Alright fellow comic fans, moviegoers and superhero junkies, now that the Spider-man: Homecoming trailers have their blazed their way across the silver screen and every smartphone and tablet device in the world, it’s time to unsheathe our claws and sink our teeth into the newest installment of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. *Applause*Applause*Applause*
(Note to readers: Before I perform my annual superhero brain analysis, I’m going to assume that y’all have seen the trailers and that no plot summary is needed, required or even necessary. Got me? With me? Good.)
That being said—after proving his mettle in the lauded Captain America: Civil War, we finally see the precocious Tom Holland kicking major @$$ as the Amazing Spider-man! Amidst a hilarious bank robbery scene, we see a young Spider-man that’s finally entered the next chapter in his superhero training. Though still callow, Peter’s learned a thing or two about HOW to fight, use his powers and effectively embarrass the bad guys. (And from what I’ve seen, writers Jonathan Goldstein and John Francis Daley get a nod for fueling Spidey with insult ammunition aplenty). Also, this is a Spider-man that naively marvels at his own strength (“Whoa, that was AWESOME!”), proving that Holland has the acting chops to execute a unique Spider-man while staying true to the heart of the character. In every scene, Holland executes a mixture of profound innocence sweetened with light-hearted eagerness unseen by his acclaimed predecessors.
Now, let’s electric-slide over to Peter’s daily life. Fans can salivate over a Spidey film with NO origin story; a refreshing strategy that catapults us into the heart, humor and all-out action of a sensational Spidey film. Also, this Peter Parker is not only distracted by romantic interests (stop staring, Peter) he’s eager to prove himself an Avenger, particularly in the eyes of his mentor, Tony Stark. Now that the seeds have been sown from Civil War, Tony’s stepped into the “big brother role” for Peter, another refreshing spice added to the Spidey mythos. Here, Peter wants to impress the likes of Iron Man; a REAL-LIFE superhero and a rich billionaire playboy to boot. However, Tony’s a tad condescending to Peter, (“Forget the flying monster guy,” “You’re not ready yet,” etc.) and if Mark Millar’s Civil War is any indication, this may lead to a bitter parting of the two (and a possible alliance with Captain America). Though the trailer kicks into full throttle with an Iron Man/Spidey team-up, this could lead to some juicy plot treads in future films.
Another added bonus is Marisa Tomei as Aunt May. FINALLY, Marvel’s cast someone who is age appropriate to be Peter’s AUNT not his grandmother. She’s still cool and still attractive (yep, Tony’s already flirted with her in Civil War). She’s his moral center but not by any means a boring authority figure. From the little we’ve seen from the trailer, WE care just as much about Aunt May as Peter does which makes us cheer for our friendly neighborhood Spider-man all the more ☺
Last but not least, let’s 21 Jump Street over to the film’s boss-level baddie: the Vulture. Now don’t get me wrong, I’ve ALWAYS been a fan of Michael Keaton but when I first heard he was cast as the Vulture, I thought, “Hookaay. Batman. Birdman. Now the Vulture?! What next? Hawkman? The Archangel Gabriel?!” But after seeing both trailers, I legitimately buy it. Keaton shows us that the Vulture is a true threat to Peter and his loved ones. And particularly in his gravelly voice. He’s not just a rich criminal, he’s a hardened serial killer with a splintered mind and a heart of ice. If he threatened me, yep, I’d be intimidated (and I’d instantly need a clean pair of pants). Also, I buy the LOOK of the character. He’s not the old, bald guy from the ‘60s. He’s a 21ST century Vulture! A guy with tech that aims to steal, kill and destroy—and he’s damn good at it. Plus, the armored suit directly mirrors his character. The steel talons reflect his fierce fighting prowess and his aerial pageantry can surely give Iron Man a run for his money.
So what did we take away from all this? Well, we get a ton of ingredients unseen from Spidey Films (no MJ, no Gwen Stacey), the stakes are high with the amount of danger Spidey’s thrown into, we finally see Peter Parker, the 21st century affable nerd in his natural habitat, action scenes that hook you like a rainbow trout and reel you in (flying over a helicopter, hell yeah!) and enough humor that brings the hilarious teen spirit back to Spider-man. Though the trailers are only 2 minutes a piece but it’s a window into the colorful, high voltage universe that IS Spider-man. The universe we all know and love as comic fans. From the little we’ve seen, this is definitely going to be a film highlight for 2017, and a film that would make Stan Lee proud. Excelsior!