When I was growing up, Tobey Maguire was everywhere as Spider-Man and I loved it. My brother and I had gone to the movies to see all three of the Spider-Man movies. We couldn't get enough. My brother's room was decked out with Spider-Man merchandise and we were constantly doing tumbles and pretending to shoot each other with our imaginary webs. Fast forward to five years later, The Amazing Spider Man is coming out and there is no excitement or even rush to see it. My brother didn't even blink twice at the mention of a Spider-Man movie. I finally gave in when The Amazing Spider-Man 2 came out on DVD and watched both of them. It was nice to see them trying to follow closer to the comics, but the only thing those movies made me care about, was Peter's relationship with Gwen. I didn't care about the villains and every scene that included the Green Goblin made me cringe. Andrew Garfield is a great actor but his performance as Spider-Man fell kind of flat.
With all the new Marvel movies coming out, I remember there being many rumors of Spider-Man joining the Avengers. I always thought they'd just bring Andrew Garfield back to be in them. One day, as I was scrolling along, I found an article with a picture of Tom Holland announcing he was the new Spider-Man. I was annoyed. Another Spider-Man. It felt like my heart was going to get broken all over again. I learned he was quite young and from England. I moved on from there. I had no interest in learning anything about Tom Holland.
Now, the trailer for Captain America: Civil War came out and I was having a heart attack. I could not wait to watch Tony and Steve go head to head. As the trailer is ending, you see an annoyed Tony saying,"I've run out of patience," he lifts his hands to his mouth and shouts,"underoos!" A web catches onto Steve's shield and a flash of red swings by. Spider-Man flips onto a baggage conveyor and we get our first glimpse at the new Spider-Man. My heart was broken. The suit looked so different from Tobey Maguire's and I felt that was the most important part to his identity. There was black on the arms instead of blue, the webbing design didn't quite stand out, and the spider on the chest was itty-bitty. The bit that seemed to throw us all was the eyes. No one really understood why there were shutter lenses. It just looked weird. The closer the release date for Civil War came out, the more my friends and I would talk about Spider-Man and everyone who had played him. It seemed that I wasn't the only one not looking forward to seeing this kid as the new web-slinger.
I will never utter a bad word against Tom Holland again. Tom Holland is Spider-Man and could be on his way to being the best Spider-Man.
Let's start with his performance in Civil War. One thing that's very different is how Holland played Peter and Spider-Man. It seems that when the mask is on, almost everything that makes Peter, vanishes. Holland holds onto Peter, making him shine even under the mask. He's awkward and clumsy, makes dorky references to science and Star Wars. When has Spider-Man ever done that? I love that Peter and Spider-Man aren't two completely different people this time around. Spidey was definitely witty, but it was kind of obvious he still didn't have his bearings on the whole superhero thing. My favorite thing had to be how in awe he was at everything. He couldn't believe Bucky's metal arm, felt nervous meeting Captain America, and was so upset when Tony told him he was done in the battle. He was a kid trying to prove he has what it takes to be an Avenger but also remained true to who Peter is, which isn't some God who can do anything. Holland made Spider-Man humble, a kid who's just from Queens who also happened to get bit by a spider.
I totally counted down the days until Spiderman: Homecoming came out. I was thrilled to get to see two hours and thirteen minutes of Holland's Spider-Man. It surpassed my expectations and I can't wait until Infinity War to see more of the masked hero. This movie had a whole new take on Peter and I'm eternally grateful for it. He was so awkward, something every teenager knows well. When he arrives at the bank, he isn't sure how to approach the criminals and takes a few moments to prepare his stance. He also face plants while shooting his web to a nearby building. Peter also cares so much for everyone in this film and I think that's what really makes him stand out. He did back flips for strangers because they asked, he saves a cat, calls a criminal "Mr. Criminal," and rescues a super-villain when he could've easily let him die. Peter had so much heart for everything and everyone. He hated the idea of letting Tony down, so losing the suit was his nadir. From then on, you see a fear in Spider-Man I've never seen before. (BIG SPOILERS. DON'T KEEP READING IF YOU DON'T WANT ANYTHING SPOILED.) When Vulture opens the door to reveal he is Liz's father, it is clear how scared Peter really is. The whole time he's near him, he won't take his eyes off Vulture. When Vulture starts to figure out who Spidey's identity is, the panic in Peter's eyes only becomes worse. The portrayal of everything in slow motion when he's leaving Vulture's presence only helps to captivate the tension in the scene. The bit that did it the most for me to give my heart over to Tom Holland was when the building collapses on Peter. I cried with Peter as he screamed for help, slowly beginning to realize he might die like that. I've never seen Peter show that much fear before and it made him even more real. This scene is powerful and shows how Peter took Tony's words to heart about being something without the suit.
Tom Holland shaped Peter/Spider-Man in a whole new way that works so well. He was funny, charming, and goofy while still trying to be heroic. I regret judging him so quickly when I had nothing to base that judgement on. Tobey Maguire will always have a special place in my heart, but Holland is quickly taking over. He will be a Spider-Man many will remember. He has played this role successfully and I can't wait to see what other adventures the Marvel Universe has in store for Peter Parker. I will be there to watch Holland conquer Queens as our friendly neighborhood, Spider-Man.