Spider-Man recap: what led the MCU's youngest hero to his 'Avengers' debut
When “Avengers: Infinity War” hits theaters April 27, it will mark 10 years since “Iron Man” launched the Marvel Cinematic Universe. In this series, we check in with the key “Infinity War” players — the road they’ve taken and the path ahead. Today, we’re taking a look at everyone’s friendly neighborhood webhead, Tom Holland’s Spider-Man.
Caught in the web: One of Marvel’s signature characters, Spider-Man played a critical role in helping to launch the MCU. Spidey hit the big screen for the first time in 2002, with the start of Tobey Maguire’s trilogy.
Of course, teen heroes age out of the role quickly, so Marvel opted for a reboot starting in 2012 with a pair of turns by Andrew Garfield as “The Amazing Spider-Man.”
A few years later, Marvel delivered Tom Holland’s well-received Generation Z version of Spidey. Holland was just 15 years old when he debuted as Spidey in “Captain America: Civil War.”
In that film, Robert Downey Jr.’s Tony Stark tracks down Peter Parker after learning about the powerful webbing the teen invented. Stark believed he could use the web to safely reign in Captain America. When Stark discovered that Parker was just a regular 15-year-old kid living in Queens with his Aunt May (Marisa Tomei), the billionaire invited him to take part in the film’s epic superhero showdown.
With great power: Although Parker is desperate to prove himself as a hero, Stark isn’t so sure. He nevertheless gifts Parker a state-of-the-art costume with functionality similar to the Iron Man armor. While the suit came in handy in his first solo adventure, Peter relied on his own ingenuity to defeat Michael Keaton’s Eugene Toomes, a tech-powered foe with a vendetta against the Avengers.
The iron spider: At the end of “Spider-Man: Homecoming,” Stark offered Parker the chance to join the Avengers, even teasing an updated costume. Peter refused that offer, but “Infinity War” trailers suggest the threat of Thanos makes him change his mind.
The Stark-designed “Iron Spider” costume pays homage to a suit from the comics, also developed by Tony Stark. Early images from “Infinity War” also suggest that, like the comic book version of the suit, the new design will feature four metal appendages that function like giant spider legs.
Sense deprivation: Although the costume that Peter Parker was gifted by Tony Stark has all sorts of amazing features, there’s one classic ability that the MCU Spidey doesn’t have: a Spider-Sense.
In the comics, Spider-Man is able to use his Spider-Sense as an early warning system against danger, be it an attack from a supervillain or even a threat against his secret identity. That skill would have come in handy in “Spider-Man: Homecoming,” particularly in the film’s final scene when Aunt May discovers Peter in his Spider-Man costume.
Maybe a Spider-Sense is an ability that young Peter simply hasn’t realized yet. In the “Infinity War” trailer, we see the hair on his arm stand up with the approach of Thanos’ forces.
Beyond infinity: Little has been revealed about Marvel’s plans for a “Spider-Man: Homecoming” sequel, but a July 5, 2019 release date has been set, just two months after the webhead (presumably) returns for a fourth “Avengers” outing. “Homecoming” director Jon Watts is on board and it’s been suggested that Spidey will be paired with another MCU hero, as was the case with Iron Man in “Homecoming”.
Expanding Spider-Verse: “Infinity War” isn’t the only Spider-Man movie hitting the big screen in 2018. Although not set in the same Marvel Cinematic Universe, “Venom” will arrive in October from Sony. Based on the Spider-Man villain and played by Tom Hardy, the film will be directed by Ruben Fletcher (“Zombieland”).
Just two months after “Venom,” Sony will release “Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse.” Scripted by Phil Lord and Chris Miller, the animated adventure is set in a reality where another young man, Miles Morales, weaves the iconic webs.