Weekly Theme

THE WOMEN OF THE SPIDERVERSE BY BRYAN MAYO

Bryan Mayo returns to action for Exclu as he brings us an exclusive shoot now all based around the women of the Spider-man Universe as part of our ongoing Spider-man week event.

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Hello! My name is Bryan Mayo. I collect and photograph my action figures, doing mostly indoor shots and using printed backgrounds. For Exclu’s Spider-Man week, I decided to highlight some of the women in Peter Parker’s life. I’ve always been fond of female action figures and I thought it’d be great capture the 4 most prominent female Spider-Man characters, I think – Gwen Stacey as Spider-Gwen, Cindy Moon aka Silk, Felicia Hardy aka Black Cat, and of course Mary Jane Watson.

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First off, let’s start with Gwen Stacey, aka Spider-Woman, best known to a lot of us as Spider-Gwen.

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A little backstory – Spider Gwen was created in 2015 by Jason Latour. In the alternate reality called Earth 65, Gwent Stacey is the one bitten by a radioactive spider – not Peter Parker. She goes on to fight crime like the webbed smart mouth that we all know and love – among other things. If you’re wondering about the webs, I Photoshopped them in from a Spider-Man image I found on the web where I added blur and color effects to try and make them look organic in the photo.

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Over the weekend, I recently had gotten colored light bulbs, which included blue and red. I decided to try those on this Spider-Gwen shoot since a lot of the art of her depicts pinkish tones. Red plus blue equals purple, which can also get us pink in some settings. I positioned my lamps a lot of times to get the color blend I wanted – not too heavy on the blue and not too heavy on the red either.

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This Spider-Gwen action figure is by Hasbro in their Marvel Legends line that was released back in 2016 which was part of the Absorbing Man build-a-figure wave.

Next up is Cindy Moon, aka Silk.

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After Peter Parker was bit by a radioactive spider, it bit another – Cindy Moon. She mostly gained the same powers as Spider-Man. One notable difference though is that she can shoot web out of her fingertips. She is one of my all time favorite Spider-Man characters this far, large part of it is because she is Asian-American, like myself.

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As for photographing her, I used my usual daylight and also my new blue lighting. I wanted to depict her grace and her ability to shoot webbing through her fingertips. I used a blue background on her and shot her colder as well because I think it works for her costume well and makes the red on her costume and scarf, as well as her fingertips, pop a little bit more.

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This Silk action figure is by Hasbro from their Marvel Legends line that was released back around summer/fall of 2016 in the Space Venom build-a-figure wave. Silk had a lot of foes just like Spider-Man, and one of them was Felicia Hardy, aka Black Cat.

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Felicia Hardy graced Spider-Man comics a lot longer before the earlier 2 Spider-Women, her first appearance 1979 to be exact. She’s had a very bumpy relationship with Peter Parker and has had many depictions throughout the Marvel universe of her. Though initially she didn’t have any superhuman strength, she did practice martial arts and acrobatics, and she is also the daughter of a world-renowned cat burglar, those deemed her worthy to be called Black Cat. (And I guess the costume helps too!)

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For her shoot, I wanted to do something fun with her whip, so shooting her while she’s using her whip as something to hold on to mid-air is what I went for. For lighting, I used daylight to the right of the image and I also used one of my colored light bulbs, which was ember, to the right, to give the illusion that some of the goldish/bronze color reflects on her as well.

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This Black Cat action figure is by Hasbro from their Marvel Legends line which was released back in 2014 in the Ultimate Green Goblin build-a-figure wave.

Last but not least, probably the most well-known Spider-Man lady – Mary Jane Watson.

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She has been Peter Parker’s best friend, love interest and also wife. We’ve seen her red hair in a yellow sweater in the 90’s Spider-Man animated series and also portrayed by Kirsten Dunst in the Sam Raimi Spider-Man trilogy. Gwen Stacey was the intentional main love interest to Peter, but somehow Mary Jane ended up winning Peter over.

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I decided to do a trilogy for my MJ shoot, simply depicting how a date with her and Peter might look like. I had this scene in my head of maybe a romantic walk along a river park and Peter’s spider sense tingling. (Spider sense effect by @canofbeams) I used daylight for the main lighting and I also used my new ember lighting to increase the goldish color of the buildings in the background I used. The ground is made up of these fake concrete pieces and I inserted some fake moss along the cracks as well.

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With great power comes great responsibility – sorry Mary Jane.

This Mary Jane action figure is by Hasbro from their Marvel Legends line. She is included in a Toys R Us exclusive 2-pack that’s out now.

I hope you all enjoyed seeing these shots as much as I enjoyed shooting them. Now I hope some, if not all of these ladies appear in Spider-Man: Homecoming, or future Marvel Spider-Man movies – that’d be sweet!

A huge thank you goes out to Bryan for taking the time to work on this latest exclusive shoot. For more of Bryan’s work be sure to check out his portfolio on Instagram @actionfiguren00b and for more original themed shoots stay tuned to Exclu.

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