Marvel movies exist on the cutting edge of entertainment technology. Doctor Strange blasted viewers into a trippy fractal realm. Captain Marvel magically de-aged Samuel L Jackson by 30 years. Avengers: Endgame created entire seamlessly digital suits for its stars. There is nothing that Marvel cannot do. Except, it seems, create a decent Spider-Man poster.
The newest poster for the forthcoming Spider-Man: Far From Home is almost dizzyingly witless. There is a giant Spider-Man jutting out of a blue rectangle – to illustrate the immersive nature of the Imax version – but then, there at the bottom, you’ll see Jackson and Jake Gyllenhaal popping up like a pair of whack-a-mole figures. The laziness with which they have been pasted in is astounding. They are different sizes (Jackson’s head is about 20% bigger than Gyllenhaal’s). They are lit from different angles. Jackson is visually quite wonky. The whole thing is an almighty mess. So, obviously, the internet has torn it apart.
There is now a deluge of fake Spider-Man posters online. One features a wobbly, hand-drawn Big Ben:
One has a picture of David Hasselhoff from a long-forgotten Nick Fury film:
One has Laurence Fishburne in a hand-drawn eye patch:
Most, inevitably, contain excessive levels of Comic Sans:
Others, created by fans who were genuinely troubled by the original, are absolutely gorgeous:
The original is so bad that you have to assume it must be part of a shadowy anti-Spider-Man propaganda campaign. Because by no means is this a one-off. The first Far From Home trailer is equally amateurish. The three leads are all positioned weirdly – Spider-Man himself has been contorted into the impossible face-and-bum stance once reserved for female superheroes – but that is the least of its worries. Jackson, Gyllenhaal and Tom Holland are all standing in front of a giant Spider-Man logo, except they obscure the spider’s body. Without anything left to anchor them, the limbs extend outwards in an unfortunately swastika-esque manner.
The previous Spider-Man film was just as bad, so half-heartedly assembled that the Verge commissioned a veteran film artist to explain exactly why it was so horrible. The poster, he said, “almost looks like: ‘Here’s a bunch of references I got from the movie. Let’s put it all together and see how it looks.’ From there, you might be inspired to do a real poster. Instead, they just stopped at that point. It just looks like it’s not even finished.”
Still, all is not lost. Marvel is said to be using Spider-Man: Far From Home to introduce the concept of a multiverse into its films. If that is the case then you would hope that someone, in some far-distant parallel universe, has made a half-decent Spider-Man poster.