Spider-Man: Homecoming is one of the best iterations of the wall-crawling hero we’ve ever seen, and it feels really good to finally have Peter Parker in the MCU where he belongs.
If you’re anything like us, then you’ve seen the film at least once in the past few days and spent some time warring between enjoying Spidey’s action-packed adventure and trying to absorb every little detail on screen. The film had more than its fair share of Easter eggs, nods to the comics, and a Staten Island Ferry-load of references to other MCU films and characters.
We know, dear readers, that most of you are such die-hard Spidey fans that you’ve likely spent the last few days as a living Wikipedia page for your friends who don’t know the web-swinger as well as you do. And there’s only so many times that you can explain what the “MJ” reference is at the end or that there’s a few things that seem a bit weird, like how Peter was all about Star Wars in this film but didn’t know what an AT-AT was called in Civil War. So, in the spirit of helping spider-knowledge flourish, we’ve compiled this list of 15 Things you may have missed in Spider-Man: Homecoming.
15. Old-school Spider-Man theme song
Part of what makes Spider-Man so iconic and memorable is the way the character is fully immersed into our hearts and minds through almost every sense we have. There’s always a few things you can count on in a Peter Parker Spider-Man, including a relatively unwavering color scheme in his costumes with his red, white, and blue suits (and the healthy dose of American patriotism that comes with that).
There’s also an auditory element to what makes Spidey so darn recognizable. The opening of the new film includes an updated orchestral version of the appropriately-named “Spider-Man” from the 1967 animated television show, composed by Paul Francis Webster and Robert Harris. It appears on the soundtrack even more appropriately-named as “Theme From Spider Man (Original Television Series).”
14. Upside-Down Kiss
During the course of Spider-Man: Homecoming, Peter Parker’s classmates find themselves in Washington, DC doing a little sightseeing after winning their academic decathlon. Things go awry when a piece of the Chitauri tech Ned Leeds is carrying around accidentally activates, causing it to wreak some havoc on an elevator in the Washington Monument. As expected, Spider-Man swings into action and saves everyone in a scene that also manages to pay homage to the legendary scene from 2002’s Spider-Man starring Tobey Maguire and Kirsten Dunst.
At this point in the film, Peter’s been chatting with his suit’s AI and has thoroughly explained his feelings for Liz Allan/Liz Toomes. The suit (voiced by Jennifer Connelly) urges him to tell Liz how he feels, and sees the right time to do so just after he saves everyone from the elevator.
At that moment, Peter just happens to be hanging upside down when the suit suggests it’s the perfect time to kiss Liz — which is, of course, a reference to the most iconic (and beyond awkward and uncomfortable) way to kiss anyone in the Spider-Man universe.
13. Sokovia Accords
The MCU was forever changed when Wanda “Scarlet Witch” Maximoff redirected an explosion that caused the deaths of 26 people in Lagos, Nigeria. That event was the straw that broke the camel’s back, resulting in 117 countries coming together to ratify an agreement that would regulate super-human activities.
The Sokovia Accords are the MCU’s answer to the Superhuman Registration Act in the comics, using the film’s events as a reason to limit superheroics rather than having to introduce and explain The New Warriors, the villain Nitro, and Mutant Growth Hormone.
Since they exist in the “real world” of the MCU, it comes as no surprise that high school students would have them at least mentioned in their curriculum. In Spider-Man: Homecoming, among all the other MCU film references, there’s a scene where a teacher at Midtown High School mentions the Sokovia Accords in a lesson.
Part of what made this new Spider-Man movie great was the fact that it’s so much more than a superhero film. A lot of its heart lies in Peter coming to terms with who he is and–on quite a few occasions–it has a definite vibe of classic coming-of-age films like the ones directed by ’80s legend John Hughes.
In the film, Peter’s finds himself in the suburbs with a severe lack of buildings to swing from. He resigns himself to having to sprint through backyards, crashing through fences, and accidentally ripping down tree houses in order to get where he needs to go. The sequence is a direct reference to Hughes’ 1986 classic Ferris Bueller’s Day Off and–perhaps driving the point home a bit too much–even has the scene it mirrors playing on a TV at a house party that Spidey crashes through.
11. Two Shockers
There’s a pretty deep cut in terms of Spider-Man references in the new film. Actor Bokeem Woodbine takes up the mantle of classic Spider-Man baddie The Shocker during the events of the film, but he isn’t the first to wield its, well, rather shocking power. Though Woodbine plays the original character named Herman Schultz, there’s a fellow arms dealer in the movie by the name of Jackson Brice who came up with the name and enjoyed the powerful Shocker gauntlet first. Michael Keaton’s Vulture makes short work of the reckless Brice, allowing Schultz to take his gauntlet and name.
In the comics, Jackson Brice was an old-school low-level Spider-Man bad guy who went by the name Montana. And–as a nod to other Spidey-verses–he was the Shocker in the 2008 TV series The Spectacular Spider-Man.
10. The Tinkerer
Spider-Man has gone up against a lot of villainous foes in the comics, and none are so interconnected with the rest of the Marvel universe as The Tinkerer. Phineas Mason (finally) appears in the MCU played by Orange is the New Black actor Michael Chernus. His appearance is a long time coming for the character and his particularly brilliant tinkering skills to show up in a Spider-Man film, since his first appearance in the comics was the second issue ever of The Amazing Spider-Man in 1963.
Having the Tinkerer in the MCU opens the door for a lot of fun possibilities, especially since Mason seems to have mastered re-tooling alien tech for his own nefarious purposes. In the comics, he’s responsible for the creation of countless villainous supersuits, including that of a likely candidate to appear (in full) in the Homecoming sequel: Scorpion.
9. Betty Brant
Longtime Spidey supporting character Betty Brant makes a surprise appearance in the new film, where she’s played by Australian actress Angourie Rice. Some may remember her from Shane Black’s 2016 film The Nice Guys, where she played the whip-smart daughter of Ryan Gosling’s bumbling detective character. In Homecoming, Rice’s Brant doesn’t play a major part in the plot, but she’s on screen enough to be memorable and quite funny.
In the comics, Brant was the occasional love interest of Peter Parker, as well as his long-time coworker at the Daily Bugle. Though only a teenager in the film, it’s clear that Rice’s Brant has already been bitten by the journalism bug, as she hosts the school’s news report along with fellow supporting Spidey character, Jason Ionello.
8. Re-creating Classic Comic Book Pages
This one feels destined to go down as one of the finest homages to the source material that any Spider-Man film has ever done. Toward the end of the movie, The Vulture causes the roof of a building to fall onto Spider-Man. It’s in this scene, trapped under the rubble with no one to help him, where Tom Holland absolutely shines as an actor, and it’s in this moment where he solidifies himself as both Peter Parker and Spider-Man.
As Peter looks into a puddle below,half of his mask obscures his reflection where he truly sees himself as the hero he can be. With Tony Stark’s words echoing in his memory–and psyching himself up with a emphatic “Come on, Peter! Come on, Spider-Man!“–he’s able to free himself in a manner that looks to have been ripped straight from the pages of Amazing Spider-Man Vol 1 #33.
Throughout the film, Peter is constantly trying to prove himself as a hero (specifically to Happy Hogan and Tony Stark), but it’s in this moment where he truly becomes one. He’s finally the Spider-Man he’s been trying to be for so long.
7. Thor’s Fashionable Accessories
A major plot point of the new movie is that Happy Hogan (played by Jon Favreau) is tasked with packing up what’s left in Stark Tower in order to move it to the new Avengers facility upstate that we’ve seen in other MCU films. During one scene, Happy is seen checking in on the progress, and he mentions a new prototype of Captain America’s shield (guess he’s no longer a war criminal?) and a particularly fashion accessory for a certain Norse God.
The item in question is Thor’s belt, Megingjord (your guess on how to pronounce it is as good as ours). In the comics, MEG-IN-YORD(??) is worn by Thor in order to increase his strength and–as with most of aspects of his comic adventures–actually appears in Norse mythology.
There’s no telling if MY-GIN-GOURD(???) is something Tony created for Thor or if it’s been loaned to him for experimentation. It’s interesting either way, considering MAYIM-BIALIK-GLURD (that’s probably it) has been used to augment the strength of those who aren’t worthy to still lift Thor’s hammer. We may never know if it’s been tested, however, since we do know that Mjölnir will be destroyed in Thor: Ragnarok.
6. Howling Commandos
Other than the heavy hitters of Iron Man, Happy Hogan, and Captain America—Spider-Man: Homecoming has another familiar face that fans may have noticed. Actor Kenneth Choi takes on his second role in the MCU in this film, playing Principal Morita at Peter’s school. Choi originally played Jim Morita, who was one of the Howling Commandos in 2011’s Captain America: The First Avenger.
In a particular scene where Peter is being reprimanded by Principal Morita, eagle-eyed fans may have noticed an old photo of Jim in his office.
The way the timeline works out in the MCU–and considering Jim continued to fight (as seen in the Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. TV series) and made it out of WWII–it’s a safe bet to assume that Principal Morita is the grandson of the Howling Commando. The kids at Midtown High School really should show him a little more respect.
There’s a good chance audiences were already introduced to (at least one of) the sequel’s big villains. During the Staten Island Ferry scene, there’s an arms deal going down between the Vulture’s crew and a man with an affinity for predatory arachnids, identified as Mac Gargan. Comic book fans will immediately recognize it as the real name of the classic Spidey villain, Scorpion.
Though he’s captured in the film, the mid-credits scene shows how Gargan (played by Better Call Saul‘s Michael Mando) is really holding a grudge against Spider-Man, and he’s likely going to do what he can to get revenge.
Audiences really didn’t see what weapons were in that pick-up truck on the ferry, so there’s no telling if his iconic scorpion suit was part of the haul that slipped through his fingers. However, since the Tinkerer is probably still at large, we may see Gargan go straight to Toomes’ right hand tinkerin’ man once he gets released from prison.
4. The Prowler and Miles Morales
For a long time, fans lobbied for actor Donald Glover to play everyone’s favorite wall-crawler on the big screen. Sadly, it didn’t work out, but as a fun nod to the diehards, Glover was brought on to play Aaron Davis in Homecoming. In the film, Peter interrogates Davis for the whereabouts of the Vulture’s crew and—since the web-head saved his life a few nights earlier–the low-level criminal leads Peter to the Ferry deal.
That scene is notable because Davis’ motivations to help Peter aren’t solely based on repaying a perceived debt. During their conversation, Davis mentions in passing that he has a nephew, and he wants to keep Toomes’ weapons off the streets. In the Ultimate Marvel comic universe, Davis is a career criminal and is accidentally responsible for a genetically enhanced spider biting his nephew–and current Spider-Man–Miles Morales.
3. Iron Spider Suit
At the film’s conclusion, Peter is brought up to the new Avengers facility and offered a spot on the team. In addition to Tony’s gratitude, a room next to Vision’s, and the alarmingly casual nature of it seeming okay for a 15 year old to be pulled from high school and taken away from his only remaining family–Peter’s presented with an upgrade to his already Stark-ified Spidey suit.
What we see in the movie looks to be a Spider-Man themed Iron Man suit hybrid of sorts, likely meant to be an amalgam of the various armored suits Peter’s worn in the comics. During the events of the first Marvel Civil War, Tony Stark creates the Iron Spider suit for Peter, which the movie version probably most closely resembles–with the exception of it missing the three waldoe spider arms that made it so damn bad-ass.
2. Peter’s AI “Karen”
The dulcet toned AI in Peter’s suit has more connections to Marvel movies than some may realize at first. “Karen”–as Peter names her–is voiced by actress Jennifer Connelly and, in addition to pre-dating the modern MCU films when she played Betty Ross in Ang Lee’s Hulk, she’s also married to current Avenger and Infinity Stone-wearing, Vision.
Well, Connelly is married to actor Paul Bettany who plays Vision and previously voiced Iron Man’s AI, Jarvis. Meanwhile, the internet is currently busy with theories of what this could mean for the future of a character named Jocasta. In the comics, Jocasta was built by Ultron so he wouldn’t be alone, but she eventually fell for Vision.
Since Ultron is gone, and the name Jocasta has shown up on another one of Tony’s AIs, fans are thinking that “Karen” may actually be that persona and with occasional Avengers team-ups, she may develop some feelings for Vision. Things could get especially complicated if Vision ends up dating Scarlet Witch, like in the comics.
1. Captain America Gets a Little Meta with his final PSA
This may actually count as a literal thing you may have missed…if you didn’t stick around to the end of the credits. But, really, who doesn’t park their butts in their seats during a Marvel movie until the lights come up and they kick you out of the theater? End credits are where it’s at, baby!
Just as the theater lights are about to turn on, Chris Evans reprises his Captain America school PSA persona once again to give the audience a little speech on the virtues of patience. Though it’s “filmed” as another clip meant for high school students, it’s perhaps the best in-joke made at the expense of Marvel movie goers for the past decade. As Captain America lauds audiences for their perseverance to see things through, he’s also a bit annoyed at the amount of PSAs he’s had to record asking something along the lines of “how many more of these do I have to do?” This, too, is a subtle joke at the amount of Marvel movies the actor himself has agreed to do.
Dare we say, this might even out-do the Ferris Bueller after-credits scene in Deadpool.
What hidden secrets in Spider-Man Homecoming do you think that most fans missed? Let us know in the comments?
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