On Thursday night, during “Jimmy Kimmel Live!”, the first full trailer for “Spider-Man: Homecoming” was revealed to the public, giving us our first glimpse at what a Spider-Man solo movie would look like (see above).
Turns out a Spider-Man solo film in the MCU doesn’t look all that different from his last appearance in “Captain America: Civil War”, as Tony Stark’s presence looms large over the proceedings (Marvel just can’t walk away from their Robert Downey Jr.-shaped cash cow). Here Tony is yet again put in the position of operating as a mentor figure for the young Peter Parker, while at the same time operating at an arm’s length so he can have plausible deniability when the overpowered teen inevitably does something wrong (ex. making a public spectacle on the Washington Monument).
The other strange inclusion seems to be that of Ganke, who will reportedly be named Ned Leeds in this film. Time will only tell how large of a presence he plays in this film, but this has to be somewhat dispiriting for fans of Miles Morales who hoped to see him show up (perhaps in a decade) with all of his supporting characters intact. Still, maybe the thrill of seeing a Ganke inspired character on the big screen will be enough for them. Personally, I’m worried (like I wrote in a previous article) that Peter will be presented as a nerd rather than an outcast as he was in the comics, especially if he has several very loyal friends.
We also got our first look at Michael Keaton as The Vulture, complete with his Stark Tech and Chituari inspired weaponry. I’m thrilled that they’ve largely maintained the visual look of the character from the comics, feathery white collar and all, but also found a smooth way to adapt the character into the MCU. The design presented here is exactly the kind of visual thinking that could have rendered the original movie adaptation of the Goblin into something terrifying without looking like a Power Rangers villain.
This film also continues Marvel’s strange lack of confidence in their brand and characters that aren’t Tony Stark. After box-office smashing successes like Doctor Strange and Guardians of the Galaxy, both of which that feel completely tangential to the rest of the MCU, its remains bizarre to see Marvel hedge their bets so heavily in their other properties, especially Spider-Man. If there is one major sin this trailer commits, it is that it doesn’t paint a particularly clear image of the world of Peter Parker/Spider-Man. We have no real sense of the threat this character feels, the people who populate his world, or the themes this movie will be tackling. Instead we focus on Tony Stark and his role in Spider-Man’s life, which was already handled so wonderfully in “Captain America: Civil War” and isn’t really what people looking forward to seeing Spider-Man strike out on his own were looking for.
The one hopeful thing that I gleamed from this trailer is that the character arc of this story seems to be drawing heavily from the story told all the way back in Amazing Spider-Man #1 and Amazing Spider-Man Annual #3. If you remember those stories, you’ll remember that in them Peter sets out to monetize his role as Spider-Man by joining the Fantastic Four and The Avengers, only to come across as a self-righteous, egotistical jerk. He breaks into the Baxter Building and fights the FF and later manages to get The Avengers to essentially ban him for life, until the mid-2000s would undo that. Here Peter laments that Tony is treating him like a kid and sets out to prove to the world that they need him, likely triggering a series of destructive events tangentially linked to him (I suspect the Washington DC sequences will prove disastrous for the character).
Only time will tell but I’m thankful we had this first look at the character in his own film, setting his own tone, and finding his own weird place inside the world of the MCU. “Spider-Man: Homecoming” opens July 7th, 2017 in theaters worldwide.