I'm seeing the first trailers for the newest rendition of Marvel's Spider-Man, "The Amazing Spider-Man 2." Our kids were too old to get into it last go-round but do not have kids of their own yet, which suggests the franchise is so eager to make a buck they're trotting it out awfully early. Doesn't Tobey Maguire still look like he's just out of his teens?
A recent trip to Manhattan and the phenomenon of Spider-Man's abilities got me thinking. I live in a close-in suburb of a medium-sized city. While the city has tall buildings, it doesn't have many. Its sixteen tall buildings were enough to justify filming exterior shots in the new Spider-Man movie here, the high point of the city's cultural year. Manhattan, as a point of reference, sports 206 tall buildings, most in close proximity.
So if Peter Parker were to move to the nearby city, he could swing between buildings, but only within a fairly small radius. That might be sufficient if the bad guys were doing their thing in the city center. But what if they're acting up at the outskirts, or in a suburb? Spider-Man is going to need a car, because few buildings outside the downtown area are taller than five or six stories, and most of those in areas of green space with large adjacent parking lots.
Poor, poor Spider-Man. I hope he can afford the monthly car payments. At least his commute will be short.