While scrolling through my Instagram feed this morning I stumbled upon something that got the geek blood coursing through my veins. One of those things that make you giggle like a child and while making you giddy with anticipation. I get all bubbly when I see things like that. Like I just want to jump up and down in a gleeful manner. What brought this about you might ask. The first teaser clip of Spider-Man: Homecoming was released to promote the trailer release tomorrow night on Jimmy Kimmel Live. Eeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!! My immediate thought was “Oh my dear lords of geekdom thank you. Could this be it?” which was followed by “man, we are totally due for an amazing Spider-Man movie”…
Now I know some of you might be thinking that we’ve already had some pretty awesome Spider-Man movies, and I suppose to a degree you’re correct. Sam Raimi’s first Spider-Man movie was one of the first films to really show that there is a great deal of worth in super hero franchises, and his sequel is considered (by some) to be one of the greatest super hero movies ever made. Now if we subtract the organic spiderwebs (Peter Parker always used costume made webbing from his web shooters and it wasn’t until J. Michael Stracynski’s Other that Peter developed an organic way of shooting his webs… sorry I completely comic book geeked out on you) the film is a lot of fun, and that’s part of my problem with Raimi’s run with Spider-Man. While his films are fun and play off the comic book style, they’re incredibly campy. Don’t get me wrong, I tend to love campy things but when it comes to Spider-Man I want re-watch value. I want to be sitting around the Fortress of Nerditude with nothing to watch and feel compelled to watch a Spider-Man movie. I never got that with Raimi’s movies. Of course I’ve watched them multiple times, with the exception of three because it’s hot garbage (screw you emo Peter Parker!!), but I never want to put one of them on. That’s a problem for me.
I feel like this is one of the things I repeat often (and it’s my site so I suppose I can) but Spider-Man has always been my favorite super hero. As a kid I would run around pretending to shoot webs and swing around New York City while as an adult I found someone I can relate to with Peter Parker. He has that every man quality and while a lot of his problems stem from his alter ego, he also has a number of real life issues that make me nod my head and say “I totally get this”. Peter Parker is an average person who just wants to do good while being riddled with guilt for the few poor decisions he’s made. Who among us hasn’t looked back at our past and shaken their head while wanting to do better for ourselves and others? In some ways Peter Parker is my spirit animal.
When the Amazing Spider-Man movies were released I was optimistic but quickly understood that those films don’t have lasting power. Andrew Garfield made a very good Spider-Man (mainly the jokes were spot on) but his Peter Parker left something to be desired, and in order for Spider-Man to work both Peter and Spidey have to be perfect. You can’t enjoy the quips and the heroics without understanding who Peter is first. They go hand in hand. This is a debate that often happens with the Batman films. Who was the best Batman? Who was a better Bruce Wayne? At what point can we cast someone who is able to do both? And while it might have been too soon to reboot the Spider-Man movies I think the world was hoping for some films that were accessible and warranted repeating. That didn’t happen for me with the Amazing Spider-Man franchise. I own, and have watched, the first one a couple of times but the second not so much. Maybe that’s because I saw it shortly after my father passed and I sort of associate the film with that or because the movie is kind of a jumbled mess (I would argue that the Gwen Stacy stuff was handled well enough), but no matter how you slice it I have no real desire to watch them again.
This makes me sad as a Spider-Man fan. I watch all these terrific super hero films (Nolan’s Dark Knight trilogy and pretty much everything Marvel does) and start to wonder when will I get to see Spider-Man displayed with the same amount of love and reverence. I know that Raimi’s trilogy comes from a place of love but the camp drowns that out. I just want to see the Spider-Man movie that we deserve. And Geeklings, I think we might be on the cusp of that. I think.
One of my immediate thoughts upon leaving Captain America: Civil War was that was the Spider-Man I have spent most of my life looking for. As soon as Tom Holland opened his mouth I knew that I was watching something special. This was the voice I’ve been hearing in my head every time I read a Spider-Man comic. Spider-Man quickly stole every scene he was in and I left that movie with the hope that the Spider-Man movie I’ve been waiting for was on the horizon.
Now I know the film has already taken some criticism for it’s casting choices (mainly with Mary Jane but get over yourself interwebs) but I would argue that maybe we need to drastically change some things up. Maybe we need a younger hot Aunt May. Maybe we need a more diverse cast (the dude lives in NYC after all). Whatever has happened before in Spider-Man movies clearly isn’t working, and maybe a tweak here and there won’t be the worse thing to ever happen. Yes, I know I’m speaking to comic nerds here who see any change as a front on their honor (and to a degree I’m like that too) but I think we could use some open mindedness. Look at it this way, we don’t have to see Uncle Ben die again (thank the gods). Homecoming will start as a Spider-Man story where we already know the Peter Parker/Spider-Man origin. We don’t have to relive it all again. We get a character established in the MCU with his wheels on the ground waiting to take off. It doesn’t hurt that appearances by Tony Stark (and maybe Captain America? It’s a rumor) will be happening to help further establish the character within the MCU. Those characters are established commodities.
I know it seems like I’m putting a lot of hype/pressure on this trailer tomorrow night (ugh, why can’t it be tonight?!) but maybe that’s okay. I trust Marvel and what they’ve done with the MCU, and if the tease of Spider-Man in Civil War is any indication then maybe they understand the importance of giving the audience the Spider-Man we both need and deserve. I think we’re long over do to have something to watch that will wash the taste of whatever the hell this was supposed to be out of our mouths.
One can dream at least…