’s new Daredevil series in the MCU’s trademark light-heartedness and humour, fans won’t be too pleased.

One thing I would like to see from an official MCU-connected Daredevil series is how the events of the films have affected the lives of the characters. Perhaps Kingpin regained his power in New York as a result of the blip? Perhaps even where the characters were when Thanos’ infamous snap happens. I’ve always pictured Matt, Karen and Foggy together; Foggy and Karen disappear and because Matt is blind he cannot comprehend what has just happened. He doesn’t hear any heartbeat or breathing, just nothing. This would provide us with yet another scene of characters getting dusted, which would interconnect the MCU even more to show that even the Netflix characters couldn’t escape the snap. The Netflix series left the potential for a fourth season with antagonist Poindexter (aka Bullseye) awakening from surgery after being paralysed by Fisk. I would love to see Wilson Bethel reprise his role as one of Daredevil’s most recurring antagonists, but knowing the MCU, they’d probably recreate Bullseye’s iconic blue and white suit from the comics. This would be interesting if they provided appropriate context rather than making it a way of forcing representation from the comics (like Colin Farrell’s corny tattoo of a bullseye on his forehead in the 2003 Daredevil movie!). Somehow I find it unlikely a new Daredevil series will quite match the level of violence and grit of the Netflix series, but I have faith Marvel will respect the character’s comic book roots and provide us with a new story to sink our teeth into. At the very least, this new series will hopefully have a darker tone than most of the wider MCU. Here’s to the MCU’s dark and violent future!


‘Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness’ review: The MCU’s darkest, maddest film yet

When I first heard Sam Raimi would be directing Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, my first thought was – yes, he is exactly what the MCU needs. I knew we would be in for something substantially different to anything we’ve experienced so far in the MCU. Raimi’s history in both the superhero and horror genres made him more than qualified to helm what is quite possibly the MCU’s darkest and maddest film yet. His ability to maintain the integrity and grandeur of superheroism in his golden Spider-Man trilogy whilst incorporating elements of his horror roots set expectations for Multiverse of Madness to be one of the least MCU-esque films in all the right ways. Taking the reins on a story about one of Marvel’s most unique and mystical characters somehow seemed fit for the director, not to mention how the comic source material pushes the physical boundaries of the Marvel universe. So, was Multiverse of Madness the rollercoaster ride through the Marvel universe(s) it was expected to be? Let’s just say the rollercoaster took an ominous detour through the haunted house.

In Multiverse of Madness, Benedict Cumberbatch reprises his role as the (ex) Sorcerer Supreme for what seems like the umpteenth time, yet this being only his second solo outing. Cumberbatch maintains the appealing charisma of Stephen Strange, yet shows despite all his power how much of a flawed character he is. He always seems one finger lift away from causing diabolical consequences in the name of the greater good. To me, this has always has made Cumberbatch to Strange what Robert Downey Junior was to Iron Man, and something that Marvel always excels at; giving us flawed but likeable characters. Strange crosses paths with America Chavez (Xochitl Gomez), a teenager with the ability to punch holes through the multiverse, and attempts to protect her from demonic forces looking to steal her power. MCU regulars Benedict Wong and Elizabeth Olsen also join the cast as Wong and Wanda/Scarlett Witch respectively, in addition to some returning faces we haven’t seen since the first Doctor Strange.

Strange’s relationship with Chavez is somewhere between friendship and mentor-mentee, providing a majority of the quippy MCU humour in the film we’ve become so accustomed to. They also bring some heart in the right moments, and their backstories are unexpectedly similar in interesting ways. Wong maintains his status as an underrated Marvel favourite of mine, his chemistry with Strange proving yet again to be one of the most enjoyable aspects of the film. It was also nice to see Rachel McAdams back as Strange’s periodic love interest Christine. The film provides us with a little more depth into their relationship and shows us how much Christine still means to Strange despite his new life as the world’s most powerful wizard. However, the real highlight of the cast in Multiverse of Madness was Olsen’s performance as the Scarlett Witch. Whilst providing us with a sympathetic plight, she delivers a new, edgy side to the character we have so far only had hints at. Without revealing the details of said plight, she shows us how far someone is willing to go in the name of love.

One of the main attractions of this rollercoaster ride is the visuals. Multiverse of Madness is possibly one of the most visually experimental films of the MCU. The visual atmosphere sells the otherworldly feel very effectively, reminiscent of Steve Ditko’s original illustrations of Strange’s world in the comics. The film plunges you through the multiverse with a plethora of colours and textures disassembled and assembled in different combinations; illustrating that when it comes to the multiverse, anything is possible. The visuals also display how truly powerful Strange and Wanda are, showing the full extent of what kind of house-of-mirrors tricks they have up their sleeves. I often see a lot of complaints about Marvel films being overly reliant on CGI. Whilst I can understand not everyone is keen on a substantial amount of CGI in films, to me, Marvel films have boasted some of the most impressive visual effects in the last decade, and Multiverse of Madness is no exception. The only effective way to stay true to the colourful, visual story-telling of the comics is to utilise modern technology. Make the most of CGI to express the scale of these stories as if they were real, and create an other-worldly feeling of escapism which is exactly what made the comics so popular in the first place.

As if the unique visuals weren’t enough, Multiverse of Madness also has one of the darkest atmospheres in the MCU’s history. As previously mentioned, the film illustrates how truly powerful Strange and Wanda are, and the film stretches its 12A rating to show us how far they’re willing to divulge in darker magic. The film is undoubtedly the closest thing we’ve had to a Marvel horror film since the Blade movies of the late 90s and early 2000s (except perhaps the recent Morbius). As the film progresses, you can see more and more of Sam Raimi’s sprinkles of horror and the supernatural. From unique cinematography to striking visuals, the film boasts some genuinely unsettling sequences in all the right ways. Be forewarned, the violence in the film is almost akin to fully adult-rated superhero content like Amazon Prime’s The Boys or Invincible. Anything in the superhero genre which isn’t afraid to go all out with the level of violence is something I always appreciate. It shows us how powerful the characters truly are beyond their conventional family friendly settings. The dark atmosphere of the film is only elevated by Danny Elfman’s hair-raising musical score, and I don’t think anyone else could’ve possibly been a better fit to score the film. Elfman’s signature supernatural style is very prominent here, using strings and choir to show of the film’s comic book grandeur whilst maintaining it’s frightening atmosphere. I was particularly impressed by some of the musical cues, with some high-pitched string sound effects elevating jump scares (yes, this film has jump scares) which almost reminded me of the Insidious films. If I’m comparing an MCU film to quite possibly one of the scariest horror movie franchises in recent years, you know you’re in for something special.

Whilst Multiverse of Madness was a thoroughly enjoyable film, I will acknowledge that it won’t be for everyone. Being the first MCU film after the cameo-filled phenomenon that was Spider-Man: No Way Home, I think Multiverse of Madness has become a victim of overhype. During the months leading up to its release, the internet was bubbling with fan-theories and rumours about the film’s cast and plot, and many came to believe it would top No Way Home with it’s level of cameos and crossovers. Whilst the film has it’s fair share of surprises, I couldn’t help but feel like it certainly would’ve left many fans wanting more. Personally, the fact that it may have been a little overhyped didn’t affect my enjoyment. It deconstructs the superhero genre and shows how much Sam Raimi excels as a director. It shows us that the multiverse isn’t about breathtaking cameos and plot twists, it plays with the idea that somewhere, somehow, there is a universe where we’re ‘happier’. Perhaps somewhere where things have worked out for the better, somewhere where we’re living out our ideal lives. So, the film asks; at what cost? This fundamental question gave the film a level of depth I was pleasantly surprised by.

The dark themes of Multiverse of Madness gave me the impression Marvel are experimenting with different genres; testing the waters to see how audiences react to a horror-themed MCU film. This is undoubtedly a good thing, as I’ve also seen complaints about the MCU becoming rather formulaic and substantially reliant on it’s humour. Multiverse of Madness has very little humour. It is a dark film which takes the MCU to places it hasn’t ventured before, and whilst it may not be the cameo-filled phenomenon that fans hoped it to be, it proves that after so many years Marvel are still willing to keep their franchise fresh and find new ways to make it appealing.

Marvel’s ‘Morbius’ is not as bad as you think

Vampires have always been one of the most intriguing aspects of supernatural fiction. Ever since Bram Stoker’s 1897 novel Dracula, vampires have been one of the foremost aspects of the horror genre. With the rise of superhero comics in the 1960s and 70s, it wasn’t long before the wizards at Marvel created a character which crossed the superhero and vampiric genres together. Enter Morbius: The Living Vampire, who made his first appearance as a Spider-man villain in 1971’s The Amazing Spider-Man #101. The idea of a scientist turning himself into a monster in an attempt to better himself isn’t unfamiliar in fiction, but the character of Michael Morbius places an interesting twist on this. To have Dr Michael Morbius turn himself into a vampiric superhuman attempting to cure a rare blood disease creates an ironic twist which blends the superhero genre with the supernatural. The new Morbius film directed by Daniel Espinosa retells the story of this tragic anti-hero, and whilst it may be not be perfect, it is a unique addition to the plethora of comic book films.

Morbius follows Dr Michael Morbius (Jared Leto), a Nobel prize-winning scientist with a seemingly incurable blood disease which is slowly killing him. In a ditch effort to find a cure, he experiments with bat DNA which leads him to turn himself into a vampiric monster who cannot function without consuming blood. What I enjoyed most about the film was it’s dark, supernatural flavour, which sets it apart from any other Marvel film. In a world where we have a Marvel Cinematic Universe made up of big-budget, family friendly flicks, it was nice to see Marvel do something a little different. From what I’ve read of the original comics, it seems the film was relatively close to the source material in terms of the character’s origins. Michael’s first transformation happens on a ship, as in the comics. He becomes the monster and hunts a group pf unsuspecting mercenaries in what is almost a tense, horror-esque action sequence. Whilst the slow-mo moments in the action sequences were rather slick, the action was generally very shaky and too fast paced to the point where you can’t tell what’s going on. In fact, this almost made me think they only added slow-mo moments so you could tell what was going on!

In terms of its story, Morbius has both pros and cons. In the film, he is a sympathetic figure; you understand why he goes to the lengths to save himself, and you can tell he is a genuinely good man trying to do right by himself and others. He doesn’t want this vampiric curse because of the harm it could cause others, yet he struggles to fight the need to consume human blood. This is exactly what Morbius is about; the classic battle between morality and animalistic nature. That said, it would’ve been good to see more of this conflict between man and beast. As I said, the film makes it clear Michael is a good man, but not much else. We don’t see him kill anyone he wasn’t supposed to, or cause any harm to any loved ones. In fact, he seems to gain control over his condition relatively quickly. In the comics, he is constantly battling the urge to consume human blood, even from those he cares about. Whenever he does, he is in anguish at his actions, condemning himself as a dirty, corrupt soul. Unfortunately we don’t see much of this in the film, as the story focuses more on his conflict with his surrogate brother Milo (Matt Smith). It almost seems that they translated the man/beast conflict between Morbius and Milo, rather than have it be within Morbius himself. Milo is afflicted with the same blood disease as Michael, and when Milo uses the same treatment as Michael, he embraces his lust for blood and new-found superpowers after a life of disability. Matt Smith’s performance as Milo was possibly the most enjoyable aspect of the film, giving a convincingly sympathetic performance as the villain who, unlike Morbius, embraces his vampiric side. Other supporting characters include Michael’s girlfriend Martine, portrayed by Adria Arjona, who provides Michael with the ‘moral compass’ throughout the film, and Jared Harris Dr. Emil Nicholas, Michael and Milo’s father figure. Martine and Dr. Emil aren’t the most memorable of side characters, but they provide us with external observers of Michael and Milo’s predicament, and remind us of the moral ambiguity of their actions.

Morbius is far from a perfect film. The action sequences are choppy, the characters aren’t quite developed as they should be, and the post credit scenes feel like Sony attempting to grasp at straws to connect Morbius with the wider Marvel universe. However, as a stand-alone Marvel film about a character with a sympathetic predicament and supernatural abilities, there is still some enjoyment to be had. This is quite possibly the first Marvel film to verge on the supernatural since the Blade trilogy of the late 90s and early 2000s. This is what sets it apart from other Marvel films. It’s dark, gritty atmosphere and unique supernatural twist on the superhero genre provides a refreshing change to the typical superhero formula we are all too familiar with. The character has had a rough ride through comic history, going through many changes of writers and some periods where it seemed the character was left to lie dormant. As such, it was nice to see such an intriguing character have a shot at a live action feature film, even if it wasn’t quite what fans had hoped for. Hopefully, Sony will listen more to the wishes of fans in future, and give us more of the character’s anti-heroic nature which made him so iconic in the comics.

A Comprehensive Essay on ‘The Man Without Fear’: What makes ‘Daredevil’ one of the most intriguing characters in the Marvel Universe

It’s the early 1960s. The Marvel comics industry has already produced a colourful variety of iconic characters such as Hulk, Thor, Iron Man and Spider-Man, still within the first few years of their creation. Then one day, comic legends Stan Lee, Bill Everett and Jack Kirby decide – “Hey, what if we created a disabled superhero?”. This superhero’s disability would be that he is blind, but his big compensation for this is the fact that his four other senses are heightened to super-human level. Not only that, but his every day alter-ego is a lawyer named Matthew Murdock who fights crime using the legal system. This is juxtaposed to the fact he is a vigilante at night who catches criminals who slip their way through the legal system; because sometimes the law just isn’t enough. This is a man who pushes away his loved ones as he attempts to balance these two lifestyles, a man whose religious faith is ironically reflected by the fact he beats up criminals dressed as the devil. A man with the heroism of Spider-man and the emotional complexity and darkness of Batman. A man who attempts to lift Hell’s Kitchen from its criminal damnation by working both sides of the law. A man who faces loss, abandonment, trauma, and constantly struggles with his identity whilst still defending his city. A man, without fear.

To me, all these things are what make ‘Daredevil‘ one of the most unique and intriguing characters in the Marvel universe. The character resonates with me in a way that not many other characters do. The very concept of a blind superhero was enough to interest me, but his abilities and emotional complexity is what put him on my personal pedestal. Matthew Murdock lost his sight at a very young age when a radioactive substance splashed into his eyes, whilst attempting to save an old man from the truck carrying said substance. Initially, you’d think being blinded is quite possibly one of the most nightmarish experiences a person could go through, considering how much humans rely on their sight. But Matt made it his mission to transform his disability into a strength. A strength that he could later use to commit more acts of heroism like the one that cost him his sight. Not only did he lose his sight, but Matt also lost his boxer father, Jack ‘the devil’ Murdock, who refused to intentionally lose a fight for a mobster. Jack used to encourage Matt to not become a fighter like him, but instead study to become a lawyer or doctor to make the world a better place. Like so many other superheroes have shown, loss is a powerful motivator, and Matt was then motivated to support his father’s wish, but also to bring the criminals who murdered his father to justice. This led to the dual lifestyle that Matt leads as lawyer-by-day and vigilante-by-night. This bipartite personality reflects the different ways of how we choose what the ‘right’ thing to do is. We like to keep our loved ones close as they inspire us to be our best selves, using our knowledge and rationality to defend others and resolve injustices. This is the Matt Murdock in all of us. On the other hand, it is only human to give into our emotional impulses, and resolve injustices by whatever means necessary, even if it sometimes means pushing away our loved ones. In other words, sometimes we simply need to ‘let the devil out‘. This is the Daredevil in all of us.

The world of Daredevil and Matt Murdock is perfectly encapsulated in Netflix’s Daredevil series. This is the series which first absorbed me into the character and his world. The series opens with its protagonist sitting in a confession box admitting he needs to ‘let the devil out’, setting up for something which will blur the line between right and wrong. What separates this series from other Marvel TV shows and movies is its perceptiveness and grit. It isn’t afraid to explore deeper themes and make flawed characters likeable. Its reliance on dark, grainy cinematography to encapsulate a much darker comic book story rather than overusing CGI makes it much more grounded and real than most other Marvel properties. Season 1 isn’t just a superhero show – it’s a 13-episode character drama about how far protagonists and antagonists are willing to push the moral boundaries to do what they believe is ‘right’. Charlie Cox’s performance as Matt Murdock is possibly my favourite portrayal of a comic book character; he is to Daredevil what Robert Downey Jr was to Iron Man. He brings likability and emotional complexity to a flawed character, similarly to the antagonist of the series, Wilson Fisk, portrayed by Vincent D’Onofrio. Fisk does unspeakable things throughout the series, but still manages to provoke feelings of empathy and understanding with the audience. He is intimidating, anxious, calculating, and somehow empathetic all in one. He doesn’t need superpowers or weapons to show his power. Simply by displaying the effect he has on people and what he makes them do for him before he even appears on screen is enough to show how much of an unstoppable force he is, and how he truly lives up to his comic book alias, ‘The Kingpin’.

Whilst some argue season 2 of the series wavers in its objective quality, upon several re-watches I have come to appreciate the thought and depth placed into its story arcs. The first few episodes centre around one of Marvel’s most compelling and morally ambiguous villains – the Punisher. Once again, Jon Bernthal to me is the Punisher like Robert Downey Jr is Iron Man. He is a man to be feared by criminal organisations yet the series isn’t afraid to show his more emotional, familial side. Should we simply kill criminals so they don’t commit their unspeakable crimes again? Or does every criminal, no matter how terrible their crimes, deserve a chance at redemption? This intriguing dilemma is discussed in depth between Daredevil and Punisher, showing two different perspectives on the idea of vigilantism yet showing how similar these two characters are. As the Punisher says to Daredevil – ‘You’re one bad day away from being me.’ That is what makes these characters some of the most compelling in the Marvel universe. The parallels drawn between them throughout the series show how easy it would be for Daredevil to kill and turn into those he fights so hard to defend Hell’s Kitchen from. Season 2 also crafts a story about what it means to live two different lives, as Matt struggles to maintain his day life as an attorney with his night life as the man without fear. He pushes his two closest friends away, Foggy Nelson and Karen Page, trying to balance the demands of the Punisher’s trial as Matt Murdock and the fight as Daredevil with a secret organisation known as The Hand. He forms romantic connections with Karen as Matt Murdock, and with assassin Elektra as Daredevil, epitomising the struggle of which life is best to lead. The more absorbed he becomes in one, the more it infects the other. Season 2 creates believable conflict between those who call each other friends, and understanding between those who call each other enemies. It encapsulates the dichotomy of right and wrong, and how many different approaches there are to achieve what an individual believes is the ‘right’ thing to do to protect others.

My cosplay of Daredevil’s first vigilante outfit from season 1 of the Netflix show

As if the first two seasons weren’t enough to fulfil even the Devil’s appetite, Netflix and Marvel provided us with a third (and possibly final) season of Daredevil. Season 3 effectively uses what made season 1 great and adds refreshing new dynamics to Matt’s defence of Hell’s Kitchen. A broken, beaten Matt seemingly has abandoned his everyday life as an attorney and fully embraced his vigilante persona. Not only this, but the Kingpin of Crime, Wilson Fisk, has returned to the Kitchen and proves that house arrest is far from enough to keep his atrocious criminal schemes at bay. Season 3 also provides us with an intriguing portrayal of one of Marvel’s most underrated villains, Bullseye. Season 3 turns what was originally another costumed assassin who can turn any object into a deadly projectile into a compelling yet terrifying antagonist for Matt Murdock. Bullseye, or known in the series as Poindexter (Wilson Bethel) is an unhinged FBI agent whose childhood abandonment and unresolved psychopathy leads him to become a tool of Fisk’s to incriminate Daredevil with the very crimes Fisk is guilty of. Not only does this parallel Matt’s own abandonment issues from his mother, but it provides us with yet another antagonist who has understandable motives yet atrociously goes about fulfilling them. Similarly to D’Onofrio’s Fisk, he is a villain whose actions you do not condone, yet with a character skilfully crafted to provide an understanding of why he is like he is. The impending clash between Daredevil, Fisk, and Bullseye occurs in one of the most climactic series finales I’ve ever seen. Will Bullseye kill Fisk’s wife Vanessa before Daredevil can save her? Will Daredevil cross the line and kill Fisk? Charlie Cox provides an award-worthy performance as he cries out in pain when the opportunity to kill his adversary arises but he can’t bring himself to do it. What makes the protagonist of Netflix’s series a hero is not Daredevil, but Matt Murdock. As Fisk urges Matt to kill him, Matt exclaims “You don’t get to destroy who I am“. If Matt kills Fisk, Fisk wins. Daredevil becomes a hero by maintaining the integrity of his humanity, by choosing not what is easy, but what is right. I could probably write pages and pages more about why Netflix’s Daredevil is one of the best series of the 2010s. About the stunning comic-book inspired cinematography, the intense, dark soundtrack by John Paesano, and the performance of every actor. But it’s a series you should simply watch for yourself, because I believe it is a series that every comic book fan should experience and could learn from.

Netflix’s masterful series inspired me to indulge in other Daredevil media and explore the world of Matt Murdock further. Comic book writers and artists have provided us with some of the most stunningly drawn and compelling tales in the Marvel universe. Kevin Smith’s Guardian Devil storyline not only provided the basis for the 2003 feature film, but also became one of my favourite comic book stories to date. An infant is mysteriously placed into the care of Matt Murdock, which is revealed to be either the Messiah or the Antichrist, leaving Matt to struggle with his faith in Catholicism and how it weighs on his sense of morality. The story isn’t afraid to deal with themes like substance abuse, suicide, and religious faith. I couldn’t talk about Daredevil comics without mentioning the main man who made the character what he is today, Frank Miller. Miller took Lee and Everett’s creation and placed him into much more real-world scenarios, and immersed him in darker themes and conflicts which readers could resonate and empathise with. Miller’s Born Again story arc is regarded as one of the greatest and most influential Daredevil storylines. Having discovered Daredevil’s secret identity, the Kingpin is hell-bent on bringing down Matt Murdock in every way he can, leaving Matt to pick himself up and find the willpower to pursue his adversary. With its uniquely religious symbolism and struggles with identity, Born Again provided much of the inspiration for seasons 2 and 3 of the Netflix series. Even the criticised 2003 feature film starring Ben Affleck I find enjoyment from. It may have some toe-curling cheesiness, but I appreciated its performances, tone, faithfulness to the comics, and of course those underground-early 2000s Matrix vibes which most comic book films tended to have back then.

Whatever media is used to portray the story of Matt Murdock, whether it be film, TV, or graphic novel, I have come to appreciate him as one of the most interesting and unique characters in the Marvel universe. The way he turns his disability into effectively his greatest assets is awe-inspiring, and shows that irrespective of potential disadvantages, you can still stand up for what you care about. I recently read Travis Langley’s book, ‘Daredevil Psychology: The Devil You Know‘ which explored the complexity of the character and his powers using psychological literature. As Langley writes in his final essay of the book, “Life’s balancing act lasts as long as we do“, which I believe encompasses what makes Daredevil so compelling. The character epitomises the dichotomy of life and morality; lawyer by day, vigilante by night; working both inside and outside the system. Do we indulge in our emotions or keep ourselves level-headed? It shows how things aren’t always as simple as right or wrong or good versus evil. Daredevil taught me things about myself which I wouldn’t have even considered before, and provided me with a reason to express my passion and resonation with the world of comic books and TV. But most importantly, the character taught me to always have faith, no matter the odds. It’s fair to say Daredevil is my favourite comic book character of all time.

Another cosplay of me as Matt Murdock himself, in a world where he decided to grow out his hair (Photos by Jacob McCormack)

Why ‘Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness’ could be the MCU’s craziest outing yet

The official trailer for Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness sets the stakes for something of truly epic proportion. Everything from the ominous soundtrack to the stunning visuals of mysterious new worlds suggests we’re in for an outing that has never been seen before in the cinematic history of Marvel. Beginning with Strange waking from a nightmare of a decrepit Sanctum Sanctorum on a desolate plain immediately sets the tone for something of apocalyptic proportion. With Sam Raimi taking directorial reigns, Multiverse of Madness has the potential to push the traditional genre of a Marvel film, incorporating elements of horror which could prove to be an ominously refreshing turning point for the MCU. The trailer also contains some of the most beautiful yet terrifying imagery ever seen in a Marvel trailer; with one shot of Strange fragmented into square pieces as he crashes through a world with dinosaurs in the background… This truly sets the scale for something which will push the boundaries of a typical Marvel film.

The trailer suggests the film will involve the repercussions Strange must face after the events of Wandavision, Loki, and Spider-Man: No Way Home, all of which gave Marvel fans a taste of the Multiverse. It’s great to see Elizabeth Olsen returning in her full Scarlett Witch get-up, although her appraisal of Strange’s attempts to control the chaos of the multiverse doesn’t seem too positive, as she so calmly yet menacingly delivers the line “You break the rules and become a hero, I do it and I become the enemy. That doesn’t seem fair.“. Perhaps this means she will be fully embracing her Scarlett Witch persona and play a more antagonistic role in the film. The trailer contains several other appearances from returning MCU characters such as fan favourite Wong, Strange’s love interest Christine, and it seems we will finally be getting a pay off for the post-credits scene of the first Doctor Strange film with the return of Mordo. However, possibly the most intriguing aspects of the trailer are the hints it drops to the appearance of some very unexpected faces. Hearing Patrick Stuart’s voice immediately gave me chills as it was the last thing I expected to be in a Doctor Strange trailer. The possibility of Stuart reprising his role as Professor Xavier from 20th Century Fox’s X-Men films suggests the scale of Multiverse of Madness will be as a certain Sorcerer Supreme once said, ‘Hitherto Undreamt of‘. If that wasn’t enough, another substantial speculation surrounding the trailer is that the illuminated costumed figure fighting Wanda could be a variant of one of the MCU’s other heroes; the big theory being that Tom Cruise will be playing a variant Iron Man from another universe. We will have to wait until the film’s released to have any of this speculation confirmed, but given the number of surprise appearances from returning characters in Spider-Man: No Way Home, we can certainly expect there to be some surprises as Strange traverses the multiverse. Speaking of variants, it seems there will be several alternate variants of Doctor Strange himself appearing in the film. The first being a very sly, evil looking Strange which Marvel fans may recognise from Marvel’s animated What if? series. The other Strange variant which appears at the end of the trailer definitely hinges on the borders of horror. If a monstrous, dark, demonic looking version of Strange is enough to make Wong let out a terrified scream, then you know Sam Raimi will quite possibly be treating us to the closest thing to an MCU horror film to date. The trailer’s mysterious visuals and hints of returning characters leaving us to merely speculate only adds to the hype for the film. Whatever the speculation may be, one thing is for sure – we’re in for a plethora of surprises as the multiverse unravels in what could be one of Marvel’s craziest cinematic experiences yet.

Spider-Man: No Way Home (Spoiler) Review


It has now been a good few weeks since the release of Spider-Man: No Way Home, so I decided it was about time I went into some more depth about the film which has not only redefined the story of Spider-Man, but also Marvel movies as a whole. Over the past few weeks I’ve seen a lot of articles saying NWH is the best Spider-Man film ever, and some even claiming it to be the best Marvel movie of all time. Whilst these statements could easily be contested, I very much understand them. Spider-Man: No Way Home is quite possibly one of the best superhero stories put to the big screen, and as I mentioned in my non-spoiler review, resolves any doubts about Tom Holland’s iteration of the character.

This film celebrates the cinematic history of one of pop culture’s most iconic heroes. The inclusion of nearly every pre-MCU Spider-Man villain makes for a triumphant nostalgia trip through Spidey history. There was not once where the film felt overcrowded with characters, because you know exactly who all these villains are and where they came from; what matters is the current story being told. Having had his identity revealed by Mysterio at the end of Far From Home, Peter is suddenly overwhelmed with the full force of the public eye. Not only that, but charges of murder are being made against Peter and his loved ones. Which leads me onto the biggest surprise of NWH for me personally – Charlie Cox’s return as the blind lawyer Matt Murdock. When I saw the blind stick being placed down as Matt Murdock took a seat alongside Peter, Happy and May, I could not contain my excitement. Netflix’s Daredevil series is without a doubt the best superhero show, as well as one of all-time my favourite shows. It led to Daredevil being one of my favourite Marvel characters (along with Spider-Man of course). Charlie Cox’s portrayal of the lawyer-by-day, vigilante-by-night was superb, and including him in NWH gets me excited for the potential reappearance of one of my favourite Marvel characters in the MCU.

Once the blind lawyer has helped Peter with his legal trouble, it doesn’t stop other forces from ruining aspects of Peter’s life and those around him. Seeking a wizard’s help to brainwash the world into forgetting he is Spider-Man rather than appealing for rejected MIT applications is such a Peter Parker thing to do. Whilst Doctor Strange is justifiably frustrated when Peter ruins his spell and discovers he didn’t even plead his case for MIT, you can’t help but think most of us would have done the same if we knew a Master of the Mystic Arts. Having unleashed all the previous Spidey villains into the MCU as a result of the spell, Strange tasks Peter with tracking them all down and sending them back to where they came from. When I heard Danny Elfman’s Doc Ock theme as the villain appeared on the bridge, I was hit with the nostalgic excitement I felt when watching Sam Raimi’s golden Spider-Man trilogy. Similarly, when the pumpkin bomb falls onto the bridge and you hear Willem Dafoe’s iconic Green Goblin laugh I could barely contain my excitement. It was also great to see Jamie Foxx reprise his role as Electro, providing a slightly more level-headed, quippy iteration of the villain to when we last saw him in The Amazing Spider-Man 2. The chemistry between the villains and Peter was probably one of my favourite parts of the movie. There are some moments which even poke fun at the clichés of villain backstories. Such as when Electro and Sandman are discussing how they became how they are and they discover they both fell into the wrong place at the wrong time – “Gotta be careful where you fall”. Yet another aspect of the film which celebrates Spidey’s cinematic history.

Now I could write all day about every little aspect of this film. About how they went as far as to reference a meme of Norman Osborn with the inclusion of Willem’s iconic line “I’m something of a scientist myself”. This simply shows the extent to which the filmmakers acknowledged pop culture. But I cannot write a spoiler review of this film without talking about one of the greatest crossover events in cinematic history. The triumphant return of Andrew Garfield and Tobey Maguire as their respective Spider-Men. When Andrew took his mask off I audibly went ‘OH SHIT’ in the cinema. I’ll start off by saying every scene with them was done perfectly. From the small details such as the use of the same sound effect for Tobey shooting his webbing to their discussion about the greatest villains they’ve fought. They both gave it their all, and they both encompassed everything we loved about the characters previously. Tom Holland’s Peter Parker suffers from quite possibly the greatest loss he’s experienced so far – the death of Aunt May. Little would I have guessed that a meaningful rooftop conversation with two other Spider-Men from different universes was exactly what he needed. The look on Tom’s face when Andrew tells him about how he lost the love of his life, Gwen Stacey, simply tells you he’s imagining what if the same thing happened to his MJ. When Tobey tells him about how he wanted the man who killed his Uncle Ben dead, and how it took him time to learn that vengeance doesn’t make it better, I had tears in my eyes. And then when the three Spider-Men agree on having heard the iconic line – ‘With great power, comes great responsibility’ it truly showed how much these films have encompassed the tragic tale of the wall-crawler. It showed that all of the different iterations of Spider-Man have told the same story, all of them have suffered loss, gone through the worst pain in their lives, but at the end of the day they keep doing the right thing because they are as Andrew puts it, the friendly neighbourhood Spider-Man. It really was a dream come true to see Tom, Andrew and Tobey on screen together. It was brilliant how much chemistry they had together, and having each other’s backs when they needed it most.

The bonding moments they share is unlike anything we’ve seen before. Tobey reassuring Andrew that he is ‘amazing’, meta-joke aside, shows how much companionship they provide each other, and how much Peter Parker effectively looks out for ‘himself’ in a way. Andrew’s greatest moment comes in the final battle when MJ falls from scaffolding and Tom being knocked aside by the Green Goblin, he leaps at the opportunity to save her. As he touches the ground with her in his arms safe and sound, he has that bittersweet sentimental look on his face that he was able to finally succeed where he once failed to save Gwen. It was the perfect healing moment for him seven years in the making. Tobey’s greatest moment comes when he stops a vengeful Spider-Man (Tom Holland) about to murder the Goblin with is own glider, stepping between them and matching his Spider-strength with Tom’s. Again, this was a perfect payoff moment for Tobey’s Spider-Man – preventing a younger, vengeful Peter Parker from making the same mistake he once did, ironically reflecting his own final battle with the very same Goblin, except this time stopping it from ending with the Goblin being killed by his own glider.

At it’s core, NWH is a story about what it truly means to be Spider-Man. When you strip away the appearances of previous heroes and villains and its multiversal elements, it’s a story about what a person is willing to sacrifice to do the right thing. At the end of the film, Peter chooses to lose everything to save everyone from the damage he had previously caused. He chooses to lose his loved ones by allowing everyone to forget Peter Parker. Recalling a line from Tobey’s Peter in Spider-Man 2 – “To do what’s right we have to be steady, and give up the thing we want the most – even our dreams.” Almost 20 years later, the same line is reflected in yet another Spider-Man story, which I think truly shows how timelessly beloved this character is. This line is especially reflected when Tom’s Peter Parker visits MJ after she no longer remembers him, and he decides not to get to know her again. After seeing the plaster on her forehead, subtly reflecting the damage caused to Peter’s loved ones by being Spider-Man, he decides to disassociate himself with her to keep her safe. The film closes with Peter on his own in his own apartment, making a classic comic book suit all by himself, swinging through a snowy Rockefeller Plaza. What truly makes this film one of the greatest Marvel movies of all time, is that it celebrated the cinematic history of Spider-Man, and showed the lessons from it are what took Tom Holland’s Peter Parker to truly become Spider-Man. He no longer has Tony Stark to make him billion-dollar suits, he no longer has the Avengers or anyone else to rely on. It took learning the lessons of loss and responsibility from Tobey and Andrew’s Spider-Men, and to learn those lessons first-hand himself, to truly encompass what it means to be Spider-Man. A famous director once said Marvel films aren’t cinema because they don’t give us enlightenment, knowledge and some inspiration. I respectfully disagree – movies like NWH inspire me every day, and only further solidify Spider-Man’s place in not only my heart, but in the hearts of countless others. The lessons we learn from heroes like Spider-Man provide us with enlightenment, knowledge and inspiration by showing us what it truly means to be a hero. That is, despite the loss, pain and responsibility, doing the right thing is worth it. And you don’t need to be a wall crawler to be able to do the right thing.

Spider-Man: No Way Home is a love letter to everything Spidey

The day was Wednesday 15th December, 2021. The time was approximately 21:42. A young man had just walked out of one of the first screenings of Spider-Man: No Way Home. This young man had been a Spidey fan ever since he was a young boy climbing in trees and collecting Spider-Man figures from Sam Raimi’s Spider-Man trilogy. He had been there for every new Spider-Man film for as long as he could remember, and was very well informed on the comic book origins and timeline of the web-slinger. He knew that what it meant to be Spider-Man was not to have the proportionate strength, speed and ability of a spider. He knew what it meant to be Spider-Man was Peter Parker. A young man, a similar age to himself, who suffered and lost what he held most dearly as he battled between his life as a masked vigilante and a broke but clever student from New York City. On that particular Wednesday, the young man had never been in such awe of the web-slinger who had held such a close place in his heart ever since he was a young boy. That young man, was yours truly.

Spider-Man: No Way Home is a triumphant love letter to everything which makes Spider-Man, Spider-Man. It not only has its much needed doses of fan service, but it is quite possibly the best Spider-Man story to be portrayed on the big screen. The main cast gives it their A-game, from Tom Holland as the titular hero to Alfred Molina reprising his role as Doctor Octopus. For those skeptics who saw Tom’s Spider-Man as nothing more than Tony Stark’s golden teenager, No Way Home proves that Tom can in fact encompass what it means to be Spider-Man, which quite possibly makes him the best iteration of the character to date. He goes through things in the film which no previous Spider-Man has gone through before, yet they are experiences which ultimately defines what it means to be Spider-Man. The film not only changes the course of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, but also the course of the story of Spider-Man on the big screen. It is in a sense the Avengers: Endgame equivalent for Spider-Man. The stakes have never been higher, and the addition of Benedict Cumberbatch’s Doctor Strange adds for some intense multi-versal elements we have not yet seen on the big screen in the MCU. The fight scene between Spider-Man and Doctor Strange is impressive enough to rival Strange’s spectacular battle with Thanos in Avengers: Infinity War. Taking inspiration from one of the most controversial Spider-Man stories in the comics, ‘Spider-Man: One More Day‘, the film places some MCU twists on the comic storyline whilst still remaining relatively true to the source material. It was brilliant to see so many iconic Spidey villains on-screen together in live action, giving us what is essentially the closest version of a live-action Sinister Six (even though there wasn’t quite six). It is often difficult to have so many supporting characters on-screen without making a film feel crowded, but No Way Home somehow does it perfectly. The villains’ chemistry with not only Spider-Man, but also each other, was one of the best aspects of the film which I was pleasantly surprised by. I genuinely could not stop myself from grinning all the way through the film, it made me feel so lucky to be a film fan, a Marvel fan, but most of all, a Spider-Man fan.

I would be interested to watch this film from the perspective of a non-Marvel or Spider-Man fan, as I have no doubt there is still much enjoyment to be found. To the casual cinema-goer, Spider-Man: No Way Home is nothing short of the story of a young boy becoming a young man. It is a story of how far a person is willing to go to do the right thing. It is a story of an average teenager attempting to balance his normal life with the responsibility of being a superhero, which is exactly what Spider-Man is all about. The film shows that no matter how much loss and suffering Peter Parker goes through he is still willing to make sacrifices to do the right thing, which is exactly why we love him. Any doubt about Tom’s iteration of Spider-Man is gone by the end of the film. He truly epitomises what it means to be Spider-Man and Peter Parker, and the film makes it clear that the person who does the right thing is not Spider-Man, but Peter Parker.

Stay tuned for a spoiler-filled blog…

Just hanging around…

Venom: Let there be Carnage is absolute carnage (in a good way)

‘Eddie Brock is you, and I’m the suit, so call me VENOMMMM’ as Eminem so eloquently put it in his 2018 song ‘Venom’ – this is how I felt walking out of Venom: Let there be Carnage. My hat (or symbiote) goes off to Andy Serkis. For a man highly respected for his career of portraying motion-capture creatures on screen for two decades now, he knew exactly what the Venom sequel needed and his direction of Venom: Let there be Carnage left me wanting more symbiote action on the big screen. The film brings one of Marvel’s greatest anti-heroes to showdown with one of their craziest villains, and it is truly spectacular. I can’t imagine even Spider-man being able to deal with the carnage of these two clashing!

I always viewed 2018’s Venom as a severely underrated comic book movie about an anti-hero. Tom Hardy absolutely kills it as the failing reporter Eddie Brock and does a terrific job voicing Venom (to this day I still question how much of Venom’s voice is purely Tom). It was a Marvel movie that took the anti-hero trope more seriously than movies like Deadpool, but at the same time didn’t take itself too seriously. The case is the same with Venom: Let there be Carnage. Andy Serkis knows he’s dealing with two of the craziest characters in the Marvel universe, and delivers what feels like a comic book or extended episode of the 90s animated Spider-man series (which turns out is what it was partially based on!). I think that is the beauty of Marvel. It can be as family-friendly as a man picking up a shield or hammer but can also successfully produce a movie about two aliens biting people’s heads off. Whilst a more mature-rated Venom movie would have been interesting, I’m glad Andy Serkis chose to push the limits of the 15-rating as to appeal such a brilliant film to a wider audience!

I mentioned how brilliant Tom Hardy is as both Eddie Brock and Venom in the first film, and if anything he’s even better in the sequel. One of my favourite aspects of Venom: Let there be Carnage was how much more it explores Eddie and Venom’s relationship and what it’s like having to live with each other. Since the first film, Eddie has worked very hard to get somewhere in his life, and so tries his very best to keep the fact he has an alien symbiote inside him on the down-low. Mixed with Venom’s impatient temperament to eat human brains, this creates some very entertaining sources of conflict. This film also further nails the trope that Venom really is the anti-Spider-man. Venom and Eddie make plenty of hilarious Peter Parker-style quips, except with darker twists. Furthermore, Eddie teaches Venom how to do the right thing whilst still satisfying Venom’s need to eat humans by becoming the ‘lethal protector’; restricting Venom’s diet to exclusively bad people. Ten years ago if you told me there would be a successful comic book film about a superhero who eats people I would’ve probably laughed at the possibility.

My other favourite thing about Venom: Let there be Carnage was of course, Woody Harrelson as the serial killer Cletus Kasady and the titular villain, Carnage, whom Cletus Kasady bonds with. Carnage is a Marvel character I have long-awaited to see live action on the big screen. Imagine a bigger, badder, redder and crazier Venom and you have Carnage. The first time I came across Carnage was several years ago when I read the comic ‘Deadpool Vs. Carnage’ which was a brilliant short story about what happened if the merc with a mouth clashed with an insane alien serial killer. The story arc with Carnage in the 90s animated Spider-man series stood out to me as well; forcing the anti-Spider-man to essentially clash with the anti-Venom. So my anticipation at seeing Woody Harrelson saying ‘There’s gonna be carnage’ in the Venom mid-credits scene was unparalleled. Harrelson nails the unhinged, red-neck Cletus Kasady and made me question whether I should be so entertained by a psychotic serial killer. Harrelson also voices Carnage which was great, and there is one line at the end of the film which genuinely gave me goosebumps. Together, Andy Serkis and Woody Harrelson perfectly encapsulate what it means to be one of the craziest characters in the Marvel universe, and ensure Carnage truly lives up to its name.

Venom: Let there be Carnage satisfied my hunger for a symbiote showdown, and left me wanting more. Other cast members such as Stephen Graham as detective Patrick Mulligan and Naomi Harris as the new super-villain Shriek were welcome additions to the plot. They added unique dynamics to both Eddie and Cletus’ struggles in dealing with having crazed alien symbiotes inside them, especially considering Shriek’s superpower is essentially their weakness… Even if you haven’t seen the first Venom, this film will provide an entertaining, crazy sci-fi romp through one of Marvel’s most underrated comic book storylines. In fact, if you haven’t seen the first Venom – go watch it! And when you have, it is imperative you go and watch Venom: Let there be Carnage whilst its still in cinemas. It is as good as if not better than the first Venom. Oh, and even if you’re not a die-hard Marvel fan, stick around until after the credits…it’ll be worth it to see the reactions of the die-hard Marvel fans…

The Spider-Man PS4 game IS the reason Spider-Man is my hero

I love Spider-Man. As if the picture isn’t enough to scream that, I’ve loved Spider-Man as long as I can remember. I remember the despair I felt when I was 8 years old and lost my Spider-man 2 Doctor Octopus figure at school. I remember climbing up trees around my village and posing like the Web slinger. I remember the excitement I felt first seeing Tom Holland as the MCU’s Spider-Man in the Captain America: Civil War trailer. Peter Parker has always been a big part of my life, but as I grew into late adolescence I was no longer buying Doc Ock figures or climbing up trees. Then when I was 21 I played Insomniac’s Spider-Man for the PlayStation 4. And my god. It reminded me why I love Spider-Man.

Marvel’s Spider-Man PS4 is a 2018 action-adventure video game made by Insomniac games. It lets you play as the web slinger in a fully explorable New York City sprinkled with plenty of crimes to stop and references to the wider Marvel universe. The game has a full original story just like the movies, but with the expansiveness and emotional depth as many of the comics. Personally, I don’t think you could beat the idea of an open-world Spider-Man game where you can live out your wildest web slinging dreams. The combination of John Paesano’s phenomenal musical score and Insomniac’s gorgeous recreation of the New York skyline makes you feel like Spider-Man.

*Spoilers ahead for the main story of Spider-Man PS4*

From the very first scene of the game my love for Spider-Man began tingling. It opens with a spider dangling over Peter Parker’s window, and then pans to all the newspaper headlines pinned up of all the villains Spidey has put away. As Peter is alerted to Wilson Fisk (aka the Kingpin) causing a major problem for the NYPD, he puts on the iconic suit and looks down at the phone alert, and then looks at a slip for overdue rent. He looks back and forth again, and then leaps out the window and spreads his webs. That decision right there is what epitomises Peter Parker and why Spider-Man is such a global phenomenon. He has to make a choice, go after Fisk or pay the rent; what is right or personal responsibility. And this is within the first 5 minutes of the game.

I don’t think I’ve played a video game which I’ve been more emotionally invested in than Spider-Man. The characters are written as good as if not better than the films. Peter Parker is an older, more experienced Spider-Man in this story, so he’s faced with the pressures of adulthood whilst also balancing the vigilante lifestyle. His relationship with Otto Octavius is so well written that die-hard Spider-Man fans don’t want him to become Doctor Octopus. Otto and Peter have a shared passion for science and have an incredible rapport, so much so that Peter idolises him. So much so that by the end of the game when Octavius has become Doc Ock you almost dread Peter’s final showdown with him; a friendship thrown away for the sake of vengeance and arrogance.

Peter Parker’s love interest, Mary Jane (or MJ), is probably the best portrayal of MJ in any film or other media. Unlike the films, MJ is clearly no damsel in distress who needs Spidey to rescue her every 5 minutes. Being a journalist with an eye for a shifty story, she goes out by herself to investigate any villainous schemes that may be posing a threat to the city, even if it means putting herself in harm’s way. Throughout the game she has a slightly ambiguous yet stable relationship with Peter, balancing the thin line between casual friendship and deep romantic interest. She is much more than the cliché love interest for the hero. Peter and MJ are crime fighting partners; MJ using her journalism skills to do the right thing even if Peter disagrees with it. Miles Morales is another character worthy of an honourable mention. For those who are unfamiliar, Peter acts as a mentor figure to Miles and as die-hard fans know he eventually becomes the next Spider-Man. Miles goes through similar trauma to Peter; he loses loved ones, he faces potentially losing his city but he still carries on and does the right thing. There’s one brilliant scene where Spider-Man shows Miles how to throw a punch, which is later paid off in a scene where Miles punches an escaped convict for stealing some medical supplies. And this is all before he gets bitten by a spider and gains his own spidey powers.

These characters mean a lot to so many people because they are us. Peter doesn’t have a perfect relationship with MJ, Miles doesn’t have superpowers yet he helps out at a homeless shelter after losing his father. The relatability of these characters and the trials and tribulations they’re tested through is what inspires us to be better than we are. We may not have superpowers or a cool costume but these characters make us believe that we don’t need them to do just as much good. Spider-Man gets beaten down again and again, he has to take down the closest thing he’s had to a father figure. He has to make the ultimate sacrifice by choosing whether to save the city or save a loved one. Despite all this, he keeps going. He keeps being Spider-Man and he keeps doing the right thing. The emotional depth to this game is unparalleled to any other Spider-Man film or TV show. This game is the reason I went out and bought a Spider-Man costume. It made me want to read every comic book and watch every movie, and it made me so happy Marvel blessed us with this wonderful character. If you asked me who the greatest fictional hero of all time was, it wouldn’t be Superman, Batman, King Arthur, or Captain America. It would be Spider-Man. Because he’s one of us.

Photo by Jacob Mccormack