Spider-Man: Far From Home released back in July and, for the most part, people can’t get enough of the web-slinger's latest outing. And that’s not just because Tom Holland produces another masterclass, but the rest of the characters do as well, whether it be the loveable Ned or villainous Mysterio.
While the movie isn’t a blockbuster of Avengers: Endgame’s size and stature, it’s still great to see our favorite characters back and, better yet, evolving. Because there’s nothing ‘ending’ about Spidey and the world he lives in, not when the character is so slick and popular among audiences. We now look at the characters who evolved during their time on the screen - and those who didn’t.
10 Evolved: Peter Parker/Spider-Man
Let’s start with the obvious. Peter Parker, now he’s predominantly back among people his old age, is better than ever during Far From Home. The movie starts with him appearing reluctant to be the next Iron Man - not that anybody could replace Tony Stark of course - but ends with him finally fronting up to his responsibilities as an Avenger.
Throughout his time on screen we see him torn between living the life of a superhero or one of a normal high school kid. By the end, he’s finally got the girl he wants in MJ, he’s got insane technology that can help build suits or fire drones at people and he’s finally managed to overcome his struggles to get over the death of Tony. As evolutions go, his was certainly a big one.
9 Evolved: MJ
MJ also progresses in this movie. Zendaya’s character was moody, rude and abrupt during Spider-Man: Homecoming and did precious little else besides ripping into Peter, Ned and making her classmates all feel uncomfortable. That was quite amusing but, thankfully, Far From Home transforms her character while staying true to the first movie.
She starts off with a hunch that Peter could be Spider-Man and it's patently clear she likes him - but can’t bring herself to drop the bombshell. However, she eventually gets over her fears and also plays a key role (albeit inadvertently) by helping the web-slinger discover the truth about Mysterio and his treachery. As the movie closes she finally puts her doubts aside and starts a relationship with Peter while proving herself rather handy during the Tower of London scene.
8 Evolved: Ned
Who doesn’t love Ned? Seriously. His character sums up everything that’s good about the new Spider-Man films, what with their geeky, albeit amusing, feel to them. In the first movie we’d seen him evolved into the web-slinger's ‘guy in the chair’ but he progresses for a different reason in Far From Home.
Thanks to a misunderstanding on the plane to Europe, he and Betty Brant become romantically involved. And it’s great! Ned becomes a confident character and far less dependant on Peter Parker as a result, showing that he’s able to do just fine without Spider-Man too. He also demonstrates a willingness to help Peter alongside MJ, rather than on his own, making him far more independent as a result.
7 Evolved: Talos
The last time we saw Talos and Soren in Captain Marvel, they had helped both Carol Danvers and Nick Fury stop the Kree, saving their entice species. Fast-forward to now, however, and Skrulls have managed to integrate themselves in the world. And while Soren impersonates Maria Hill, it’s Talos who has the unenviable task of becoming Nick Fury.
Given Fury’s importance on Earth, it’s not the easiest job - as he finds out when Mysterio is able to deceive him and Soren. But it’s fascinating to see how the Skrulls have become so successful at adapting to life on earth that nobody is able to discover his true identity.
6 Evolved: Aunt May
In previous live-action Spider-Man movies, May Parker has always been somebody who is oblivious to the true identity of her nephew. But after discovering the identity of Peter at the end of Homecoming, it was all going to be intriguing to see how she would react, particularly after failing to feature in both Infinity War and Endgame.
But the fact is, she approves. Not only that but she encourages Peter to take his suit away on his school trip, hiding it in there after he deliberately leaves her behind. We’ve also always seen May fail to ever try romance again but her relationship with Happy Hogan shows this aunt isn't going to be alone, making it a refreshing change.
5 Evolved: Happy Hogan
Don’t get us wrong, we’ve seen Happy Hogan involved in numerous action scenes during his time with Tony Stark. But in Far From Home his relationship with Spider-Man grows and flourishes. Previously, in Homecoming, he had failed to get too close to Spidey but with Tony now no longer in the picture, he becomes the male role model Peter needs.
Happy helps Peter understand his importance to the world. He also aids Spider-Man by saving his friends from dangerous when Mysterio tries to wipe out Ned and MJ while pursuing a life of his own by "dating" May Parker.
4 Evolved: Mr. Harrington
Mr. Harrington is definitely not a big player in the Spider-Man universe but he’s a great character and we see proof of his evolution in Far From Home. He’s just as awkward and inept as he was in Homecoming but he seems to know a lot more about it, taking an even greater interest in his students and their safety.
In Homecoming, the school teacher doesn’t seem too concerned about losing his students and Peter Parker’s mysterious absence. But this changes with him clearly concerned about his pupils, even hugging Peter when he returns from one of his missing spells. He also brings the funny in this movie with just how much of a hapless sap he is.
3 Evolved: Flash Thompson
It’s subtle, but there are signs of something brewing regarding the character of Flash Thompson - and we can’t wait to see exactly what. For the most part, he’s his usual snide and bullying self, egocentric and paranoid at the same time. But there are little clues that suggest all is not as well within Thompson’s world as Peter’s school enemy makes out.
Firstly, in a blink-and-you’ll-miss-it moment, a text message he writes to his father shows that he’s having some issues with his Mum, who he hasn’t seen from a while. And then, at the very end, his mother also fails to show when he arrives back from Europe - despite his life being in danger on the trip. Marvel like to plant the seeds in subtle ways and it appears there may be more to Flash than meets the eye.
2 Didn’t Evolve: Nick Fury
While in the post-credits scene it’s revealed that Nick Fury has been in space, it’s something that means his character has devolved, rather than taken steps forward. In Captain Marvel we got numerous insights into his life, what he stands for and what he likes to do. But, now, we have so many questions about the man who brought the Avengers together.
Like, how long has he been in space for? How long has he allowed Talos to pose as himself? Has he even met Spider-Man? Was it actually him at Tony Stark’s funeral? Alas, we don’t know. But Fury’s character is now shrouded in uncertainty, which he in a weird way makes sense given his line of work.
1 Didn’t Evolve: J. Jonah Jameson
While the return of J.K. Simmons as J. Jonah Jameson definitely got a positive response from the majority of viewers, some may feel as if it represents a step backward. Like, is he going to be any different than he was during his first spell in the role during Sam Raimi’s trilogy between 2002 and 2007?
At the moment, the answer to that question appears to be no. During the three Raimi movies he always expressed his hate of Spider-Man and as he announces the huge news about the web-slinger's identity at the end of Far From Home, the relish in his voice is clear for all to see. The writers could do a lot worse than making him an ally, rather than an enemy, of Peter going forwards just so the two portrayals differ from each other.