So we're already getting very heavy hints that the recently-announced Spider-Man 4 will center around the long-teased-to-the-point-of-not-caring "Curt Connors Becomes The Lizard" storyline that easter eggs in the first three movies have been slowly building to, but that's not why we're excited about the prospect of Sam Raimi and Tobey Maguire returning to the Spider-Franchise for two new movies. No, what makes us giddy with glee is the idea that Spider-Man 5 can finally deliver what we've been waiting years for: The movie version of Spider-Man And His Amazing Friends.You can pretend that you think that spending two hours of theater time and millions of dollars resurrecting the 1980s cartoon series that brought the world not only Firestar but also Ms. Lion, the crime-fighting karate dog, would be a waste, but we'll all know that you're lying. After all, who wouldn't want to see the movie franchise branch out into nostalgia slightly more up to date? Here're five reasons why the Amazing Friends should be everyone's friend: It takes the movies in a whole new direction. It's not that I don't like watching Peter Parker moon over Mary Jane and get chewed out by J. Jonah Jameson before taking a detour to fight a bad guy, but after four movies following pretty much exactly the same formula, it's time to switch things up a bit. Giving Peter two peers for him to confide in as well as kick ass with does exactly that.
Bringing Iceman in from the X-Men adds to that "shared universe" feel. Okay, Sony getting the rights from X-Men makers Fox may be slightly tricky, but if it could be worked out, having the character - who, let's face it, didn't really do that much in any movie other than X-Men: The Last Stand, and everyone pretends that movie doesn't exist anyway - jump to the more-teen-orientated Spider-movies would help remind everyone that there's a Marvel Universe, just like the Iron Man/Incredible Hulk crossover. Using Firestar allows for a love triangle with Mary Jane... or even, a replacement for her altogether. A hot (literally) new girl in Peter's life who understands what he's going through in ways that Mary Jane can't? It's exactly what Raimi tried to do with Gwen Stacy in Spider-Man 3, except that the fact that she's a superhero as well means that it actually makes sense - it also makes her more than a cute plot prop, like poor personality-less Gwendolyn. And if Kirsten Dunst doesn't want to come back for her fifth go-around as Spidey's main squeeze? There'll be another redhead to fill her shoes.
Tap into that 1980s nostalgia zeitgeist. While other studios put their weight behind revivals of such '80s Saturday morning spectaculars as Transformers and GI Joe, why not take advantage of the feel-good Generation X retro pop-cultural moment while you can? Spider-Man And His Amazing Friends is easily Marvel's best foot forward in that direction. What else can they do to compete? Dazzler? It creates the potential for not one but two spin-off movies. Screw this whole "Venom might be getting his own movie" crap - I want to see Iceman and Firestar movies. Even if they're only on DVD. Of course, given Raimi's love of the 1960s formula of Marvel's web-slinger, I wouldn't be too surprised if this idea gets completely ignored in favor of the first appearance of Kraven The Hunter or some other Steve Ditko-created bad guy. We have to admit that ignoring the undeniable genius of our idea may actually be forgivable if the fifth movie introduces Mysterio onto an unsuspecting world.