ByKit Simpson Browne, writer at
Writer-at-large. Bad jokes aplenty. Can be gently prodded on Twitter at @kitsb1
Kit Simpson Browne

(Warning: The following contains mild to moderate SPOILERS for 'Captain America: Civil War,' particularly in relation to sections that may or may not involve Spider-Man. Proceed with whatever level of caution that suggests to you is wise.)

Now, with Captain America: Civil War having already received about as glowing a critical response as it's possible to get without being automatically nominated for an Academy Award, it seems likely that the movie will enter (and leave) wide release with relatively little in the way of controversy attached to it. For old-school comic book fans, however — or, indeed, for those raised on the last decade and a half of superhero movies — there is perhaps one element of the movie that bears a little attention. Y'see...

'Captain America: Civil War' Just Completely Changed An Iconic Comic-Book Character

Specifically (and this is where those aforementioned SPOILERS really start to kick in, so scroll past the below picture of a topless Captain America to continue)...

...Captain America: Civil War completely changed one of the longest-standing characters in Marvel-dom: Spider-Man's beloved Aunt May. Who is now, rather than being a lovable yet gently curmudgeonly elderly lady, being played by Marisa Tomei.

Yes, that Marisa Tomei. The strikingly beautiful 51-year-old Marisa Tomei.

Who, as Tony Stark indirectly points out during the pair's interaction in Civil War, is a far cry from the frail older lady we've known and loved for over fifty years.

The most intriguing thing about that change, though?

Casting Marisa Tomei Looks Set To Be a Masterstroke

After all, with Peter Parker being, y'know, a fifteen-year-old, it makes a whole lot more sense for Aunt May to be in her early 50s than, say, her late 70s. It's a change that more recent retellings of the Spider-story (both in Marvel's Ultimate comics and the Amazing Spider-Man franchise) have edged towards, but it wasn't until Tomei's casting that we finally got to see a version of Aunt May who could quite plausibly end up dating Tony Stark (what with Tomei and Robert Downey Jr. being the same age and all).

As it turns out, though, old-school Spider-fans might actually still find themselves objecting to an element of May's characterization in Civil War. The reason? During the entertaining Spider-centric post-credits scene, Tomei's Aunt May — upon being told by Peter that he got in a fight — makes a distinctly uncharacteristic comment:

"I hope you got a few good licks in."

Which, coming from a guardian typically known for being horrified by the idea of Peter getting into a fight, is a little unusual. Coming from the guardian of Peter Parker, crime-fighting Queens resident, however — it might just be yet another sign that Spider-Man: Homecoming could be something truly special.

What do you reckon, though?


Are you happy with Marisa Tomei as Aunt May?


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