Spider-Man finally arrived in the Marvel Cinematic Universe last year with his memorable supporting role in Captain America: Civil War. The film introduced us to Tom Holland in the iconic role of Peter Parker, and the young actor has since received rave reviews.
The upcoming Spider-Man: Homecoming represents the new Spidey’s real introduction into the MCU, but it will also be the sixth time we’ve seen Stan Lee and Steve Ditko’s most famous creation brought to life on the big screen.
Tobey Maguire played the part in Sam Raimi’s Spider-Man trilogy, and most fans consider 2004’s Spider-Man 2 to be among the very best superhero movies ever made. Andrew Garfield took on the role for two Amazing Spider-Man films, but the fledgling franchise didn’t turn out the way Sony had hoped it would.
Homecoming is the third reboot of the property in 15 years, so it’s facing some understandable skepticism. Can the MCU’s version of Spider-Man be the best of them all? We think it can.
Here are the 15 Reasons Spider-Man: Homecoming Will Be The Best Spidey Movie.
15. Tom Holland
Tobey Maguire was a great Spider-Man, and Andrew Garfield was pretty good too. Holland definitely has his work cut out for him in making the iconic character his own, but thanks to his appearance in Civil War, he’s off to a great start. His performance in the film proved he has all the charm, wit, and charisma needed to bring Spider-Man to life.
Holland is the youngest actor to play the role to date, which is one of the many ways Homecoming will differentiate itself from the previous Spidey movies. At just 21 years of age, Holland is young enough to play a high school-aged Peter Parker for a while yet, and could conceivably play the character for many years to come.
14. Skipping the Origin Story
Everyone knows Spider-Man’s origin story: radioactive spider bite, Uncle Ben dies, “with great power comes great responsibility,” etc. We’ve seen Spidey’s origin in both previous iterations of the franchise, not to mention the assorted animated adaptations over the years.
It’s an awesome story, crafted perfectly by Lee and Ditko all those years ago, but still, it’s great that we can finally skip it with this new version of Spider-Man, which will offer up entirely new experiences.
By introducing Tom Holland’s Spider-Man in Civil War, Marvel Studios was able to hit the ground running with the character. There was no time to tell Spider-Man’s origin story in the middle of a Captain America movie, so we met a Peter Parker who was six months into his superhero career (in a do-it-yourself costume).
13. Part of the Marvel Cinematic Universe
As part of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Homecoming has an immediate advantage over its predecessors.
First and foremost, it allows Spider-Man to interact with all of the established characters in the MCU, most notably Iron Man, who becomes a mentor to him. Later installments in the franchise could easily team him up with other heroes, such as Captain America or Thor, or even explore his relationship with other “street level” heroes like Daredevil, Luke Cage, or Jessica Jones.
Inclusion in the MCU also brings a certain legitimacy to this third take on Spider-Man. Fans don’t have to worry that Sony will give up on Holland and reboot the franchise again in the near future, because the new Spidey has been established in the ongoing saga that is the MCU.
12. Iron Man!
Here’s another benefit of being part of the MCU: you can have Iron Man in your movie.
Robert Downey Jr. is a terrific actor who has palpable chemistry with just about everyone he shares a scene with, and that’s certainly the case with Tom Holland. Tony Stark and Peter Parker formed a bond during the events of Civil War, and, in Homecoming, we see that relationship has continued.
With Uncle Ben out of the picture, Tony Stark appears to have taken his place as Peter’s mentor, furnishing the young hero with a high-tech suit and the occasional piece of wisdom. Of course, Homecoming is Spider-Man’s movie, not Iron Man’s, so you can expect Tony to be utilized sparingly in the story. When he does appear, though, it’s sure to be memorable.
11. Marisa Tomei’s Aunt May
Rosemary Harris was in her seventies when she played Aunt May in Sam Raimi’s Spider-Man trilogy, while Sally Field was in her sixties when she appeared in the Amazing Spider-Man films. Marisa Tomei is the third actress to play Peter’s beloved Aunt, and, at 52, she’s also the youngest by far.
Taking inspiration from the Ultimate Spider-Man series, this version of Aunt May is considerably younger and much more modern than other versions of the character, especially in the way she raises Peter.
This may eliminate certain creative possibilities– don’t expect to see Peter rushing home to attend to his sickly Aunt– but it creates a lot more. A younger Aunt May can take a more active role in Peter’s life and is free to get dragged into Spider-Man’s world on occasion.
10. Friendly Neighborhood Spider-Man
We’ve seen cataclysmic events and world-altering battles in the MCU, and Holland’s Peter Parker will definitely have his part in those one day. However, for now, in the words of Tony Stark: he’s just a friendly neighborhood Spider-Man.
That’s not to say the stakes aren’t high in Homecoming– the Vulture is clearly up to no good, and Peter has his hands full in defending both his classmates and his city from the flying menace.
It will still be a fairly small-scale story, however, at least by the MCU’s lofty standards. It’s Peter Parker’s first real adventure, and he’s still learning to be the hero he desperately wants to be. This means beating the big bad and looking out for the little guy.
Helping an old lady find her way and dealing with petty bike theft may not be what superhero dreams are made of, but they’re exactly the kind of good deeds that make Spider-Man so beloved in his hometown.
9. High School Spidey
Tobey Maguire’s Spider-Man was only in high school for the first act of his first movie. Andrew Garfield’s Spidey spent a little more time in school, but it wasn’t of great importance to the story.
With Homecoming (and Tom Holland’s younger version of Peter Parker), we’re getting the first real take on the classic “high school Spidey” paradigm that Stan Lee explored during the character’s early days.
Producer Kevin Feige has indicated that the intention is to keep Peter in high school for at least another film or two, which is great. There’s a ton of storytelling potential in a young Peter Parker trying to balance school work, friends, and dating with his secret life as Spider-Man.
It also differentiates Spider-Man from his older contemporaries like Captain America and Iron Man, and this is sure to be a factor in Avengers: Infinity War.
8. Teen Life
In the first Spider-Man film, we really didn’t see much of Peter’s high school life, and what we did see was pretty formulaic– the cool rich guy (Harry), the girl next door (Mary Jane), the jock/bully (Flash), etc. Amazing Spider-Man didn’t do all that much with its high school setting either.
Homecoming is taking a different approach by zooming in on Peter’s friends and classmates, and making them interesting, well-rounded characters. Tony Revolori is the new Flash Thompson, and rather than being a hulking bruiser, he’s a smug, privileged kid who lords his status over others. Zendaya‘s Michelle is an intellectual with little interest in social climbing.
We’ll be spending a lot of time with Peter’s high school friends, both at home and on a field trip to the Washington Monument (as well as in future movies), so the more interesting they are, the better.
7. Diverse Cast
It goes without saying that diversity is an important element of modern film, especially a summer blockbuster and potential franchise. People of all ethnicities and creeds want to be able to easily relate with characters on the big screen.
Equal representation hasn’t always been a strong suit for Hollywood, but, to its credit, Marvel Studios has clearly started making an effort to prioritize diversity with Homecoming.
Peter’s high school is filled with kids of all backgrounds, just as most modern schools are. His crush Liz is African-American, his best friend Ned is Hawaiian, and the school bully, Flash, is Guatemalan. The rest of the students who populate his school are similarly varied.
Jacob Batalon plays Peter’s best friend Ned in Homecoming. Inspired by a number of Spidey’s supporting characters, his last name may or may not be Leeds (if it is, fans will be wondering if he will eventually follow in his namesake’s Hobgoblin shoes).
Whatever Ned’s future holds, in Homecoming he’s Peter’s main confidant, and, if the trailers are any indication, Batalon is incredibly charming and likable in the role. The previews have already shown us that Ned learns Peter’s Spider-Man secret, which is a good thing both for Peter and the audience.
This means that Peter has a friend he can be completely honest with, and the audience is spared a potentially tiresome “keeping a secret/betrayal of trust” storyline. If anything, Ned seems overjoyed that his best friend is New York’s newest superhero, and he’ll probably play a supporting role in most of Peter’s adventures.
5. More of Spidey’s Rogues Gallery
Since his creation, Spider-Man has been bedeviled by some of the best supervillains ever created. His “Rogues Gallery” is one of the best in comics, perhaps second only to Batman’s. However, even after five Spidey movies, we’ve barely scratched the surface of that iconic group of evildoers.
Everyone knows Green Goblin, and we’ve seen him twice (three times, if you count Spider-Man 3’s New Goblin). Dr. Octopus, Sandman, Venom, The Lizard, Rhino, and Electro have also menaced Spidey on the big screen, some to great reviews, others to collective groans.
We know that the Vulture is the real menace in Homecoming, but the film will also feature two other Spidey villains making their film debuts. Michael Chernus plays the Tinkerer, while Bokeem Woodbine and Logan Marshall-Green will play different versions of the Shocker.
4. Michael Keaton’s Vulture
The Vulture was the perfect choice for Homecoming’s villain. He’s one of Spidey’s most iconic adversaries, but he has never been seen on film before. Rumors pegged him as the villain in a potential Spider-Man 4 with Tobey Maguire, but obviously this never came to pass.
Traditionally depicted as an elderly man in the comics, Homecoming’s Adrian Toomes is a bit younger thanks to the casting of Michael Keaton. The movie’s take on Toomes is an ordinary man who takes advantage of scavenged alien technology to build his flight suit, which he uses to take the money and influence he believes he deserves.
Keaton is an ideal choice for this version of the character, and not just for the “meta” points granted by his famous portrayal of Batman (or his more recent turn as Birdman). Keaton excels at playing relatable characters, but he’s equally adept at imbuing them with a dark side.
3. Best Spidey Suit
It’s not easy to transfer a superhero’s costume from a comic book page to the big screen. Some translate better than others, while in some cases they never even make the attempt (Hugh Jackman never did wear the classic yellow Wolverine suit, after all).
With five Spidey movies, we’ve seen a number of takes on his iconic red and blue threads (and the black symbiote version too). They’ve all done the job, but the suit in Homecoming– which was first glimpsed in Civil War– may be the best of them all.
It’s certainly the best from an in-universe standpoint. Designed by Tony Stark, it’s got all the bells and whistles typically seen in an Iron Man suit, including a JARVIS-like AI. as well as, 576 web shooter combinations.
The Homecoming suit also more closely resembles the original costume from Spidey’s very first appearance in Amazing Fantasy #15, with its large white eyes, smaller spider emblem, and under-arm webbing.
2. Learning the Ropes
It’s not easy being Spider-Man. In previous films, Tobey Maguire and Andrew Garfield mastered their new superhero responsibilities fairly quickly, but it’ll take a little longer for Tom Holland’s younger Peter to get the hang of it.
He’s been doing it for a few months, and he’s making a difference, but he still has a lot to learn. He’s also still figuring out how to use his new suit and all of its glorious gizmos.
Homecoming’s Spidey is trying to find his crime-fighting niche, under Tony Stark’s watchful eye. The trailers have shown us that Tony wants Peter to focus on smaller threats, while Peter is anxious to prove himself against greater challenges.
The Vulture and his goons provide just such a challenge, but even if Peter defeats him, he’ll still need to develop into the hero he aspires to be. This is what the sequels are for.
1. Nailing The Humor
One of the most endearing things about Spider-Man is his sense of humor. He’s one of the funniest superheroes in comics, as quick with his wit as he is with his webs. More than one villain has faltered under the relentless stream of putdowns and verbal jabs launched by Spidey in the heat of battle.
To date, the movies haven’t really been able to capture that element of the character. Both Maguire and Garfield delivered some quips during their web-slinging adventures, but neither version really nailed the motormouthed-insult-machine that is Peter Parker.
From his verbal jousting with Falcon in Civil War to his mockery of the bank robbing “Avengers” in the Homecoming trailer, it looks like Holland will portray Spidey as the fun-loving joker we’ve all grown to love.
Do you have high hopes for Spider-Man: Homecoming? Let us know in the comments.