If you know me, you know Spider-Man is hands down my favorite superhero of all time. It’s not even a question. Some people reading this are probably thinking, “But Reed, what about Batman? I thought he was your favorite. I mean you wear his T-shirt under your suits as some sort of confidence builder, as if people would find that cool, don’t you?” To put it bluntly, Batman is not a superhero. He’s a comic book hero, yes, but he’s a vigilante. Much like Green Arrow or Punisher. There isn’t anything “super” about them. Back in 2014 (someone fact check me), it was announced that Sony and Marvel made a deal to share the rights to Spider-Man and have him appear in Captain America: Civil War (2016) and have his own solo movie in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. After a successful appearance in Civil War, and a hype train brought to you by yours truly, we have our first trailer for the third iteration of Spider-Man since Sam Raimi’s back in 2002. The title alone almost feels like a jab at Sony’s The Amazing Spider-Man (2012) reboot with Andrew Garfield in the titular role. While I loved Garfield’s Peter Parker and ESPECIALLY loved Emma Stone’s Gwen Stacy, the overall consensus was that these two films were a bust and didn’t give audiences what they wanted in a Spider-Man movie. Josh and I beg to differ and actually think The Amazing Spider-Man 2 (2014) is a criminally underrated movie that captures the essence of Spider-Man wonderfully. I never had full-blown doubts that Tom Holland would be a good successor and when I saw Civil War, but I was pleasantly surprised by how they handled the character, which made me a little more hopeful for Spider-Man to “come home” to Marvel with Spider-Man: Homecoming (2017).
First and foremost, I want to shake the hand of whoever cut this trailer and decided to use MGMT for the music. Such a perfect song I used to listen to all the time in high school and a perfect way to capture the essence of a young and courageous superhero who seems to be walking amongst giants. The tone of this trailer is perfect for a Spider-Man movie. The bank robbery gag at the beginning is perfect, showing off just how much of a heckler he can be towards petty criminals, and putting Peter Parker back in high school where he first learned the struggles of balancing school and crime fighting is a welcome gesture. I’ve always related the idea that Spider-Man is “too young” to be a hero and his reluctance to accept that role in the realm of Iron Man, Thor, or any other Marvel juggernauts from both comics and film. Spider-Man has meant a great deal to me because I always struggled with wanting to be something great, but being too young for it (this definitely stems from having an older brother who was able to do things before I could and I wanted to be on his level… I have issues, I guess). Going to high school and being sort of a dork and an outsider also made me relate to Spidey all the more. I wasn’t a loser, per say, but I wouldn’t call myself one of the cool kids either.
Spidey has always been the hero to make the sacrifices necessary for a better tomorrow. In the comics, he has lost more than probably any other character outside of Wolverine. Every single father figure in his life has died – including his actual father; the first true love of his life died at the hands of another father figure; hell, the guy sacrifices his entire life and relationship with Mary Jane to save his Aunt May by literally making a deal with the devil. If that isn’t selflessness, I don’t know what is. His selflessness is something I’ve always modeled myself after and being able to endure such physical/mental torment for a greater good is something all heroes should strive towards. I really hope Marvel recognizes this in the character and we see Peter making decisions like this – not that I think the devil will show up in this movie.
My one and only complaint at the end of the day is the one thing that I feared from this movie, which is that there is way too much Tony Stark. I get that Marvel really wants to enforce that the MCU is made up of these serialized movies; but what made Marvel films like Captain America: The Winter Soldier (2014) and Guardians of the Galaxy (2014) great was their ability to separate themselves from world-ending events and giant beams in the sky by focusing on their characters and relationships. And while Marvel litters this trailer with Tony Stark as they not-so-subtly try to reach his movie quota in their contract with him, I will say a lack of world-ending armies or portals does ease me. Michael Keaton’s Vulture looks very cool and I wouldn’t be surprised if they took his look from the concept art of Sam Raimi’s cancelled Spider-Man 4. Keaton is a great choice for the role and unlike Kevin Costner’s sort of comeback, I’m okay with this small comeback that he (Keaton) has been having since Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance) (2014).
As with any trailer, only time will tell if the juice is worth the squeeze. So far, 2017 is shaping up to be an exciting year for comic book nerds like me who love throwing their money at these people. However, the difference between this and an Iron Man or Thor movie is that the character of Spider-Man means a great deal to me. Spider-Man, even though he is 100% fiction, has been someone I’ve always idolized and admired for his courageous disposition and ability to use humor to ease the worst of situations. Tom Holland looks like he’s going to own it as a spirited high school Peter Parker, and although it looks like Iron Man will come aid Spidey in the final battle, I can live with it if he (Spidey) is in the center of it all and literally no other Avenger shows up in this movie.
Spider-Man: Homecoming (2017) hits theaters July 7th, 2017
PS Great cameo from the Death Star Lego. Gotta love Disney (not-so) subtly reminding audiences they literally own everything.