Spider-Man: Homecoming is a success. Many loved this second reboot of one of the most beloved superheroes in the world. But many have to wonder, which Spider-Man is in Homecoming? Is it more homage to classic Marvel-616 Peter Parker Spider-Man? Or does it pander to the updated, more modern take in Ultimate Spider-Man Peter Parker? Or does it get inspired by fan-favourite Spider-Man Miles Morales? I would argue that this latest version of Spider-Man appears to be a fusion of multiple Peter Parkers—Classic Parker, Ultimate Spider-Man Parker and Miles Morales. Character traits and stories from all three can definitely be seen throughout Homecoming.
THERE WILL BE SOME SPOILERS FOR THE MOVIE IF YOU DIDN’T SEE IT. YOU’VE BEEN WARNED.
Ah, who doesn’t love the guilt-ridden, anti-social, flakey Spider-Man with an inferiority complex? Classic Parker was a loser in high school and a loser in college and for most of his adult life, though he did get a lot of pretty girls to date him for some reason that I don’t understand. Not many people liked him in and out of the suit. The Avengers and other superhero teams were wary of Spider-Man’s reputation in the public’s eyes for years. There had been plenty of times when Spider-Man didn’t play well with the other superheroes in Marvel’s NYC.
If you’re going to make a Spider-Man movie, there has to be the core traits of Classic Parker in the Spider-Man that some studio is trying to portray. In Homecoming, the latest Peter seems to teeters between being an outcast and an average person that people general like but don’t really pay too much attention to him.
Naturally, Spider-Man’s guilt about Uncle Ben’s death isn’t explicitly stated but Homecoming’s Spider-Man’s need to use his powers to help as many people as he can by being all he can be is definitely evident. And Homecoming’s Peter is a flake like the original—he quit the academic decathlon team to focus more on being Spider-Man and then when Tony took the suit away, he rejoined but then missed the competition because of Vulture trapping him and therefore because of his duties as Spider-Man. Classic Parker luck in action yet again.
Ultimate Peter Parker
Marvel’s Ultimate comic line was a modern update of the classic heroes for the 21st century. Ultimate Spider-Man was reset to high school, at the start of his career. In main continuity, Peter grew up into young adult life where he’s permanently stuck for the foreseeable future. Ultimate Spider-Man had the same guilt-ridden, inferiority complex as the original, but what made him different and what did Homecoming take from Ultimate Spider-Man to use in the newest Spidey?
Ultimate Spider-Man focused a lot on the struggles of modern teenage life—balancing all of Peter’s relationships (with MJ, Aunt May, later Gwen Stacy, Johnny Storm, Kitty Pryde, etc. etc.) with being Spider-Man. He’s the got the Parker luck too. His Spider-Man identity interferes with his Peter Parker identity. I didn’t see Ultimate Spider-Man as too much of a loser, though he was bullied by his classic bully Flash Thompson. More people seemed to like Peter Parker, but less seemed keen on Spider-Man because he was so young. Also, Peter does want to join the Avengers, though eventually. S.H.I.E.L.D. had their eye on him.
(On the side note, I didn’t like Ultimate Captain America much. He was an a$$hole to Peter.)
The biggest difference from Classic Parker is that Ultimate Spider-Man’s loved ones from MJ, to Aunt May all found out about Peter’s dual identity as Spider-Man. And they supported him. In Homecoming, Peter’s best friend Ned finds out about the identity at the beginning of the film and becomes his Team Spidey partner. Vulture finds out about Peter’s identity too. And at the end of the movie, Aunt May walks in on Peter changing. And of course, Tony Stark knows who he is and so does Happy Hogan.
Not much of an identity problem for Homecoming Spidey huh? It’s probably a good thing, in the long run—identity shenanigans can get tiresome especially if used for plot (cough-Batman v Superman-cough).
Ultimate Miles Morales
After Ultimate Spider-Man’s death, young Miles Morales who had gotten powers in grade school, took up the mantle of Spider-Man. Why? Because Miles was amongst the onlookers during Peter’s final battle with the monstrous Green Goblin and he didn’t do anything to help (sounds familiar, no?), even though he had powers. Miles’ guilt at not trying to save Peter Parker’s life moved Miles to become a hero in honor of Parker.
Out of all the Spiders I have seen and read, Miles is the most reluctant Spider-Man ever. The guilt to help because of his powers drive him. Other heroes give him sh!t for taking up the mantle, especially when he used the classic red and blue suit at first. Miles’ red and black Spider-Man suit is awesome though.
I believe he is also the youngest Spider-Man, if I’m not mistaken. I think he was fourteen, instead of both Classic Parker and Ultimate Spider-Man starting age of fifteen. Of course, Homecoming is the youngest version in live-action film of Spider-Man we’ve seen. The Original trilogy had Spider-Man jumped from high school to college to young adult life quickly. The failed reboot had him like a junior and then graduating high school in the next. Homecoming’s Peter is simple a teenager, like Miles.
Ganke Lee is Miles’ best friend. Ned is Homecoming Peter’s best friend. And they look suspiciously similar…and carry the same role as secret keeper and support…Remind me again why they didn’t use Miles for Spider-Man yet? Oh yes, rabid fans…
When the Ultimate universe was dissolved (don’t think about it, it’s confusing), Miles and his family/friends were allowed on Marvel-616, the main universe. Miles was still Spider-Man, working locally, while Classic Parker was working globally. Miles also joined the Avengers quickly, unlike Classic Parker.
And now, here is my ultimate conclusion about the fusion traits in Homecoming Spider-Man:
Classic Parker Luck + Classic Guilt and Inferiority Complex + Classic Great Power, Great Responsibility + Ultimate Spider-Man Not much of an ID problem + Ultimate Spider-Man and Miles’ young teenager drama + Miles’ not! Harry Osborn best friend, but Asian and nerdy best friend + wanting to be an Avenger/working solo conflict = Homecoming Spider-Man.
What do you think? Did I get the whole deal of the newest Spider-Man’s influences? Should I have talked about love interests, even though that should be a whole other article? Sound off in the comments or send us your thoughts on Facebook or Twitter!