Monday, 4 March 2013


This week's FIGHT is written by Mark Harrison.

Dopplegangers are perceived by some as harbingers of bad luck, and seeing one's own is considered to be an omen of death.
This is mainly because if you see your exact double, then there's probably a hole in the multiverse somewhere bleeding into our dimension.
And since when has that been a good thing?
Twice the girding. Twice the loins.
Let's do some morally justifiable self harm.   






Spider-Man is Peter Parker, a high school student who was bitten by a radioactive spider while on a school field trip, and imbued with superpowers. In a tragedy that he could have prevented, his beloved uncle Ben was murdered, and Peter resolved to don red and blue tights and use his powers to fight crime. He is played by Tobey Maguire, and is the hero of Sam Raimi’s Spider-Man trilogy.

On the other hand, Spider-Man is Peter Parker, played by Andrew Garfield. It’s pretty much the same story for him, but with crucial differences to make it shit. While impersonating a fellow scientist for a lark, (and probably scuppering that young man’s promising career trajectory) he wandered into a bio-lab and got bitten by a radioactive spider, apparently unlocking superpowers that were already encoded in his DNA, or some such rubbish.

Also, his beloved uncle Ben tried to take on an armed mugger who’s about half his age, and paid the ultimate price, leading Peter to launch a terrible costumed stand-up comedy routine. He is the star of The Amazing Spider-Man, and its sequel, which will apparently star Paul Giamatti as the fucking Rhino.


In terms of superpowers, the two are pretty evenly matched. They’re more or less the same character, one might say. Both have superhuman strength, proportionate to that of a spider, an internalised spider-sense that serves as an early warning for any incoming criminal assault or dickery, and the ability to crawl up walls.

One advantage that Spider-Maguire has over Spider-Garfield is that he can spin a web, (any size) using organic web fluid that is fired from some orifice in his wrists. By contrast, Spider-Garfield invented mechanical web-shooters, in a nod to the original conception of the character that very conveniently happened to sell lots of toys too. These also glow, thus providing a highly visible target for enemies, who need only destroy these devices in order to seriously limit Spidey’s mobility.

Each Peter Parker could boast of a genius IQ, even before they were enhanced by their spider-powers. Moreover, they’re both selfless enough to always do the right thing, even at a huge cost to themselves.

Except for Spider-Garfield, that is, who always seems to do the right thing begrudgingly, or because he might get some info about his parents out of it. He could probably find out more online, if he used Google instead of Bing. That, along with his selfishness and lack of organic web, tends to make him less effective as a superhero, frankly. Even Paul fucking Giamatti could probably take him out.

Spider-Maguire wins.


Sony Pictures keeps both Spider-Men indoors, where they can’t play with those Avengers kids who live on the next street. As a result, neither Spidey has much to boast of in the way of equally capable or more powerful allies.

Each of them has an Aunt May, bereft of her late husband, but usually willing to back up her nephew. Maguire’s Aunt Rosemary Harris gives endless inspirational speeches that make good trailer soundbytes, while Garfield’s Aunt Sally Field largely just gives him shopping lists. The battle of the Aunt Mays is a fight for another day though- neither would be much use in a Spidey scrap.

Otherwise, Garfield pretty much has the drop on Maguire here. Most of Spider-Maguire’s mates turn evil and gain some kind of superpower, and his girlfriend Mary Jane is so consistently kidnapped, you start to wonder if Harrison Ford and Liam Neeson are her uncles. On the other hand, Spider-Garfield has Gwen, a girl who sticks by him even after he got her father killed, and swore to him that he’d stay away from his daughter as he died. Even after he tells her about this! That’s love, right there.

Spider-Garfield wins, that silver-tongued devil.


Spider-Maguire has more access to Jewish stereotypes than Spider-Garfield. He also has less mysterious parents.

Spider-Garfield is less likely to have Uncle Ben's death retconned in the third film, though let's not hastily rule this out just yet.


Worlds collide and cranes conveniently align themselves as the two Spider-Men are thrust into battle. Spider-Garfield kidnaps Mary Jane, because it’s just obligatory, and Spider-Maguire swings into action to save her! Spider-Garfield pretty much has to stage the fight half a mile away from where he actually intended, because he ran out of webbing.

Initially, the two Spider-Men trade punches, with Spider-Maguire’s mask taking a lot of battle damage from being punched in the face. As Spider-Garfield never actually seems to put his mask on, he takes more battle damage to his actual face, but he looks pretty all the same.

However, the fight goes on for long enough that Spider-Maguire starts crying, and the Embarrassing Maguire Cry loses him some hit points. While Spider-Garfield makes topical observations, and does improv comedy on the topic of “Unlikely Actors To Play The Fucking Rhino”, Spider-Maguire digs deep and remembers the mantra he was told by his uncle Cliff Robertson- “with great power, comes great responsibility.”

Spider-Garfield scoffs. 'That's a bit short and pithy. Martin Sheen's version, on the other hand...'

While distracted, Spider-Maguire launches an assault. He doesn't bother quipping (even though he's got 'Martin Sheen's version was like sweaty words trying to unhook a massive bra' lined up and ready to rock), but simply roars a tad, and swings his fists back and forth while an American flag turns up in the background for no readily explicable reason.

As Spider-Garfield takes the ensuing pummelling, he digs deep and considers how Martin Sheen took forever to get to a similar point on the night that he died. Something about the capability to do something to help people, and the duty to do that, whatever the price- mostly, he has Coldplay lyrics stuck in his head.

Spider-Maguire throws his enemy to the ground in a move that would have broken his spine in a non-Sam-Raimi film, and then goes off to not quite get together with Mary-Jane again.




Plus he manages to not kill an adversary, for once, and rescues Mary Jane. Spider-Garfield is left to go home and get cleaned up by Gwen, while whispering sweet nothings her ear about how it’s his fault her father is dead.

Still, Paul Giamatti, eh? Playing the fucking Rhino.

FIGHT! FIGHT! FIGHT! will return in:


If you have any suggestions for who you'd like to see square go each other in future FIGHT! FIGHT! FIGHT! articles, please mention them below.

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