Pretty Much Pop: A Culture Podcast #8 Discusses Spider-Man: Far From Home and the Function of Super-Hero Films

Mark Lin­sen­may­er, Eri­ca Spyres, and Bri­an Hirt final­ly cov­er a cur­rent film, and of course use it as an entry point in dis­cussing the social func­tion of super-hero films more gen­er­al­ly, how much real­ism or grit­ti­ness is need­ed in such sto­ries, whether to repeat or bypass the ori­gin sto­ry, ever­last­ing fran­chis­es, the use of mul­ti-vers­es as a sto­ry­telling device, exag­ger­at­ing the poten­tial in a sto­ry of new tech­nolo­gies that the audi­ence doesn’t real­ly under­stand, and more.

We touch on oth­er bits of the Mar­vel Uni­verse and the oth­er Spi­der-Man films, the orig­i­nal Amaz­ing Spi­der-Man #13 com­ic that intro­duced Mys­te­rio, The Lion KingWatch­menThe BoysStar TrekElec­tric Dreams, the Rob Lowe “John Smith’s Bach­e­lor Par­ty” scene in Austin Pow­ersthe recur­ring hench­man in Spi­der-Man (actu­al­ly Peter Billings­ley, i.e. Ral­phie in A Christ­mas Sto­ry), and the Exiles com­ic (a Mar­vel team that trav­els between mul­ti-vers­es).

Some arti­cles we looked at for this episode include:

This episode includes bonus con­tent that you can only hear by sup­port­ing the pod­cast at This pod­cast is part of the Par­tial­ly Exam­ined Life pod­cast net­work.

Pret­ty Much Pop is the first pod­cast curat­ed by Open Cul­ture. Browse all Pret­ty Much Pop posts or start with the first episode.

Open Culture was founded by Dan Colman.