It's an interesting time in which we live, where waiting for trailers to drop is an event fans look forward to almost as much as seeing the finished film. Perhaps one of the most anticipated trailers ever amongst superhero fans was the [Captain America: Civil War](tag:994409) offering that dropped on March 10, because it had promised us our premiere glimpse at the very first Marvel Cinematic Universe Spider-Man/Peter Parker, portrayed by 19-year-old newcomer Tom Holland.
But when it happened, opinions seemed divided. Chances are you either thought Spidey looked like a bit of a blurry CGI mess, or you were ecstatic to see the various homages paid to comic book Spider-Man, specifically that of the Silver Age and a blending of the Steve Ditko, Todd McFarlane and John Romita Sr. designs.
Of course, some of the blame for the CGI flaws can be laid upon the low-res nature of the trailer and the compression that occurs when viewing a clip on YouTube. While this might seem like a cop out, it's also a valid one; as Geek.com points out, it's difficult to make out textures on a screen so small, but on the big screen the finer details of the suit will become more apparent:
If you think Spider-Man looks a little weird this time around, that might be because most of the Spider-Man suits designed for the screen accentuate texture on the costume, and with how quickly this passed through whatever in-browser player in which it was viewed, the texture on the current suit looked more like a fake, computer-generated sparkle.
But let's not get too far into the technological mechanics of the thing. What we want to talk about is the design itself.
Old, Old School
Many a comic book fan will have immediately recognized the suit design as a callback to the art of Romita Sr., who drew Spider-Man in the later days of the Silver Age (1960s) up until the '80s, and then periodically all the way until 2010.
The small black spider on the chest of the suit (the smallest we've seen for a live-action Spidey thus far) and the rotund, bow-legged red spider on the back (which you might have made out had you paused the trailer at the right time) are both markers of Romita's Spider-Man and a callback to the Silver Age of comic books.
The little spider on the chest was also a staple of Todd McFarlane's style, as are the big, expressive eyes (and we'll get to those).
Tobey Maguire's take on Spider-Man in the Sam Raimi trilogy was interesting in that it altered the specifics of Spidey's powers. While canonically Peter Parker's mutations grant him enhanced strength, speed and dexterity, the ability to cling to walls and his famous Spider-Sense, Parker's innate genius contributes much to his skill set, allowing him to sew costumes and craft such gadgets as his web shooters.
Spider-Man replaced the web shooters with a new ability; that of being able to biologically shoot webbing from his wrists, something entirely new and separate from the comic book canon.
But with Civil War, Marvel is going back to the Steve Ditko/Stan Lee roots, with Spidey using his web shooters as Andrew Garfield's Spider-Man did in The Amazing Spider-Man series.
The CGI-heavy suit made many fans jump to the (likely accurate) conclusion that the suit Peter Parker steps into in Civil War is one made by Tony Stark/Iron Man (Robert Downey Jr.), whose side he takes in the conflict. This chimes with the Civil War comic book canon in which Spider-Man wears the Stark-created Iron Spider suit as he faces off against the Anti-Registration band of superheroes.
However, don't expect to see the fantastical Iron Spider suit with its additional three limbs, holographic lenses and Iron Man-inspired color palette making an appearance in Civil War. It was used in the comics as an indicator of Spider-Man's change of heart, discarding it when he changed sides to join Captain America's resistance movement; an important narrative but one that is unlikely to be fully explored in Civil War.
First, Holland's Spider-Man needs to be established as a character in his own right, then maybe we can crack out the snazzy additional suits.
Let's talk about those Spider eyes. You probably noticed the mechanical whirring sound effect in the trailer when Spider-Man narrows his eyes at Captain America, Steve Rogers (Chris Evans) and the rest of the gang, and maybe you wondered what that was all about.
Well, it's been speculated even before the trailer released that our MCU Spider-Man would have camera eyes built into his suit. This theory came via an unconfirmed Twitter account — so it was worth taking with a pinch of salt — claiming to belong to the directing duo Anthony and Joe Russo. But check out the image tweeted by the account back in July 2015.
As ComicBook.com pointed out, this image looked a lot like it was teasing the possibility that Spider-Man would have camera eyes (or "Shutter Eyes" as they called them) in Civil War. This theory was seemingly confirmed by the new trailer, and it makes a lot of sense.
While Deadpool used shape-changing eyes on Wade Wilson's suit to emotive and comedic effect, so too does the mechanic of camera shutters built into the suit's eyes allow the MCU Spider-Man to emote while wearing his mask, an artistic staple that has existed in the comics ever since Ditko first put pen to paper.
It also chimes with Peter Parker's day job as a photographer and links in with a gadget used by him ever since the '60s run of The Amazing Spider-Man — the belt-camera. Parker designed this camera to take automatic photographs while clipped to his belt, allowing him to fulfill his job responsibilities to his boss, newspaper head J. Jonah Jameson, while simultaneously zipping about as Spider-Man.
While he might not have looked like your hopes and dreams in the five seconds we saw of him in the trailer, don't count this Spider-Man out just yet. A lot of work and care has gone into the making of our Marvel Cinematic Universe Spidey and we're pretty excited to see how he holds up on screen.