ByKatie Granger, writer at Creators.co
MP Staff Writer, come to bargain.
Katie Granger

Spider-Man: Homecoming is shaping up to be a really exciting addition to the Marvel Cinematic Universe, with swinging into action in his first solo movie after his excellent introduction in this year's Captain America: Civil War.

And he arrives on the shoulders of those who came before, specifically Tobey Maguire and Andrew Garfield, the two actors who donned the suit before for the Spider-Man and The Amazing Spider-Man franchises respectively. Both portrayals of the character had their merits, and their weaknesses, and there are lessons to be learned and pitfalls to be avoided for both iterations of . For example...

1. The Origin Story

What Homecoming Should Use

[Credit: Marvel Comics]
[Credit: Marvel Comics]

Traumatic origins are a long-running staple of the character, especially in the case of Peter Parker, whose actions (or rather a lack thereof) led to the death of his surrogate father, Ben Parker. It's essential that we at least know of the circumstances around Uncle Ben's death, as this is central to Spider-Man's code of honor.

However, already covered this quite nicely, so all Homecoming really needs is a nod or two to the absence of poor Ben. And consider this: For a change up they could show the effects of his death more from Aunt May's point of view, rather than Peter's. It would be something a little different, and it would showcase more how his loss affected them as a family unit rather than just Peter as he shapes the Spider-Man persona. It would also make sense for us to find out a little more about the circumstances around how Peter was bitten by the radioactive spider, but again, not a totally essential element.

What Homecoming Shouldn't Use

[Credit: Sony Pictures]
[Credit: Sony Pictures]

This has been said so much that it's practically become a running joke when it comes to the Spider-Man movies — no more origin stories! Even casual Spidey fans are probably aware of his origin, and we've seen it again and again in the Spider-Man franchises, usually taking a whole movie to cover them. What we don't need from Homecoming is a detailed flashback sequence covering the circumstances of Ben's death. Been there, done that, fallen asleep.

See also:

2. The Love Interest

What Homecoming Should Use

[Credit: Sony Pictures]
[Credit: Sony Pictures]

The reason Spider-Man was such a massive hit when he first debuted is in large part due to two things: his young age, and the fact that he's an awkward and isolated teenager. And what does every isolated teenager need? A love interest, preferably a beautiful girl who is far out of his league.

The dynamic between Peter Parker and his Spider-Man alter-ego is well demonstrated by the personality divide between the two. While Peter Parker is unconfident and shy, Spider-Man is loud-mouthed and extroverted. And as we saw in Spider-Man with the famous upside-down kiss in the rain, this side of Peter goes a long way toward him getting the girl. And, as he grows and gains confidence from being Spider-Man, so he gains the self-worth to attract the love interest. It's a core part of Spidey's mythology.

What Homecoming Shouldn't Use

[Credit: Sony Pictures]
[Credit: Sony Pictures]

The previous Spider-Man movies portrayals of both Mary Jane and Gwen Stacey have had their merits, but they also had their failings. Spider-Man 3 painted Gwen Stacey as a vapid, non-character, only there to fuel tensions between Peter and Mary Jane. And Mary Jane herself was oddly written, especially in Spider-Man 3, as she yoyo-ed between character traits at the whim of the story.

While The Amazing Spider-Man did a much better job with Gwen Stacey, they still decided to kill off not just Gwen, but her father too, falling into the old trope of punishing the male hero by hurting the female love interest. While this is of course a callback to one of Spidey's most famous stories, it's becoming a little cliché at this point. Avoiding these pitfalls is essential. Indeed as it currently stands it seems that neither Mary Jane nor Gwen Stacey are appearing at all, replaced by Zendaya's Michelle. A bold move, but one that could pay off as it shakes up the story we know.

3. The Loner/Loser Aspect

What Homecoming Should Use

[Credit: Marvel Comics]
[Credit: Marvel Comics]

As mentioned above, Peter Parker being an awkward teen is core to the character's relatability. When he was first introduced to Comics he was a brilliantly gifted but socially awkward teenager, an orphan and a bit of a loner. As Peter Parker he's an outsider; bullied at school by jock Flash Thompson, in love with the girl next door, and consumed by self-obsessions with rejection, inadequacy, and loneliness. But Spider-Man, he's every teenager's escapist dream.

Spider-Man is Parker's alter-ego, his opposite twin who is adored and praised by others and provides an outlet for Peter's more likable qualities. He's an escapist fantasy and he embodies all that which Parker is not. What teenager hasn't fantasized about becoming someone bigger than themselves, someone super? That's the basis of what makes Spidey so likable, and essential to see in Homecoming.

What Homecoming Shouldn't Use

[Credit: Sony Pictures]
[Credit: Sony Pictures]

The Spider-Man trilogy and The Amazing Spider-Man twofer achieved this to varying degrees. Spider-Man established Peter as the bullied loser, who somehow was best friends with the son of a powerful billionaire. But the rest of the trilogy moved Peter on from high school, and out into the world of work. While this made for a lot of fun with Peter working for the Daily Bugle, the best way of achieving the Peter/Spider-Man divide is by keeping the setting fixed around his school days.

As for The Amazing Spider-Man, the movies failed to really make Peter out to be the bullied loner that he's supposed to be. Maybe it was because of Garfield's easy charm as both Spidey and Peter, maybe it was because of the floppy hair. We blame the hair.

4. The Villains

What Homecoming Should Use

[Credit: Sony Pictures]
[Credit: Sony Pictures]

A superhero is only as good as his villains, and Spider-Man has an impressive back catalogue to pick from. This time around we're going with the Vulture — a prolific and deadly adversary, though often one who is made the target of comic relief. From what we've seen of the trailer, it looks like Michael Keaton's take on the character is staying pretty dark.

While The Amazing Spider-Man kind of dropped the ball when it came to its villains (we're still not over Electro, sorry Jamie Foxx) the Spider-Man trilogy had some pretty good ones. Doctor Octopus and Norman Osborn were well done if underused — Green Goblin with his insanity and Doc Oc generating sympathy as a man undone by his own brilliance. The internal struggle that both characters experience is a nice facet, and one that would work well in Homecoming too.

What Homecoming Shouldn't Use

One word: Dubstep. (That's another dig at Electro, sorry again.)

But in all seriousness, some of the villains who failed to make an impression from the original movies such as Lizard, Rhino and Harry Osborn, did so mainly due to either a lack of development behind their motivations, or a lack of screen-time. Having one main villain in Homecoming is a good idea, as it allows us to focus in on this new character while also affording time to build Spider-Man into the shared world of the .

And then you have the ones that made us cringe, like Venom. Just, no. Please don't ruin Venom like this again, we beg you.

[Credit: Sony Pictures]
[Credit: Sony Pictures]

What do you most want to see in Spider-Man: Homecoming? Sound off in the comments below!


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