In my on-going discussions about victims in comics and comic book movies, I have dealt mainly with [Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice](tag:711870) and the role that Lois Lane and Martha Kent played. But, in several round table discussions on the subject with the crew at Jackedup Tales, the discussion suddenly turned to Spider-Man. And, surprisingly, it not only dealt with his past comic book exploits, but something unforeseen in the coming movie, [Captain America: Civil War](tag:994409).
On the issue of superheroes and the long line of victims that surround them, Spider-Man becomes the poster boy for the cause. Early on in his career, he chose to wear a mask. Rightfully so, men like Daily Bugle editor-in-chief J.J. Jameson question this 'hero's' need to cover his face. For the most part, the mask had been the bastion of the criminal who had good reason to cover his face. But why this new age of hero? What use does a 'good guy' have with a mask?
Well, for those of us who have read comics forever, this is obvious. And Peter Parker makes it very clear early on. He wears the mask to protect those he loves. Because, if his enemies knew he was Peter Parker, they would go after his loved ones. Which has proven true many times over. The movies alone saw Mary Jane and Gwen Stacy both in danger simply because of their love for Peter. If he fought crime without the mask, he would make all of those near and dear to him victims. Which proves my point, although most of those that surround Peter are hot babes and lovable Aunt May. So, yes and no.
Now, for the tricky point that NO ONE is talking about.
It was announced last November that Spidey would be keeping his identity...well...secret. Or was it?
Tom Holland, the actor slated to play Parker in Civil War and the upcoming reboot
(or rereboot...?), actually said this..
"I think one of the most interesting things about Peter Parker for us is that he’s the only person in the MCU now that has a secret identity, so we all know who everyone else is. I think it’s quite interesting to go back to that hiding behind a mask."
Ok, maybe? Or maybe not. But, the fact remains. Either way, it will throw the MCU in a different direction as the comics altogether.
The scene with Spider-Man unmasking on television is ICONIC! It is what the comic version of Civil War was about. I mean, honestly! We had went decades with masked heroes running around doing good but always leaving us wondering. The Superhero Registration Act forced all masked 'vigilantes' to come out and be counted...and identified.
The movie version of Civil War may play out a bit different. The whole secret identity thing hasn't been an issue in the MCU. Only Spider-man and Daredevil have one and Spidey has just now hit the scene and Daredevil is on the fringe out at Netflix. So, what IS the issue. Control. The world's governments have sit back and watched destruction on an apocalyptic scale and decide it's time to do something about it. At first, they trusted S.H.I.E.L.D. to control the situation and that failed. Then, the Avengers go and build an killer robot that obliterates a whole city! The world believes it's time to put the heroes in check and hold them accountable.
So, if Marvel stays true to the comic version of Civil War, there will be no more secret identity for Spider-Man and that has serious repercussions for the upcoming Spidey solo movie. It's just hard to see them playing the revealed Spider-Man for very long. The comics have already fixed this problem in true comic book fashion: Have Dr. Strange, Reed Richards and Tony Stark get together and whip up a Techno-enhanced spell to wipe the world's memory of the event! That is SO not happening in the MCU. Marvel will find it not so easy to retcon problems away like that. So, my guess is they're going to stray from the source material!
And straying from the source material means no big reveal in Civil War. And, if there's no big reveal, why is Spider-Man even in it in the first place? We'll have to see how that plays out on May 5th.
Now, this DOES settle the issue of the secret identity for the first new installment of Spider-Man's new series. Because, like I said before, working a new story-line with a new actor on the premise that the world knows his name just doesn't work well. Because, first and foremost, this puts everyone in Parker's life at risk. And that makes them instant victims.