Though it seemed impossible for years, Spider-Man was always destined to join his fellow House of Ideas products in the Marvel Cinematic Universe — it just made too much sense. With “New Avengers,” Brian Michael Bendis proved that Spider-Man could be a terrific ensemble character, and the tone of Marvel Studios’ movies since “Iron Man” has been too perfectly suited to the wall-crawler for him to never travel across the walls of Stark Tower.
Sure enough, after the unfortunate demise of Andrew Garfield’s “Amazing” installments (and some leaky web-fluid by way of the Sony email hack — which put additional fan pressure on the two studios), Spider-Man was fast-tracked to the MCU, with Tom Holland’s cheeky teen hero fittingly making his debut during last summer’s “Captain America: Civil War.”
Now, fans have been given their first real look at Holland’s upcoming solo-Spidey adventure, “Spider-Man: Homecoming,” and the countdown clock on next July’s Spider-adventure is really running. “This is my chance to prove myself,” we hear Spidey say as the footage begins, and while the dialogue concerns his attempts to become a hero with the stature of, say, an Iron Man, what truly stands to be proven by this film is whether Marvel Studios is the only Hollywood outfit truly capable of of bringing their heroes to the big screen in a way that’s as cohesive of the comics. With that in mind, we took a closer look at the new footage, to see what it reveals.
The Big Marvel/Spidey Timeline Crossover
There were technically three trailers released, with the short teaser (which featured Spidey’s POV and Jon Favreau’s Happy Hogan), the official teaser that debuted on “Jimmy Kimmel Live,” and the international trailer, which true to studio president Kevin Feige’s word had a handful of choice details distinguishing it from the main spot. Each shed a little more light on the film, not the least of which was that first one, which seemed to show a scene that would have been concurrent to his “Civil War” appearance. After having originally toiled in some low-rent DIY superhero gear, we see Happy deliver the official, Stark-engineered costume to an excited Peter, who we know will then join Tony and a host of other heroes to battle Captain America’s gang, as depicted with great fanfare last summer.
The international trailer even goes so far as to actually begin with “Captain America: Civil War”’s “underoos!” reveal moment, which is quickly followed by Peter asking Tony whether he’ll be able to keep the high-tech suit. This all goes a long way to say, “Spider-Man: Homecoming” will, at the very least, match up somewhat with Spidey’s first onscreen appearance, perhaps as an early prelude.
The Kid’s Got Taste
When we first met this new Spider-Man in “Captain America: Civil War,” it was to the tune of Alt-J’s “Left Hand Free.” Now, the new trailer is set to MGMT’s “Time to Pretend.” These are subtle cues, but they give audiences a sense of this Peter’s personality: he’s into those experimental-type alt-rockers who have occasional cases of the feels. Not hard to see how the brainy but occasionally anti-social kid could identify with that.
The Suit Really is Cool
Sure, we already knew Spidey’s new Iron Man-issued suit came with cool eye-expanding features, and the teaser showcased the web-wings, but how about that reveal that Peter can pull off a quick-unrobe just by pressing the spider on the center of his chest? Tony Stark thinks of everything, no wonder Peter’s thrilled he gets to keep it.
More Appropriated Alien Tech
The design of the tool the robbers are using in the ATM robbery scene looks an awful lot like an weapon left over from the Battle of New York, AKA the Chitauri invasion seen in the first “Avengers” film. This continues the tradition for Marvel, which has depicted this kind of misappropriated weaponry among the thieving class in the “Item 47” one-shot short film, as well as on “Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.” This kind of continuity threading looks like just one of the many ways this Sony/Marvel team-up will ground the world in the latter’s blockbuster universe.
So we know that, despite all appearances, Jacob Batalon is portraying Ned Leeds, not Ganke Lee — the character that in the comics is besties with Spider-successor Miles Morales — but it appears he will serve a similar role as the MCU Peter’s confidant. Between the extensive casting of classmates and teachers, it was clear that Peter’s school would play a big part in the movie, but as we see Parker and Leeds exhibit the hormonal behavior of teens, gawking at Liz Allen and getting rightly called out on it by Zendaya’s Michelle, or Leeds discovering Peter’s duel-identity, it’s clear that there will be no escape from the travails of youth for our young Spider-Man.
The Birdman’s Got Talons
“The world’s changing, boys. It’s time we changed too.” So says Michael Keaton’s Vulture, as he appears to lead a cadre of criminals with some extra-powered gear suited to the MCU’s super-powered world. While Adrian Toomes has often been a decrepit punch-line in the comics, Keaton’s performance looks to give him an edge (with maybe a side of ham). He threatens Spidey as directly as any Green Goblin ever has, and with his extravagant wing setup (and righteous feathering around his neck) he seems like a more than fair matchup for a Stark-suited Spidey.
He’s No Avenger (Yet)
Fans of the Disney XD “Ultimate Spider-Man” show will recognize the plotline that Spider-Man is training his way up to join the varsity Avengers squad, though he’s decidedly redshirted at present. We see Robert Downey Jr. giving Tom Holland a pep-talk regarding his heroing prospects, but at the outset he’s got a ways to go. Protest though Peter does, no self-respecting Avenger would be caught dead watching highlights of himself on the Internet. Millennials, amiright? (You’re right, Tony totally would).
The Team-Up You Knew Was Coming
Both the national and international trailers end with an exciting shot of Spider-Man and a new-suit-rocking Iron Man rushing off towards danger, confirming that we can expect more than one hero’s “Homecoming.” But what will inspire the team-up? Will Keaton’s Vulture prove to be too great a threat for Spidey to handle solo? That doesn’t seem like the strongest way to establish the newest (and potentially most popular) hero of the MCU. Could there be another, greater threat lurking? One that sets the course for the greater arc of the ongoing Marvel big-screen adventure?
It’s early to say, but from what we’ve seen of the Marvel/Sony Spidey effort so far, we shouldn’t expect to be disappointed.
Directed by Jon Watts (“Clown”), written by John Francis Daley and Jonathan M. Goldstein (“Vacation”) and starring Tom Holland, Michael Keaton, Marisa Tomei, Robert Downey Jr., Zendaya, Donald Glover and many, many others, “Spider-Man: Homecoming” swings into theaters on July 7, 2017.
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