At the conclusion of Spider-Man, director Sam Raimi’s 2002 film adaptation featuring the popular Marvel Comics superhero, Peter Parker denies his love for Mary Jane Watson and accepts the responsibilities of being Spider-Man. Upon Peter’s voice-over declaration “Who am I? I’m Spider-Man,” Raimi cuts to a brief sequence of Spider-Man swooping across the Manhattan skyline that ends with him pausing on a flagpole before swinging toward the camera. This narratively superfluous and affectively excessive coda mirrors the often emotionally rich and visually spectacular moments captured by a superhero comic book splash page or cover, acting as an emphatic visual declaration that Peter Parker has, at least for the time being, resolved the identity crisis that has plagued him throughout the film. Following the iterative narrative structure of the comic books, this crisis reappears in Raimi’s 2004 sequel Spider-Man 2. At one point in the film, Peter Parker abandons his Spider-Man identity and tosses his costume into a garbage bin in an alley. Raimi cuts to a long shot of Peter, shoulders slumped, walking away from the bin with part of his Spider-Man costume hanging limply off its side. Raimi’s composition of this shot directly recalls a splash page in the...

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