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Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Spider-Verse: Turn Off the Dark

Spider-Verse is a currently running event in the Spider-Man comics that will involve every* Spider-Man we've ever met, including several Spider-Women and Spider-Girls (not to mention Scarlet Spiders and Spider-Hams and whatnot), and several brand-new versions. The premise is simple: there's a group of people trying to wipe out every Spider character across the multiverse, so all the Spider characters will team up to stop them. This is, of course, a massive event - multimedia even, since it will also feature in the Spider-Man Unlimited video game and the animated series Ultimate Spider-Man - and given the premise, it's only natural that it will add a few entries to this catalog.

*I say "every" because Marvel says "every", but there are a few that won't be showing up, such as Tobey Maguire and Andrew Garfield. (Although see here for more information on that.)

Today's entry is Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark.

Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark is a 2011 Broadway musical by Julie Taymor, the woman behind The Lion King Broadway musical, Across the Universe, and several other things. If you're familiar with her work, you can definitely tell she did it. The sets, especially, are her all over, which means they're quite inventive. They use weird angles, perspectives, and optical illusions to make the stage feel like a comic book panel or to see the world how Spidey sees it; there are several moving parts, such as conveyor belts and panels that rise and lower, and projectors are used to distort scenes or otherwise enhance them

That being said, the production was pretty much a mess from Day 1. The villains costumes are atrocious, and the story wasn't much better, because it tried to tie the whole thing to Arachne and make her the villain, and because of its Greek ties, it included something called the Geek Chorus. The story was eventually rewritten to diminish the unwanted elements as much as possible...but not get rid of them entirely, which probably turned out even weirder. Another problem was that the musical featured extensive use of wire work and aerial stunts, which makes sense, but frequently injured cast members.

Even so, this version of Spider-Man was mentioned in Spider-Verse #2 (January 2015), along with a second Spider-Man:

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