The Captain Comics Guide to Who's Who in 'Spider-Man: Homecoming'

Copyright Marvel Films

Spidey faces off against The Vulture in this concept art for Spider-Man: Homecoming. Vulture doesn’t look like an old guy does he?

By Andrew A. Smith

Tribune Content Agency

Spider-Man: Homecoming arrives July 7, and with it a raft of characters familiar to comics fans but not to the world at large. Actually, even comics fans will have to re-meet these characters, since the Marvel Cinematic Universe never repeats what it can improve.

With SPOILERS AHOY, here’s most of the cast:

THE VULTURE

Adrian Toomes is one of Spider-Man’s oldest foes, in both senses of the word. He first appeared in the second issue of Amazing Spider-Man way back in 1963. He’s also, like, a really old geezer.

Toomes is also an electronics genius, and invented an electromagnetic flying harness that defies gravity and augments his strength and stamina. (His wings are mainly for maneuverability and, you know, awesomeness.) A number of other characters have used his technology to become The Vulture, but the old bird (ha!) always claws his way back into harness.

Most of this will still apply to the character -- along with greater depth, motivation and background -- as brought to life by Michael Keaton in the movie. Keaton, you might recall, played the Dark Knight in Batman (1989) and Batman Returns (1992). So he was a good guy in DC movies, and now he’s a bad guy in Marvel films.

It brings to mind an otherwise nonsensical quote from The Dark Knight, another Batman movie. “You either die a hero,” said Harvey Dent (Aaron Eckhart) in 2008, “or you live long enough to see yourself become the villain.”

Oddly, Keaton also played a character called Birdman, which is kind of a cross between Batman and Vulture.

THE TERRIBLE TINKERER

Electronic geniuses were thick on the ground in Amazing Spider-Man #2, because Phineas Mason first appeared in that issue. But unlike The Vulture, the self-named Tinkerer uses his talents to make gadgets and weapons for other villains. In his first appearance he appeared to be an alien wearing a rubber mask, but that later proved to be a ruse, as he is all too human (and cranky).

The list of supervillains he’s worked for ranges from big guns like The Scorpion and Mysterio to popguns like Rocket Racer and The Big Wheel. But whatever he builds, it’s usually pretty lethal. He’ll be played by Michael Chernus.

"The Tinkerer is a stupid name," declared my wife, and yes, yes, it is. That's why you won't hear it in the movie, where Mason is essentially The Vulture's right-hand stooge.

Copyright Marvel Comics Inc.

Both Vulture and Tinkerer debuted in the second issue of Amazing Spider-Man, back in 1963. Art by Steve Ditko.

THE SHOCKER

Herman Schultz first appeared in 1967 when his “vibro-shock gauntlets” and his padded, quilt-pattern outfit might – I repeat, might – have been imposing. But it wasn’t long before he became something of a joke, terrified of Spider-Man and usually working as a lackey for more dangerous characters.

The movie Shocker is a bit of a mystery -- and I will leave it that way -- in that there are two of them. One is Herman Schultz (Bokeem Woodbine), like in the comics, but the other is named Jackson Brice (Logan Marshall-Green). Sharp-eyed Spider-readers will recognize that as the real name of a character named Montana, who first appeared as part of a trio called The Enforcers in 1964.

The Enforcers worked for a gang leader named The Big Man, and consisted of Montana, who was handy with a lariat; Ox, who was strong and dumb; and Fancy Dan, who was short, dressed stylishly and knew judo. It’s a bit of mystery why anyone with a gun would be afraid of these guys, but 1964 was a long time ago and we must smile indulgently.

As to the Shockers, the characters will be referred to that way, but thankfully there will be no costumes that look like something your grandmother crocheted.

Copyright Marvel Comics Inc.

What’s shocking about The Shocker is that anybody ever took a man dressed in a quilt seriously. From Amazing Spider-Man #46, 1967, art by John Romita Sr.

OMELETS AND EASTER EGGS

* Returning from their Spider-world debut in Captain America: Civil War are AUNT MAY (Marisa Tomei) and TONY STARK (Robert Downey Jr.). Absolutely no one who has seen a trailer should be surprised by this, but they are too important to leave off the list.

* PEPPER POTTS (Gwyneth Paltrow) and HAPPY HOGAN (Jon Favreau) makes their first appearance in an MCU movie since Iron Man 3. Happy's role is pretty extensive (and hilarious), but Pepper's is more of a cameo. Still, seeing Tony, Pepper and Happy in the same shot is not only a shout-out to Iron Man-the-movie, but also to early issues of Tales of Suspense, where the Armored Avenger made his debut.

* Jennifer Connelly, who played Betty Ross in Hulk (2003), will be heard as KAREN, the voice of the Spider-Man suit’s artificial intelligence, and not as Betty Ross, because Hulk isn’t considered MCU canon. Interestingly, Connelly’s real-life husband Paul Bettany was the voice of the Iron Man suit’s artificial intelligence, before being cast as The Vision.

* PRINCIPAL MORITA (Kenneth Choi) isn’t from the comics. But a PAT MORITA, also played by Choi, appeared in Captain America: The First Avenger as one of the Howling Commandos in World War II. What a tangled web we weave!

* Donald Glover plays AARON DAVIS, who (in the comics) comes from a parallel universe, where he is a villain, The Prowler. More importantly, he is the uncle of that universe’s Spider-Man, Miles Morales, who has recently made a permanent move to this universe, where he and original-recipe Spider-Man are pals. There is no chance this is a coincidence, and I expect to see him in a future movie.

* Michael Mando plays MAC GARGAN. In the comics, Gargan becomes The Scorpion, although not in this movie. That’s what the English majors call foreshadowing.

* ANNE MARIE HOAG (Tyne Daly) was the director of Damage Control in the comics, a company that cleans up and repairs after superhero battles. Yes, Damage Control is making it to the big screen -- dare we hope for a standalone movie some day?

* COACH WILSON isn’t from the comics, but any excuse to get comedian Hannibal Buress on screen is OK by me. The other teachers at Midtown in the cast are either minor comics characters or non-existent. The only item of interest is MS. WARREN (Selenis Leyva), who shares the surname of one of Spidey’s greatest foes, The Jackal.

THE KIDS ARE ALL RIGHT
 
There are lots of students in the cast from Midtown High, where our pal Peter Parker matriculates. In most cast lists, they only have first names. Some, however, are pretty obvious.

* NED (Jacob Batalon) is likely the movie version of Ned Leeds, a character that didn’t appear in the comics until he was an adult, where he was a rival for the affections of Peter’s first girlfriend, J. Jonah Jameson’s secretary Betty Brant. Since there’s a BETTY in the cast (Angourie Rice), she’s pretty obviously the Betty we already know. Look for a lot of Ned, but Betty is mostly seen in group shots.

* Flirty LIZ (Laura Harrier) and bully FLASH (Tony Revolori) are undoubtedly Liz Allan, a near-miss for comic book Peter in the girlfriend department, and Flash Thompson, perpetual persecutor. Both have meaty roles here.

* MICHELLE is a character who doesn’t exist in the comics -- at least by that name. But since she’s played by Disney star Zendaya, allowances can be made.

The other kids aren’t so obvious or important -- at least for now. But the Marvel movies wiki (marvelcinematicuniverse.wikia.com) lists some last names that hint at future possibilities. That’s to be taken with a web-shooter full of salt, of course. But if they’re correct, then:

* SALLY (Isabella Amara), JASON (Jorge Lendeborg Jr.) and TINY (Ethan Dizon) are three characters introduced in the 25-issue Untold Tales of Spider-Man, launched in 2011 to fill in gaps between the first 23 issues of Amazing Spider-Man. Spoiler: Not all of them made it out alive.

* ABE (Abraham Attah) is Abraham Brown, introduced in Deadly Hands of Kung Fu magazine as an adult in 1974, one of the mystically-powered martial artists Sons of the Tiger. He later went solo as Black Tiger, and turned out to be the brother of Hobie Brown, this universe’s Prowler, who is a good guy.

* CINDY (Tiffany Espensen) is Cindy Moon, who (in the comics) grows up to be the superhero Silk.  CHARLES (Michael Barbieri) is Charlie Murphy, who (in the comics) is one of Peter’s high school tormentors. SEYMOUR (J.J. Totah) is Seymour O’Reilly, in another one of Flash's sycophants who (in the comics) later comes to a sticky end as the D-list supervillain Darter.

As noted, what happened in the comics won’t necessarily happen on screen. But it might!
 
Find Captain Comics by email (capncomics@aol.com), on his website (captaincomics.ning.com), on Facebook (Captain Comics Round Table) or on Twitter (@CaptainComics).

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We finally saw it yesterday, and both enjoyed it a lot.

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Captain Comics said:

The list of supervillains he’s worked for ranges from big guns like The Scorpion and Mysterio to popguns like Rocket Racer and The Big Wheel. But whatever he builds, it’s usually pretty lethal. He’ll be played by Michael Chernus.

The Tinkerer and The Scorpion will probably (I hope) join forces for the next Spider-Man movie. I think this is even more likely because of the mid-credits discussion between Toomes and Mac Gargan. The second post credits bit was priceless.

The movie Shocker is a bit of a mystery -- and I will leave it that way -- in that there are two of them. One is Herman Schultz (Bokeem Woodbine), like in the comics, but the other is named Jackson Brice (Logan Marshall-Green).
As to the Shockers, the characters will be referred to that way, but thankfully there will be no costumes that look like something your grandmother crocheted.

I never thought of The Shocker as lame and I actually liked his costume. I thought the movie did a good job of presenting his power. YMMV

Returning from their Spider-world debut in Captain America: Civil War are AUNT MAY (Marisa Tomei) and TONY STARK (Robert Downey Jr.). Absolutely no one who has seen a trailer should be surprised by this, but they are too important to leave off the list.

Marisa Tomei does look good but is not ridiculously young-looking. The actress will be 53 at the end of this year and is not unbelievable as the aunt of a 15-year-old. They had her worrying about Peter when he keeps disappearing without her being too much of a helicopter-type. I love the last scene she has with him.

PEPPER POTTS (Gwyneth Paltrow) and HAPPY HOGAN (Jon Favreau) makes their first appearance in an MCU movie since Iron Man 3. Happy's role is pretty extensive (and hilarious), but Pepper's is more of a cameo. Still, seeing Tony, Pepper and Happy in the same shot is not only a shout-out to Iron Man-the-movie, but also to early issues of Tales of Suspense, where the Armored Avenger made his debut.

I remember how happy I was to see Tony, Happy and Pepper on the big screen in the first Iron Man movie. It was something I never expected to see and still enjoy.

Jennifer Connelly, who played Betty Ross in Hulk (2003), will be heard as KAREN, the voice of the Spider-Man suit’s artificial intelligence, and not as Betty Ross, because Hulk isn’t considered MCU canon. Interestingly, Connelly’s real-life husband Paul Bettany was the voice of the Iron Man suit’s artificial intelligence, before being cast as The Vision.

That’s an interesting connection. I wonder if it was intentional.

PRINCIPAL MORITA (Kenneth Choi) isn’t from the comics. But a PAT MORITA, also played by Choi, appeared in Captain America: The First Avenger as one of the Howling Commandos in World War II. What a tangled web we weave!

I noticed that Principal Morita had a framed photo presumably of his father (grandfather) in an Army uniform and also some medals in a frame. Connecting the Howling Commandos (movie version) to Midtown High makes me hum “It’s a Small World,” as does the later reveal of Toomes as Liz’s father.

Donald Glover plays AARON DAVIS, who (in the comics) comes from a parallel universe, where he is a villain, The Prowler. More importantly, he is the uncle of that universe’s Spider-Man, Miles Morales, who has recently made a permanent move to this universe, where he and original-recipe Spider-Man are pals. There is no chance this is a coincidence, and I expect to see him in a future movie.

IIRC, he was looking to buy something (suction cups?) that sounded very Prowler-like. Like Shocker #2, he is well-written and engaging.

NED (Jacob Batalon) is likely the movie version of Ned Leeds, a character that didn’t appear in the comics until he was an adult, where he was a rival for the affections of Peter’s first girlfriend, J. Jonah Jameson’s secretary Betty Brant. Since there’s a BETTY in the cast (Angourie Rice), she’s pretty obviously the Betty we already know. Look for a lot of Ned, but Betty is mostly seen in group shots.

Other than his name, Ned doesn’t seem to have any similarity to Ned Leeds of the comics, which is fine by me. His character was enormously likable. The Betty Brant (full name was given on screen) character seems to be an on-air reporter on what seems to be a Midtown High TV station. I didn’t notice her otherwise.

Flirty LIZ (Laura Harrier) and bully FLASH (Tony Revolori) are undoubtedly Liz Allan, a near-miss for comic book Peter in the girlfriend department, and Flash Thompson, perpetual persecutor. Both have meaty roles here.

Interestingly, Flash in the movie is presented as a science student good enough to go to a school competition instead of a kinda dim football player. He still picks on Peter, but not to an extreme. Liz is obviously not Liz Allan due to the reveal about her father. In the context of the story, she is a pretty female version of Harry Osborn. She’s the child of his enemy, who finds out who Spider-Man is and is saved from a fire by him (like in ASM #40). In the movie, Toomes thankfully doesn’t come down with amnesia and we are left to wonder if he is grateful enough to not use the information or will use it nefariously.

MICHELLE is a character who doesn’t exist in the comics -- at least by that name. But since she’s played by Disney star Zendaya, allowances can be made.

The Michelle character is very amusing and likable. I think it was a strange choice to thrown in at the end that she liked being called MJ. I obviously wasn’t the only comics type in the theater as there were loud groans when she said this. The actress has spent some time denying that she is playing Mary Jane Watson.

I’m very glad that only a passing reference was made to the infamous spider-bite and that a huge chunk of the movie wasn’t wasted rehashing his origin.

Great comments, Richard! And I agree especially that Ned, Shocker and Aaron Davis were all well-written and interesting. And Davis was lukewarm on the alien tech until someone mentioned climbing gear.
I also liked that the principal was probably related to a Howling Commando, but it was just an Easter egg.

I saw Spider-Man: Homecoming on Monday. My thoughts:

  • Is that the old Spider-Man cartoon show theme in orchestral mode? Nice!
  • "A Film by Peter Parker." Wha -- ?
  • Oh, I see now. This is Peter Parker's video diary as he goes to fight in Captain America: Civil War. Nice touch that they totally, completely dispensed with rehashing the origin, assuming quite rightly that we already know that stuff ... and even if we don't, that's a story that was told in another movie, so we don't have to tell it in this one, because we're giving you a different story here.
  • That said, giving us the bird's-eye (spider's-eye?) view of the Civil War battle was a nice way to bring our boy into the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
  • As noted above, "Ned" is a dead ringer for Ganke Lee, Miles Morales's buddy from Ultimate Spider-Man. Jacob Batalon did a fine job in the role.
  • The whole Midtown High School setting was a mashup from the various Spider-Man stories, with Daily Bugle co-worker Betty Brant doing the TV reports on the school video and "Ned" (and why didn't they just call him "Ganke"?) as Peter's buddy. Not to mention the multicultural spin on things, with Liz and Michelle being biracial, and Flash Thompson being Latino.
  • Speaking of the Daily Bugle -- well, nobody spoke of the Daily Bugle. That's just as well; although we lose J. Jonah Jameson as a character, the whole business of Peter selling photos to the Daily Bugle which only uses them to trash Spider-Man's reputation got harder and harder for me to swallow as the years went on. And in this day and age, the movie has it right: Peter Parker would be posting his exploits himself on YouTube or other social media, not putting up with Jameson's crap.
  • Damage Control is a federal agency? I can't say I fully like that idea, although I suppose it makes sense.
  • Michael Keaton -- just like Robert Redford in Captain America: The Winter Soldier or Michael Douglas in Ant-Man, Keaton has been doing this for so long, he can convey more than just the words coming out of his mouth. He's come a long way from his beginnings doing slob comedies like Night Shift.
  • Since when is Aunt May that hot young? And Italian? 
  • This movie gave me the feeling those early comics readers must have had in seeing Peter Parker's hard-luck life. Like getting an invite to a party hosted by the prettiest girl in school, and almost immediately ditching it to go play superhero -- but he can't get to the scene he wants to investigate because he can't fly like Superman, he doesn't have a car like Batman, he doesn't have a plane like Wonder Woman, so all he can do is run!
  • Likewise, going to the science competition in Washington, D.C. with his classmates -- but not actually making it to the event. 
  • I'm not totally comfortable with the notion that he got a high-tech costume from Tony Stark, although I suppose it makes sense.
  • That said, I liked how the mask works with the eyes widening and narrowing -- duplicating the look from the comics -- even though there's no earthly reason why they should.
  • Stan Lee sighting! And this time, the character has a name!
  • Speaking of that trip to Washington, how cool is it they got to visit the Washington Monument? I knew then I was watching a science-fiction movie: The elevator works.
  • The whole business with the ferry: Ouch. God, Peter must have felt lower than a worm's underside after that screwup.
  • At least there's the Homecoming Dance. Nice moment with Aunt May teaching Peter how to tie a tie. Now, off to greet his date Liz and meet her parents.... 
  • What happened to the *jaw drop" smilie? This definitely calls for the *jaw drop" smilie! 
  • Well, here's a substitute: 
  • Michael Keaton really shines here, as he takes Peter and Liz to the dance and figures out who Peter is.
  • Here's that "great responsibility" weighing on Peter: he immediately ditches Liz at the dance to take down her father. Ouch.
  • Okay, Peter has to commandeer Flash's (dad's) car ... but what happened to the scene I kept seeing all over TV and the web (heh!) where Peter is taking the test for his driver's license? Did that land on the cutting room floor?
  • Nice touch that Peter's homemade costume was basically the Scarlet Spider's outfit from the comics.
  • Another nice nod to the comics: Peter fighting to break loose from all the machinery and rubble he was buried under. And the half-face/half-mask reflection in the water. Cool.
  • The battle to stop the plane ... wow. And he did it with no help from Stark or Happy Hogan. 
  • It occurs to me that Happy had more lines and more character development in this movie than he did in all three Iron Man movies put together.
  • I get that The Vulture had a mad-on for Spider-Man and needed to defeat him, but was it really smart to try to squash him on an airplane in flight? Ah well, if he was thinking, instead of reacting, he wouldn't have done it.
  • That goodbye to Liz: Ouch. Liz was right to ask what he was apologizing for, but what could he say? Not, "I ditched you at the dance," but, "I put your father in prison"? Ouch.
  • Nice call at the end for Peter to decline membership in the Avengers, realizing that after all he's been through where he was totally in over his head, in joining he would be more so.
  • And yes, it's about time Aunt May was let in on the secret. Surely they wouldn't have kept her in the dark if Peter had joined the Avengers?

I have no problem with Aunt May being younger -- Pete's 15, so his mother's sister shouldn't be any older than 40s or 50s (Sorvino is 51), not in her dotage. There was no reason in the original comics for making May so old, or no reason that I've read. Did Ditko just draw her like he drew old ladies in earlier comics (we've seen proto-Aunt Mays in his suspense stories)? And then Lee just ran with it, making her sickly so that Pete had more problems than your average kid?

Anyway, just like you said with JJJ and the photos, I'm done with Pete worrying about his aunt's health. I've read all those stories, they were good but it's past the point of plausibility, so let's move on to the 21st century. Like I've said a million times, mythology has to evolve or die. Pete has to be relatable to new generations, not just us. Freeze him in the Lee-Ditko years, and we lose all subsequent generations -- and Spider-Man dies.

Also, May knowing the secret is not only untrod territory, but makes sense in the 21st century, when parents are a LOT more aware of where their kids are than when I was young. (My mother hardly ever knew where I was, who I was with, or what I was doing, even before I became a teenager, when I escaped supervision entirely. Today's parents only have to check the videogame room to find their kids.) I'm looking forward to seeing this new dynamic play out.

Also, Marisa Tomei may be Italian (I don't know, but I assume), but there's no reason to assume Aunt May is. Her name is "May," not "Maria," and she married a guy named Ben Parker. Anyway, she may or may not be of Italian heritage, but since she's not a blood relative (she married the brother of Pete's father, Richard Parker), it doesn't affect Peter Parker's genetic heritage in any way.

I still see a lot of schtick in Keaton's performances (sometimes I predict "here's where he'll cock on eyebrow" or "here's where he does the look-away-look-back thing to show frustration"). But I do appreciate a veteran actor in the role, and not just because The Vulture is supposed to be somewhat older. Keaton made the drive-to-the-prom thing genuinely chilling, bringing the menace in the quiet way an older actor can.

Did anyone think Pete was going to have to reveal his ID at the press conference? They might have been suggesting that, with the similarity of the scene to the one in "Civil War" (the comics). But what I saw was a similarity to the last scene in "Iron Man" -- a sort of passing of the torch, where Peter takes a new generation's path instead of the one taken by Tony Stark. Either way, the scene was genuinely disturbing, because we all know what a bad idea it would be for Pete to become an Avenger (or reveal his ID). I was sure he would turn it down, but was sincerely worried that he wouldn't -- Holland's performance firmly established Pete's ability to make bad decisions. That's good movies.

Liz really is Liz Allan -- i've read stories where Kevin Feige calls her that. Perhaps she is supposed to be the same character but is now Liz Toomes, or maybe Keaton is her stepfather. Anyway, it doesn't matter, because metaphorically she's Harry Osborn.

I was so tense in the first third of the movie ("Don't screw this up. Don't screw this up. Don't screw this up.") that I forgot to laugh. When I relaxed and began chuckling at the stuff that was supposed to be funny, I really, really enjoyed it.

Captain Comics said:

I have no problem with Aunt May being younger -- Pete's 15, so his mother's sister shouldn't be any older than 40s or 50s (Sorvino is 51), not in her dotage. There was no reason in the original comics for making May so old, or no reason that I've read. Did Ditko just draw her like he drew old ladies in earlier comics (we've seen proto-Aunt Mays in his suspense stories)? And then Lee just ran with it, making her sickly so that Pete had more problems than your average kid?

Anyway, just like you said with JJJ and the photos, I'm done with Pete worrying about his aunt's health. I've read all those stories, they were good but it's past the point of plausibility, so let's move on to the 21st century. Like I've said a million times, mythology has to evolve or die. Pete has to be relatable to new generations, not just us. Freeze him in the Lee-Ditko years, and we lose all subsequent generations -- and Spider-Man dies.

Also, May knowing the secret is not only untrod territory, but makes sense in the 21st century, when parents are a LOT more aware of where their kids are than when I was young. (My mother hardly ever knew where I was, who I was with, or what I was doing, even before I became a teenager, when I escaped supervision entirely. Today's parents only have to check the videogame room to find their kids.) I'm looking forward to seeing this new dynamic play out.

Also, Marisa Tomei may be Italian (I don't know, but I assume), but there's no reason to assume Aunt May is. Her name is "May," not "Maria," and she married a guy named Ben Parker. Anyway, she may or may not be of Italian heritage, but since she's not a blood relative (she married the brother of Pete's father, Richard Parker), it doesn't affect Peter Parker's genetic heritage in any way.

It's not an assumption that the movie Aunt May is Italian (as is Marisa Tomei) -- the guy who ran the neighborhood bodega said so when Peter stopped in for groceries. And she's not his mother's sister, but sister-in-law, so she really could be any age between 18 and decrepit.

And yeah, I should get over May not being white-haired and wrinkled and frail and I will ... eventually. I agree, dispensing with her being perpetually sickly is a good move. As is her being somewhat of a helicopter parent; after all, she's a widow because her husband was murdered, something that was unstated but maybe should have been, briefly.

I missed the reference in the bodega exchange. Thanks!

ClarkKent_DC said:

The whole Midtown High School setting was a mashup from the various Spider-Man stories, with Daily Bugle co-worker Betty Brant doing the TV reports on the school video and "Ned" (and why didn't they just call him "Ganke"?) as Peter's buddy. Not to mention the multicultural spin on things, with Liz and Michelle being biracial, and Flash Thompson being Latino.

I don’t think we can assume Flash’s name is Thompson. I’m pretty sure that the only surname given for any of the students was Betty’s. This allowed them to avoid giving Liz’s surname without our being suspicious, and thus avoid calling her Liz Toomes, if that's her name.

Michael Keaton -- just like Robert Redford in Captain America: The Winter Soldier or Michael Douglas in Ant-Man, Keaton has been doing this for so long, he can convey more than just the words coming out of his mouth. He's come a long way from his beginnings doing slob comedies like Night Shift.

His acting was very impressive. Like I said, he managed to make it ambiguous in the mid-credits scene whether or not he would go after Peter.

This movie gave me the feeling those early comics readers must have had in seeing Peter Parker's hard-luck life. Like getting an invite to a party hosted by the prettiest girl in school, and almost immediately ditching it to go play superhero -- but he can't get to the scene he wants to investigate because he can't fly like Superman, he doesn't have a car like Batman, he doesn't have a plane like Wonder Woman, so all he can do is run!

His hard-luck, hapless persona worked better as a 15-year-old in the early issues than it did as he got older. Since they are wisely starting him at this tender age it also works well in the movie. The lack-of-tall-buildings business, causing him to run, was another call-back to the comics.

The whole business with the ferry: Ouch. God, Peter must have felt lower than a worm's underside after that screwup.

I could easily buy his lifting the heavy debris, which as someone said was an homage to ASM #33. It was harder for me to buy his holding the two halves of the ferry (which should have sunk) together without his arms being torn off.

Okay, Peter has to commandeer Flash's (dad's) car ... but what happened to the scene I kept seeing all over TV and the web (heh!) where Peter is taking the test for his driver's license? Did that land on the cutting room floor?

In the last few years there has been a tendency to show scenes in trailers that aren’t actually in the movies. I wish they didn’t do it.

Nice touch that Peter's homemade costume was basically the Scarlet Spider's outfit from the comics.

I enjoyed that too.

It occurs to me that Happy had more lines and more character development in this movie than he did in all three Iron Man movies put together.

I really enjoyed Happy in all the movies, especially this one. Jon Favreau directed the first two Iron Man movies as well as playing Happy. Not directing probably makes it easier to do all those scenes.

Nice call at the end for Peter to decline membership in the Avengers, realizing that after all he's been through where he was totally in over his head, in joining he would be more so.

Apparently Spider-Man being in Marvel Studios (or Marvel/Sony) movies is something that will be negotiated on a case-by-case basis, so his joining the Avengers wouldn’t work out. I also think Spidey works better as a solo act so they can include his personal life. Avengers movies don’t really get into anyone’s personal life.

Richard Willis said:

I could easily buy his lifting the heavy debris, which as someone said was an homage to ASM #33. It was harder for me to buy his holding the two halves of the ferry (which should have sunk) together without his arms being torn off. 

Yeah, I couldn't swallow that either. As soon as the crack in the ferry's hull fell below the waterline, the whole thing should have sunk within moments.

Just saw the movie tonight, and I'm glad I avoided this thread until now. In some ways I liked the previous S-M movies being independent of the rest of the Marvel Universe; at least I don't remember any mention (or appearances) of the other superheroes. But having this one pick up from the previous Avengers gave them a setup to show Spider-Man proving himself instead of rehashing the origin story again. I enjoyed it, and like Holland in the title role.

Regarding Aunt May as depicted by Ditko, I recall reading somewhere that Ditko loosely based May & Ben on his parents and that they were up in years.  My grandmother was 36 when she had my mother and although only 54 when I was born 19 years later (or just 4 days prior to my mother's 19th birthday) she already looked ancient, very much like Ditko's depiction of Aunt May.  Guess that came from having a very hard life, being married to a country parson who died when my mother was 10 years old. Now I'm 55 myself and I know many 50-somethings who don't look nearly as old my grandmother did when she was in her 50s and in the context of a story featuring a young Peter Parker in the modern era it wouldn't really fit for him to have an Aunt who looks more like his grandmother or even greatgrandmother, rather than the wife of his father's brother.

Anyhow, I thought the new movie was a lot of fun.  The previous movie couldn't really overcome the darkness cast by the death of Gwen Stacy halfway through and although not unexpected by anyone knowledgeable on the Spidey-mythos, it really sucked the life out of the movie IMO.  This new beginning had many dramatic moments and pathos but also kept in a good mix of humor that felt right for the character and situation rather than forced.  Now to see if they can keep the momentum going for at least 3 more Spidey-flicks with this latest version.

I see that they are making a Venom movie, but apparently it is separate from the Spider-Man movies. I'm glad it's separate. It would be hard to maintain the light-hearted tone with Venom.

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