The Sony-Disney split continues to pull the MCU apart, and it seems everyone with a social media account has put their two cents in. However, a recent article from Bounding Into Comics had me wondering about the future of superhero films as a whole, and fans of the comic book legend Stan Lee will be left exhausted and deflated by the current state of affairs.
As I write, there is no end in sight for the Sony-Disney split, and how it will affect the MCU. Let’s face it, the cliffhanger at the end of Spider-Man: Far From Home, the plot lines built within it and the character dynamics that have arisen over 5 films featuring Tom Holland as Spidey, now seem set to be Thanos-snapped away, but in the real world, the heartache was just around the corner.
Daughter of Stan Lee, JC Lee, recently spoke out publicly against Marvel and DC and the treatment that both Stan and his family received before and after his death.
She told TMZ, “Marvel and Disney seeking total control of my father’s creations must be checked and balanced by others, who, while still seeking to profit, have genuine respect for Stan Lee and his legacy.”
This statement alone shows that JC Lee certainly seems okay with the Sony-Disney split and Sony’s decision to take Spidey back, and it would seem there are a number of fans who agree with the decision.
As a comics fan first, and film fan second, I can understand some of the grievances against the Marvel Spider-Man portrayal. Now, I know that we do not need to see another origin story for Peter, but to be honest, Peter Parker without the moral coding of the death of Uncle Ben is losing the main point and motivation of the whole Spider-Man mythos. Comic book fans expect Peter to be driven by the guilt of losing Ben, with tragedies such as the death of both Gwen Stacey and her father, also being blamed on his inability to save them. Peter is a tragic hero, in the mold of great Shakespearean figures, and that is why he has lasted so long. Dilute that story, and replace Ben with Tony, and it’s not really Spider-Man. Disney and Marvel seem to have forgotten Ben and replaced him with Tony Stark, and frankly, that makes no sense to long-time comic book fans.
Tom Holland is an amazing actor, and a great Peter, but the core of his being has been replaced by a Marvel movie history that has now been lost in the take-back, leaving that version of the character redundant, and to a certain extent, the whole MCU is now gazing at a storyline abyss.
JC Lee goes on to say, “When my father died, no one from Disney or Marvel reached out to me. From day one they have commoditized my fathers work and never shown him and his legacy any respect or decency.” These are strong and bitter feelings from JC and for many people, this is exactly the opinion they may have already had about the Disney takeover of Marvel.
Of course there have been multiple campaigns to get Spider-Man back to Marvel, as movie fans love Holland and his rendition of the character, but in the end, it will always be a deal based on financial security rather than a petition from fans that gets things moving again. Disney is a business, and it is hard for fans to understand that at the end of the day, the only thing that matters to Disney is the box office take. If the moviemakers are in a good mood and drop a few Easter Eggs for fans along the way, that’s even better, but using the likeness of such iconic heroes to sell films, while separating them from the original ingredients that made them great, may not be a long term plan worth following. In business, it is a lesson that has been learned from companies such as Coca Cola, if you mess with the original recipe, you can end up in trouble.
Louie Fecou reviews films, tv shows and comics for Ready Steady Cut, HC Movie Reviews and We Have A Hulk. He currently runs his own business in between watching films.