'Amazing Spider-Man' splits Westchester comic book buffs
"The Amazing Spider-Man" slings its way into theaters Tuesday, and the reboot of the popular superhero franchise has split opinions among Westchester comic book experts.
The story of Peter Parker, a Queens teenager-turned-superhero, has already unfolded on the silver screen -- three times in the previous decade, in fact -- but the success of that trilogy (to the tune of more than $2.5 billion worldwide) prompted a quick return to the franchise, with a new cast and creative team behind it.
Hartsdale resident Anthony Desiato, a manager of the Scarsdale comic book shop Alternate Realities (700 Central Park Ave., Scarsdale; 914-723-7950; www.alternaterealities.com), has been a Spider-Man fan since the mid-90s. He said he snatched up tickets in mid-June for Tuesday morning's midnight showing of "The Amazing Spider-Man."
"I knew everyone was excited for 'Avengers,' and that was huge, but I really think this one is going to take people by surprise this summer," he said.
Over in White Plains, Bishop Purvis, the manager of Comic Book Heaven (200 Hamilton Ave., Suite 8A, White Plains; 914-948-3288), isn't as excited. He hasn't purchased his tickets yet, and he may wait until the middle of July to see it.
"I am afraid of this movie," he said Monday. "I think there's a negative buzz around ["Spider-Man"] because this movie does seem a tiny bit rushed."
Previews for the "The Amazing Spider-Man" show Andrew Garfield playing the webslinger as cocky and wisecracking -- a vast departure from Tobey Maguire's portrayal of a reluctant and often insecure crime-fighter. In the new version, Emma Stone's Gwen Stacy is Parker's primary romantic interest, representing a major shift from the trilogy, in which Parker falls for Kirsten Dunst's Mary Jane Watson.
Despite his fears about "The Amazing Spider-Man" and his appreciation for the first two "Spider-Man" films, Purvis said he prefers Garfield in the title role.
"I'm really not a fan of [Maguire]," he said. "[Garfield] seems more like Spider-Man, with the jokes."
Back in Scarsdale, Desiato said the reboot's edgier tone is one of the main reasons he was looking forward to seeing it.
"Initially, I found it somewhat questionable that they were telling the origin [story] again," he said. "However, it really looks like they're playing around with the aspect of Peter's parents, and the mystery surrounding their disappearance. And I feel like that angle, with his parents, will offer something new, that we didn't see before."
Both the trilogy and the reboot have Westchester connections. Years before Bryce Dallas Howard played Stacy in "Spider-Man 3," she graduated from Byram Hills High School in Armonk. And Campbell Scott, a former resident of South Salem and alumnus of John Jay High School in Bedford, is playing Parker's father in "The Amazing Spider-Man."
But the local connections don't mean much to Desiato as a Spider-Man fan. He said the story of Spider-Man, regardless of who's playing whom, is appealing to a massive audience.
"He's the everyman," he said. "He has to go save the day, and then pick up the milk."