If you haven’t yet, you really need to get your butt off that couch, jump in your car, drive to the theater, and watch the hell out of Spider-Man: Homecoming.
“I’m not sitting on my couch!” you whine. “I’m a joyless adult! I have a job, kids, and a mortgage! I’m too busy for the Marvel Cinematic Universe’s flights of fancy!”
Well then! Quit your job, send the kids to boarding school, burn the house down, and use that sweet homeowner’s insurance money to get yourself a ticket to Spider-Man: Homecoming. It will totally be worth it. Scout’s honor. Also, stop saying things like “flights of fancy”. Nobody talks like that anymore.
Spider-Man: Homecoming is easily the best Spider-Man movie to date. Yes. Even better than Sam Raimi’s Spider-Man 2. There’s a very good chance Homecoming could very well be the best Marvel movie of all time. This isn’t an opinion. This is fact. Keep in mind for the sake of this article we’re pretending that fact and opinion mean the same thing.
Now, you’ve probably seen people saying things like “Not my Spider-Man!”, but those people are idiots and you should feel sorry for them. Something so unbelievably terrible happened to them in their past that it destroyed their inner child and obliterated their capacity for joy. Don’t listen to them. They have no souls – but they are right about one thing – this is not your father’s Spider-Man. There are some major differences going on here but those differences actually show that the people behind Homecoming had a deep understanding of Spider-Man and used the character’s history in fun and unique ways. Ready to have your mind blown?
15. Ned Leeds Becomes A Villain
14. Ned Leeds Isn’t Actually Ned Leeds
If you have any familiarity with Marvel’s now defunct Ultimate Universe or the current 616 continuity, then you probably know about the Miles Morales Spider-Man and his good pal Ganke Lee.
If you’re not in the know, Miles Morales is another kid who was bitten by a radioactive spider, but we’ll talk more about him later.
Ganke serves as the best friend and confidant of the Miles Spider-Man. The version of Ned Leeds we see in Spider-Man: Homecoming looks and acts exactly like Ganke Lee in the Miles Morales Spider-Man stories. I’m so confident that this was intentionally done, if Kevin Feige himself came up to me and said it wasn’t the case, I’d slap him a few times and politely ask him to stop with the lies.
13. Liz Allan? Is That You?
Casual fans have thought for years that Mary Jane Watson was Peter Parker’s soulmate. If you’ve read Spider-Man: Blue (if you haven’t, do so right now) you’ll find out that Mary Jane will always be number two in Peter’s heart. That number one spot will always belong to Gwen Stacy. Hardcore fans always want Gwen, more modern fans always want Mary Jane, but the MCU dug a little deeper and brought up Liz Allan, Peter’s love interest from his high school days. This makes sense since Homecoming doesn’t gloss over Peter’s early comics as a high school student like past movies have.
There’s one problem here though. Liz’s father is revealed to be Mr. Vulture himself, Adrian Toomes. Wouldn’t that make her Liz Toomes? Of course it does, that’s because in the world of Homecoming, Liz also serves as…
12. Valerie Jessup, aka Valeria Toomes
Valeria Toomes is the estranged daughter of Adrian Toomes, The Vulture. In the comics, she was forced to move away from New York by her mother to distance herself from her criminal father (a scene we actually see at the end of Homecoming with Liz). What you may not know is Valeria goes on to join SHIELD and a number of other top organizations of the Marvel Comics Universe. This means she takes on a number of identities, another one being Valeria Merrick. It wouldn’t be too odd for Liz Toomes and her mother in Homecoming to go on to change their last name to Allan when they arrive in Oregon. It would really be something interesting if they changed her name to Valeria Allan to further show this one character in the movies is actually two from the comics.
11. Don’t Worry Gambino Fans – Donald Glover May Be Back…As A Super-Villain!
“He does not talk. He is just The Prowler.”
That’s right, Donald Glover’s character in Homecoming, Aaron Davis, is The Prowler of the Ultimate Marvel Universe. In his youth, Aaron and his brother Jefferson engaged in a life of petty crime. Jefferson would go on to father the Miles Morales Spider-Man, while Aaron would continue life as a cat burglar and eventually raise the stakes as the villain known as The Prowler.
In Spider-Man: Homecoming, we see Glover as Aaron Davis, trying to buy some high tech gear for a “stakeout”. Considering Davis has a criminal record in the film, it’s likely this is referring to staking out a joint for a major burglary. Later in the film, Peter finds Aaron to question him about the weapons he was trying to purchase. Davis gives Peter the information rather willingly, stating he doesn’t want those weapons on the streets because he has a nephew that lives in the area. This can only mean…
10. MILES MORALES IS CONFIRMED IN THE MCU!!!
That’s right! Who knows if he’ll show up? Who knows if he’ll have powers? It’s still very comforting, as a Spider-Man fan, to know that Miles is there, somewhere, existing in the MCU.
Considering Homecoming gives us no inkling into the exact situation leading up to Peter’s powers, there’s a good chance this will be explored in future films. Peter mentions his spider bite but we don’t get any other details. In the comics, Miles was also bitten by a spider, albeit a different spider, which gave Miles a slightly different set of spider-like abilities. How did Miles come across this spider? It made its way into a duffel bag used by his uncle Aaron while he was performing a heist at Oscorp Industries.
In the original canon, Miles takes over when Peter is killed indefinitely. Don’t worry if you love Tom Holland’s Peter Parker, though. In current canon, Miles and Peter are both alive and well and both operate under the name Spider-Man.
9. The Scorpion Gears Up For A Sequel
Just before the third act, Spider-Man is on a New York ferry trying to stop one of the Vulture’s Chitauri weapon sales. While checking out the boat in his enhanced Spider Suit given to him by Tony Stark, an on board computer in his suit (Hi, Karen!) tells him that one of the men on the ferry is none other than Mac Gargan! The reference was pretty cool by name alone, but it got a little heavy handed when the camera briefly focuses on Mac’s neck tattoo of a scorpion. In the obligatory Marvel post credits sequence, Gargan sees Toomes (Keaton’s Vulture) in prison. Scorpion mentions that he’s heard that Toomes knows who Spider-Man is. This appearance, which might seem like nothing to a casual fan, eludes to something big…
8. Sony Gets Their Sinister Six After All
If you’ve been following the Spider-Man films and what exactly it is that Sony wants to do with them, you’ll know they’ve been wanting to build a shared universe out of the Spider-Man characters for quite some time. One of the major flaws of Marc Webb’s The Amazing Spider-Man 2, was that the movie was bogged down to set-up an expanded universe of films, one of which was a villain led Sinister Six film. When the Garfield films didn’t perform as planned, it seemed that most of these plans were scrapped.
The Six has been a rotating line-up, always composed of six major Spider-Man villains. When Scorpion sees Toomes in prison he mentions he’s getting some people together to go after our friendly neighborhood Spider-Man. He also mentions he’s heard that Toomes knows the identity of Spider-Man. Toomes does indeed know that Peter is Spider-Man but he tells Mac that he does not. Not only does this suggest that the Vulture will not be on this incarnation of The Sinister Six, but it also may mean…
7. Toomes Will Be Back To Kill Spider-Man For Himself
For fans who saw the movie and love Spider-Man, much discussion has taken place as to why Toomes is keeping Peter’s identity close to the chest. This would be keeping in line with what we learn about Toomes throughout the film. When Toomes discovered Peter’s identity and asks Peter if he’s told Liz, Peter tells him “no”. Toomes specifically says, “Close to the chest. I like that.” In the same scene, Toomes could have easily killed Peter, but refrained from doing so because Peter had saved Liz’s life. Toomes is even comfortable with Peter dating his daughter, so long as Peter stays out of his way from that point on. This would suggest a personal code where Toomes would feel justified going after Peter himself because it was he who was directly hurt by Peter – but he wouldn’t be okay with Mac and five strangers who have nothing to do with Spider-Man going after him.
6. Spider-Man/Vulture Team-Up!
It isn’t rare in the Marvel comics to see a hero team-up with one of their greatest foes when the outcome serves them both. This has yet to happen in the Marvel Cinematic Universe unless you count Captain America and Bucky Barnes in Civil War, which we don’t because that’s not really the same. Though we just explained that it’s likely Toomes wants to kill Peter himself, it’s also very possible Toomes is protecting Peter. The reasons are three-fold.
First, Peter saved Liz’s life. We’ve already seen that Toomes would spare Peter’s life for that reason.
Second, Peter saved Toomes’ life. It would stand to reason he would be just as grateful.
Third, Mac and a bunch of goons with advanced tech going after one guy seems a little unfair. Considering what we know about Toomes’ personal code, he might not allow that to happen.
5. Damage Control Has Been Around Since the First Avengers Film
If you read the comics, you’ll know that Damage Control is a construction group contracted to clean up the destruction and mayhem that happens as a result of super people constantly going toe to toe in major metropolitan areas. There are some major differences between the D.C. in the comics and the D.C. we see in Homecoming, one being that it wasn’t originally an extension of the American government. Another being that Tony Stark wasn’t the only financier of Damage Control as Homecoming would suggest. Stark split half the stock in the company with none other than Wilson Fisk. It’s a bit shocking that Fisk’s name wasn’t teased anywhere on the Damage Control announcement as Fisk is most definitely a part of the MCU (albeit on the Netflix end), and he wouldn’t have been in prison at this point of the timeline. In fact, he would have been helping to rebuild the city. As we see in Homecoming, Damage Control first shows up in a flashback during the clean-up of the Chitauri invasion.
4. With Great Power Comes Zero Responsibility…Unless You Want It To
It would seem, from what little we know of Peter’s MCU origins, that Peter carries no grief over inadvertently allowing his Uncle Ben to get killed. This suggests he may not have processed his hand in his uncle’s death, but it seems like more likely that Peter never had that wrestling career we’ve seen in past origin stories and thus never had a hand in his uncle’s death. This would mean Peter fights the good fight simply because his Aunt and Uncle raised him to believe you can’t stand by and watch the strong prey on the weak if there’s something you can do about it. Peter’s just a good kid with a big heart.
Some have complained about the removal of this motivation from the film, but in a world where these super hero movies are becoming a genre unto themselves, the “dead parents” motivator is a bit worn out. It worked for Spidey in the 1960s, but here in 2017 it’s a little trite. This change of motivations played a big hand in making this second Spider-Man reboot feel fresh and new. Another thing that may suggest that the Uncle Ben motivator was scrapped is because…
3. Aunt May Finds Out Peter Is Spider-Man
Let’s rephrase this. Sexy, young, hip, funny, Italian Aunt May finds out Peter is Spider-Man. Your father’s Aunt May she ain’t!
In the very last seconds of the movie, Peter’s Stark Suit is returned. He puts it on in his bedroom, thinking Aunt May to be gone. He takes his mask off just as Aunt May comes into the shot and screams “What the f—!”, the closing credits rolling and cutting her off just before she drops that F-Bomb!
May’s anger doesn’t seem to come from a place of thinking Spider-Man to be a “menace” or that she sees him as the man who allowed her husband to be killed. Earlier in the film May tells Peter to run the other way if he ever sees a super hero battle happening in the streets. At the end of the film, May sounds like nothing more than any other parent, pissed at her child for doing the thing she specifically told him not to do.
2. Still No Jameson!
This is understandable given the high school setting, but in a cast that included a number of deeper Marvel Universe characters, you’d expect them to still give us a few more familiar characters. Sure we had characters like Flash Thompson and Betty Brant, but that irredeemable little jerk was hardly the same Flash Thompson that would go on to become a hero as Agent Venom, and Betty isn’t exactly the first supporting cast member you think of when you think of Spider-Man. Considering Jameson was noticeably absent from the Marc Webb Amazing Spider-Man films, it seemed like maybe we’d get something in Homecoming.
To be fair, it’s totally reasonable to leave Jameson out of any Marvel movie post-Sam Raimi’s Spider-Man films. No one will ever be J. Jonah Jameson like J.K. Simmons was J. Jonah Jameson. We may be seeing the comic book movie equivalent of retiring a jersey number.
1. MJ? No…But Maybe?
Throughout the movie (and the trailers), we see Zendaya looking almost unrecognizable as a loner student. She’s typically seen making fun of Peter and Ned, dropping a number of hilarious one liners throughout the film, and she seems keenly aware of everything Peter does in Midtown Academy. We have no idea who this mystery character is until one of the last scenes of the movie when the teacher that coaches the Academic Decathlon Team appoints “Michelle” as the new team captain. Before Peter has to rush out (Spider-Business), Michelle mentions that her friends call her “MJ”, gives Peter a hard time, and watches him longingly as he leaves.
Hold. Up. First off, Marvel told us time and time again that Zendaya was not Gwen Stacy or Mary Jane. They still insist this to be the case. This leaves three options. The first is, she is an entirely new character and her initials are just a nod to the source material. The second option is that Feige is lying and she is most definitely Mary Jane, possibly going by a middle name or family name. The third and most likely scenario is she’s a combination of characters, like Liz Allan/Valeria Toomes or Ganke/Ned. This would make sense. Peter’s old roommate, Michelle Gonzales, constantly made fun of Peter and was a bit of a rebel. This would be in line with Zendaya’s character, also named Michelle. A combination of Michelle Gonzales and Mary Jane Watson (Mary Jane Gonzales, if you will) would line up with how Liz Allan/Toomes and Ned/Ganke was handled, and Kevin Feige would not be lying by saying the character is still not who we think it is. Whatever the case, we’ll find out in 2019!
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