With Spider-man Far From Home out, now is a perfect time to talk about my complicated relationship with Spider-man.
I was iffy about seeing Spider-man Homecoming, and Far From Home for a long time, and there’s a few reasons for that.
What’s quite an unpopular opinion of mine is that Andrew Garfield was my favourite Spider-man, so I originally felt they moved onto redoing Spider-Man before Andrew Garfield’s suit was even cold.
Having been a kid when Tobey Maguire was Spider-man, I should have the nostalgia towards his series as everyone else does – but I don’t. As a girl, even though I was a tomboy and already into ”boy things” at the time, superheroes were just “not for girls” so I only got to see bits and pieces of Maguire before being told to leave it for the boys. I remember enjoying what I did see of Spider-man at the time, but as I said, I was steered away from superheroes. Little girls were not welcome into that world in the early 2000s.
It was when I was a teenager that Andrew Garfield was cast that I watched the Amazing Spider-man on a plane to Newark (and then rewatched it on the same trip), and fell in love. I went back and watched the original trilogy when I got home, and also loved it (dare I say, even the second hand embarrassment from Spider-Man 3)
However, Andrew Garfield was the Spider-man that got me hooked. The Amazing Spider-man solidified my love even more – I actually wanted a tattoo of the hand in Peter’s web when he tried to save Gwen. So as you can imagine, with the Amazing Spider-man setting itself up for a third film, and then let Garfield go pissed me off.
I also much preferred Gwen in the Amazing Spider-man to Mary Jane and Gwen in Spider-man. I feel like 2000s female characters didn’t have any development outside being love interests or damsels in distress -or both. Gwen in the Amazing Spider-man on the other hand was her own person, and strong without needing to lose her femininity or physically kick ass. Her chemistry with Peter was also better but that’s due to Emma Stone and Andrew Garfield actually being together at the time. What’s finally becoming a thing in Hollywood is female characters actually being developed like realistic normal people, like the current Mj, who I think Zendaya is doing a great job with.
Tom Holland as Spider-Man didn’t make a good first impression on me. Holland first appeared in the Avengers in Captain America: Civil War, and completely rubbed me up the wrong way. Although Spider-man is a smart ass in comics and movies, he got on my nerves in Civil War, and it was really around Civil War and Age of Ultron that I drifted from the Avengers.
What’s been conflicting was, that as much as I wasn’t a fan of Holland in Civil War, since he’s been cast as Spider-Man I like him as an actor and person.
I only watched Homecoming a few days before going to Far From Home, and like all Spider-Man films before, I really enjoyed it.
I can see where people are coming from when they said Andrew Garfield was too cool and attractive for the role, whereas Tobey Maguire was so awkward it was hard to watch. Tom Holland is perfectly in-between both – while also passing much better as a teenager as his predecessors.
When they first announced they we were getting our third Spider-man in only 14 years (when we don’t include Into the Spiderverse), the concern was that we were getting another origin story. We saw Peter become Spider-Man and see Uncle Ben die enough already that people wanted a different story, Twitter was even suggesting recasting Maguire for a story about later on in Peter’s life.
What I liked about Homecoming and Far From Home was that it was completely different. Unlike the others which were continuations of a self contained story, you need to have seen it at least be aware of what happened in the Avengers movies to get the story.
So yes, Tom Holland won me over.