‘Spider-Man: Bloodline’ Is As Bad As You’ve Probably Heard

What happened to J.J. Abrams? For a while, he seemed on fire. He had hit TV shows with Alias and Lost. But then, Paramount Pictures decided that he should direct the third Mission: Impossible movie. And it’s the worst of the franchise. There’s a complicated plot. Philip Seymour Hoffman is not a good villain and there’s that long sequence of Tom Cruise just running because Cruise has to run in his movies.

Then, there was Super 8, which was so disappointing. Intended as an ode to Steven Spielberg, it seemed more like Close Encounters of the Goonies Kind. Next, there was that Star Trek reboot with those lens flares and Zachary Quinto’s dickish performance as Mr. Spock. Leonard Nimoy’s Spock would never act like that.

And finally, there was Disney’s purchase of Lucasfilms and the Star Wars franchise. Abrams was going to direct the first in a sequel trilogy. It made people hopeful, until they realized it was basically a retelling of Episode IV: A New Hope. Even worse, Abrams was going to kill off Oscar Isaac’s Poe Dameron in the first act. It was obvious from the start, he had no idea what he was doing.

There might have been some big conclusion that would’ve successfully married The Force Awakens with The Last Jedi, but Disney decided to bring Abrams back in to finish it after Colin Trevorrow walked away. Trevorrow was working with Johnson to make a good transition. Rian Johnson went on to make Knives Out and got a huge fortune to make movies for Netflix. So, haters are gonna hate. But he’s got the money.

As for Abrams, Rise of Skywalker was awful. It wasn’t near as bad as Rogue One, but no one was anticipating seeing Emperor Palpatine or his clone back again. They called Abrams “Jar Jar Abrams.” Now, Disney has admitted there will do other feature movies with better directors helming them. The other juggernaut Disney has a strong hand on is the Marvel Cinematic Universe. So, it was only natural for Marvel Comics to ask him if he would be interested in writing a comic. But I think the production of Skywalker got in the way.

Abrams brought on his son, Henry, to help him write. But you get the feeling that J.J. just lent his name so people would even notice. The dialogue is awful. The plotline is foolish. And the characters are so one-dimensional, you don’t even care.

The first issue of the five-issue comic was released in the fall of 2019. The final issue didn’t come out until 15 months later in December of 2020. Ok, Covid probably delayed the production. But if James Gunn could write the Peacemaker series during Covid, surely the two could’ve gotten together to bang out five issues, especially since hardly much happens among those five issues.

It begins with Spider-Man battling the Cadaverous, a human-hybrid that looks like a lobster and his minions which looks a lot like the Xenomorphs from the Alien franchsie. As a matter of fact, red will become a huge color. Things don’t go well as Spidey is down and trying to escape with Mary Jane, something goes wrong as supposedly MJ dies. The artwork is confusing as Peter Parker loses his right hand with a hook replaced.

Twelve years pass and their son, Ben, has grown bitter as a brooding teen. Aunt May is basically taking care of Ben, who is a ginger, as Peter has retired the Spidey suit for a regular job that requires him to constantly be out of town. Ben’s frustrations at his father is warranted but he’s getting in trouble at school for roughing up the bullies. Apparently, Ben has the same strength and Spidey sense Peter has, hence the Bloodline title.

Basically, Ben meets a girl in after-school detention named Faye who has wild hair and is attracted to Ben, maybe? It’s never made clear if she knows he’s Spidey’s son. But the whole story has Ben stepping up and discovering his roots. The father-son drama doesn’t really work mainly because Peter is so absent. Is Henry trying to say something?

I won’t give much away except that if you know someone supposedly dies in the prologue, they’re more or likely going to return in the climax. There’s not much here as Cadaverous wants to get a piece of Peter’s DNA, which was the same thing that happened in The Amazing Spider-Man 2. So, it’s only natural the Abrams would steal from other works.

It’s no surprise the red theme that artist Sara Pichelli brings to the comic was meant to symbolize blood, but it’s so oversaturated, I’m surprised the work itself doesn’t gush blood from the pages. Pichelli first became well known for illustrating Miles Morales version of Ultimate Spider-Man and she has been well received over the years. She does what she can with the artwork, but the blame is on the shoulders of the Abrams and Marvel themselves for letting inexperienced writers to pen this work.

Yes, you have to start somewhere, but this is just another argument against nepo babies, both on the page and in real life.

What do you think? Please comment.

Published by bobbyzane420

I'm an award winning journalist and photographer who covered dozens of homicides and even interviewed President Jimmy Carter on multiple occasions. A back injury in 2011 and other family medical emergencies sidelined my journalism career. But now, I'm doing my own thing, focusing on movies (one of my favorite topics), current events and politics (another favorite topic) and just anything I feel needs to be posted. Thank you for reading.

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