can I just Rant for a second here
Spiderman: Homecoming is so redeeming for me.
A lot of people grew up on Captain America, or Iron Man. I was that little period in between that was a bit too late for Cap, and a bit too early for Tony. I grew up on Spiderman. I watched every show I could get my hands on, cartoons, kids shows, movies, I read comics. Spiderman was my superhero, especially when I was a preteen and I needed someone like that, someone who was like me. Spiderman was like me. He is the epitome of a teenager. I mean, you just have to look at his one-liners to see it. Things like that came out of me and my brother’s mouth daily, and then I see a hero doing the same thing. Spiderman was MY hero.
I’ve already told you I watched the movies. Tobey Macguire’s Spiderman first came out in 2002, I was too young to watch it. So I knew the comics, the cartoons, all of Peter’s origins and villains and backstory, before I watched his films. I’m going to preface this by saying I only watched half of the first one. But it was SO disappointing.
What makes Spiderman a hero, to me, is not his powers. Anyone could be mutated and decide, “hey, I’m going to deal with this” or “hey, I should get this checked out”. Peter didn’t do that, because he already wanted to be a hero. His powers didn’t make him a hero. He was a hero before. Spiderman is not about his powers. But that’s what 2002 Spiderman did. They took away Peter’s intelligence, made him little more than a comic relief. His intelligence is an integral part of Peter. He made his own webshooters, they aren’t a part of his powers. That, that right there shows you how much of a hero he is. Because yeah, he can climb on walls and use super strength, but when you think of Spiderman, you don’t think of those, you think of his webs. Those are his weapons, and they don’t hurt anyone, and I swear to god if that doesn’t show you how much Peter is a hero, you’re looking at him wrong. And so there’s no better way to show you how much 2002 messed up Spiderman than the fact that the webs are part of his powers, that he had them and didn’t make them. They took away his intelligence, his ingenuity, and that is what Peter IS. They turn him nothing more than ridiculous, and it was so crushing.
Peter is brilliant. He’s an amazing scientist, in the cartoons he often has internships as well as being a photographer, and he made his own webshooters. In CACW, Tony fucking Stark is impressed with the webshooters. He’s amazed, Tony Stark is amazed, at what Peter made. Peter works with a box of scraps and creates amazing things. He doesn’t fight with brute force, he strategizes, which is what makes the webs work for him as a weapon.
On another note, Andrew Garfield’s 2012 film I saw in theaters when it came out. I was just 13, and idolized Spiderman, because he was one of us. I was disappointed that he was not in highschool (and by this I mean, I understand that they claimed Peter and Gwen were in highschool, but I’m sorry, Andrew and Emma don’t pass off as highschoolers. If they were going to completely invalidate the identity like that, they should have just set it in college. I never was able to fully immerse myself in the story and believe that Peter was in highschool, and he had so much freetime that it was even more unbelievable that he was a highschooler), because to me the fact that Peter has to balance his classes, part-time job, and crimefighting just once again shows his absolute dedication and brilliance and is an incredibly important aspect of his character, but it was fine. The 2012 film was much better than the 2002 film, but I still disliked it; it left me unsatisfied. Peter’s character was more true to form, but the movie itself was done badly and, I felt, focused too much on a romance for an origin story that (spoiler alert!!) didn’t even pan out. I understand that the movie was simply a set up for a series (that didn’t even work out well), but it was still incredibly disheartening. Perhaps the worst part was the fact that he WASN’T a highschooler, because I felt like they were invalidating teenagers and an important part of my identity at the time. I think the fact that Peter is a teenager is incredibly influential over his entire character, and the way he fights and speaks. But I was also incredibly disappointed that they didn’t even stay true to Peter’s origin story!! Who is the Lizard? Where was Harry?
Back to Spiderman: Homecoming. I was so ecstatic when they included Spiderman in CACW. I was even more excited when they released who would be playing him. Finally, Peter is a teenager played by someone who can pass off as an actual teenager. Finally, he is back to his brilliant roots (”I can’t” “Why not?” “I have homework…”). It is so redeeming. Everything that was incredibly important to Peter’s character which has been taken away in the past is back.
He’s an awkward teenager, but still incredibly brilliant. He has trouble with communication. Aunt May and school are important to him, just as important as saving people (Not the world. PEOPLE). He’s not afraid to stand up to someone, even if they’re someone he believes in and looks up to (examples: see CACW). He banters during fights but is still badass. He’s fascinated by things he doesn’t understand, willing to learn. He tries too hard. He is a teenager, in every sense of the word.
I’m most looking forward to Tony’s role in Homecoming. Because Peter is exactly like Tony. He is an innovator, an inventor. He’s brilliant, too brilliant for his own good, and has been alienated for it. He lost his parents young, but has a few good friends. And he believes in people. Like Tony, he doesn’t want to save the world. He just wants to save people. He believes that people are important. That’s why he’s a hero – that’s why Tony’s a hero. Neither one of them could give it up, because they can’t give up on people. They’ll fight for people, just as much as they’ll fight for what they believe in. There are so many parallels between them, and Tony saying “I wanted you to be better” told me that he sees them to. I am so excited to see that relationship.
I am incredibly hopeful for Spiderman: Homecoming, and I hope it does Peter the justice none of the other movies have.