Spider-ManThis movie marks the idea that Marvel can mine its large library of characters into virtually assured movie franchises. After failed adaptations, Marvel rebounded with Blade, X-Men, The Hulk, Ghost Rider, and, hopefully, a better Punisher. Stan Lee and Steve Ditko created the Spider-Man character way back in 1962, and it has made appearances on the big and small screen in various incarnations over the years. Spider-Man was such a popular figure because he was one of the first 'ordinary' heroes. Unlike larger-than-life characters like Superman or Batman, Spider-Man was Peter Parker, high school nerd. He was the guy that everybody picked on and ignored, and he never got the girl. Everybody can relate to the Parker character somehow.
Like most comic book adaptations, looking closely yields a lack of story. Things are on a more superficial level. Spider-Man follows Parker's story from when he receives his powers to what some can consider his first serious victory. It also follows him as he graduates from high school and moves into an apartment in New York with Harry. Both mark a turning point for Parker. The move out of his Aunt May's house, the death of Uncle Ben, and the new powers prompt him to re-evaluate his life, leading to his eventual decision to become a superhero. But this movie is less about story and more about the characters, and Sam Raimi does a good job of presenting his vision of Peter Parker and his world. Well, Spider-Man is also about sequels, and this first film does a decent job of setting up future films.