4 Things About Spider-Man That Don't Make Any Damn Sense
Editor's Note: Normally when we conduct an interview, we use an exhaustive vetting process to make sure that the subject really is who they say they are and can speak with authority on the subject they want to talk to us about. In this particular case, one of our columnists kicked his way into our office and uploaded this article to the front page before any of us could stop him. So we can't be sure this actually happened, but if we were going to guess, we would say that most of it probably didn't.
You all said it couldn't be done. You said, "No one can interview Spider-Man, you dipshit, because he's not a real character." And to that, I said, "I know a guy who sells experimental bear tranquilizers." Then I interviewed Spider-Man about his latest movie, The Amazing Spider-Man 2. That about brings us up to speed. Enjoy this transcript of the interview, titled "things Spider-Man hasn't learned." It starts with ...
With Great Power Comes Great Responsibility
Cracked: Listen, Spider-Man, it's just so great to have you here.
Spider-Man: Wow, that shit is fast-acting. I guess I should've told you to take it with water. Anyway, enjoy your oh God, where did you get those nunchucks? Ah! Stop! Where did that sai come from? Ow! No, don't -- is that a fucking katana? Alright! We're good! I'm Spider-Man! Whatever you say!
"I'll even put on the costume if you promise to stop being every Ninja Turtle."
At this point I tied Spider-Man to a chair. I really hope I'm not crossing any points of no return as far as keeping the reader's sympathy goes.
Cracked: Awesome. Now, my first question is about the death of your uncle -- it didn't really seem to mean much, did it?
Spider-Man: OK, so you somehow know all about my secret identity? That's how this is working? Alright, yeah, I saw these movies, I can probably wing this.
Spider-Man clears his throat.
Spider-Man: I'm really sad about my uncle dying.
Cracked: Are you, though? Are you really?
Spider-Man: Of course! He was my mentor, he taught me ... uh ... actually, now that I think about it, he was clearly trying to be a mentor to me, but he sucked at it. He would say stuff like, "If you could do good things for other people, you had a moral obligation to do those things" and "Ever since you were a little boy, you've been living with so many unresolved things. Those things send us down a road. They make us who we are."
"Things are like stuff, in that the stuff often become things, or vice versa. There's a reason I never had my own kids."
Cracked: That advice sounds like something my drunk uncle would say, only translated into Fortune Cookie. I think your uncle might be something of a crazy person.
Spider-Man opens and shuts his mouth several times, like he's thinking carefully about what he wants to say next.
Spider-Man: Or that the movie's writers were trying to distance themselves from a certain phrase because they know it's associated with an older, Sam Raimi-er version of this universe.
Cracked: Maybe that's why you haven't bothered to find his killer.
Spider-Man: Hey, you're right -- I did forget to find his killer, even though finding his killer is the whole reason I became a superhero in the first place. Apparently a moment in your life can be so important that it causes you to devote your life to fighting crime, but also be so insignificant that you completely forget about it within a week.
That makes Peter Parker look like kind of an asshole, doesn't it? The only reason he's a likeable character for most moviegoers is because of stuff he did in the older movies, but they're rebooting those movies out of existence despite the fact that they're one of the only reasons superhero flicks are getting made in the first place.
Cracked: That was some pretty good detective work there. Which is weird, because I was about to point out that you have no idea ...
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How to Pick Up on Super Obvious Clues
Cracked: I'd like to talk to you about your spider-sense power ...
Spider-Man: Totally my favorite.
Cracked: ... and how you kinda blow at it.
Spider-Man: Admittedly I did not anticipate your sentence going in that direction.
I "spidey" sense that it's time to put the second part of my plan into action. I smile evilly, like someone with an evil plan.
Cracked: Would you like a cup of coffee?
Spider-Man: Uh, sure. I'd love some coffee.
Cracked: Here you go. It's a Russian brand -- Chekhov's Coffee. It has a complex flavor that starts with just a hint of hazelnut. It's a subtle way of letting you know that things are gonna get real nutty later on. I hope you enjoy it.
Yes, drink up with your own free hand, my improbably beautiful drug dealer friend.
Cracked: Now, regarding Gwen Stacy: I don't know if you noticed this, but her valedictorian speech at your high school graduation was entirely about death.
Spider-Man: I actually did notice how weird that was. An overachieving high school student rambling to her peers about how death is inevitable right as she graduates high school would send up all kinds of mental health red flags.
Cracked: You don't need spider-sense to pick up on the fact that this girl needs to be hosed down with a solution of Prozac and therapy.
"Life is terrible, death inevitable, I cry tears of- hold on, gotta make out with my smokin' hot boyfriend."
OK, never mind, that's actually super realistic teenager dialogue.
Spider-Man: Again, that's not at all how spider-sense works, but I'm with you. That speech only makes sense if you imagine me listening to it after she dies, so we can end the movie with the exact same "listen to a recording of a dead person giving you advice" scene that we put at the end of the first movie when he listened to Martin Sheen's dying words.
Uh, I mean I listened to Uncle Ben's dying words. My head feels ... strange, and my coffee ... tastes kinda funny.
Cracked: "Funny" how, Rick? "Funny" like "experimental bear tranquilizers?"
Spider-Man looks at his half-empty coffee cup, his eyes widening with fear and realization, which I'm going to call "fearilization."
Spider-Man: You drugged me! But why?
I tent my fingers and lean back in my chair, smiling in that really cool way that evil people smile before they explain their evil plans. I don't look like an idiot at all. It's intimidating as all get-out. I'm totally pulling it off.
Cracked: Because I asked you for Ritalin to help me research a column this week, and instead of giving me a study drug, you gave me hardcore hallucinogens! An innocent mistake? Perhaps ... but one I could never forgive! This is why I attacked you -- not in a drug-fueled rage, but in a rage-fueled ... rage! Soon your perception of the world will change, and if I've set this interview up properly, you will begin to think you really are Spider-Man!
Spider-Man sighs charmingly.
Spider-Man: Is this your supervillain theme? You drug people? What do you call yourself, Roofie-Guy?
Cracked: Oh, you're already quipping. I wonder how long it'll take before that gets annoying.
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.
"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 ...
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!
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.