Secrets of ‘The Amazing Spider-Man’

Granted, “The Amazing Spider-Man” isn’t loaded with Easter eggs and teasers for the greater Marvel cinematic universe like “Iron Man” and every related Marvel movie since 2008. After all, “Spider-Man” was made by Columbia/Sony and is outside the Marvel movie universe. It’s not building to an “Avengers”-style team-up.

But director Marc Webb and the other makers of “ASM” have thrown a few strands of a larger Spider-Man story – as well as some Easter eggs – into the movie.

There she goes: Did anyone else wince at the scene when Peter, getting ready to fight the Lizard, apologizes to Gwen and tells her he’s about to throw her out a window? He does so, zapping her with a web and lowering her lightly to the ground below. He’s trying to get her out of harm’s way.

The scene was very reminiscent of the famous “Gwen Stacy dies” issues of “The Amazing Spider-Man” comic 121-122, in which the Green Goblin throws Gwen to her death, only to have Spidey catch her with webbing. But Gwen is dead anyway. I think the debate in fandom raged for years about whether the fall or the sudden stop at the end – thanks to Spidey’s webbing – was what killed her.

There’s no way that Webb didn’t realize the significance of throwing Gwen out of a building and catching her with webbing. Had to be an Easter egg – and foreshadowing.

Tip of the hat: I’ll have to look for this Easter egg when I see the movie again, but I’m told there’s a photo of “Community” actor Donald Glover in Peter’s room in “The Amazing Spider-Man.” This is neat because, when the reboot was announced, someone suggested that Glover could play the part. The casting didn’t gain any traction, but now that Spidey in the Ultimate world is African-American, why not do a little universe-blending?

Meet the parents: Much more so than in previous “Spider-Man” movies, “The Amazing Spider-Man” teases about Richard and Mary Parker, Peter’s parents. They’re seen in a flashback at the beginning of the movie and some of the marketing for the film teased “the untold story” of Spidey’s origin. I don’t think the movie really lived up to this hype, but Webb and the screenwriters definitely created some aura of mystery about the Parkers and their connection to Oscorp.

After decades in which they were relatively overlooked in the comics – and their deaths were taken for granted as a mechanism to put Peter in his aunt and uncle’s care – Marvel decided to elaborate on the background of the characters, retconing them as agents of Nick Fury’s SHIELD spy organization. If “Amazing Spider-Man” generates sequels, it’ll be interesting to see how the makers explore the past of the characters – especially since SHIELD is part of the separate Marvel movie universe and theoretically not open to the “Spider-Man” movies.

Who’s the guy? I mentioned this in my earlier review, but the movie’s end credits are interrupted by a scene of Rhys Ifans’ Curt Connors, incarcerated and being visited by a shadowy figure. I assumed this was Norman Osborn, the future Green Goblin.

But a number of sites have since theorized that the character was other Spidey villains as diverse as Electro (flashes of lighting? check) and Mysterio (abrupt appearance and disappearance? check).

Maybe we’ll find out in a sequel.

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