Amazing Spider-Man 2 Turned A Female Scientist Into A Male Nazi

Illustration for article titled emAmazing Spider-Man 2/em Turned A Female Scientist Into A Male Nazi

If you've seen Amazing Spider-Man 2, you might know that the movie has a few issues. We've just discovered a new one, and it's very possibly the most infuriating nonsense yet. Remember the clichéd German mad scientist named Kafka who tortures Elektro? Well, that's actually supposed to be a heroic female scientist, a character based on a real person.


According to an excellent interview with her by Vanity Fair, Krayda Kafka is a certified therapeutic hypnotist who counseled Spider-Man writer J.M. DeMatteis, and whom he paid homage to by naming a scientist character after her in The Spectacular Spider-Man in 1991. She's helped Spidey on more than a few occasions and recently died in the comics. She was definitely one of the good guys.

Now meet Dr. Kafka of The Amazing Spider-Man 2.

Illustration for article titled emAmazing Spider-Man 2/em Turned A Female Scientist Into A Male Nazi

Yes, the movie turned a heroic female scientist into a clichéd German mad scientist whose only purpose was to torture Elektro for... no reason, actually. Because he was lifted wholesale from a bad Nazi movie, and that what Nazi mad scientists do, they torture people for no discernible purpose.

I'm not going to pretend that the original Kafka character was an essential part of the Spidey universe, but she was important enough that Spider-Man avenged her death (read The Superior Spider-Man for that story). And I don't think director Marc Webb said "A female scientist? Why, that's craziness! Turn this character into a man, immediately!" or anything like that.

What bugs me mostly is that the Dr. Kafka of the movie was unbelievably arbitrary and completely horrible. It was a one-dimensional character, a tired, overused cliché that anyone who took a college creative writing class should know to avoid. And then someone decided to assign this pitiful abscess of imagination the name of a character who was the opposite of it in every way because they didn't give a shit — about the original fictional Kafka character, about the real woman who inspired her, about Spider-Man fans, or about their audience, all of whom deserved better. Bleh.

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Dr. Opossum

Dr. Kafka was the worst part of that movie, which had some truly awful scenes (as well as some frustratingly good ones). The character was badly conceived and poorly acted. As sad as the dying out of the World War II generation is, a silver lining will be if the death of the last Nazis kills the evil German scientist stereotype.