Fans Reflect on Evolution of Spider-Man


Media by Anika Talyan (she/her)

Brandon Forrest, owner of local comic shop Altered State, opened in October. Forrest said that Spider-Man has sold over 218 comics in the last two months.

Blasting music through the speakers on the way to school, Edward Ter-Hovhannisyan, freshman, has listened to one song every school day since pre-school: the Spider-Man theme song. 

Inspired by nostalgic memories and his love for the Marvel Cinematic Universe’s (MCU) movies,  Ter-Hovhannisyan decided to start the Marvel fan club. 

“I’m excited because I get to share my common interest with other people,” Ter-Hovhannisyan said.

Students in the Marvel fan club select a movie to watch each week and then discuss their reflections at the end of the meeting, Ter-Hovhannisyan said.

Mike Wagner, sponsor, said he has been a fan of the MCU and started collecting comics during the early to mid 1980s.

Media by Emma Tyulyayev

“I like the sense of adventure, the writing, and I was a big fan of the different artists that would draw the comics,” Wagner said.

Wagner said he is looking forward to seeing “Spider-Man: No Way Home,” which released Friday, Dec. 17.

“Like a lot of fans, my hope is high,” Wagner said. “I worry that it will buckle under the weight of all the expectations because of all the different storylines feeding into it. This is a culmination of 20 years of Spider-Man movies that will come together in two hours and a half.”

As for the evolution of Spider-Man, Wagner said it has been natural. The first trilogy, featuring Tobey Maguire, was extremely successful with about 821.7 million USD earned in box office, because there was a hunger for well-done movies at that time, Wagner said. The movies also depicted real iconic scenes from the comics.

Media by Emma Tyulyayev

In the three trilogies, Peter Parker/Spider-Man has been played by Tobey Maguire, Andrew Garfield and is currently being played by Tom Holland. 

“I thought Andrew Garfield did a great job. The Spider-Man wasn’t as crisp of a character but Peter Parker was about right. And then as far as the total package, I think Tom Holland is pretty awesome,” Wagner said. 

Brandon Forrest, owner of the local business, Altered State Comics, said he despised reading but after being gifted a comic book at 7 years old, he quickly fell in love. Forrest opened Altered State Comics on Oct. 1, 2021. 

Even after only being open two months, Forrest has sold more than 218 exclusive Spider-Man comic books with it being one of his best sellers. 

“It’s really always been one of the top sellers,” Forrest said. “But with the new movie coming out, there has been more of a demand.”

Women comprise almost 45 percent of comic book buyers, a change from what used to be a majority of guys, Forrest said.

“Comics are so inclusive that there is something for everybody,” Forrest said. “Marvel is including more women characters like Black Widow and Wonder Woman.”

Alexis Nguyen, junior, said Spider-Man and the MCU has been a form of escapism for her. 

Like many others, Nguyen said her favorite Spider-Man has been Tom Holland because of his performance as both Peter Parker and Spider-Man. 

“Spider-Man is such a classic character,” Nguyen said. “He’s a reminder of how purely good someone can be, and I’m extremely excited to see how this movie turns out.”