So the resident Charles(es) of the Multiverse, Charles M., and Charles V., have this sort of article where they make pitches for projects they’d like to see on screen. They’ve done these types of pitches before for Iron Man 4, Captain America 4 (twice), and so on. I wanted to toss my hat in the ring and bring to the table something that I’ve thought of for a while now. Earlier in the year, I had conducted a study where I asked people what they considered to be “The Best Adaptation of Spider-Man in Mainstream Media”. We asked people multiple questions about it, such as who had the best Peter Parker, the best Spider-Man, the best soundtrack, the best story, and so on. Over 1,700 people had taken part in that poll and when we tallied up the points, these were the top 3 results we obtained:
What immediately stood out to me in regards to these results was that people responded better to The Spectacular Spider-Man, the Spider-Man Playstation game, and the 90s animated series than the film incarnations. When you think about it, it makes sense. The common characteristic that these 3 adaptations have in common is that these adaptations were allowed to develop beyond the typical 2-hour time constraint in film.
So, it got me thinking. The current Spider-Man (Tom Holland) has been a bit divisive when spoken about amongst fans. Some like his portrayal, because of his interactions with the Avengers within the scale of a larger universe. Others find the character relies too much on the likes of Tony Stark and his technology rather than fending for himself. The beauty of Spider-Man as a character is that he alone can have a cinematic universe based on his story and characters. His lore is rich in villains, locations, side-characters, and storylines. Perhaps the best way to adapt these is not in a 2-hour blockbuster, but rather in the form of a live-action Disney+ series.
Whatever happens after Far From Home and the untitled Spider-Man 3 sequel, chances are Spider-Man will still be around in the MCU. After facing off against world-ending, reality-shattering, Multiverse scale events, it would be nice for the series to explore a more grounded side for Peter in his own little world. So my story would be centered around New York City, and Spider-Man serving as one of its protectors while the rest of the MCU’s heroes are away. Basing the series on a loose adaptation of these classic comic story arcs is pretty much an excellent way to introduce Peter Parker into the next chapter of his life. You’ll get why in a few moments.
The introduction is essentially ripped from the source material. Peter is just about to start college at Empire State University. He’s trying to get settled into his new life and we get introduced to new characters that are essential to the Spider-Man lore: his fellow classmates Gwen Stacy and Harry Osborn. He’ll start to develop a relationship with both of these characters, which will eventually blossom into a trio of best friends.
He was accepted into the university after the admissions board found his achievements with the Stark Internship worthy of an acceptance letter. During his first day of class, he’ll get settled in and meet many of his professors. Some of the more notable names he’ll meet are his biochemistry teacher Dr. Miles Warren (who eventually becomes the Jackal in the comics) along with Dr. Curt Connors (who many might remember as the Lizard). For all intents and purposes of the series, their eventual villain roles will be teased throughout the series, but they will mainly serve as supporting characters and mentor figures to Peter for the time being. He’ll also meet his Vice-Chancellor, Dr. Edward Lansky, who will take an interest in Peter due to his time with the Stark Internship. He’ll give the students a tour of the facilities in which he’ll present the students with a state of the art solar panel system that powers the entire school, in an attempt to reduce the use of electrical generators (and lower the power bill).
During the first episode of the series, we learn that the Mayor is planning to issue some budget cuts, which would heavily impact the university. Dr. Lansky is attempting to convince the local government not to force cuts onto the university so the staff, nor the students will be laid off. In order to help convince the government that the school requires funds to help with the infrastructure and programs, Dr. Lansky will promote the students to develop a project that can help better the university in a similar way that his project did. This would also help viewers see more of Peter’s inventor side and give it an opportunity to be explored during this series. However, Dr. Lansky knows that there is no possible way to change the Mayor’s mind, so in a move of desperation to save the university, he will get into contact with a very shady individual named Frederick Foswell, who many might recognize as The Big Man. He’ll ask Frederick to carry out some kidnappings on civil servants of the city government and University administration to prevent the budget cuts from happening. In order to do that, The Big Man will hire a small team of career criminals known as The Enforcers to carry out these deeds throughout the show.
This is where we’ll start to see a bit more of Peter trying to live out the double life and attempt to find the balance between saving the world and saving his reputation amongst his friends, all the while trying to balance his university work and project that Dr. Lansky requested. Seeing how in the upcoming Spider-Man 3 film Peter will have to take on Electro, I would not be surprised if, during that film, he develops a sort of insulator so he could take on the villain. In an homage to that, Peter might find a way to reverse engineer his design so that it doesn’t actually nullify electric currents, but rather a design that is able to absorb not just electricity, but solar and light energy to boost the university’s solar panels capabilities.
However, as reports of kidnappings and crimes start to rise, it’ll garner the attention of Spider-Man, which will eventually lead to him facing off against the villain group. Seeing as how Spider-Man is interfering in his plans, Lanksy will ask Foswell to take out Spider-Man. Meanwhile, Dr. Edward Lanksy will be working on developing a “secret project”. Eventually, Spider-Man will take down the Enforcers after multiple failed attempts to kidnap the civil servants, but The Big Man manages to escape. Still, Spider-Man is able to follow him and find out who’s behind the kidnappings. This forces Lansky’s hand to see his plan play out to the very end by himself. He uses an experimental suit that he created to take on the masked vigilante. Spider-Man intervenes to foil Lansky’s plan. Unfortunately, after trying to short circuit the suit, his plan backfired and only ended up boosting the experimental suit, transforming Lansky into a being of pure light. He has now become the Lightmaster.
As Lightmaster escapes, Peter starts to get frustrated. He starts to lose his sense of responsibility, as he misses classes and avoids the friends he made. There is also a notable absence of Spider-Man for a few days. He feels responsible for the creation of a new villain and it’ll put Peter to question his motivations. As such, he poses the question of whether or not being a hero is something that’s important in an age where the Avengers exist and can handle these things. Meanwhile, Lansky plans his revenge against Spider-Man and the people who have wronged him. Near the end of the series, there will be an event at ESU where the University administrators and the Mayor will be present their new plans for the school. This is the time that Lightmaster decides to exact his revenge by taking the mayor out in the process.
At the event, his classmates and professors are put into danger during Lightmaster’s attack. When Peter gets wind of what’s happening, he puts his moral dilemma aside for the greater good. The question is, how will he be able to take on a villain which is essentially a being of pure light? At this point, he remembers the project that he was developing at Dr. Lansky’s request and realizes that it might be useful in a fight against the Lightmaster. So, with experimental technology in hand, he takes on his newly created nemesis and tries to figure out a way to defeat him. As the fight develops, Peter remembers the solar panel system that Dr. Lansky developed. If Peter manages to lure him and uses his device to amp up the absorption capabilities of the panel, he might be able to deponer Lightmaster. He lures him to the panels so that Lansky can recklessly shoot his energy at them. As he is now a being of pure energy, he will get absorbed by the device. Unable to stop the panels from absorbing his energy, Lansky eventually dissipates and is held captive within his own creation.
The series ends on a positive note, with Peter realizing that in a world where heroes face off against greater threats to save the world, it can sometimes leave “the friendly neighborhood” unguarded. So he vows to keep his promise to “fight for the little guy” and defend New York from any dangers that might present themselves in the future.