ByGabriella Macomber, writer at
"Sometimes great possibilities are right in front of us, and we don't see them because we choose not to" - Barry Allen
Gabriella Macomber

Since the creation of Spider-Man (2002), audiences around the world have been wooed by one of Marvel's iconic characters. Who can't help but fall in love with the nerdy, humble Peter Parker and the friendly neighborhood Spider-Man? As the wondrous web-head took to the silver screen, the role has been portrayed by three actors: all of which present slightly different stories to one another. Though we haven't seen Spider-Man: Homecoming (2017), the question inevitably rises: Who is the best spiderman?

Tobey Maguire: Spider-Man 2002 - 2007

Mr. Maguire here was the first to take on the role of our friendly neighborhood Spider-Man. Earning a Box Office of 821.7 million dollars, Spider-Man (2002) has been rated 7.3/10 from IMDB and 89% for Rotten Tomatoes. One must say that those are pretty good ratings for the beginning of this beloved character.

Toby Maguire as Peter Parker/Spider-Man
Toby Maguire as Peter Parker/Spider-Man

As Maguire takes the role of Peter Parker, we see the heart-wrenching beginnings of this respected hero. Through the film, we watch as Peter discovers his powers and falls in love with his second girlfriend (according to the comics) Ms. Mary-Jane Watson. As the movies progress, we watch the flips and flops that Parker have to deal with by being Spider-Man.

In the second film, Spider-Man 2 (2004), Parker goes against the infamous Dr. Octopus, deals with the hatred of Harry Osbourne and watches as MJ is engaged to another man. This film earned 783.8 million dollars in the Box Office and earned a rating of 7.3/10 from IMDB with a rating of 93% for Rotten Tomatoes. Here it is clear that the Spider-Man films are really progressing and audiences are already pulled in by Maguire's performance.

Watching the second film, viewers are starting to notice and comprehend that Spider-Man/Peter Parker has a very tough life (well not too tough, but still tough) with that of getting a job in the Big Apple, keeping a friendship, watching his lover fall for another, and more importantly, having to hide a majorly large secret from those he loves. Maguire takes on this role incredibly, portraying the life and times of Peter Parker.

By the third film, Spider-Man 3 (2007), things get way more complicated as Parker goes against not one, but two villains, that being Venom (oh do we love him) and Sandman. And of course, there's that thing about his suit embracing its inner emo and bringing out Peter's darker ego. Also featured here is the small role of Bryce Dallas Howard as Gwen Stacy, which is not looked into completely as Parker's love-interest is centered around MJ.

Spider-Man and Venom in Spider-Man 3
Spider-Man and Venom in Spider-Man 3

This Spider-Man film sadly earned a 6.2/10 for IMDB and a 63% for Rotten Tomatoes. A significant drop, though the earnings were better than the previous film with 890.9 million dollars. Perhaps audiences were getting tired of him? I highly doubt that, because I surely wasn't.

It's hard to say just how good or bad McGuire was as Spidey because I personally grew up with Tobey portraying Peter Parker, and it's really hard for me to replace him with anyone. It's like someone replacing Chris Evans as Captain America (Let's all forbid that to happen). So, in terms of that, Maguire will always be my Spider-Man, but one thing I really did notice about this Spider-Man, out of the three, is that Maguire seems to have the best portrayal of the pain that both Parker and Spidey go through. For that, I'd certainly give him an Oscar. The third installment was poorly received but the fact that McGuire played Spidey three times has gotta mean something!

Andrew Garfield: The Amazing Spider-Man 2012 - 2014

With The Amazing Spider-Man, we have the remake of the favorited Spider-Man, portrayed by British-American actor Andrew Garfield, also known for his role as Eduardo Severin in The Social Network (2010). For those fans who thought that Maguire did not really deliver the character on point, they must have been pretty excited when the announcement was made for a remake of Spider-Man, now taking the name as the amazing Spider-Man.

Andrew Garfield as The Amazing Spider-Man
Andrew Garfield as The Amazing Spider-Man

I myself wasn't too excited about it, since I was pretty content with Maguire's delivery. But, being a huge Marvel fan, I decided to give in thanks to my dad, who was the one who convinced me to watch it. So, this Spider-Man film earned 757.9 million dollars in the box office, gaining a rating of 7/10 from IMDB and 73% for Rotten Tomatoes. Not really the amount that the first Spider-Man film got with Maguire, but it was probably because people were only beginning to adjust to a new actor portraying the role only five years after Spider-man 3.

Bless you!
Bless you!

Throughout the film, we discover a similar origin story, but with a very different love interest. As Mary-Jane was more 'girl-next-door', Gwen Stacy appears very different to the adored red-head. Being Parker's first crush, Stacy is a scientist who works for Oscorp. Here, Spidey encounters Dr. Curt Connors aka The Lizard. But besides developing character and moving ahead, Parker also learns more about his past and his parents' disappearance.

Turns out Mr. Garfield did the role justice, since a second film was created. The Amazing Spider-Man 2 (2014) earned 709 million dollars in box office with a rating of 6.8/10 from IMDB and 53% from Rotten Tomatoes. A bit of a downfall huh? Nonetheless, I was really starting to like Garfield's acting with Spider-Man. I found it to be more light-hearted and fun, and not as dramatic as Maguire's... until I watched The Amazing Spider-Man 2.

Andrew Garfield as Spider-Man
Andrew Garfield as Spider-Man

In this movie, Parker is already confident with his role as Peter Parker and Spider-Man. Here we see him graduate and spend more time with his girlfriend, Gwen Stacy, but the real trouble arrives when Electro is created, and the Green Goblin emerges. Looks like Oscorp isn't the best company for Spidey.

I am so sorry, but I just had to do it. I don't think I've ever cried so much over a character I knew for such a short amount of time. This moment, this moment, was the moment that truly tore me apart. Watching this video actually made me cry again. So, here we encounter the death of the charismatic and brilliant Gwen Stacy, and witness the true heart break of Peter Parker.

I still love Maguire's performance as Peter Parker, but I must say there is a better air of cheekiness and lightheartedness with Andrew Garfield's take on the role...of course until the second film. The character is slightly different with Garfield's portrayal of it, and it is inspirational at the end of The Amazing Spider-Man 2 when he gets up from his depression and his loss, taking on his responsibility once more with his head held high. I also just really loved Gwen in these two films, I think she's a much nicer pick for Parker. Something interesting I found out too, that influenced me to adore their relationship, was that they were actually dating while filming these films. Go Gwen-Parker!

Tom Holland - Marvel's Spider-man 2015 - Present!

And now to our newest web-slinger, the responsibility of such a classic hero is passed down to Tom Holland, who has also taken the role of Lucas in The Impossible (2012). So far we have only seen a mere glimpse of this character, appearing in scenes from Captain America: Civil War (2016) on Tony Stark's side of the fight. This is a pretty big piece for Holland as he is quite a new actor (in terms of popularity) who has been chosen to take on the role that has been done twice before. And if you're willing to know, Captain America: Civil War (2016) received 1.132 billion dollars in box office, gained an 8.2/10 rating from IMDB and a 90% rating from Rotten Tomatoes. Way to make an appearance, huh?

Tom Holland as Spider-Man
Tom Holland as Spider-Man

I don't think I need to explain the role of Parker in this film, besides appearing at a much younger age than his fellow Spider-Men and really digging into the fact that Peter Parker is a young man with extraordinary powers.

Not much has been revealed for Spider-Man: Homecoming (2017), but it was recently divulged that the Spidey's enemy in this film will be The Vulture, who may be portrayed by Michael Keaton. Confirmed characters in the film are: Flash Thompson (portrayed by Tony Revolori), Michelle (done by Zendaya), Liz Allan (portrayed by Laura Harrier) and Ned Leeds (by Jacob Batalon). And of course RDJ, who will take on Mr. Tony Stark.

Not much has been revealed to audiences regarding Holland as Spider-Man, but, my spider-senses are tingling, and they say that he can take on the role pretty well. The thing that audiences have to deal with is adjusting to the fact that Parker is still in high school since Holland will take on the role as Spidey is only 15. But as we saw in Civil War, he is definitely fun-loving and nerdy, which are two very important qualities for me. I am a bit worried with Zendaya, but that's a personal preference. In terms of Holland taking on a role that's been done twice before: I think he can make it.

So, Who's the Ultimate Spider-Man?

Now for the final answer: out of all three of these great actors, who has really done the role of Peter Parker/Spider-Man to its full extent? I honestly believe this question must be answered according to personal preferences, so it all depends on what you think. In terms of dramatic-ness, I give the award to Tobey Maguire, but when it comes to overall character, it has to be either Andrew Garfield of Tom Holland (more so Garfield, since I haven't seen enough of Holland's acting skills). Now remember, it all depends on who you think is the right actor to portray our friendly neighborhood Spider-Man!


Who is YOUR Spider-Man?


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