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      'Spiderman 2' joins ranks of graphic novel and comic-based blockbusters

      (WJLA) - The Amazing Spiderman 2 opens with high expectations.

      Jamie Foxx sparks as Electro, an angry mutant engineer. Andrew Garfield gives Spiderman soul, and Emma Stone adds romance.

      Spiderman 2 hopes to join the graphic novel blockbuster club, including The Avengers, The Dark Knight and Captain America.

      "Graphic novels [are] taken as a whole deal, with a colorful subject mater and story and concept," says artist and novelist Mark Wheatley.

      Wheatley has a national reputation. Hollywood has optioned several of his stories, including Blood of the Innocent, now in development.

      His take on Spiderman 2:

      "In many ways, Spiderman defines the modern approach to superheroes in that he started as a teenager. Fans started reading as teens and can identify with his problems," he said.

      Movies drawn from graphic novels have a ready-made fan base. Wheatley saw this as one of the speakers at D.C.'s recent AwesomeCon - a two-year-old event that drew tens of thousands, many dressed as their favorite character.

      "That kind of growth used to take decades - now it's overnight," Wheatley said.

      Upcoming movies from graphic novels include X-Men: Days of Future Past, and from powerhouse Marvel Studios, Guardians of the Galaxy.

      So, welcome to the boxi office, Spiderman 2 - I'll give you three stars, a PG-13, and a shot at one of the year's biggest.

      Check out information on this Saturday's Free Comic Book Day.