SPIDER-MAN Vs. THE AMAZING SPIDER-MAN: Which Movie Tells The Better Origin Story?

Both Spider-Man and The Amazing Spider-Man tell the origin story of Peter Parker's journey to becoming the world's greatest superhero. Here I pit the two against each other, looking at everything from the costume to the death of Uncle Ben and the web-swinging. [SPOILERS AHEAD]

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By Josh Wilding - 7/6/2012
PETER PARKER


Tobey Maguire and Andrew Garfield deliver two very different interpretations of the same character. In fact, the easiest way to distinguish them is that the former is the Stan Lee/Steve Ditko 616 version, while the latter is the Brian Michael Bendis/Mark Bagley Ultimate version. Maguire's Peter perfectly embody the bullied weakling turned superhero, but Garfield's actually has an air of confidence about him before being bitten and getting superpowers doesn't really result in any sort of major change in attitude. Overall, Maguire was far closer to the character best known to comic book readers, although he arguably failed to ever truly nail the intelligence of Peter as Garfield does. This makes it difficult to choose one over the other as both actors epitomize the character so perfectly in very different ways. Ultimately however, Garfield gives a better performance, but is not quite the better Peter Parker.

WINNER: Spider-Man



SPIDER-MAN


So, Tobey Maguire was the better Peter Parker, but Andrew Garfield is hands down the better Spider-Man. The fact that so much more of The Amazing Spider-Man puts the actor in the suit gives him a slight advantage from the off, but everything from the movements to the attitude and quips made by Garfield are the perfect representation of the character so beloved by fans. Both actors spend a lot of their respective final battles with their faces on display and are arguably equally as good in displaying the necessary emotion required by them. However, there is nothing in Spider-Man which comes close to the scenes such as the one in the sewer in which Spidey shoots webs in all directions in an effort to track down the Lizard. The practical and visual effect shots also play a massive role in bringing him to life like never before, but its Garfield who really makes this Spider-Man stand out.

WINNER: The Amazing Spider-Man



THE COSTUME


The redesign of the costume in The Amazing Spider-Man may have been a controversial topic with some comic book fans, but it still looks incredible on the big screen. The suit in Spider-Man looks as if it was taken straight from the pages of the comics (a rare treat, especially as most films completely redesign them during their journey to the big screen) but it looked very stiff and awkward at times, especially when it became clear that Tobey Maguire's voice was dubbed over because he couldn't talk with the mask on. Despite the fact that we see a zipper on the back and it often wrinkles and creases as he moves around, the suit in The Amazing Spider-Man pops off the screen and looks simply AMAZING both in the live-action and visual effects shots.

WINNER: The Amazing Spider-Man



WEB-SWINGING


For a 2002 film, the special effects in Spider-Man hold up very well, even a decade later. At the time however, it was top-notch, and managed to effectively and convincingly bring Spidey's web-swinging to the big screen. However, the difference between the practical and visual effects were always blatantly obvious as the suit restricted movement and the stuntman who was swinging around in it looked clearly uncomfortable (it wasn't hard to tell that he was on a wire either). Marc Webb's reboot managed to find a far more natural looking blend of real and computer generated web-swinging, and although the latter still looks noticeably better, it's generally much harder to notice the difference throughout the film. The movements are also far more realistic and much closer to what fans have seen in the comic books.

WINNER: The Amazing Spider-Man



POWERS


The Amazing Spider-Man best represents the web-swinging, but what about the rest of his powers? Spider-Man does a much better job at exploring Peter Parker's new-found abilities, showcasing the fact that he is now much stronger, whereas Marc Webb's movie assumes that fans will already know this. The same goes for Peter's Spider-Sense. While Spider-Man makes a point of highlighting this power, the reboot once again assumes that the audience will know he has it and frustratingly only allows him to use it when it suits the story. Wall-crawling is wall-crawling, and there's no complaints here with either. Regardless of the fact that the organic webbing in Sam Raimi's film was a controversial decision with comic book readers, Peter's powers were arguably portrayed and handled far better in that film for the most part.

WINNER: Spider-Man



UNCLE BEN'S DEATH


Both Spider-Man and The Amazing Spider-Man feature a Peter Parker who doesn't bother to stop a robber because the victim of the crime has somehow rubbed him up the wrong way. This ultimately results in his Uncle Ben being shot. Both films also feature a Peter has had an argument with his Uncle, resulting in him being in the wrong place at the wrong time. The fact is that the similarities between both are so strong, it's a little hard to distinguish them in order to pick a winner here. However, Spider-Man just beats The Amazing Spider-Man simply because of how much better the situation as a whole is handled. Whereas Ben's death is partially his own fault for struggling with the robber in the reboot, Spider-Man made it so that the fault was entirely on Peter's shoulders. Throw in the fact it culminated in a fantastic scene in a warehouse which saw Peter realise exactly that, and it's clear which best sets the charater on the path to becoming a hero.

WINNER: Spider-Man



THE VILLAIN


This is a tough one. Norman Osborn and Curt Connors are both very similar and very different. While their respective transformations are the results of experiments gone wrong, Connors is a far more sympathetic villain in comparison to Osborn (who is just a thoroughly nasty piece of work). Of course, their ultimate plans are equally as unconvincing in some respects - the Green Goblin wants to "rule the city" with Spider-Man, while the Lizard wants to turn everyone in New York into Lizard creatures immune to disease and disabilities - but there's a very clear winner here. The Green Goblin is a truly evil villain who not only attempts to kill a group of children and Peter Parker's aunt and girlfriend, but also beats him within an inch of his life in a brutal and fantastic final battle. Making Connors a sympathetic villain was the right choice for The Amazing Spider-Man, and despite the fact that The Lizard is a brilliant visual creation and how wonderfully their fight sequences are put together, he's still not quite a match for the Green Goblin.

WINNER: Spider-Man



THE LOVE INTEREST


Mary Jane Watson and Gwen Stacy. Most comic book fans are sure to have a favourite, but which of them made for the better love interest for Spider-Man? Well, while Mary Jane had a lot more screen time and was far better fleshed out as a character, Gwen made for a much better match for Peter and the relationship in The Amazing Spider-Man was far more convincing all in all. However, the decision to have Peter just reveal his identity to her so early on very nearly caused this to go the other way, but the broken promise at the end of the film is such a perfect set up for the Green Goblin (as if Peter going back on his promise to a dying Captain Stacy won't come back to haunt him...) it makes for a far more interesting dynamic than the same old will they/won't they story. Of course, a big part of this has to do with the performances, and the fact that Emma Stone is a far more likeable on-screen presence than Kirsten Dunst inevitably played a role in this decision.

WINNER: The Amazing Spider-Man



THE SCORE


While Marc Webb scatters some great songs throughout The Amazing Spider-Man, James Horner's score lacks the iconic theme song for Spider-Man we got in Sam Raimi's 2002 movie by Danny Elfman. Horner doesn't do a bad job by any means, but it's unlikely that you'll leave the theatre humming any particular piece of music from the film other than what we got from the likes of Coldplay. Like Superman and Batman, Spider-Man is a character who deserves to have a piece of music associated with him that truly resonates and will remind you of the character regardless of where or when you hear it. Unfortunately, that is where The Amazing Spider-Man is lacking and so Spider-Man wins this one.

WINNER: Spider-Man



THE FINAL SWING


There's not a lot to say here as The Amazing Spider-Man easily comes out on top here. Spider-Man's final swing was undeniably impressive, but Marc Webb's less staged and far more authentic looking style was well-suited to such a scene. The final shot of the movie is so iconic that it will leave comic book readers and fans of the character feeling utterly breathless with delight. The reboot is a visual spectacle from start to finish and the final swing is absolutely amazing (no pun intended) and solid evidence of why Marc Webb was always the right man for the job to bring Spidey back to the big screen.

WINNER: The Amazing Spider-Man



FINAL VERDICT: DRAW


Well, they both scored five each, but a draw seems appropriate in this instance. Both Spider-Man and The Amazing Spider-Man get a lot right and wrong, but each serves as a fairly solid origin story for the character. While the reboot never quite tells "The Unknown Story" (a very interesting theory about that can be found HERE) it is a solid big screen outing for the Marvel superhero and there's no getting around the fact that Marc Webb did a fantastic job. Sam Raimi also did an equally great job back when he introduced Spider-Man to moviegoers for the first time a decade ago. However, it doesn't seem too unfair to say that we have yet to see THE perfect origin story on the big screen. There are plenty of other points which could have been included here (the wrestling match and how well New York City was portrayed for example) but the ten listed above still give us a pretty good idea of each of their strengths and weaknesses. Comparing them is far from essential and if you haven't already - SERIOUSLY?! - then check them both out because you most definitely won't regret it. Sound off with your thoughts on all of this and your own ideas in the usual place. Check out my interview with Marc Webb HERE and be sure to click HERE to read my 4* review of The Amazing Spider-Man.








The Amazing Spider-Man is the story of Peter Parker (Garfield), an outcast high schooler who was abandoned by his parents as a boy, leaving him to be raised by his Uncle Ben (Sheen) and Aunt May (Field). Like most teenagers, Peter is trying to figure out who he is and how he got to be the person he is today. Peter is also finding his way with his first high school crush, Gwen Stacy (Stone), and together, they struggle with love, commitment, and secrets. As Peter discovers a mysterious briefcase that belonged to his father, he begins a quest to understand his parents' disappearance - leading him directly to Oscorp and the lab of Dr Curt Connors (Ifans), his father's former partner. As Spider-Man is set on a collision course with Connors' alter-ego, The Lizard, Peter will make life-altering choices to use his powers and shape his destiny to become a hero.


STARRING:

Andrew Garfield as Peter Parker/Spider-Man
Emma Stone as Gwen Stacy
Rhys Ifans as Curt Connors/The Lizard
Martin Sheen as Uncle Ben
Sally Fields as Aunt May
Denis Leary as George Stacy

RELEASE DATE: Out Now.


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jessepostal - 7/6/2012, 1:13 PM
I think you should have waited a little longer for this article, let the dust settle and watch both movies a few times. I think you have to watch a movie a few times to judge it properly
CaptainAmerica31 - 7/6/2012, 1:14 PM
I think TASM won, it's more intriguing.
Fogs - 7/6/2012, 1:14 PM
hehe draw? sitting on the fence, huh?

ASM has cool effects and action scenes.

The first Spider-Man is better IMO simply because the origin is closer to the classic one. The whole father shit is stupid.
Tony93 - 7/6/2012, 1:17 PM
Spiderman had a much more Herioc sense..Like the symbolism of being a hero, what it really meant to be a hero was all there, I feel in the TASM, Idk I just didnt feel the sense of becoming a hero
jessepostal - 7/6/2012, 1:17 PM
But I did like tasm a lot more:)
JoshWilding - 7/6/2012, 1:18 PM
jessepostal: I've watched Spider-Man many, many times over the past 10 years and saw The Amazing Spider-Man for the first time nearly a month ago (as well as this past Tuesday) so that's more than enough time for the dust to settle in my opinion! :)
Tony93 - 7/6/2012, 1:18 PM
I truly accept the verdict, I feel everythings right
AtomicChipmunk - 7/6/2012, 1:20 PM
Andrew > Tobey
FightAs0ne - 7/6/2012, 1:20 PM
I have to agree with IM53...
MarvelSquadie - 7/6/2012, 1:20 PM
TASM was great but they left out a lot of important parts of how Peter became Spider-Man.. Where the hell is Harry Osborne! hope just studying a semester overseas cuz Stormin Norman made him cuz he was slacking-off
mikebunt - 7/6/2012, 1:22 PM
Nice article, but I disagree on a few points. Amazing Spider-man made it pretty obvious he had become a lot stronger, and the Spider-sense is just done in a more subtle fashion. I prefer how the powers were handled in the new one.

Also, Uncle Ben's death in Amazing Spider-man was handled so well! Not only did Peter not stop the killer, but witnessed Uncle Ben try and stop him before being shot, showing him how he should of acted.

I personally preferred everything in the new movie, except the score. Altho I still love the 'old' ones.
patriautism - 7/6/2012, 1:22 PM
I like both but TASM was far more grounded in reality, and how real human emotions work, which is something that was lacking in the original..

@MarvelSquadie Peter didn't actually meet Harry until College..
third3ye - 7/6/2012, 1:22 PM
SM had the better narrative in almost all respects and is arguably truer to the comics. TASM has better fight choreography and a MUCH more talented cast that shows on screen, except for Dafoe > Ifans.

TASM puts good groundwork for a sequel that has high potential to blow SM2 (best of the Raimi 3) out of the water, provided they get the directing and writing right the second time around.
Mysterion - 7/6/2012, 1:23 PM
fight scenes
Amazing Spider-man >>>>>> Spider-Man
not even close.
DoomXfactor - 7/6/2012, 1:24 PM
LET THE GAMES BEGIN!!!!
sbdc1939 - 7/6/2012, 1:25 PM
i did not like spider-man 3 that much. The rest have been great and i still like The amazing spider-man better.
ManofSteel23 - 7/6/2012, 1:26 PM
The emotion from garfield when ben died actually made you feel his pain,i liked this origin story better,and the fact we got an animal as a villian instead of a older guy whos gone abit loopy and has no goal to being a villian
AtomicChipmunk - 7/6/2012, 1:27 PM
I prefer TASM.

Loved the chemistry between Andrew and Emma. Loved the costume, the acting of Andrew, loved the FX, loved the movements, etc.

SM2 was written by Al Gough and Miles Millar so it felt too much like smallville which is a shitty show.

I have seen Spiderman 1 at least 3 times, but now that I have seen TASM, I don't ever want to see Spiderman 1 again and the whole trilogy.
Tony93 - 7/6/2012, 1:29 PM
The sequel is going to be even better, I can feel it.. now that they got the origin out of the way and the mumbo jumbo relationship stuff.. they can focus on a better villian.. stronger story arc, and plentyful of action..
tracydavis001 - 7/6/2012, 1:30 PM
I loved Spiderman and Spiderman 2 was better , so I did like amazing also but not as much as Tobie's Spidey !!
Ghostfire - 7/6/2012, 1:30 PM
I loved both them respectively. I was in High school when the 1st spidey movie came out and I was beyond excited. Its one of my favorites and always will be. But I got to go with TAS on this one.

I just felt that the reboot captured the spidey that we all know and love. His attitude and movements in the suit is what I dug. And this Peter was far more of a scientist that the previous one. Although it did have its plot holes, I still thought it was a great film.
Nick56 - 7/6/2012, 1:30 PM
Web-slinging and the love interest were the only two things that Amazing Spider-Man excelled at over the original film. The rest of the film lacked that same awe and sense of fun that the first two films had. My biggest problem is that the film, unlike other reboots such as Batman Begins, really accomplishes nothing new, the so called "Untold Story" is very minor and is forgotten half way through. I enjoyed the film because it was Spider-Man but it never captured that same feeling I had while watching Raimi's. I hope the sequel will be better and will branch out into different and more original territory.
himynameisnik - 7/6/2012, 1:31 PM
To be honest, I loved Spider-Man but walking out of the cinema after The Amazing Spiderman I thought Marc Webb's reboot won hands down. I thought the actors were perfect the emotions ran deeper and there wasn't a moment I didn't enjoy. People go on about these plot holes but I trust Mr Webb and he seems to have a vision that goes beyond one film so we will see things resolved as the series goes on.
ralfinader - 7/6/2012, 1:31 PM
Which one did Nolan direct? That gets my vote.
HarryOsbournesFathersGlider - 7/6/2012, 1:32 PM
I prefer TASM, the music from Raimi trilogy will always be class and is better than most bar Hans Zimmer, also thought that Garfield's reaction to Uncle Ben death> Tobey Maguire, mainly because Maguire always cried exactly like that
Tony93 - 7/6/2012, 1:32 PM
I was in 2nd grade when the first spidey film came out.. so Tobey spidey will always hold a special place in my heart <3
:D
MCUfan1 - 7/6/2012, 1:32 PM
I think tasm because it showed who the first villain was.
It showed that he discovered he's powers by accident
It showed him making a costume instead of him just drawing it and boom he has a costume he had the material in this one.
This is in my opinion i think has the trilogy progresses on that his powers wil ie his spider sense will improve
Tony93 - 7/6/2012, 1:33 PM
I agree @IM53
now they can get down to business in the sequel.
OttoManHandsome - 7/6/2012, 1:34 PM
Lets not forget that Emma Stone is wwwaaaayyyyyy hotter than Kitsten "Vampire Teeth" Dunst.
Mysterion - 7/6/2012, 1:34 PM
Also in TASM keeping Peter Parker in High School throughout the movie gave it an edge over the original Spider-Man movie.
AlexDeLarge87 - 7/6/2012, 1:34 PM
Both films are decent. :)
But Combine the best parts of both movies and you get perfect Spider-Man film.
AlexDeLarge87 - 7/6/2012, 1:35 PM
I prefer Garfield over Maguire thou.
sharkman03191 - 7/6/2012, 1:35 PM
The only things that Spider-Man 2002 got right was JK Simmons and the score. I guess I like Cliff Robertson as Uncle Ben but Martin Sheen was better IMO. We saw more interaction between him and Peter, which really sold me on their relationship. The fact that you said that Tobey Maguire was the better Peter Parker is just ludicrous, no matter how you cut it. Willem Dafoe would've been decent had it not been for that [frick]ing costume. That just destroyed it for men. The Amazing Spider-Man FTW.

And Tony93, I agree. We are going to see some amazing things coming up.
AtomicChipmunk - 7/6/2012, 1:36 PM
Will Marc Webb direct TASM 2?
Tony93 - 7/6/2012, 1:36 PM
CRITIC17 - 7/6/2012, 1:37 PM
Didn't Peter specifically say in Spider-Man 2 that Uncle Ben refused to give up his car to the robber? Sounds like that could make his death partially his own fault just like in The Amazing Spider-Man. But we shouldn't even be comparing Uncle Ben's death from both movies when it turns out that Sandman killed Uncle Ben in the old series, a drastic change from the comic books. At least in the reboot what happened in the comic books happened (even if the version used was the Ultimate comics version, it still was a comic book version; Sandman never killed Uncle Ben in any alternate universe in the comic books).
Ha1frican - 7/6/2012, 1:38 PM
Other than score TAS wins in every category IMP
angus666 - 7/6/2012, 1:39 PM
I thought everything about The Amazing Spider-Man was better than the original trilogy. It could have just kept going on for another two hours and I would have enjoyed it.
Ghostfire - 7/6/2012, 1:41 PM
@IM53
I do wonder, will the sequel be under Marvel/Disney or will it still be under Sony. The latest thing I heard is that Sony will still have to file for bankruptcy and the end of the year, despite the movie being a hit.
Stumblin - 7/6/2012, 1:42 PM
This is a silly poll for the most part. Of course ASM wouldn't spend as much time in the origin and power development, because it would just feel redundant.

The only thing I agree with is the score, definitely could have been better. Other than that ASM is better in every way.
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