Your friendly neighborhood Spider-Man is back and from the looks of his new trailer, he can still do everything a spider can.
After his debut in Captain America: Civil War and a particularly harrowing trip to the airport, Peter Parker (Tom Holland) is back home in Queens just trying to do some good. Much like the rest of the Marvel fanbase, Peter is just a kid just who dreams of being an Avenger, but unlike the other cosplayers in NYC, he has an in with the infamous Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.’s 115th appearance as the character) who has outfitted him with all the latest Spidey tech and the backing of Marvel Studios.
In the era of cinematic universes, Spider-Man: Homecoming will mark an important solo debut for both Marvel, who is FINALLY co-producing, and Sony, who is in desperate need of a fresh franchise. Why Sony thinks a third attempt at a Spiderman franchise is fresh can probably be summed up in their leaked emails, but fanboys abound have their fingers crossed at a successful re-reboot.
The trailer is good, it fires on all pistons and promises a shakeup from what we’ve seen before, but it’s not without some familiar wall-crawling tropes. What better way to look forward than to look back on the character’s cinematic history by comparing to past Spidey flicks?
With Great Power Comes New Father Figures
Notably absent from the trailer is any reference of beloved Uncle Ben, which may be the best thing about this movie. Much like the origin story of a certain Dark Knight, Uncle Ben’s death as the catalyst to Peter’s superheroism has been (no pun intended) beaten to death. 2002’s Spider-Man franchise brought us the critical “With great power comes great responsibility” moment and Peter (or perhaps Sony) has been in search of a new mentor for the Spectacular Spider-Man ever since.
The Tobey Maguire (Spider-Man 1-3) and Andrew Garfield (The Amazing Spider-Man 1-2) films showcased a number of different mentors. From Norman Osborn (who would later become The Green Goblin) and Dr. Otto Octavius (who would later become Doctor Octopus) to Dr. Curt Connors (who would later become The Lizard)- there was a bit of a trend regarding Spidey’s role models.
Spider-Man: Homecoming offers a different take on Peter’s mentoring by bringing in The Invincible Iron Man himself. Tony Stark is fresh off a brutal battle with his star-spangled buddy and still reeling in from the destruction he caused in Age of Ultron. As such, Tony has learned a thing or two about the great responsibility of his great powers. Especially in regards to the power of a suit.
Stark seems like a natural fit for Homecoming, both as a unifier of the film studios and as science bro mentor for Peter. I’m a bit hesitant to commend Marvel and Sony for including the pivotal suit scene in the trailer because it seems like a big moment that should have been left for the film itself, but it’s a great thematic device for these characters. Tony has destroyed (and recreated) an immeasurable number of Iron Man suits in his tenure as an Avenger, and as he mentions in the trailer “If you’re nothing without this suit then you shouldn’t have it.”
Speaking of that suit…
Nothing Suits Me Like a Suit
With three generations of Spider-Men, we’ve seen three different iterations of the titular character’s suit.
Maguire’s silver webbed suit received acclaim at the time for bringing a realistic look to a surreal comic design. Aside from adding a venomous black shade in Spider-Man 3, the suit changed very little (if at all), but honestly it didn’t need it. For an early 2000s movie with an obscene amount of Nickelback (or at least one song), this look kicked off the Golden era of comic book movies.
Garfield’s yellow-eyed, track shoe iteration of the suit may be considered a bit of a step backward from Maguire’s iconic look, but I applaud the costume designer for trying to do something drastically different from what we had seen before. The Amazing Spider-man 2 did a total overhaul of the suit again and brought to life the large-eyed version from the Ultimate Spider-Man comics. This look was one of the few bright spots in a dark film that left both audiences and critics wanting more.
When Holland’s Spider-man made his (very brief) debut in the Civil War trailer, fans were treated to a small, but extremely notable addition to the Spider-man suit: moving eyes! A literal blink and you’ll miss it moment. This would later be explained as a way to help Peter’s hyperactive sensory and a key feature of a Stark Industries suit.
The first Homecoming trailer revealed the fan-favorite web wings and this second trailer seemingly confirms the Spider-Tracer is an addition to his chest piece. All of these are tech you would expect from an Iron Man suit, which makes Stark’s inclusion even more fitting. A nitpicking issue I’ve always had with the Spider-Man movies is how a teenager can come up with the textiles needed for such awesome suits. So the inclusion of both a Stark tech suit and Peter’s proto suit (which seemingly plays a bigger part than expected in Homecoming) is a great way to bring about these features.
That being said it does feel like a bit of a cop out for Stark to come up with all of Peter’s gadgets when he himself is a tech wiz, so it’s fitting that he will lose the suit at least temporarily. He’ll be left with his own homemade web blasters to take on other street level scientist criminals…
Super Genius, Out Of Work, Villains
Marvel’s Ant-Man may have alluded to it best when the titular hero and ex-con (played by Paul Rudd) couldn’t get a job other than a Baskin Robbins server even with a Master’s in electrical engineering. Life’s tough for bad guy scientists!
Homecoming brings ex-Bat/Bird man Michael Keaton in as Adrian Toomes AKA The Vulture, presumably another mega smart bad guy who puts his intelligence to use with a themed power suit. The trailer reveals he’s got beef with Tony Stark and the rest of the one-percenters, so we can only assume causing ferry destruction is his only way of making a living these days.
Also revealed is Shocker, played by Fargo‘s Bokeem Woodbine. The classic comic book villain seems to have a supporting role and we assume he got his electrical gauntlets from The Vulture, but maybe he too is a brilliant common criminal.
Donald Glover also has a villainous role that has not been revealed, but I’m still holding out hope that he’s Aaron Davis AKA the uncle of Miles Morales AKA not-Peter-Parker-Spider-Man.
Marvel movies villains (with the exception of Thor‘s Loki) are usually a bit of a letdown and coincidentally get killed off by the time the credits roll, so hopefully, Keaton can bring something fresh to the table and be utilized in a Sinister Six movie down the line.
One of the notable issues with Spider-Man 3 and The Amazing Spider-man 2 is the overload of villains, but showcasing more of Spider-Man’s small time rogues as supporting cast members will likely be for the best. No more blue Jamie Foxx moments needed.
This movie has a loaded supporting cast including a lot of big names as teachers and principals at Peter’s new yellow blazer high school. I only hope Hot Topic starts selling some of those yellow blazers in time for the premiere.
Back To School
Like all other Spider-Man movies Peter is getting his start in the classroom before inevitably growing too old (or in Maguire and Garfield’s case starting out too old) to believably be a high school student. Based on the yellow blazer and various scenes in the trailer Peter is attending Midtown Science and Technology School which is a good spin on why this boy genius isn’t slumming it in the New York public school system.
This science school will also mark an interesting change for some of Spider-Man’s classic student peers like Flash Thompson who will be portrayed by Grand Budapest Hotel’s Tony Revolori in Homecoming– a bit of a departure from 2002’s portrayal of the bully by Magic Mike‘s Joe Manganiello. For now, there’s no sign of Gwen Stacey or Mary Jane Watson, although it has been heavily rumored that Zendaya’s “Michelle” is actual MJ.
Like all high schoolers, Peter’s love life will surely be front and center with the addition of Liz Allan, played by Laura Harrier. I wouldn’t think the two are meant for a franchise long love story like Kirsten Dunst’s Mary Jane or Emma Stone’s Gwen Stacy, but it’s good to make use of some of Peter’s earlier romances. We’re sure to see Betty Brant (portrayed in the Maguire years by Power Rangers‘ Elizabeth Bank) pop up at some point too.
An unfortunate exclusion thus far is that of The Daily Bugle’s Editor in Chief J. Jonah Jameson, previously portrayed by J.K. Simmons, who recently made his trailer debut as Commissioner Gordon in Justice League. The character was also notably absent from The Amazing Spiderman films, which I can only assume is due to the decline of jobs in the journalism industry. As a tech wiz who can create web blasters from scratch I always thought it was weird that Peter settled for a life as a photo-journalist, but hey who else is going to snap dramatic Spidey pics for the front page?
Strength of The Spider Sequence
I’ll wrap up this breakdown with a look back on a successful Spider-Man trope- the money shot! Most Spider-Man movies include some sort of harrowing scene where Spidey is forced to choose who he’ll save and usually overcomes the obstacles with a great feat of spider strength and slow motion shots. SPOILER ALERT- I guess?
Spider-Man has the bridge scene where the Green Goblin makes Spidey choose between saving Mary Jane and a cable car full of children.
Spider-Man 2 features a train scene where an unmasked Peter has to stop a train from crashing after Doc Ock destroys the railway.
Spider-Man 3 sees a half-masked Peter racing to save Mary Jane from falling to her death with the help of a burnt up James Franco on a snowboard while fighting Venom and Sandman.
The Amazing Spider-Man actually switches it up a bit by having an unmasked Spider-Man BE saved by a great feat of strength by The Lizard! The Lizard was going to turn all of New York into lizard people with some sort of weather device, but it backfired and returned him to human form, but not before he used his Lizard limb to catch a falling Spider-Man? I think?
The Amazing Spider-Man 2 continued to change up the success of the Strength of The Spider Sequence by making it overly strong. Here we see Spider-Man (and an overly symbolic web-hand) attempt to save Gwen Stacy from falling to her death in a clocktower after an attack by a new Green Goblin. It doesn’t go well.
Based on this new Homecoming trailer we get an all new spectacular spidey-strength scene involving a ferry that The Vulture cut in half with his Vulture Claw Laser (maybe?). It’s up to him to save the people and their cars, but luckily Iron Man swoops in to save the day last minute. Then SPOILER Peter gets his suit taken away.
They really should have left that scene out of the trailer.
Spider-Man: Homecoming swings into theaters July 7, 2017.