It's been a good year for Marvel. Spider-Man: Homecoming was the best-received Spider-Man film in years, and Thor: Ragnarok has crushed the box office, garnering over $120 million in its first weekend. They each brought something new to the MCU — Homecoming was a high school movie and Ragnarok was an action-comedy — but what's surprising is that these two excellent films have very similar plot beats.
Thor Loses His Hammer, Just As Peter Parker Lost His Suit
In Thor: Ragnarok, Thor doesn’t have his trusty Mjolnir for the majority of the time — because Hela destroys it (crushing it like glass, to paraphrase Loki). Thor is forced to continue on his journey without his hammer. (As Odin later asks, “Are you the God of Hammers or the God of Thunder?”)
Likewise, one of the most famous lines of dialogue from Spider-Man: Homecoming is when Tony Stark — upset at "reckless" Peter Parker for going after the Vulture himself, putting others in harm's way — confiscates the Spider-Man suit. Parker says, “But I’m nothing without this suit,” and Stark (in stern father-figure mode) replies, “If you’re nothing without this suit, then you shouldn’t have it.”
By the end of Ragnarok, Thor impressively uses his lightning powers without his hammer to defeat Hela. By the end of Homecoming, Peter learned that he was a hero without the suit, saving his friends' lives and stopping the Vulture. Stark gives Peter his suit back, knowing that he deserved it all along.
Thor Loses Odin, Just As Peter Had To Prove Himself Without Tony Stark's Help
Not only was Thor's hammer destroyed, but he also loses his father Odin, who'd already been missing for quite some time due to Loki’s shenanigans. Loki had placed Odin under a spell and sent him to live in a nursing home in New York City. Losing Mjolnir was difficult enough to overcome, but losing Odin meant that Thor would have no mentor figure when taking on Hela.
Likewise, in Homecoming, Tony Stark (who fortunately doesn't die) cuts Peter Parker off from all communication. Peter had to learn that in order to become a hero, he has to do things on his own and not rely on others. When he's trapped underneath a building that the Vulture destroyed, Peter calls for help but to no avail; he finally understands that he's the only person who could save himself, which he does with all of his might — and without the help of Tony Stark.
Thor Lets Asgard Go, Just As Peter Lets The Avengers Go
Between attacks from Hela and the demon Surtur, Asgard is totally destroyed, and Thor knows it's time to leave it all behind, realizing that “Asgard is a people, not a place.” While the city is beautiful and rich with just about everything, Thor learns about what's truly important to protect.
Similarly, Spider-Man: Homecoming deals with Peter striving to become an honorary Avenger. He wants to take part in whatever mission he can, even though Tony Stark obviously considers him too young to join the team.
Fast forward to the end of the film, and Tony grants Peter's wish. But Peter decides that he wants to "stay on the ground" as a friendly neighborhood Spider-Man until he's ready, declining the offer and thanking Stark for the invite. This certainly wasn't an easy choice for Parker to make, but it was the right one.
Thor: Ragnarok and Spider-Man: Homecoming are very different movies, but they both show our heroes growing — and truly becoming themselves — in awesome ways.
Which movie did you enjoy more, Thor: Ragnarok or Spider-Man: Homecoming? Sound off in the comments below!