Growing Up With Spider-Man

During the late 90s, when I was between six and nine years old, I was a giant Spider-Man fan!

I never read any of the comics, I was more into Donald Duck and Scrooge McDuck comics when I was little, but I have enjoyed his adventures through other media.

 

I was first introduced to the character through the Norwegian dub of the Fox Kids cartoon.

I used to play with my friends, but instead of Cops & Robbers we’d play as Spider-Man and his villains.

Spider-Man villains are the best in the genre, with only Batman villains coming close, so they were a huge reason for my infatuation with the series.

 

I liked to play as Shocker, due to his cool costume and ability to shoot shock-waves out of his hands. Although I had him confused with Electro for years as a result of his powers being changed from sound based to electrical based in the cartoon for some reason.

 

Later, I fell in love with Sam Raimi’s first two Spider-Man films from 2002 and 2004.

MovieBob’s Really That Good episode about those films thoroughly explains why they are as great as they are.

When I saw Spider-Man 3 in 2007, I was afraid that I had grown out of the franchise, so I was very happy when I later learned that the film was universally despised.

I wonder how many people have thought that they have grown out of something they loved simply because they saw a bad iteration of it.

 

‘The Amazing Spider-Man’ film from 2012 and its 2014 sequel did a lot to make me forgive Spider-Man 3.

Spider-Man 3 may have been the worst of the Raimi films, but it was still a film about Spider-Man, not a Sony marketing campaign starring a cool dude dressing up as Spidey on a lark.

 

So after three subpar Spider-movies in a row, it felt amazing to see Peter Parker show up in ‘Captain America: Civil War’ in 2016, fighting alongside Iron Man and the other Avengers, back in the nurturing arms of Marvel Studios.

 And then ‘Spider-Man: Homecoming’ took that ball and ran with it the very next year, and now ‘Homecoming’ is my second favorite Spider-Man film ever, my favorite being Spider-Man 2.

 

This year, Spider-Man played a pivotal role in ‘Avengers: Infinity War’, next year will have sequels to both ‘Infinity War’ and ‘Homecoming’ with ‘Avengers: Endgame’ and ‘Spider-Man: Far From Home’ being released, and at the moment I am having a great time playing the new PlayStation 4 Spider-Man game.

It really makes me feel like I’m a friendly neighborhood spiderman, as I swing through New York with ease.

 

And today, 14th of December 2018, the new animated film ‘Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse’ is released, and by all accounts I’ve heard so far, it is great.

This is truly a wonderful time to be a Spider-fan!

 

 

I don’t know what it is about Spider-Man that makes me like him so much.

I have a fear of heights (and I don’t much care for speed either), yet I often imagine myself swinging from building to building.

Perhaps, with great imagination comes a loss of anxiety.

 

Gaming Backlog Countdown: 40!


In the last entry of my gaming backlog countdown I went from 50 games to 45, and checked off five games I played with my girlfriend on the SNES Classic.

This time I’m checking off five games I played by myself on PlayStation 4.

 

Prey (2017)

Prey is a first-person shooter horror game set on a space station orbiting Earth in 2035.

The game is very reminiscent of Bioshock, in that you are traversing a beautifully built structure with danger coming from within the structure in the form of enemies, and from outside the structure in the form of natural forces.

Whereas in Bioshock you have to face a gaggle of biologically altered psychopaths while the sea destroys the underwater city the game is set in, in Prey you have to face a horde of aliens with the ability to mimic everyday objects as a form of camouflage, all while the vacuum of space looms outside the walls.

 

Mooncrash DLC

This piece of downloadable content takes the action down to a hostile moon base, and has some randomly generated parts to it.

As with the base game, I absolutely loved the story in this one, maybe even more than the one in the base game.

 

Uncharted 2: Among Thieves

When I wrote the backlog list I had already played the first Uncharted game years ago, and I was sure that I had a collector’s box containing the second and third game for Playstation 3.

I may have lost it, or I just never had it to begin with, but since Uncharted 2 is considered to be a classic I decided to just buy it remastered for the Playstation 4.

 

The Uncharted series was made by the video game studio Naughty Dog.

Naughty Dog has made some of my all-time favorite games, like the Crash Bandicoot series and ‘The Last of Us’.

Crash Bandicoot may in fact be the first game I ever played, and while I can’t be completely sure of that, it was an incredibly nostalgic trip to play the HD rerelease of the first three Crash games earlier this year.

 

Naughty Dog have always been great developers, and Uncharted 2 is one of their finest works.

It is an action masterpiece, and a love letter to Indiana Jones, Lara Croft and National Treasure.

 

One of the parts I enjoyed the most was an action sequence that takes place on top of a moving train in Nepal, traveling from the urban Kathmandu Valley to the high Himalayas without breaking gameplay.

It must have taken forever to design a stretch of land that huge, but it paid off.

It’s one of the coolest levels I have played whole year.

 

Uncharted 3: Drake’s Deception

The third game in this series is not as beloved as the second and fourth, so since it turned out I didn’t actually own it, I decided to skip it.

I instead watched some recaps on YouTube to fill myself in on the plot before starting Uncharted 4.

 

Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End

This game builds on it’s predecessors beautifully.

It is bigger, more fun to play, and has a more emotional storyline.

 

The story takes you on a journey from Scotland, through Madagascar, and ends with a giant portion on a massive island, the lost pirate kingdom of Libertalia.

The action set-pieces is better than ever, and there are a few car chases that really gives that train sequence a run for it’s money.

 

The Lost Legacy DLC

This is a massive adition to the game which lets you discover lost cities in the ancient Hoysala Empire, in a big beautiful area of India’s Western Ghats.

 

Invisible, Inc.

This is a short game with espionage puzzle gameplay.

I had a lot of fun setting up ambushes for guards, and sneaking around in general.

Stealth can often be difficult to make fun, but this game nailed it!

 

 

I now have 40 games left on my list!

The Doctor VS Anubis

the doctor vs anubis doctor who dog of death sindrelf john barry ballaran comic

This is the story about how the main character in Anubis: Dog of Death started out as a minor villain in my unmade ‘Doctor Who’ comic books.

 

In the summer of 2016, I contacted the artist John Barry Ballaran, to order a painting for my girlfriend for Christmas.

It would portray David Bowie and Peter Capaldi’s Twelfth Doctor from ‘Doctor Who’, battling an army of cybernetic creatures by shocking them with their electric guitar riffs.

 

The finished work would have a very realistic style, but long before the painting was done, John sent me a sketch of how the layout of the painting would look.

drWhoBowie_sketch_1_wip1

To me, this looked like something straight out of a comic book!

 

At this point, I had wanted to make several ‘Doctor Who’ comics for a long time.

Ever since I discovered ‘Doctor Who’ at 15 years old in 2005, I have always had countless ideas for stories set in that universe.

When I was younger I used to dream about the possibility of running that show, and even after admitting to myself just how unlikely that is, I still had a need to get all those ideas out somehow.

And while I could simply write a fanfic, I had imagined these ideas as television episodes, so I felt many of them needed to be visual to truly express what I wanted those ideas to become.

So I asked John if he would be interested in attempting to make a ‘Doctor Who’ comic with me after the painting was done, and he said yes!

 

I ended up writing a script for a one-part story, and asked John to draw a test-page.

Since ‘Doctor Who’ is owned by the BBC, and Titan Comics owns the rights to distribute comics based on the property, our only chance for financial support to pay for John’s work would be to send in the script and art samples to Titan Comics, and hope they would be willing to pick us up for a few stories.

I was pretty naive to think that they would be interested, as I am sure countless well-established writers would give their left hand to be able to write for anything ‘Doctor Who’ related.

smiling anubis dog of death

They never got back to us, but that did not come as a very big surprise to me, and even before I had sent in the script I had been thinking about other possible stories me and John could bring to life together.

When I first had the idea of a version of Anubis trapped inside the body of a purse dog, it had actually been as a villain for one of my ‘Doctor Who’ stories.

But even before I knew for sure that I would not be able to make those comics, I decided that character was too good to merely be an antagonist in another character’s story.

I knew Anubis The Dog deserved to have his story told, so it was to him I turned next.

 

Starting a series about original characters is much harder than relying on an established brand, but it also leaves me more freedom.

But who knows, maybe if ‘Anubis: Dog of Death’ gets really popular I’ll get a better chance to write about my favorite timelord.

I’ll save my drafts just in case..

 

.

.

 

Support ‘Anubis: Dog of Death’ on Patreon!