If you’re reading this I’m guessing you’ve either already seen The Amazing Spider-Man or you are planning to see it soon. Hopefully the film made you want to try out some Spider-Man comics, and these are just a few stories which link into the film.

Just a quick word of warning, this article will feature spoilers for both the film and the comics.

Ultimate Spiderman #1-7 (Powers and Responsibility)

Obviously the best place to start with Spider-Man is his origins. First shown in Amazing Fantasy #15, Spider-Man’s origins have been reprinted and re-imagined more than most other superheroes. However one of the better re-tellings is that seen in 2001s Ultimate Spiderman. The story is pretty similar to the origins shown in the film, but features the Green Goblin instead of The Lizard. This particular arc received critical and commercial acclaim and is a great start for anyone looking to begin reading Spider-Man comics.

The Amazing Spider-Man #6

The Lizard/Dr. Curt Connors first appeared in this issue of The Amazing Spider-Man. Essentially this story is a basic origin of The Lizard. Rumours of a lizard-like monster reach Peter Parker who decides to investigate. Through flashbacks, Connors’ wife tells Spider-Man how he was transformed into the Lizard and Spider-Man has his first fight with the Lizard. This issue is a pretty generic superhero story but is significant for introducing the Lizard, who would go on to become one of Spider-Mans greatest enemies.

Spider-Man: Blue #1-6

This series retells the story of how Peter Parker and Gwen Stacy fell in love. Told through a series of flashbacks, the comics also show the beginnings of the love triangle between Peter, Gwen and Mary-Jane Watson and how Gwen’s death affected Peter. Although the main focus of the series is Peter and Gwen’s relationship, it also provides an introduction to iconic enemies such as Kraven the Hunter. Obviously Peter and Gwen’s relationship is a major focus of The Amazing Spider-Man film so this is a good starting point for people wishing to learn more about the pair.

The Amazing Spider-Man #88-90 (The Death of Captain Stacy)

Anyone who has seen The Amazing Spider-Man will know that at the end, Gwen’s father Captain George Stacy was killed by The Lizard, whilst aiding Spider-Man. This story is very similar to the conclusion of the film but features Dr. Octopus instead of The Lizard. The story also temporarily ended Peter and Gwen’s relationship due to the blame she placed on Spider-Man. Although this story influenced the film, Captain Stacy’s final words couldn’t be more different. Whilst in the film he made Peter promise to stay away from Gwen, in the comics he encouraged Peter to stay with Gwen and protect her.

The Amazing Spider-Man #121-122 (The Night Gwen Stacy Died)

Another major story which, although not featured in the first film, will likely influence later films is ‘The Night Gwen Stacy Died.’ In this story, obviously, Gwen is killed. However, it’s never made clear whether it’s the Green Goblin’s attack or Peter’s attempt to rescue her which kills her. This story has since become iconic due to the long-term repercussions for Peter and how it killed such a major character with an established fan-base. Gwen is also one of the few comic book characters who has stayed dead and hasn’t returned from the dead. Although this story didn’t play any major role in the film, judging by Captain Stacy’s speech before his death it’s likely to make an appearance in a future movie.

These are just a few stories to use as an introduction to the comics. There are hundreds more which will have influenced the film and could be used as a starting point for anyone wishing to get into comics.

After all that talk of inclusivity, Star Trek Beyond falls into the Hollywood trap of implied sexuality.

Mild spoilers for Star Trek Beyond.

Star Trek Beyond, already a wildly anticipated movie, made headlines ahead of its release because of the franchise’s decision to introduce the first openly LGBT character: Mr Sulu, played by John Cho.

While this decision was certainly met with excitement, there was disappointment, too. The original Mr Sulu, George Takei, openly voiced his opinion that they should have introduced a new LGBT character rather than expand on original canon (as they have been the whole trilogy), while Simon Pegg beautifully argued that there was power in using an established character who wouldn’t be defined by his sexuality.

Then came the movie itself, and while the introduction of gay Sulu is still a great thing, we’re left sorely disappointed by Beyond‘s decision to depict the LGBT relationship — or rather, hardly depict it at all.

As reported by our friends at The Mary Sue, the scene featuring Sulu and his husband Ben depicts a “lukewarm” relationship, although Sulu is very affectionate with the pair’s daughter.

This is, unfortunately, a common problem in Hollywood when an LGBT couple — almost impossibly — makes it into a big franchise film. They’re allowed to be there, but having any kind of physical interaction even remotely resembling what a heterosexual couple might have still seems to be off-limits.

Related: Hollywood is failing the LGBT community: GLAAD slams Disney, Paramount and Warner Bros.

And, according to John Cho, there was actually a kiss filmed. “There was a kiss that I think is not there anymore,” he told Collider. “It wasn’t like a make-out session. We’re at the airport with our daughter. It was a welcome-home kiss. I’m actually proud of that scene, because it was pretty tough.”

Cho points out that Ben was played by a non-actor, writer Doug Jung, and says, “Obviously, I just met the kid, and then Doug is not an actor. I just wanted that to look convincingly intimate. We’re two straight guys and had to get to a very loving, intimate place. It was hard to do on the fly. We had to open up. It came off well, in my view.”

And we wish we could have seen it. Introducing a major LGBT character in the Star Trek franchise is a fantastic first step, and depicting two POC actors raising a child together is a great statement — but, unfortunately, the decision to cut out their kiss (which was already chaste, by the sounds of it) is emblematic of Hollywood’s continuous phobia of depicting LGBT relationships and intimacy on the big screen.

As Screen Crush also points out, this exact same scenario played out in Independence Day: Resurgence, too. In Finding Dory, the lesbian couple are only implied, in a blink-and-you’ll-miss-it sequence.

LGBT representation (when present at all) is always so subtle, evidently in fear of offending straight audiences while not totally erasing non-straight sexualities. And, sadly, even that is considered a big step forward — but maybe it’s time we start depicting humanity as it is, and not what society wished it was 100 years ago.

Here’s looking at you, Star Wars.

Harry Potter and the Cursed Child reviews from theater critics are glowing, so when the hell can Americans get a chance to see the play in New York?

With just days to go until The Cursed Child script book is released around the world, The New York Post’s theater reporter has spoken to sources who say the play will be coming to Broadway sooner rather than later. Producers are currently holding discussions to bring the play to NY as early as 2017.

They haven’t yet announced a Broadway engagement for “Harry Potter and the Cursed Child,” but New York theater people say it’s only a matter of time. Word is that Friedman and Callender are in negotiations for a Shubert theater possibly for next season. They may hit Toronto first, however.

The idea of The Cursed Child hitting Broadway so soon (“next season” could mean around May 2017) will come as a relief to American Harry Potter fans who would rather not travel overseas to see “the eighth story” (though it’s a little more affordable to do so right now thanks to #Brexit). It also speaks to this important fact: It’s important to see The Cursed Child rather than reading it.

If the show does go to Toronto first as The New York Post suggests it might, a trip to Canada would also be easier for Americans. Sorry, people who don’t live in North America.

This writer saw the play in June and absolutely loved the characters and magic happening on stage. But the story is… not the best. I’m very eager to see what fans, myself included, think of the story after reading the script book this weekend.

For her part, Rowling has promised that fans around the world will get to see the play. Only time will tell if she’s hinting at a movie or a world tour:

If ‘Cursed Child’ comes to Broadway next year, will you try to see it ASAP?

The West End production currently has dates running into May 2017, but additional dates are expected to go on sale in early August.

Present day Han Solo may’ve left the main Star Wars series after the events of The Force Awakens, but the character’s time in movie theaters is far from over.

The new Han Solo film from Lucasfilm — scheduled to hit theaters in May 2018 — might turn into a trilogy for the reluctant hero, according to the New York Daily News.

The paper reports that star Alden Ehrenreich has signed a three-picture deal, suggesting that the studio intends to expand the Han Solo spinoff into a trilogy. “They feel that his character has the right potential to become a central figure in several movies,” a source told NY Daily News. “They’re keeping things under wraps at the moment, but the deal is that he has signed for at least three movies.”

This makes a lot of sense given the popularity of the character coupled with his absence in Episode 8 and beyond. We also know that Lucasfilm and Disney have many, many grand plans for Star Wars in the years ahead: The very first Star Wars theatrical spinoff, Rogue One, opens later this year. Episode 8 then hits theaters a year later (2017), followed by Han Solo’s own movie (2018). Next comes Episode 9 in 2019, followed by yet another spinoff reportedly focused on Boba Fett in 2020.

As for 2021 and beyond? Only time will tell, but we expect more movies set in the worlds of The Force Awakens, Rogue One, and now Han Solo.

The Han Solo spinoff will be directed by LEGO Movie helmers Phil Lord and Christopher Miller. They’re currently deep into pre-production, as this tweet from Lord this morning shows:

“This is the first film we’ve worked on that seems like a good idea to begin with,” the directors said last July. “We promise to take risks, to give the audience a fresh experience, and we pledge ourselves to be faithful stewards of these characters who mean so much to us. This is a dream come true for us. And not the kind of dream where you’re late for work and all your clothes are made of pudding, but the kind of dream where you get to make a film with some of the greatest characters ever, in a film franchise you’ve loved since before you can remember having dreams at all.”