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Things to Watch While Waiting for Spider-Man on PS4 – Part 3 September 3, 2018

Posted by Maniac in Editorials, Things to Watch While Waiting for Spider-Man on PS4.
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We are now less than a week away from the release of Spider-Man on the PlayStation 4. To celebrate, instead of doing a Gaming History You Should Know this weekend, we are going to highlight some more of the best videos about Spider-Man. In Part 1 and Part 2 we focused on highlighting some of the best independently produced fan videos on the subject, today we will be highlighting the best professionally produced documentaries about the game’s title character. Documentaries that, for one reason or another, no longer have the support of its creators, aren’t available on current video on-demand services, and no longer see air. Then we are going to top it off with a novel-length read on one of the most controversial and interesting stories to ever come out out Marvel, the history of the Clone Saga.

What is the most demanded extra costume for Spider-Man? That would be the Black Suit. It is utterly iconic in every way, with the enormous white spider logo on his chest. But what is the history of the Black Suit? Where did it come from, what could it do, and why was it so dangerous? Back in 2007, Comcast made a deal with Sony to release some preview footage and behind the scenes documentaries through Comcast On Demand. In my opinion it is one of the best documentaries ever made about the wall crawler. Everything I know about Spider-Man’s history with the Black Suit comes from this documentary.

The video quality of this one is very poor but there’s a good reason for that. When it was first published on Comcast On Demand, Comcast kept this video in Standard Definition only even though all the other Spider-Man 3 content they posted was offered in HD. Even in SD, Comcast also botched the video transfer of the video, giving it a horrible interlace problem. I had hoped a better version of the documentary would have been included in the DVD and Blu-Ray Disc release of Spider-Man 3, but this documentary was not included on the film’s home video release. To this day I’ve never heard a reason why. The only good quality version of this video that existed was a SD digital QuickTime version on Comcast’s website, a site which has been defunct for years. Thankfully, somebody kept a copy of this fantastic documentary and put it online for preservation. It is cut into three parts, but it is complete. Enjoy.

Next up we are going to talk a little bit about Spider-Man’s home of New York City. Back in 2005, Discovery Channel used to air High Definition documentaries on a dedicated HD-only channel called HD Theater. The channel would not simulcast the main Discovery Channel programming like today’s HD channels do, but would instead feature its own documentaries and original HD content. One of the exclusive HD documentaries they broadcasted was a travelogue about New York City. However, unlike other travelogues about the city, this documentary focused on the version of NYC as they were featured in the pages of Marvel Comics. Not only do they talk about the real-life inspiration behind many of the greatest cityscapes shown in the comics, it touches on the history of Marvel, Spider-Man, and more. The documentary features interviews with Marvel greats like Stan “The Man” Lee, father and son artists John Romita Jr and Sr, and the late great Joe Simon.

Now that Discovery has started simulcasting all their channels in HD, the HD Theater channel has been replaced by the Velocity Channel, which focuses only on car related stuff. Because of that, this documentary and a few others have become completely forgotten and haven’t seen air in years. Thankfully someone online preserved it and you can watch it below.

Insomniac has promised NYC will be freely accessible in the PS4 game, and player’s will be able to visit many of the city’s famous landmarks, real and fictional.

Enough about the comics, we’re waiting for a game, aren’t we? Well, does anyone remember the G4 channel? Better question, does anybody remember G4 when it was good? We do. Back when G4 launched in 2002, one of the shows on the programming schedule was called Icons. It was a fantastic documentary series written by Tina Wood that focused on the history of games, technology and innovators. Sometimes G4 would even cover the development of a recent or upcoming game like Psychonauts, Jade Empire or Escape from Butcher Bay. Unfortunately, after the network merged with TechTV, G4’s shows were completely gutted. The powers who took over the network tried to ruin Icons by making it cover things that had nothing to do with gaming before it eventually was cancelled. One of the great documentaries they produced in their heyday was a documentary about the development of my favorite Spider-Man game of all time, Ultimate Spider-Man.

Even though G4 is now defunct, even before it shut down G4 refused to rebroadcast any of the great classic shows they worked so hard on. Because of that, this documentary and a few others hadn’t gotten re-broadcasted in years. Thankfully, this documentary and a few other similar ones were included with the Collector’s Edition releases of the games they were coverings and The Making of Ultimate Spider-Man has been preserved online for all to see. Check it out and see for yourselves what it takes to make a Spider-Man game.

Hopefully somebody at Sony or Insomniac is working on something like this for Spider-Man and we’ll eventually be able to see it for ourselves.

I’d like to close this series with some heavy reading. Next to One More Day, there is probably no story more polarizing or controversial in Spider-Man’s history than the Clone Saga. In that three-year story arc, Spider-Man discovers a clone of his from a story in the 70s had actually survived and returned to NYC after years in hiding. However, it’s quickly learned this clone, who goes by the alias Ben Reilly may in fact not be a clone at all, but the original Peter Parker! That meant the Peter Parker Spider-Man that readers had been following for years might have been a clone the whole time! Meanwhile, Mary Jane is pregnant with Peter’s baby and perhaps Peter, if he’s a clone or not, should step aside and pass on the mantle of Spider-Man to Ben in order to accept his upcoming responsibility as a father.

Marvel’s intention with the story was ultimately to create a situation the readers could accept that would split up Peter Parker and Mary Jane Watson’s marriage. That isn’t what happened and we all know how things turned out decades later when Marvel attempted it again. But where did they go wrong? What would the story have originally been if it hadn’t been interfered with? How did it end?

The Life of Reilly Blog has been online for nearly a decade. It was written and contributed to by people with intimate knowledge of the development of the Clone Saga...because they worked on it themselves. Read about the great ideas, the bad ideas, and the studio interference that turned great ideas into bad ideas. You can read all thirty-five parts (yes, thirty-five) of the story here. It’s a long read, as long as some novels, but it’s such a gripping drama you’ll hold on to every word. I know the creators want to publish it as a book but that may be bogged down in a murky legal area right now. Hopefully someday it’ll be made into a documentary or film.

Hopefully you’ve enjoyed all the content we’ve been posting over the past few weeks. While this hasn’t help us pass the time any better, maybe it’ll help you!

Spider-Man is coming September 7th, 2018 exclusively on the PlayStation 4.

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Things to Watch While Waiting for Spider-Man PS4 – Part 2 August 31, 2018

Posted by Maniac in Editorials, Things to Watch While Waiting for Spider-Man on PS4.
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Time keeps flowing steadily until the inevitable release of Spider-Man for the PS4. However, that wait has personally become agonizing and because of that, I’ve been spending time digging up all of the best Spider-Man content from across the web. While the last part focused on reviews and content inspired by the bad work Spider-Man has appeared in, with this part we are going to celebrate all of the great stuff Spider-Man has done throughout his history.

We’re going to kick off this part once again by featuring the work of the irrepressible comic reviewer Linkara and his series Atop the Fourth Wall. While he typically produces one video review a week, he will sometimes devote an entire month of reviews to a specific theme. One such month focused on him reviewing #1 issues from the Marvel 2099 universe. If you’re not familiar with 2099, it takes place in the far future and revolves around new characters who can be inspired by classic tales of heroes and villains. The year 2099 was chosen as Stan Lee believed that would be a year comics would no longer be printed. There was a DOOM 2099, a Punisher 2099, and even a Ravage 2099 series going on at the same time. Today, I want to highlight Linkara’s Spider-Man 2099 #1 Review.

Interesting to note that rumors have been circulating over the past few days that there will be a Spider-Man 2099 unlockable costume in the PS4 game.

Now with films out of the way, I want to talk a bit about television and not in the way you may expect. Many will probably remember the animated Spider-Man television shows that aired during the 90s and 00s, some may even remember the live-action Spider-Man show from the 1970s…but did you know that there was a Spider-Man television show from Japan?

John Ary is a name people who frequent the website Ain’t it Cool News should be familiar with. He is the host of John at the Movies, a YouTube Channel well known for great video reviews of obscure nerd cinema. He’s reviewed stuff that even I had never seen before such as the failed Justice League television pilot or Legends of the Super Heroes. Some of his reviews have even gotten me to watch these movies! In this video, he reviews the short lived but well received Japanese Spider-Man series. It would go down in history as being a huge stepping stone for what would eventually become Super Sentai! Give it a watch!

While John mentioned that the Japanese version of Spider-Man depicted in this television series is not officially considered part of Super Sentai, Marvel certainly considers him part of their canon Spider-Man universe, as he and his mech have made appearances in the Spider-Verse comic saga. People unfamiliar with that storyline should brush up on it because according to my sources, the Spider-Man from the PS4 game will make a comic book crossover with the Spider-Verse in the future!

Next we’d like to highlight some great fanmade Spider-Man content and what better way to start than with the work of Bat in the Sun? Lead by filmmaker Aaron Schoenke, a good friend of mine, Bat in the Sun started life on the Internet by creating some of the best Batman fan films ever made. Now Aaron’s the creator of Super Power Beat Down, an ongoing webseriees where two classic characters from comics, film or video games battle to the death based on fan votes. Of course Spider-Man has made an appearance in the series. In episode 17, Spider-Man battled the Sith Lord Darth Maul to the death. Who won? Watch the video and see for yourselves.

Now, whether you’re happy with the turnout of this battle or not, you gotta admit it was an awesome video. In fact, here’s Deadpool’s take on it.

If that isn’t enough Super Power Beat Down for you, why don’t we dig deeper into the Spider-Verse and watch an episode featuring the future Spider-Man and the future Batman? That’s right, they did an episode pitting Spider-Man 2099 against Batman Beyond. Watch it!

Not happy with the way the episode played out? Here’s the alternate ending:

Of course, Super Power Beat Down is not the only series Bat in the Sun is currently helming. They’re also responsible for the series My Morphin’ Life, a reality show that follows the real life of the original Green Ranger, Jason David Frank.

Next we have to talk about a different fan-created series that I would not have believed existed if a friend of mine hadn’t shown it to me. That’s right we’re going to talk about Italian Spiderman.

Italian Spiderman was a parody of the low grade internationally made films of the sixties. It was created by the YouTube Channel Alrigo and was released as a ten-part miniseries online.

If you’re hoping to see more Italian Spiderman in the future I have bad news for you. Unfortunately, this video confirms no more Italian Spiderman episodes will ever be produced. Director Dario Russo and actor David Ashby have created a new production company called DINOSAUR which are now responsible for the DANGER 5 series.

We’ve already written two parts of this article and so far I’ve felt like we’ve only scratched the surface of the great Spider-Man content out there. Stay tuned with us for Part 3, where I’ll feature some of the best professionally produced Spider-Man documentaries, and even highlight some required reading for Spider-Man fans everywhere!

Spider-Man is coming September 7th, 2018 exclusively to the PS4.

Things to Watch While Waiting for Spider-Man PS4 – Part 1 August 28, 2018

Posted by Maniac in Editorials, Things to Watch While Waiting for Spider-Man on PS4.
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We’re days away from the release of Spider-Man for the PlayStation 4 and we have been going stir crazy in anticipation for its launch. If you’re like me and you’re planning to play it at its midnight launch, the time you’re spending counting down for that clock to strike twelve must be agony. So if you’re a fan of Spidey, how do you pass the time? Well, we’ve spent a lot of time scouring the internet looking for the best independently produced Spider-Man videos, and we’ve found a lot of great ones.

First off, we’re going to be featuring the work of Linkara. Host of Atop The Fourth Wall, Linkara has kept an incredible comic review series going for years. Most of the time he reviews horrible comics, but every once in a while he’ll feature a great comic or talk about the history of a classic franchise. Each year, he’s agreed to look at a new Spider-Man comic, and we’re going to feature some of our favorites.

First off, we’re going to highlight his review of The Greatest Responsibility. The reason I like this review is because it’s for a comic that is just the epitome of the 90s. There are so many stories from that time that centered around this new concept of Virtual Realty (VR) written by writers with barely any understanding of the actual technology.

Next up is a review he did for a mini-series that took place during the Clone Wars, Planet of the Symbiotes. In it, Spider-Man, Ben Reilly and Venom travel to Venom’s home planet to try to avert a full invasion of earth.

Those are some of our favorite reviews but I know you’re going to want to see his review of One More Day. If you really want to see his review of One More Day, go here.

Next up I want to highlight the work of comic reviewer StorytellerSKJ and his series Unrepentant Geeking. I first became familiar with his channel when he posted a review of the six-issue Spider-Man miniseries, Sins Past. It is considered to this day to be one of the worst Spider-Man stories ever written, it’s artwork has endured as memes and despite its out of character plot twist that was meant to have a huge impact on canon, as of the time that video was posted the twist’s enduring consequences have been mostly ignored by the main Spider-Man mythos.

He really does go quite mad while reviewing this awful storyline, but I cannot stress how great it is to hear his analysis of why Sins Past was a failure at nearly every level. It clocks in at nearly two hours to watch in total, but you’ll be hanging on it every moment.

Next up, we are going to take a closer look behind the scenes of the Spider-Man movies. While most people remember the first time Spider-Man appeared in the incredible 2002 film Spider-Man, most people don’t know how difficult it was to get that film on the screen, or all the studio interference that happened after the films started coming out.

Anyone interested in behind the scenes news about films and filmmaking should immediately check out the YouTube Channel Midnight’s Edge. They’re a fantastic source for news and analysis on upcoming films. I first became aware of them while they were covering the production of the atrocious Josh Trank directed Fant4stic (which they pronounced “fant four stick”), and stuck with the channel after that story wrapped. They’re huge fans of the genre and have covered a multitude of subjects ranging from The Phantom to the ongoing issues with the Star Trek license.

In this three-part video series, they covered the entire saga of bring Spider-Man to film. The first part involves the early plans and false starts that took place before the events of the 2002 film. Part two covers the development drama behind all the Spider-Man films Sony has released to date, and the third part covers the missteps Sony was planning to take trying to build their own Spider-Man cinematic saga. It’s a great watch and I recommend grabbing some popcorn before settling down to watch it in one go.

Even after watching this three-part video series, I still have pretty high hopes for the upcoming Sony film Into the Spider-Verse, despite the fact that Sony still won’t release their trailers on YouTube in 4K.

I just realized I spent a lot of this article devoting time to highlighting videos that showcase the worst of Spider-Man. Normally I would not have done that if the videos I featured weren’t so darn entertaining. Let’s focus on some of the positive next time shall we?

Spider-Man is coming September 7th, 2018 exclusively to the PS4.