Small reminder before finding him in Spider-Man: No Way Home.
TMC benefits from the release of Spider-Man: No Way Home to rebroadcast The Amazing Spider-Man: A Hero’s Fate, an episode of Marc Webb released in 2014 at the cinema, with Andrew Garfield in the role of Peter Parker and Jamie Foxx in Electro. If we will not spoil you here the presence, or not, of this interpreter of Spidey in the new film, we know since the beginning of his promotion that Electro will be there, thanks to the theme of “multiverse” which allows screenwriters to bring back characters from different sagas. Suddenly, a little booster shot can’t hurt. Who is Electro? Here is a full presentation published at the release of The Amazing Spider-Man 2, in the spring of 2014.
Spider-Man: No Way Home super-villains reunite to talk about the movie
Article from April 24, 2014: Even though the promo of The Amazing Spider-Man 2 claim that “all his enemies will unite”, the main one remains Maxwell Dillon alias Electro. He is the most impressive onscreen, he who takes part in the most dynamic action scenes, he who is embodied by Jamie foxx, headliner of the cast. The film’s bias for this character is quite indicative of what seems to be the essence of this new franchise.
But let’s start at the beginning: who is Electro? If we take the classic version, Electro is an opponent of Spidey created around 1964. Like all characters from that era, he has a very … dated look, to be polite. Green bodycon jumpsuit decorated with yellow lightning bolts (including on her mask), a physical adaptation would make us look almost more ridiculous than the Riddler from Batman forever. Unthinkable for 2014.
Multiverse and nostalgia: what does Electro’s return to Spider-Man 3 mean?
On the physical side, Sony made sure that the current goes by drawing in its most modern version, directly inspired by the universe Ultimate (basically, the Marvel universe updated in the 2000s, a sort of total reboot comic version): a guy with phosphorescent blue skin, who obviously has no “suit” corny, at most a black ensemble after his escape. This seems to be obvious today but let’s remember that a Sam Raimi assumed the classic and downright kitsch side, with among others the Sandman and his legendary striped sweater in Spider man 3. Attention, it is not a question of arbitrarily opposing the two sagas to distribute good and bad points, but to note the differences of approach of the universe of the Spider. The other particularity of Webb is to build on the legacy of the super-films that came before him, without any complex. Thus his Dillon after metamorphosis borrows as much from the embarrassing Freeze embodied by Schwarzenegger as from Doctor Manhattan of Watchmen. Suddenly, it passes or it breaks: this conscious or unconscious resemblance provoked certain mockery (modest, Max is “creates” a kind of boxer shorts out of nowhere when released). Like Heimdall (Thor) or Perry White (Man of steel), Electro is not originally Black, but given its transformation, nobody cares and we fortunately missed out on yet another debate on the change of color from the comic strip to the screen.
Regarding its powers and their origins, the film remains traditional, the previous versions having never really innovated on this point anyway: accident involving electricity in one way or another, and basta. Dillon finds himself endowed with the ability to control, absorb, concentrate and project electricity, while being able himself to take the powder by way of any suitable conductor (from the electric wire to the high-tech network) .
The Amazing Spider-Man 2 takes its feet in the web (review)
Basically, it’s quite interesting that the script actually draws from the original version of the character and not the Ultimate version where he’s a criminal before his metamorphosis. The film presents us with an Electro who, in civilian life, was an insignificant man, insecure and very lonely. A background that refers to his first appearances, where his character was explained by an absent father, an overly protective mother, successive moves and a divorce. From this proximity to the original villain stems another peculiarity of The Amazing Spider-Man 2. The film does not have time to develop the causes of Max’s distress, who is presented in 3 scenes as a kind neurotic caricature and cartoony: the combo bald head, anonymous clothes and bewildered look behind his glasses is not there for nothing. Once changed to Electro, it’s the same, the scene where he switches to the dark side could have supported the tragic side of the beast overwhelmed by his powers, but it is not: in a false movement, he electrocutes Spidey, then his admiration for her turns to jealousy when he notices that it is the vigilante who attracts the cameras. Clearly, Electro is not there to hurt us (we are not among the freaks of Tim burton) nor to scare (the way of filming his “murders” remains soft) but to entertain young and old, that’s it. His motivations are also quite basic: “I’m going to control New York’s electricity so people will depend on me and worship me like a god”… We are far from the purely villainous side of comics, where he is most often attracted by money.
In reality, Electro alone symbolizes the direction taken by the saga Amazing Spider-Man, and probably its spin-offs. Neither bloodthirsty nemesis à la Nolan nor bad guy second degree Loki style, he is resolutely there for the show, and sufficiently marked physically (voice included) to be remembered. Whether it’s a good or a bad memory, it’s up to everyone to see. The character lacks consistency but allows an easy connection with the other super-villains (the scene of the alliance with Osborn is for the moment very comics level dialogues), and if this remains a flaw in certain scenes, it was necessary at least that to start the Sinister Six.
Note: Since then, the plan to reunite the super-villains in a film Sinister six fell into the water, and it is therefore in a new version of Spider-Man, now played by Tom Holland, that we find Electro in the cinema. Here is the trailer for No Way Home :