ByS.C. O'Donnell, writer at
"Zombies, exploding heads...creepy-crawlies and a date for the formal - This is classic, Spanky." Wah-hoo-wah! Twitter: @Scodonnell1
S.C. O'Donnell

Is Spider-Man: Homecoming doomed to repeat the mistakes of its predecessors? Can they pull together a cohesive story with all the characters they have? These are questions that can not be answered as of yet. There is a bit of trepidation when a superhero movie has three or more villains, so with the audition of Bokeem Woodbine (Herman Schultz/ Shocker) it seems like Spider-Man: Homecoming could be treading familiar water.

Pictures from the set of Spider-Man: Homecoming have surfaced that show Bokeem Woodbine in costume as the Shocker. If the rumors are to be believed (take them with a grain of salt) this will be the fourth villain in the film. As of now, the rumored villains are: Michael Keaton as the Vulture, Michael Chernus as Tinkerer, and Logan Marshall-Green as an unknown character. For those of you counting along at home, that is a grand total of four villains. Four villains are enough to give any Spider-Man fan pause. Mostly because they have been down this treacherous road before.

Too Many Villains, Not Enough Time

Spider-Man 3/ The Amazing Spider Man 2/ Sony
Spider-Man 3/ The Amazing Spider Man 2/ Sony

There have been two different iterations of the web-slinger on the silver screen. Sony was at the helm of both of them. Sam Raimi's films had there own charm and the first two were well received. That of course was not the case for the utter train wreck that was Spider-Man 3. Marc Webb's The Amazing Spider-Man did fairly well. It wasn’t the greatest, but it certainly wasn’t bad by any account. The sequel to that film, The Amazing Spider-Man 2 was an unmitigated disaster. It was poorly put together and just didn’t work.

So what do Spider-Man 3 and The Amazing Spider-Man 2 have in common? The most common response to that is overcrowding. The fact is that there were far too many moving parts acting independently of each other. In these instances, these parts were the villains. In no way is having multiple villains — or heroes for that matter — a bad thing. It does, however, complicate the story. In the end, story is the one thing you absolutely need in a great film.

Spider-Man 3

Spider-Man 3/ Sony Pictures
Spider-Man 3/ Sony Pictures

Spider-Man 3 had three villains who mostly acted independently of each other. Sandman, Venom, and The New Goblin (Harry Osborne) were all very much clogging up the works with their own storylines.

  • Flint Marko/Sandman (Thomas Haden Church) — Flint was trying to do the best he could to take care of his sick daughter, but despite all of his power he was a very forgettable character. He also has an affinity for a green striped sweaters and is always able to find a sand truck in New York City when it is convenient.
  • Eddie Brock (Topher Grace) — The alien Symbiote played the role of "a woman scorned" after Spider-Man traded his shiny black suit for more primary fare. Dejected and alone, the Symbiote slithers over to Eddie Brock, who coincidentally had a bone to pick with Peter Parker (Tobey Maguire). Eddie and the Symbiote merge into the super-villain Vemon, to then wreak havoc on poor Peter Parker/Spider-Man.
  • Harry Osborne (James Franco) — Poor Harry had a very rocky road to travel. He became an amnesiac for a bit. He had a tryst with Mary Jane (Kirsten Dunst). Then after regaining his memories, he sought revenge on Peter Parker/Spider-Man because he blamed him for the death of his father. After Mary Jane is put in mortal danger, Harry reconciles with Peter, only to sacrifice himself in the end.

By the end of the film, Sandman and Venom team up to try and defeat Spider-Man, but by then the narrative was a mess and the damage was irreversible. In addition, Peter Parker dances in this film, which makes him an enemy to the audience.

The Amazing Spider-Man 2

The Amazing Spider-Man 2/ Sony Pictures
The Amazing Spider-Man 2/ Sony Pictures

The Amazing Spider-Man 2 shared the same fate. In this iteration the villains were: Electro, Green Goblin (Harry Osborne), The Rhino, and a very bad plot (that last one is a very malicious villain).

  • Electro (Jamie Fox) — This was a version of Jim Carey's Riddler from Batman Forever who had the ability to control electricity. That about sums him up.
  • Harry Osborne (Dane Dehaan) — He was all over the place. His character "arc" resembled more of a seismograph registering a 9.5 on the Richter scale, just completely out of control. He had some genetic disease of some sort. The only cure of which was Spider-Man's (Andrew Garfield) blood. Then he began a quick jaunt into insanity.
  • The Rhino (Paul Giamatti) — He didn't really do anything of note, other than pick a fight with a small boy. He actually did that at the end of the movie in a giant mech-suit.

It was just a sloppy mess. On the bright side, It did try to adapt the storyline "The Night Gwen Stacy Died" (The Amazing Spider-Man #121–122.). Which was a good idea in theory, but in practice it was just another sloppy storyline stacked on top of the others like two-day-old-syrup-soaked pancakes.

Spider-Man/ Marvel Comics
Spider-Man/ Marvel Comics

My Spidey Sense Is Tingling

Obviously Spider-Man: Homecoming is not the films that came before it. It is an all new, all different Spider-Man. Tom Holland dons the suit in this iteration. His inclusion in the Marvel Cinematic Universe gives this version a lot more clout than if it was just another reboot. The MCU has a great track record and Spider-Man’s appearance in Captain America: Civil War was met with an overwhelmingly positive response. Spider-Man's first solo film within this universe has far more positive buzz than negative. However with Sony still involved it is only natural to have a little bit of worry.

The amount of control Kevin Feige and Marvel Studios have over this production has never been addressed directly. There will always be a seed of doubt when it comes to Sony. There is very little known about the plot as very little details have been released. For now, fans will just have to wait with bated breath.

Spider-Man: Homecoming hits theaters on July 7, 2017.

In Summation

Spider-Man: Homecoming has all the potential to be the definitive Spider-Man movie. It heralds a new age for Spidey. It has so much going on in its favor that it seems trivial to doubt it. Naturally, doubt is the manifestation of fearing the unknown. Fans have a deep connection with the characters they love. They just want their passion to be handled with an equal level of respect and care. In the end, that is all as fans that we can truly ask for.

Check out all of the times that Spidey got it right and saved the day in the video below:

Sound off!! Are there too many villains in Spider-Man: Homecoming? Are you worried about this movie? Are you excited? Let it be known below in the comments section! Your voice and opinion matters!


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