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Age of MCU: Maguire vs. Garfield – Who Was the Better Spider-Man?

So there’s going to be a new actor inside the webbed pyjamas. Something to look forward to, hopefully. But as we eagerly await the news of who’ll play the wallcrawler next, we must look back and decide once and for all… who’s the better Spidey? Andrew Garfield or Tobey Maguire? There’s only one way to find out….. FIGHT!

Okay, no fight. But it is an interesting question. While the Amazing Spider-Man reboot films are usually derided in comparison to the Rami films, the debate never really focuses on the actors themselves. Most people just talk about the films as a whole. Well, today we’re going to settle this once and for all. This will decide who truly is the best Spider-Man. At least until the next guy (Please be Dylan O’Brien, please be Dylan O’Brien, please be Dylan O’Brien!).

DISCLAIMER! The following is an evaluation of the strengths and weaknesses of Andrew Garfield and Tobey Maguire in the role of Spider-Man. It is not a judgement of their acting abilities in general, nor is it a critical analysis of their respective films. Because the Rami films are much better and you know it! Well, except for Spider-Man 3, that was bloody atrocious. Why did the black suit make him dance? It makes no sense! Where was I? Oh, yeah.  


6. Looks Aren’t Everything


Our first round is a simple one. Who looked most like Peter Parker? As in from the comics. Now, I know that it’s impossible to get a person who looks exactly like any given comic book character. Even Hugh Jackman, arguably one of the best cast superheroes ever, isn’t dead on (He’s too tall, okay?). But which of our Spider-Men looks the MOST like his comic counterpart?

This is a bit tricky. See Garfield has a leaner, more spry physique. Which is in keeping with the comics. Whereas Maguire is… less so. I mean, he’s not chunky or anything. But he’s not the exact body type, per se. However, Garfield looks like a model, not a science geek. With the hair and the skateboard… he looks too cool! Maguire on the other hand can look like a believable superhero and a nerd at the same time. Which is a tough look to pull off.

It’s a close one, but I’m going to go with Maguire.

Maguire: 1

Garfield: 0


5. Who Wore It Best?


Ah, the Spidey suit. A classic. Instantly recognisable around the world. But which of our guys looks the part in it? Let’s get ’em on the runway and find out!

Maguire looks very cool in his suit… when he’s moving around. In the scenes when he’s not moving… not so much. The suit looks still and restrictive, which makes it seem implausible when he flies off all THWIP THWIP THWIPPY THWIP!

Garfield on the other hand looks very natural in the suit all the time, both standing still and in motion. Less so with the first costume, but mainly with the second one, which was a vast improvement! It was like the Spidey from the comics had leapt out of the pages and onto the screen. You’d think he’s look silly, just standing there in a red and blue spandex onesie, but he doesn’t! And that deserves a lot of praise.

Sorry Tobey, it just looks better on Andrew.

Maguire: 1

Garfield: 1


4. Chemistry (Bow Chicka-Wow-Wow)


Every lead needs to have great, believable chemistry with their co-stars. And again, this is a little tricky. Maguire has some fantastic scenes with the supporting cast of the Rami films, especially with Aunt May. Their little talks are emotional, honest, and a joy to behold. His scenes with Mary Jane are… okay. That’s it.

For Garfield, it’s the opposite. His onscreen chemistry with Emma Stone is infamous, and rightly so. Personally, I chalk this up to the fact that they were in a relationship offscreen as well, but hey, whatever works. But his scenes with the other supporting character s are less appealing. I was never really invested in the relationship between him and Sally Field. Not that she’s a bad actress, far from it. They just never clicked for me. Same with all the rest of the cast too.

Tough call, but I’m going to go with Maguire. His chemistry with Kirsten Dunst wasn’t that great, but he makes up for it with the rest of the characters.

Maguire: 2

Garfield: 1

About the author

Fred McNamara