Results 1 to 12 of 12
  1. #1
    Incredible Member Hybrid's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2018
    Posts
    749

    Default How different do the Spider-Man and X-Men sides of Marvel feel from each other?



    I asked a while back about a possible X-Men/Spider-Man crossover as part of Dawn of X, and one user remarked that sometimes he has trouble remembering that Spider-Man and X-Men exist in the same universe due to how they're presented.

    Both are cash-cows starring outcasts heroes, both have a multitude of titles at any given time, and are huge and well-defined corners of their own. Of course, there's overlap -- Spider-Man and X-Men have had many adventures together, but they're two franchises that can be described as rare "S-Rank" properties -- they can hold a franchise all by themselves without factoring in the wide universe, at least for a long time.

    At the same time, I can get where it's coming from. Comparing these two sides of Marvel, and it just feels different. Spider-Man villains are very different from X-Men villains. Their stories may feature the outcast underdog hero aspect, but the way they go about it is night and day. Spider-Man is mainly focused on an individual, though there are many other heroes in this corner they tend to be supporting of Peter or are in their own spin-off books. X-Men is focused on a large ensemble of characters and worldbuilding elements.

    There is of course the matter of theme. Spider-Man focuses on mundane issues that counterbalance the superhero action, while X-Men is social commentary on real world racism and homophobia presented through mutants. Spider-Man is more of a lighthearted comedy that reserves its more serious stuff for special occasions. X-Men is often darker and more dramatic than the rest of the MU.

    Yeah, they do exist in the same world, but I do get a different "feel" that I can't quite describe when I read a Spider-book versus an X-book.

    Would you say this is the strength of the shared universe, that it can house so many distinct sub-setting? Or would you say this is a fault, that two very different settings exist in the same world? Do you feel they're very different from each other at all?

    Discuss.

  2. #2
    BANNED
    Join Date
    Apr 2014
    Posts
    6,180

    Default

    X-Men/mutants are stand-ins for nearly every type of minority you can describe.

    Spider-Man is the everyman with, like, every problem.

  3. #3
    Astonishing Member Revolutionary_Jack's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2018
    Posts
    2,770

    Default

    Spider-Man and the X-Men might feel different, but not as different as Spider-Man and Thor, Spider-Man and The Punisher (sure they fight "street crime" but Punisher exists in a whole another ballpark), Spider-Man and the Guardians, and for that matter Spider-Man and Iron Man.

  4. #4
    Invincible Member XPac's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2014
    Posts
    28,203

    Default

    Certainly it feels at time that Spider-Man is in a whole other world from a lot of marvel franchises.

    But the beauty of Spider-Man is he can effectively be inserted anywhere. He's the everyday common man like you and me, thus he's always the perfect POV character in any story. Stick him in everything from a Thor to an X-Men to a Guardians of the Galaxy story, and he just works. He's been doing it for decades.

  5. #5
    Incredible Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2018
    Posts
    587

    Default

    i mean the x-men have to confront things like genocide, while spider-man has do deal with regular hero stuff like death of loved ones and money issues.

  6. #6
    Astonishing Member Revolutionary_Jack's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2018
    Posts
    2,770

    Default

    The X-Men are about going to school, being young and teenage and so on. Either they are teachers or students. So on that level Spider-Man and X-Men do have stuff in common. Peter taught high school, and is in and out of grad school.

    The X-Men have a lot of different levels to them. But there's stuff that Spider-Man does have in common with X-Men.

    The real problem is that the X-Man Spider-Man tends to interact with most is Wolverine. So it doesn't come across too often there.

  7. #7
    Invincible Member XPac's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2014
    Posts
    28,203

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Revolutionary_Jack View Post
    The X-Men are about going to school, being young and teenage and so on. Either they are teachers or students. So on that level Spider-Man and X-Men do have stuff in common. Peter taught high school, and is in and out of grad school.

    The X-Men have a lot of different levels to them. But there's stuff that Spider-Man does have in common with X-Men.

    The real problem is that the X-Man Spider-Man tends to interact with most is Wolverine. So it doesn't come across too often there.
    Spider-Man was an instructor at the Jean Grey School at one point, so yeah... depending on their status quo he fits just fine.

  8. #8
    Formerly Assassin Spider Huntsman Spider's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2014
    Location
    New Jersey, U.S.A.
    Posts
    7,068

    Default

    I would say the major difference is that while both Spider-Man and the X-Men are persecuted outcasts from society, Spider-Man is persecuted due to a targeted campaign of demonization in and by the press that impacts him as an individual, while the X-Men's status as persecuted outcasts comes from being an allegory for historically and continually marginalized peoples in the real world. To put it another way, Spider-Man's problems and struggles revolve around him as one person, however extraordinary he may be, whereas the X-Men's problems and struggles are more rooted in a critique, if not an indictment, of the larger society in which they live and its ongoing failure to equally represent, respect, defend, and uplift those who are considered "other" compared to those who are in the supposed majority group. Ok, maybe a simpler way to say it is that Spider-Man asks how to be a good, responsible person in society, whereas X-Men asks how to be a good, responsible person in a society that doesn't even want you to exist.
    The spider is always on the hunt.

  9. #9
    Astonishing Member Revolutionary_Jack's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2018
    Posts
    2,770

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by XPac View Post
    Spider-Man was an instructor at the Jean Grey School at one point, so yeah... depending on their status quo he fits just fine.
    Quote Originally Posted by Huntsman Spider View Post
    I would say the major difference is that while both Spider-Man and the X-Men are persecuted outcasts from society, Spider-Man is persecuted due to a targeted campaign of demonization in and by the press that impacts him as an individual, while the X-Men's status as persecuted outcasts comes from being an allegory for historically and continually marginalized peoples in the real world. To put it another way, Spider-Man's problems and struggles revolve around him as one person, however extraordinary he may be, whereas the X-Men's problems and struggles are more rooted in a critique, if not an indictment, of the larger society in which they live and its ongoing failure to equally represent, respect, defend, and uplift those who are considered "other" compared to those who are in the supposed majority group. Ok, maybe a simpler way to say it is that Spider-Man asks how to be a good, responsible person in society, whereas X-Men asks how to be a good, responsible person in a society that doesn't even want you to exist.
    I am thinking of Ultimate Spider-Man where Kitty Pryde in Post-Ultimatum Vol.2 becomes part of Peter's high school and the issues of Kitty as a mutant in high school fit perfectly with Ultimate Peter's story as Spider-Man and other high school issues.

    The stuff about X-Men being a metaphor for persecuted minority was true of Spider-Man too. Spider-Man was highly popular with African-Americans in the '60s and 70s and beyond. Spider-Man was misunderstood, persecuted by police, and hounded by the media...an experience which is a day-to-day reality for African-Americans more than caucasian readers. In fact that's why Lee introduced long-term African-American characters into his run. There's also Miles Morales to consider.

    So yeah it can be done and done well. Just not with Wolverine. Wolverine is an extreme character, also a popular character so writers pair them up too often at the expense of other X-Men. It's not that different from the MCU where the charm of Spider-Man with the Avengers is ruined because all he does is carry water for Tony Stark rather than interact with the other Avengers and form relationships with them as characters.

    So that creates this tautology where because Spider-Man hardly hangs out with X-Men other than Wolverine, writers focus on Wolverine more than any other X-Men outside the team, the result is that people think Spider-Man doesn't work well with the X-Men.

    This wasn't the case before. Like in the 90s, Spider-Man was a mentor to Nate Grey, then before he hung out with Beast (in that Erik Larsen story, he actually asked Beast for advice on whether he could have children with MJ), and he had other interactions too before.

  10. #10
    Incredible Member Hybrid's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2018
    Posts
    749

    Default

    Honestly, despite being the start of his infamous obsession, I always liked the way Bendis transplanted Kitty Pryde into Spider-Man's corner in USM. It was cool to see that kind of connectivity, it felt natural, and they went along surprisingly well for two characters whose main universe counterparts barely know each other.

  11. #11
    Incredible Member Hybrid's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2018
    Posts
    749

    Default

    Anyways, I feel like they could reel back Wolverine's exposure a bit. Spider-Man has been a historic ally to the X-Men, and as Jack pointed out he's hung out with Beast. He's also been a good friend to Iceman, and of course there's Firestar, who went from X-Men's corner to Spider-Man's pretty quick (Chris Claremont didn't much care to use a character from an animated show apparently). I remember Nightcrawler gushing about how awesome Spidey is, right as Spidey was kicking the X-Men's asses. Spider-Man has gone on numerous adventures with the X-Men before, and of course he was a teacher at Jean Grey's School (though everyone was a dick to him for some reason).

    I think even still, the sides of Spider-Man and X-Men feel pretty distinct, which might be way we're unlikely to see a whole lot of intermixing of the elements as a whole. Spider-Man won't be dealing with mutant villains much, nor will the X-Men be fighting guys like Scorpion and Electro. This is because, of course, Spider-Man and X-Men are sub-franchises within Marvel that have their own fans, and I'm not sure how much overlap there is between Spider-Man and X-Men fans. I know plenty of each who are only interested in that franchise, and not the other.

    This creates a situation where Marvel can pair of the Spider/X-books for sales, but can't really mix the elements too much, if you know what I mean. I know fans of Spider-Man would complain if there are too many mutants showing up in TASM, as will X-Men fans complain if Spider-Man constantly pokes his head in mutant affairs.

  12. #12
    Formerly Assassin Spider Huntsman Spider's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2014
    Location
    New Jersey, U.S.A.
    Posts
    7,068

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Revolutionary_Jack View Post
    I am thinking of Ultimate Spider-Man where Kitty Pryde in Post-Ultimatum Vol.2 becomes part of Peter's high school and the issues of Kitty as a mutant in high school fit perfectly with Ultimate Peter's story as Spider-Man and other high school issues.

    The stuff about X-Men being a metaphor for persecuted minority was true of Spider-Man too. Spider-Man was highly popular with African-Americans in the '60s and 70s and beyond. Spider-Man was misunderstood, persecuted by police, and hounded by the media...an experience which is a day-to-day reality for African-Americans more than caucasian readers. In fact that's why Lee introduced long-term African-American characters into his run. There's also Miles Morales to consider.

    So yeah it can be done and done well. Just not with Wolverine. Wolverine is an extreme character, also a popular character so writers pair them up too often at the expense of other X-Men. It's not that different from the MCU where the charm of Spider-Man with the Avengers is ruined because all he does is carry water for Tony Stark rather than interact with the other Avengers and form relationships with them as characters.

    So that creates this tautology where because Spider-Man hardly hangs out with X-Men other than Wolverine, writers focus on Wolverine more than any other X-Men outside the team, the result is that people think Spider-Man doesn't work well with the X-Men.

    This wasn't the case before. Like in the 90s, Spider-Man was a mentor to Nate Grey, then before he hung out with Beast (in that Erik Larsen story, he actually asked Beast for advice on whether he could have children with MJ), and he had other interactions too before.
    Some good points you raise there, and considering that Spider-Man's costume concealed his entire body from head to toe, one could easily imagine him as a person of color behind the mask if they didn't know who he was. Also good on you for bringing up Nate Grey, though I wonder how he would have reacted to Nate's messianic complex and the problems he caused in trying to "make a better world." Flashbacks to Ben Reilly revealing himself as the Jackal, maybe? Although Nate might not have ended Age of X-Man as a total lost cause, so there is a possibility, perhaps . . .
    The spider is always on the hunt.

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •