#2. How to Be Part of a Coherent Sequence of Events
Cracked: I'd like to remind you of something that happened in a past life.
Spider-Man: Ah, so you're a new age supervillain. Next you'll be throwing homeopathic pumpkin-bombs with a robotic arm powered by "bad chi."
"Two." Two quips before it gets annoying.
Cracked: Once, back when you looked more like the guy from Seabiscuit and less like the only likeable character in The Social Network, you were talking to Mary Jane outside your house. But then she got in a fancy car driven by her boyfriend. So you decided to buy a car to impress her, but they were too expensive. So you entered a wrestling competition, but the owner stiffed you on your prize money. Because of that, you let a thief escape with his money. Because of that, Uncle Ben died. There's a very clear sequence of events that anyone paying attention can follow.
For comparison, last week you fought Electro, who was mad at you for missing his birthday. After you defeated him, you went home and watched TV for a while. Then you decided to investigate your father's disappearance because you were mad at his briefcase.
Spider-Man: So what you're saying is that if my life were a movie, it wouldn't make sense.
Cracked: If your life were a movie, it wouldn't just "not make sense." It would be infuriating. It would have audience members crying into their popcorn and hurling whiskey-spiked Slushees at the projector. They'd throw tantrums in the aisles as overblown and ridiculous as Leonardo DiCaprio gets when he's trying to win an Oscar. They'd be so desperate for answers that they'd kidnap innocent drug dealers and force-feed them hallucinogens until they thought they were Spider-Man, and then interrogate them. That's what bad movies do to people.
Spider-Man: Actually I think most people handle this kinda thing differently.
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"That was a disappointment, but it was nice to spend time as a family."
"Good thing we have emotionally fulfilling existences outside of watching superhero movies!"
Spider-Man: But you're right. This is like when Harry Osborn needed my blood to save his own life, but I wouldn't share it with him for some reason, even though sharing my super-blood to save a friend's life is a pretty straightforward superhero thing to do. Which makes it even weirder that I spent so much time convincing everyone that Harry and I were old friends. It's almost like I'm ...
Oh, God. I didn't realize this but ... I'm an asshole.
Cracked: You're an asshole!
Spider-Man: I'm an asshole! I probably killed Gwen Stacy on purpose!
Cracked: It's not just you, it's the whole movie: The finale takes place in a clock tower that's in a power plant, even though there's no reason for there to be a clock tower in a power plant. Why? The clock has to mean something, right? Well, a clock is a great metaphor for a bunch of different parts that all work together -- which is the exact opposite of how this movie works. So is the movie taunting us?
Are you taunting me, movie?
Spider-Man: It's all assholes! The whole movie is assholes! And let me tell you what else I haven't learned ...
#1. Fucking Anything
Spider-Man: It's not just that certain scenes don't make sense -- it's that the ones that do make sense are completely ignored.
In the first movie, I made a promise to Uncle Ben to pick up Aunt May from work, but I forgot, and because of that, Uncle Ben died. So the lesson I learned there is that it's important to keep my promises, right? Nope! Because later Captain Stacy dies and makes me promise (again!) to stay away from Gwen, and my final words in the movie are that the best kinds of promises aren't worth keeping. I've learned nothing, because I'm an asshole.
Brimming with anger, Spider-Man struggles against the ropes that hold him in the chair. The wood creaks, but I don't notice.
Spider-Man: Then, months later, I see a stranger on the street and decide to tell him that he's "my eyes and ears down here." I directly involve him in my vigilante justice, even though he's clearly a skinny dweeb doing an impression of Jim Carrey from Batman Forever. Then that backfires when he becomes obsessed with me, has a hissy fit, and becomes Electro.
Granted, I couldn't really have seen that coming -- but later I let Gwen Stacy come help me fight Electro, and then she dies, too. Seems like a pretty obvious lesson there: "Don't involve other people in my crime fighting, because they'll die." With great power comes great responsibility. I've learned that three times now -- has it sunk in?
Nope! The very last shot of the last movie is me encouraging a tiny child to dress up like me and fight crime. I actually tell this stupid little shit that he's the bravest kid I know. I draft a child into my spider army and pretty much guarantee that he's going to either die or become a supervillain and it's going to be my fault.
Suddenly I notice that the knots I've tied are coming undone, that my prisoner is stronger than I anticipated. I panic.
Cracked: This is getting out of control -- look, I need you to relax, OK? Remember where you are. Rick? Rick, you're not Spider-Man.
Spider-Man: I am Spider-Man!
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Cracked: No, Rick -- none of this is real!
Spider-Man: It is real! I'm an asshole! And the world has to know!
Spider-Man explodes from the chair, scattering wood shrapnel around my apartment with such force that debris embeds itself into the drywall. In a flash (or however long it takes me to stop crying underneath my couch) he's gone. I don't know where he went next.