Iron Man’s “Underoos” cue for Spider-Man in Captain America: Civil War was changed in regional dubbings. Along with pitting Cap and Shellhead against each other, Civil War was also the main launching pad of the new iteration of the wall-crawling superhero, with the “Underoos” reference marking his proper introduction.
The line was first heard in the second full trailer for Civil War and quickly became synonymous with this new version of Spider-Man. Just before the rumble between Team Iron Man and Team Cap fully went down, the former brought in his latest recruit via a nifty intro surprising everyone. The phrase was a reference to the American clothing piece popular with kids in the 70s/80s used readily for costumes that doubled as a dig at Peter’s homemade suit. Of course, this doesn’t necessarily translate well – it’s a predominantly US product – so Marvel made some adjustments for the international dubs.
Reddit user NaNowhyMo decided to the bottom of this and find out how the phrase was translated around the world, posting in r/marvelstudios. The results below highlight Marvel’s creativity:
English: “Underoos”= Underoos
Portuguese: “Novato” = New Guy
French: “Collants” = Leggings
Italian: “Bimbo Ragno” = Spider-Baby
Latin America: “Oye Nino” = Hey Kid
Polish: “Siusiumajtek” = Bed wetter
Russian: “паучок (paoochok)” = Little Spider
Brazillian: “Pirralho” = Brat
Turkish: “Pijamalı Çocuk” = Kid with the Pyjamas
German: “jetzt Kleiner” = Now little guy
Hindi: “Chhote Ustad” = Little master
Swedish: “pyjamas pojken” = Pyjama boy
Hungarian: “Rugdalózós” = Onesie
Korean: “JolJori” = Skin-tight leotards
Most of the phrases are variations on Underoos, just without the branding, although some went more colloquial – the Polish one in particular feels like more of a jab. Interestingly, many of the commenters in the reddit thread proved the foresight in Marvel’s decision by admitting despite being English speakers they didn’t know what Underoos were. This isn’t the first time Marvel have done something like this, with Steve Rogers to-do list in Captain America: The Winter Soldier varying by region.
More than just a cool intro, the phrase was also an indication of Tony and Peter’s mentor-mentee relationship moving forward. This was further elaborated in Spider-Man: Homecoming where the red and gold wearing superhero took the new superhero on the block under his wing first. By the end of that movie, after his a mix of personal and “professional” tribulations, Peter was able to prove himself to be a suitable and worthy member of the Avengers (even if he turned down the new Iron Spider costume).
Despite the young hero’s refusal to join the ranks of Earth’s Mightiest Heroes, Spidey will be once again back in action with the rest of the MCU heroes to fight their biggest villain thus far, Thanos and his minions in Avengers: Infinity War.
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