This July saw the return of everyone’s favorite web-slinger to the silver screen in the latest installment of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, ‘Spider-Man: Homecoming.’ Directed by Jon Watts (The Onion News Network), and rising from an agreement between Disney (headquarters of the MCU), and Sony (who currently own the rights to Spider-Man properties), the long-anticipated film is the third iteration of Spider-Man to reach theaters, following the Sam Raimi Spider-Man trilogy of the early 2000s, and the more recent Andrew Garfield vehicles.
Based on the comic created by Stan Lee and Steve Ditko back in 1962, Spider-Man has been the poster-hero of Marvel Comics for almost six decades. With a relatable protagonist and a colorful assortment of side-characters and super villains, the stories dealt with high-flying adventures, and deep dramatic themes all at once, resulting in a much-revered saga following this hero. One of the most successful comic titles, “The Amazing Spider-Man,” ran for 700 issues and multiple annuals before it was relaunched in 2014, and still runs today. It also spawned multiple spin-off titles, including, “The Spectacular Spider-Man,” “Ultimate Spider-Man,” and “Spider-Man 2099.” Nine well-received cartoon television series and two live-action shows resulted as well.
The new movie follows high school student Peter Parker, (Tom Holland), who leads a double life as a crime-fighting superhero. With only his wits and his web-shooters, he must defeat the criminal exploits of The Vulture (Michael Keaton), a steel-winged villain bent on stealing high-tech weaponry from government facilities. At the same time, Spider-Man is forced to juggle the everyday responsibilities of teenage life as, under the tutelage of Avenger Iron Man (Robert Downey, Jr.), he learns to make the decisions necessary to be a true hero. The film also features Jon Favreau, Zendaya Coleman, Donald Glover, Tyne Daly, and Marisa Tomei in supporting roles.
Holland shines at the titular Spider-Man. Having first appeared as the masked vigilante in the third Captain America film, “Civil War,” the 21-year-old actor proves he’s capable of commanding his own film with charming success. Holland brings a degree of lightheartedness and wonder to the role, perfectly mirroring the Spidey character that millions remember from the comic panels.
With a sequel already announced, it appears there will be no shortage of Spider-Man in the not-too-distant-future. And I don’t know about the rest of you, but this spiderphile can rest easy knowing that old web-head is out there bringing justice and joy to the cinema. As the man behind the curtain is so fond of stating, ‘nuff said!’