With actor Tom Holland set to don the Spidey mask this summer in Captain America: Civil War, moviegoers will have seen three different incarnations of the character in the past thirteen years. That’s a lot for one character, especially considering that Andrew Garfield’s era as the web-slinger was cut well short of initial plans in order to usher in a new era of a united Marvel universe. With three different versions of Spider-Man existing in such a short timeline, comparisons between them are almost inevitable. And so, we at TeeHunter are proud to present the most definitely not definitive and hardly scientific guide to the three eras of Spidey: Spider-Man vs. Spider-Man vs. Spider-Man.
Tobey Maguire in Spider-Man, Spider-Man 2, and Spider-Man 3
Tobey may not have been the very first actor to bring Spider-Man to the big screen, but chances are he’s the first one most people remember. The original Spider-Man movies helped bring to life the modern superhero movie and presented the comic book character in a way fans had never seen him before. Sure, looking back, segments of the stories were overdone, and parts of the acting certainly left something to be desired, but that doesn’t change the fact that at the time these movies came out, people loved them. Uncle Ben’s line “with great power comes great responsibility” is still quoted to this day, and chances are that somewhere, some couple is attempting to reenact Spider-Man and Mary Jane’s famous upside down kiss. The original Spider-Man trilogy is a pop culture icon, and though Tobey Maguire’s rendition of the character may not have been stellar, it was the first really good performance we were given, and for that he scores some major points.
Andrew Garfield in The Amazing Spider-Man and The Amazing Spider-Man 2
When Andrew Garfield came onto the scene, many were still lamenting the fact that Tobey Maguire was passing on the Spidey torch. In spite of this skepticism, Garfield slipped on the iconic red and blue mask and took the character in what most everyone would agree is a positive direction. There was a lot to love about The Amazing Spider-Man movies, chiefly the simply perfect relationship between Peter Parker and Gwen Stacy. It arguably the most successful on-screen relationship in any superhero movie to date, which is also why Gwen’s bell tower death scene is one of the most gripping, riveting scenes in in the superhero genre. In fact, Gwen’s death was both the crowning moment of the series as well as the decision that sealed its fate. There are undoubtedly an entire host of reasons why the series was called off, but one of the reasons has to be the fact that Andrew Garfield’s Spider-Man would simply never be the same without his chemistry with Emma Stone’s Gwen Stacy. Regardless, The Amazing Spider-Man and The Amazing Spider-Man 2 were both incredibly well-acted, emotionally gripping films. With a more coherent plot they could have easily been two of the best superhero movies in recent years, and some would argue that they are anyway.
Tom Holland in Captain America: Civil War (And Others??)
It’s difficult to evaluate a performance that has yet to take place, but even before the first glimpses of Holland as Spider-Man ever air there are a few things we know for sure. First, Tom Holland will be the youngest actor to portray the character, by far. Holland is 19 years old, compared to Andrew Garfield who was 29 when he started slinging from building to building. Another thing we know is that Holland will be the first actor of the three who has the chance to play the character alongside some of Marvel’s other top tier heroes. Is Spider-Man a team player? How will a hero who is so young be treated by veterans such as Captain America and Iron Man? Just as significant, how will the character be portrayed now that he is finally in the hands of Marvel Studios and being thrust into the grand scheme? While we may not know the answers to these questions yet, one certainty is that Holland’s portrayal of your friendly neighborhood Spider-Man is going to be unlike any we have seen before. Will it be more memorable than Tobey Maguire’s Spider-Man, more gripping than Andrew Garfield’s Spider-Man, or will it be a portrayal entirely its own? Only time will tell.
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