The great 'Amazing Spider-Man' web-shooter debate
January 19th, 2012
05:57 PM ET

The great 'Amazing Spider-Man' web-shooter debate

With fan anticipation high for another glance at "The Amazing Spider-Man"  (though the stars didn't have much to say at a recent press conference, director Marc Webb hinted that another trailer for this summer's reboot of the "Spider-Man" movie franchise is on its way soon), there's a chance we may get a closer look at Spidey's mechanical web-shooters in action.

In the original comics, Peter Parker's interest in science and mechanics led to him to create his own web-shooters to go along with his spider-powers (climbing up walls, spider agility and the like). In 2002's Sam Raimi-directed "Spider-Man," Parker's web shooting ability was part of the package. This organic web-shooting power was also briefly given to Parker a few years ago in the comics.

Mechanical versus organic web-shooters has been a hot topic of debate for comic book readers for the past decade. When the new movie's co-star Emma Stone first confirmed that there would be mechanical web-shooters in this movie, many fans rejoiced. (At one point, a fan site called existed.)

One reader at, posted "Organic wasn’t in my comics; don’t want it in my movie, don’t care what this 'PC' world thinks."

Another replied, "It just does not make sense when a teenage kid invents something like that, and it's better if he actually [has] the superhuman ability to shoot webs." (A similar argument was made by a fan on a thread at

A reader posited, "I hate the whole idea of organic webbing ... plus, it should be under his tongue!" (There's one for the super-scientific take on it!)

Entertainment Weekly has also come out strongly in favor of mechanical web-shooters.

They're not alone. Brian Michael Bendis, creator of the wildly successful "Ultimate Spider-Man" comic book series, told CNN Geek Out that he argued for mechanical web-shooters when he met with many of the people behind the new movie.

"It looked to me like I was a deciding vote about the movie," he said.

"They had a surprisingly high-end meeting of Amy Pascal [chairman of Sony Pictures Entertainment], the producers, director and everyone, and sat me down and pop quizzed me on all things Spider-Man. A big debate was about organic versus mechanical web-shooters. Because I have always been a practitioner of mechanical web-shooters, Amy asked me why you use mechanical web-shooters. I said, because [it showed] the genius of Peter Parker, that he was able to invent these things that he needed. It says who he is, and what kind of person he might have become if not for the spider-powers."

The reaction, said Bendis, was quite telling: "People who agreed with me were banging the table saying, 'Huh? See?' and others were shaking their heads. You could see this was a huge debate. I'm not saying I was the deciding vote, but now that they went with mechanical web-shooters, I felt pretty good about it."

Webb also told The Los Angeles Times that he had a conversation with Spidey co-creator Stan Lee, where the web-shooters came up.

"The web-shooters were able to dramatize Peter’s intellect, and I thought that was really cool," Webb told the Times.

So, does that settle it? Or is there still a good argument to be made for organic web-shooters? Share your view in the comments below.

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Filed under: Comic Longbox • Fandom
soundoff (73 Responses)
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    Ok, first of all, all Marvel movies are great. So, when I say that the new spider-man was the worst Marvel movie ive ever seen, im not saying it sucked. It just wasn't as good as some other Marvel movie.

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  5. SparkChaser

    It was organic in the first, second and third movies. Why make it mechanical now the continuity does not make sense.

    November 10, 2012 at 8:28 pm |
    • Phil

      It's a new continuity in this one. Besides, in the original comics they were mechanical.

      November 16, 2012 at 4:29 pm |
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  17. Ronald Flores

    i think this is retarded and it should stay how it was and they shouldev kept the original charters and kepp the saga going

    June 21, 2012 at 5:04 pm |
    • James


      July 24, 2012 at 5:48 am |
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  21. Kathy

    Aside from Bendis, whom I don't really care for, why not ask STAN LEE what he thinks? The Raimi Trilogy was based on the "Ultimate Spider-Man" books, but even Bendis went for mechanical, not organic cuz, really where the hell would he store all that webbing? Plus IMO Great Choice for Captain Stacy with Denis Leary!

    March 26, 2012 at 3:17 pm |
  22. Emmanuel Newton


    It was in the comics plus he is 16 and the spider powers gave him super intelligence that's why he was able to make them duh!

    March 11, 2012 at 9:41 pm |
  23. Jim P.

    Spiders spon webs out of their backside....Let's not go there with Mr. Parker. Too much authenticity is not always good.

    February 9, 2012 at 7:03 pm |
  24. Andrew

    Mechanical, hooray!
    Peter was never an average kid who accidentally got bitten by a spider aka the Raimi movie. He was a smart science geek working in a lab when he got bitten by an experiment. After developing strength and agility, he created his costume, artificial webbing (which disintegrated after a few hours, unlike natural webs), miniaturized trackers which he'd attach to cars and criminals to locate them later, and he analyzed clues in his lab to find out what the criminals were using (gases, materials etc). The comic was gold to a science geek like me.
    He's not strong enough, rich enough or connected enough to be a worldclass hero but he's agile, smart and dedicated to making a difference.. the Friendly Neighbourhood Spider-Man!

    January 24, 2012 at 11:42 am |
  25. KajinPL

    Showcasing Peter's intellect doing does grant a good point. That's who he is.

    January 24, 2012 at 11:27 am |
  26. corey jon

    Mechanical sucks!

    January 23, 2012 at 7:30 pm |
    • Nacturn24

      (Attempt #2)
      Okay, why so exactly?
      Can you give us your reasons, not just "'cause"?

      January 23, 2012 at 8:07 pm |
      • SHEEP

        Well, think about it, its like getting bitten by a radioactive cobra but not having the venom. Would you just be able to slither real fast? Just like lizard, he wanted to become a lizard, not because of strength and agility, but to grow back his limbs. What would a spider be without its web.

        July 13, 2012 at 12:22 am |
  27. Grandpa RD

    Web goo out of his rear? Why not? The character Astro Boy of Anime fame had machine guns shoot out of his rear.

    January 21, 2012 at 12:52 pm |
  28. Gemmer

    But I will say most of you seem like you're into it...and that's cool. 🙂

    January 21, 2012 at 11:04 am |
  29. Nacturn24

    Hmmn, some go through and others don't.

    January 21, 2012 at 8:59 am |
    • Nacturn24

      The mechanical vs biological debate isn't necessary for two reasons.
      First, there are at least two universes in the comics (the "regular" and the Ultimate) just choose the one you like. It's up to you.
      Second, it's been established that his powers evolve over the years.
      Obviously, it can be up to how the current writer/editor can creatively take what's gone before or was "missed" and create new, hopefully exciting stories from there.

      January 21, 2012 at 9:03 am |
    • Nacturn24

      Ohhh, "retcon" is a bad word then.

      January 21, 2012 at 9:12 am |
      • Nacturn24

        I've tried to give some clear examples of the evolution and they wont post.
        A pity.
        In the end, the new movies will either do well for the over all acting, plot and sense of wonder/pathos or not.

        January 21, 2012 at 9:14 am |
  30. Nacturn24

    There have been more responses to this column over the past 2 days. Some of them clear, informational and seeking to join the fans behind the character and the history of the character.
    Why aren't they being posted?
    Are they too long?
    Or not "exciting debate" worthy?

    January 21, 2012 at 8:52 am |
  31. iawah

    True comic readers who have grown up reading Spiderman comics know that for a true following of the storyline, he has to have mechanical webbing. Organic webbing sucks except with the symbiote. If you are not following than you are obviously a noob. To the guy telling everyone to get a life and girlfriend. I guarantee I get laid more than you. You're rubber doll with her 3 holes doesn't count tool.

    January 20, 2012 at 9:38 pm |
    • Nacturn24

      I'm curious as to what you mean by "true readers". Do you really mean "long time readers"? Or "devoted fans"?
      It's all really a matter of opinion and whether or not we like the direction a new creative team that takes over the books/character uses.
      And come on. Haven't we learned anything from reading comics?
      Insulting someone just because they disagree with us doesn't make us right.
      People are allowed their opinions. They have them for a reason. It's much more useful to try to understand why they feel that way than mock them. We might learn something from the discussion.

      January 21, 2012 at 9:20 am |
  32. Alex

    Tobey Maguire was a great Peter Parker and Spider-Man. Everything else..not so much lol. But I was younger so I loved it, now I'm excited for this darker look into Spidey. Also I'm pro mechanical webbing. As for natural webbing, I mean, I've always wondered, where was he keeping it all inside of himself? Or was it made as he needed it in his body? Kinda nasty.

    January 20, 2012 at 3:43 pm |
    • think about it

      Tobey Maguire made a horrible impression of peter parker. Peter is a smart ass to his villains. Also, Peter hated the idea that he had the responsibility to be spiderman but he always looked forward to protect the weak. Tobey made Peter look like a sweet and powerless hero who enjoyed to be spiderman.

      January 22, 2012 at 10:55 pm |
  33. Saiyanghost

    I agree with 2 cent
    If ur a fan of Spidey and cared to read the comic (aka THE SOURCE material). You would understand that mechanical web shooter r the ONLY way to go. Some of the plots stories in the comic was related to Spidey RUNNING OUT of web juice and falling in mid chase of a perp

    Also that was made him finding the black suit in Secret Wars #8 and going with it because it would shoot organic webs for him because he was worried about RUNNING OUT of web juice).

    The black suit .... later was VENOM.

    January 20, 2012 at 3:32 pm |
    • Tantien

      Here Here! I DID read the original comic and remember well: the canisters Peter invented could sent the fluid out three ways: (1) web (2) line (3) a glue-like viscous goo. Having to re-load also introduced a vulnerability to the character that you cannot have it it is unlimited and organic. Imagine having to fight a villain with a machine gun that never runs out of bullets–it changes what you could do and what you might do differently if you had limited ammo. Likewise, I enjoyed the accuracy that the Amazing version had to the original (at least in this aspect) idea of web-fluid canisters.

      July 10, 2012 at 3:25 pm |

    This movie's going to be awesome!........and its not the same movie all over again! It has Peter's parents in it, and he is trying to figure out why his parents abandoned him! Which was in the comics but not in Raimi's trilogy.

    January 20, 2012 at 3:31 pm |
    • Nacturn24

      If it's going back to the roots of the comic and examining little discussed aspects of the character's history then yes, it has great potential.
      We'll just have to wait and see.
      Lots of ..intrigue.. so.. cloak and dagger it may be. (grin)
      But we'll see.
      And no, not making ref to Tandy and Ty.

      January 21, 2012 at 9:25 am |
    • jamesnyc

      You mean it's going to tell that his parents were double agents killed by Red Skull? Keul...

      February 13, 2012 at 6:23 pm |
  35. Shawn-R

    mechanical, Being able to make his costume, his webbed cape, his utility belt, and the web canisters were all part of peter parkers scientific brilliance.a lot of his enemies he fought with his mind and science. The spider abillities were just a tool. it shows his hero efforts and smartness, yeah he was bitten by a radioactive spider but that doesnt make him a hero. Peter parker does. Without the knowledge and all of that he wouldn't be spider man.

    January 20, 2012 at 3:30 pm |
  36. Nerdsville

    And I thought Sheldon on Big Bang Theory was over the top. You guys are just all kinds of messed up in the head if you are arguing over organic vs man-made webbing on a fictional character? Really? Have you kissed a girl lately or been out in the sun?
    As William Shatner once said to some Star Trek fan. "GET A LIFE!!"

    January 20, 2012 at 2:38 pm |
    • think about it

      The sad part is that you're reading all of these comments and commenting on them. I think it's more sad when you just got on to insult others for something you don't care about. Really get a life.

      January 22, 2012 at 10:59 pm |
  37. Prospero

    This may be the most unnecessary re-boot, ever.

    January 20, 2012 at 1:50 pm |
    • OGLoc

      WRONG! This reboot is the best thing to happen to Spider-man after the animated series. Raimi's Spider-man was bad, it really was. It didn't follow the comic, the actors did a bad job, but I don't blame them... the cast was bad.
      This movie will be great, trust me! By the looks of the trailer, it already look better than the past trilogy. And the best thing about it, is that the stunts, and the flying through the city were 90% done irl. And Spidey is a wise ass, which is also more true to the comics.

      January 20, 2012 at 2:28 pm |
    • BFC

      I'm have to agree. Arguments over the quality of the Rami films aside, Spider-man's origin has been tolled and re-tolled over and over through various comics, cartoons, and movies with regular clockwork since the character's creation. It's the single most well know aspect of the character. There's no need to spend another whole move telling a story that is pop culture common knowledge.

      January 20, 2012 at 2:41 pm |
    • Ed

      100% right Prospero. This Spiderman reboot is not only 100% unnecessary, it's bad for the comic movie industry. If this movie is a hit, it will open the doors to rebooting other franchises within only a few yeas of the last film. We don't need or want this. The Spiderman story was already told really well by Sam Raimi. If they waited longer I'd be open to it, much like how Warner Bros waited eight years between Batman & Robin and Batman Begins.

      Get ready for every movie from the last ten years, again, over the next ten years. I hope The Amazing Spiderman bombs. The trailer is a joke. The entire second half looks like the Spiderman video game for PS2 that came out a decade ago.

      February 10, 2012 at 12:47 pm |
  38. 2 cent

    If ur a fan of Spidey and cared to read the comic (aka THE SOURCE material). You would understand that mechanical web shooter r the ONLY way to go. Some of the plots stories in the comic was related to Spidey RUNNING OUT of web juice and falling in mid chase of a perp

    Also that was made him finding the black suit in Secret Wars #8 and going with it because it would shoot organic webs for him because he was worried about RUNNING OUT of web juice).

    The black suit .... later was VENOM.

    January 20, 2012 at 1:48 pm |
  39. JohnW

    The web shooter are part of who he is, they really should be there. Imagine the uproar if Batman didn't have gadgets.

    January 20, 2012 at 10:24 am |
  40. chuck

    ANOTHER Spider Man movie? Really?!?!?! Come On! Who cares about the damn web-shooting! Those other movies aren't even 10 years old yet! (except maybe the first one, barely)
    what's next? reboot something that came out yesterday?

    January 20, 2012 at 9:45 am |
    • Ed

      And if this movie is a hit, that is exactly what will happen. Every movie from the last ten years, again, over the next ten years.

      February 10, 2012 at 12:49 pm |
  41. Josh

    Webs coming from the other end would make this a whole different movie with I'm guessing something higher than a PG rating... lol...

    January 20, 2012 at 8:48 am |
  42. Ben

    "It just does not make sense when a teenage kid invents something like that, and it's better if he actually [has] the superhuman ability to shoot webs."

    It's a freaking comic, a lot of things don't make SENSE. Fool of a took. If a comic states it, YOU DO IT. So many more movies would be better if they stuck to that.

    January 20, 2012 at 8:41 am |
    • TimeTo69

      LOL, fool of a took. Nice.

      January 20, 2012 at 8:49 am |
    • Rick

      I totally agree with you Ben, I was so peeved about them going back to the old way of thinking. It makes no sense to have them go back to the old way of him slinging webs, that kind of technology does not exist and never will. And to have someone think that they could ever invent webs and the ability to shoot them at the distances he has to by a mechanical device it just absurd. The Way Sam Raimi did it with it being a natural ability because of his being bitten was a far superior way and more natural way of handling it.

      January 20, 2012 at 10:23 am |
      • Alan


        Really? could never be invented? would never work? can't believe it? But you have no problem believing he has all his powers! Comics are not to be taken as fact...they are for fun...relaz and be a kid again and just enjoy.

        January 20, 2012 at 11:06 am |
      • Jonathan

        Obviously you're not up to speed on the latest technology. There are in fact scientists that are creating artificial webbing.
        Just look up artificial spider web, and you'll see, it's being done, today, right now. Granted, we are just starting out with this technology, but it shows that it can be done, and if it can be done here, it can certainly be done in the comics.

        January 20, 2012 at 1:10 pm |
  43. sfitzpatrick

    Under his tougue? Really? You need to read up on spiders. Web comes from the other end.

    January 20, 2012 at 8:19 am |
    • PASPA

      HAHA! I was going to say same thing..Shoot web out the A**!

      January 20, 2012 at 12:32 pm |
    • Mechaspark

      Look up "Spider man tech" on YouTube. The muscles under your tongue are good enough to launch webbing, not your "other end".. Read up on facts, not spiders. Humans are different.

      July 6, 2012 at 8:10 pm |
      • Shinta

        True, however at the time of the oidnral post I was reading a lot of the New Avengers (my favorite team) I fell in love with Cage. I do however now like Pym way more after seeing him in action more.

        November 16, 2012 at 3:13 am |