When Marvel announced Captain America: Civil War, the one question on every comic geek’s lips was “What about Spider-Man?”
So Marvel started brokering a deal with Sony and they came to an agreement: Marvel could do two standalone Spidey films and use the character in a few cameos, but Sony got publishing rights to the standalone films and made most of the money (Marvel does, however, finally get to add Spidey to all their MCU merchandise, so they make a little money there). This meant that Marvel got to do the casting, directing and most of the producing. Meaning that we didn’t end up with another flop like the Amazing Spider-Man franchise.
It’s been quite some time since the film came out (my friends and I struggled to book tickets for the release date) and it was glorious. If you still haven’t seen it (where have you been, under a rock?), then I’m giving you a heads up that there are two post-credit scenes… one of them featuring Captain America.
WARNING: SPOILERS AHEAD!!!
(it’s been long enough… right?)
(and besides, this one is just too great not to talk about without spoiling)
Remember when Zendaya was cast as “Michelle” and the internet exploded? And then she told us she wasn’t “MJ” and the internet exploded again? I’ll just clear that up right here: she is MJ, just not the one we’re used to.
And don’t complain about Aunt May being too young, the actress, Marisa Tomei, is 52 years old; besides, she’s his aunt, not his grandmother. No, seriously. If you read the original Spider-Man comics, you’ll note that Peter is practically finishing university at the start, he’s in his early thirties. But over the years his origins were changed and he was made younger and younger so that he was just 15 when the spider bit him; but his aunt and uncle didn’t get the same de-aging treatment, they both stayed old (while the rest of the comic universe was either getting younger or simply just not ageing). In actuality, MCU Aunt May is probably the most logical Aunt May we’ve ever seen (I know right, I’m applying logic to comic book characters, but I’m a comic book geek, it’s what we do best).
Then there was that wonderful clip of Captain America in what appeared to be an old video tape the teachers were playing for the students at Midtown High. When that first popped up in the trailers, people were pretty confused… for a while, then we started to pay attention to the old-style font. In Homecoming, the gym teacher actually explains that the tapes are a required part of the schooling system and that he has to play them even though Cap is now technically a war criminal. So that clears some things up.
If you have seen Homecoming, you may have noticed some continuity errors. Those being that the first Avengers film was supposed to take place in the year it was released, 2012, with Homecoming taking place eight years later, which would put Homecoming (and technically, Civil War) in 2020, but in Civil War, Vision says that Tony announced his identity as Iron Man to the world eight years prior to Civil War; Iron Man is supposed to be set in 2010 (in Iron Man 2, Tony states that it has been six months since he became Iron Man, Iron Man 2 and Thor are supposed to be in the same year, with Nick Fury stating in Avengers “last year Earth had a visitor”, in reference to Loki, putting Iron Man 2 in 2011 and Iron Man 1 in 2010 – even though it was released in 2008).
With all this in mind, it means that either Homecoming and Civil War take place in 2020 or they take place in 2018.
I’m sure Marvel will just do what they do when this happens in the comics and simply say that Doctor Strange messed up a little when he used the Time Stone, or that it was Thanos when he used the Time Stone in the Infinity Gauntlet (more on that thing some other time, seeing as it made an appearance in the first Thor film). Oh, Marvel; why are your continuities so messed up?
Later on in the film, it is revealed that Liz (the girl Peter spends most of the movie crushing on) is Adrian Toomes’ daughter. Adrian Toomes is the Vulture. Whom Spidey is currently pestering. This may come as a shock to some of you but a few months ago, Marvel threw out two prelude comics (Homecoming Prelude Part 1 and Homecoming Prelude Part 2) which revealed that Liz is Vulture’s daughter (not everyone read the comic, and many of those that did didn’t actually notice, it was one of those well-hidden secrets which was actually out in the open). But either way, actually seeing Adrian as Liz’s father still felt like quite the shocker in the film.
One thing that bothered me was the amount of trailers and T.V. spots there were for Homecoming, but literally only the clips from the first two trailers were actually in the movie, the rest were all shot specifically for other events (one of them was a car advertisement, another featured DJ Khaled but was actually an advertisement for some or other biscuit). Those of you that still haven’t seen Homecoming will be very pleased to know that it is a lot more standalone that many of the trailers led us to believe, Iron Man actually has very little involvement (we see him like two or three times, Tony actually has less than 10 minutes screentime).
But now for the most amazing part of the film: the one scene that pays homage to, possibly, Spider-Man’s greatest moment in the comics, his greatest moment of strength.
Remember that bit where Adrian uses the Vulture wing-suit to (basically) drop a building on Spidey? Then Peter loses all hope and starts calling for help because he’s stuck under several tonnes of building rubble? Yeah, that bit.
Look up the cover of Amazing Spider-Man #33 and go to images. In this issue, Spidey was trapped under rubble and machinery in an undersea base, with the ceiling caving down on him; Spider-Man managed to lift the rubble (and effectively bench press the weight of all the water on top of him as well) and escape.
You might be thinking “But Spider-Man isn’t that strong!” And you’d be right, at current, he isn’t that strong, but physically, and at his weakest portrayal, he’s generally on par with Captain America; at his strongest, there was a time when Spider-Man was the fourth strongest man in the world – right up there with Hulk, Thor and The Thing; but according to the comics this wasn’t his strongest, mentioning that he was just a teenager and wasn’t actually in peak physical condition…
PS: they haven’t retconned this yet so he might actually still be the fourth strongest.
But I digress: that moment in Homecoming is an homage to that moment.
Now onto the film itself. Did anyone notice the change in music for Marvel’s usual opening sequence? Another reference, this time to the old Spider-Man television series.
The dramatic timing and acting in this film was spot on and very much believable. Peter really felt like someone I could identify with, in an effort to get a pat on the back and reach his goal of becoming an Avenger (because at some point in our lives, we all wanted someone to be proud of us, for someone to acknowledge just what we really are capable of, for people to stop treating us like five year olds and to treat us with the respect we feel we deserve, whether or not we actually deserve it).
And Robert Downey Junior really did seem like a mentor, only he was the kind of mentor who would rather leave his acolyte to figure things out for themselves and only tell them what they did wrong, never actually revealing what Peter could be doing right. But that was part of what made Peter’s journey so much better: the fact that he wasn’t really getting any help and he had to decide what to do by himself.
And did anyone catch that Miles Morales easteregg?!?!?! If you don’t know where that one is, I’ll leave you to figure that bit out yourselves.