Although both “Man of Steel” and “The Amazing Spider-Man” have both been charged with essentially winning back the crowd of moviegoers by rebooting a popular series so soon after its final entries, both having hit theaters a mere seven and five years apart respectively, “Man of Steel” has a few key advantages over the “Spider-Man” franchise and arguably other superhero franchises that may potentially make it the biggest hit of the summer.
The film’s ultimate ace up its sleeve is that, despite Superman’s status as a triple A icon, there has been a general lack of material to satisfy the “Superman” hunger. Whether you hated or loved “Superman Returns,” at the end of the day, it simply wasn’t the crowd pleaser that it needed to be in order to earn its shot at success.
Meanwhile, “Smallville’s” television run has been regularly confronted with inconsistent writing quality in addition to its billing as a long-lasting “Superman” origin, which makes for a fun twist on the superhero formula but not quite the same as a quintessential “Superman” story.
Compare this to the “Spider-Man” franchise which has become Marvel’s whipping boy and primary source of income before the Marvel Cinematic Universe took off. Within the last 25 years, “Spider-Man” has seen at least 3 comic book reboots running parallel to its primary continuity, at least five different cartoons, one of which is currently running, numerous books and book series, several comic book and animated spinoffs, and of course, a trilogy of multimillion dollar films culminating in a reboot that has come long past a point of oversaturation.
That is not even taking into consideration the film itself, which offered very little new to the “Spider-Man” mythos beyond a few tweaks.
In comparison, “Man of Steel” has been teasing at a fair amount of reinvention. The character remains at the heart of his status as a paragon that humanity should strive to be but the downplaying of the overtly American imagery and bombastic fanfare commonly associated with the campy Silver Age of comic books shows promise towards creating a “Superman” of the modern day.