Spider-Man: Homecoming is the latest take on everyone’s favorite neighborhood Spider-Man. The film marks the character’s return to his rightful place in the Marvel Cinematic Universe and will see the character’s first solo film appearance since his scene stealing role in Captain America: Civil War. This time audiences will see a younger Peter Parker (Tom Holland) trying to balance being a superhero with high school and first crushes.
Despite early rumors that Zendaya was playing Peter’s long time love interest Mary Jane Watson, it appears that Spider-Man: Homecoming will not feature the feisty redhead at all. Instead, fans will get a chance to meet another character from the comics, Liz Allan (Laura Harrier). To non-comic book readers, Liz Allan may be less familiar than Mary Jane or Gwen Stacy, both who have appeared in the previous adaptations, but she has her own important place in the web slinger’s history.
As we prepare to meet Liz in Jon Watt’s Homecoming, it is time learn more about her family, her time in the Ultimate Universe, and how she is more than just a comic book love interest- something the film will hopefully reflect. Here are 15 Things You Never Knew About Liz Allan.
15. She Appeared In the Very First Spider-Man Story
Liz Allan has been a part of Peter Parker’s story since the very beginning. The character makes her first appearance in 1962 in the very first issue of the Spider-Man comics, Amazing Fantasy #15 by Stan Lee and artist Steve Ditko (with cover art by Jack Kirby). In this issue she isn’t given a name, but is featured as a blonde classmate of Peter’s. It isn’t until The Amazing Spider-Man #4 that she is called Liz Allan. In this issue Betty Brant, another of Peter’s love interests, also appears for the first time.
The character played a large role in Peter’s early years until their high school graduation. After The Amazing Spider-Man #28, Liz does not appear again until nearly ten years later. It is then that her character is given more of a backstory, including new information about her family.
14. She Was Originally Flash Thompson’s Girlfriend
You never forget your first high school crush. For Peter Parker, that girl is Liz Allan. However, when Liz is introduced in the comics she is dating Peter’s nemesis, the star football player and sometimes bully Flash Thompson (played in Homecoming by Tony Revolori). Liz and Flash are members of the popular high school crowd, who make fun of bookish Peter. Despite all this, Peter still develops a schoolboy crush.
For the most part Peter pines for Liz from afar. She has a boyfriend and eventually he gets involved with Betty Brant. Liz and Peter never actually date, but they do become friends – unlike Betty and Liz. Betty remains jealous of the other girl, unconvinced that Peter has given up his romantic feelings for her.
13. She Had A Crush On Spider-Man
Liz might have been Flash’s girlfriend, but that does not stop her from developing feelings for a certain wall crawler. After Spider-Man rescues her one night, Liz becomes infatuated with the hero. She even becomes a member of a Spider-Man fan club, which is started by none other than Flash Thompson. (Ironically Peter is deemed too “puny” to be a member of this club.)
Funnily enough Liz also seems to be the only one who wonders why Spider-Man and Peter Parker are never in the same room together. Peter tries his best to hide his secret identity, but only really succeeds in making Betty think he has feelings for Liz. What a tangled web he weaves.
From some of the clips from Homecoming, it seems that Liz’s crush on Spider-Man may play a part in the story of the film as well.
12. Her Stepbrother Is The Villain Molten Man
Mark Raxton is a gifted scientist who develops super strength and the ability to generate heat on his skin after attempting to steal an experimental substance from the lab where he works. He becomes the villain Molten Man, using his powers to steal for his own gain and often having to face Spider-Man in the process. Mark Raxton is also the stepbrother of Liz Allan.
Despite his life of crime, Liz stands by her stepbrother’s side. After graduating high school she becomes a nurse in order to take care of Mark. The accident gave him powers, but it also makes him extremely unstable. Liz attempts to steal chemicals from her job to try to help reverse Mark’s condition. Despite her somewhat flighty depiction early on, the fact that she selflessly puts her brother’s needs before her own shows growth for Liz as a character.
11. She Was Married To Peter Parker In An Alternate Universe
Spider-Man’s adventures spread far and wide from comic books to film to TV shows and novels. One such novel, Time’s Arrow Book 2: The Present by Tom Defalco and Adam-Troy Defalco, featured a story that took Peter Parker and Bishop (from the X-Men) into an alternate universe. Despite never dating Liz Allan in the comics, in the alternate universe Peter finds himself married to her.
However, in this universe Peter isn’t the hero we know and love, but a selfish jerk who uses his powers for his own gain. In fact, the only reason he’s even married to Liz in the first place is to get back at Flash. It’s always interesting to see alternate universes storylines, especially when it shows a character so different from how they are usually portrayed.
10. She Blames Peter For The Tragedies In Her Life
During the first comic Civil War event, Peter’s identity as Spider-Man is revealed to the public. Liz takes this personally. She’s hurt that her friend kept a secret from her for so long, especially after she confessed her romantic feelings toward Spider-Man back in high school. The news also puts Liz and her family in danger, as Molten Man kidnaps her son Normie in order to get to Peter.
Liz blames Peter for not only lying to her, but for bringing so much tragedy and death into her life. However, she is not content to play victim. Liz aligns herself with Molten Man, confessing to Peter that the kidnapping of Normie was just a ruse to capture him. Here she proves that she’s a tough woman and not one to be trifled with.
9. She Appears In The Animated TV Shows
Liz Allan appears as a character in two of the animated Spider-Man cartoons. In the 1990’s Spider-Man: The Animated Series, she is voiced by Marla Rubinoff and appears as a friend of Mary Jane Watson. Similarly to the comics, she is involved with Harry Osborn and is the character who convinces him to give up his life as the Green Goblin.
In the 2008-2009 The Spectacular Spider-Man cartoon on the CW, Liz Allan was voiced by Alanna Ubach and was shown as an Afro-Latina student and friend of Peter Parker. Like Homecoming, the show took a step in the right direction to add diversity to the comics which had long been mostly white. The upcoming Untitled Animated Spider-Man Movie looks to follow suit by focusing on Miles Morales.
8. She Is A Mutant
The Ultimate Universe of the Marvel Comics saw a shake up of many Marvel characters. This included Liz Allan. The Ultimate Universe is a fun look at what could happen, creating new characters and giving others a chance to shine with new roles and powers.
In the main comic book storyline Liz is an ordinary woman with no superpowers. However, in the Ultimate Universe she is a mutant who goes by the name Firestar. Her powers give her the ability to release beams of heat and light, which can cause her to light objects on fire and fly.
Power does not come easy to Liz. She is worried about what her new abilities mean and what she will become. To help his friend, Peter reveals that he is Spider-Man and that she does not have to deal with her new powers alone. Peter’s gesture is what helps inspires Liz to become a hero in her own right.
7. She Had A Fear Of Mutants
Before discovering her own abilities Liz is very vocal about her dislike and fear of mutants. At first she dates Johnny Storm, aka the Human Torch, but when he accidentally reveals his powers to her she is scared away. From that moment on she is openly hostile to all other mutants, including her new classmate Kitty Pryde.
This is all part of Liz’s journey of discovery in the Ultimate Universe. She is afraid of the powers she thinks she might possess and how she too will be labeled as different from others. Her anger at Kitty comes from the young girl’s willingness to embrace who she is and take her place as a proud member of the X-Men. It isn’t until her friends come to her aid that Liz is able to accept that she too is a mutant.
6. Her Father Is A Member Of The Brotherhood Of Mutants
Some of Liz’s fear about being a mutant comes from her family history. In the Ultimate Universe, Liz’s father is revealed to be Frank Dukes, a mutant who goes by the name Blob. Frank is a member of The Brotherhood of Mutants. Led by Magneto, they believe that mutants are superior to humans and should therefore rule both races. Their ideology oftentimes puts them at odds with the X-Men.
Liz is afraid she will end up a villain like her father. This alone proves how different she has turned out to be. Once Liz learns from Peter that she can choose how to use her powers she is able to truly accept her status as a mutant. Liz’s Ultimate storyline is a relatable and inspiring one for anyone struggling to break free from unwanted family ties and create a future for themselves.
5. She Is A Member Of Both The X-Men And The Fantastic Four
One Liz comes to terms her powers, there is only one thing left to do – join a team of superheroes. Liz takes it one step further, becoming a member of both the X-Men and the Fantastic Four. She learns to control her new gift at Xavier’s School alongside Iceman. The school provides a new home for Liz, who is unwilling to go back to living with her mother after her deception about her father.
In the Ultimates version of the Fantastic Four, Liz joins in the place of the Human Touch. The character came a long way from fearing Johnny Storm and his fire powers.
Liz is proof that heroes are heroes because of the choices they make. She could have joined the The Brotherhood of Mutants with her father, but she makes the more difficult decision to forge her own path.
4. She Marries Harry Osborn
While Liz and Peter never lived happily ever after, she did find love (for a time) with none other than Harry Osborn. The two meet at the wedding of their friends Betty Brant (played in Homecoming by Angourie Rice) and Ned Leads (Jacob Batalon). Later they get married and have a son together, Normie – named after Harry’s father.
Unfortunately the lives of the Osborn family are never easy. After the death of his father, Harry suffers a mental breakdown. He takes up the mantle of the Green Goblin, going so far as to and kidnap Liz, their son, and Mark.
3. She Has Her Own Company
Like many comic book characters Liz Allan owns her own company. She is the founder and CEO of Allan Chemical, which produces a number of technological and scientific products often sought after by criminals. Later the company merges with Oscorp to create Alchemax, another big bad comic corporation, similar to Hammer Industries and Roxxon. It’s also secretly funded by a bad guy too – Norman Osborn, aka the Green Goblin.
Under a secret identity, Norman was the one who helped Liz set up Alchemax as an empire for his grandson, Normie. Liz manages to find a way to secure her son’s future – and align herself with a very powerful man – all without getting her own hands dirty. She’s a more crafty character than she’s given credit for.
2. Her Son Becomes The Green Goblin
After the death of his father, Normie Osborn grows up with a strong mother in Liz and a father figure in Peter Parker. Due to his family’s influence, Normie is a relatively normal child – or as normal as any kid could be with superpowered people in his life. There is a small part of him that blames Spider-Man for the death of his father, but he doesn’t act on it.
However, in yet another alternate comic universe, Normie takes up the mantle of his grandfather and father and becomes the Green Goblin. Like Harry, he goes into a spiral after the death of his mother and does take action against Spider-Man for all the pain he believes he caused. This alternate, “what if” universe just proves what an important character Liz is; without her guiding influence, her son turns to a life as a supervillain.
1. It’s Laura Harrier’s First Major Role
Laura Harrier will be bringing the character of Liz Allan to the big screen for the first time in Homecoming. The actress describes her character as “popular” as well as “really driven and smart”. Her romantic subplot with Peter will be one of the focuses of the film, but hopefully her character will also be given some of the same strong character traits as her comic book counterpart.
One of Homecoming‘s strenghts is its fresh faced cast. This is the first film role for many of the young actors, including Harrier. Even Disney TV star Zendaya has never appeared in a feature film before. Harrier started her career as a model before landing a role on the soap opera One Life to Live. With playing a comic book character like Liz, Harrier is set to launch into a whole new level of stardom: as an actor in a Marvel film.
Are you excited for Liz Allan in Spider-Man: Homecoming? Let us know in the comments!
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