The Debate of The Spidermen | Melody Abouzari
*This article may contain spoilers of Spiderman: No Way Home, so read with caution!
It seems like every day Marvel Studios announces a new production coming out or in the works. It really is the time to be alive for a Marvel fan. One of the most highly anticipated movie releases of 2021 from the studio was Spiderman: No Way Home, starring a star-studded cast of Tom Holland, Zendaya, Benedict Cumberbatch, Jamie Foxx, and so many more. The real stars of the show, however, were the inclusion of the Spidermen from the past, Andrew Garfield and Tobey Maguire.
For those who aren’t avid fans of Superhero movies, I’ll briefly explain the drama and intrigue surrounding the origin of Spiderman as a whole. The first Spiderman movie to be released was in 2002 with Tobey Maguire starring as our loveable, friendly neighborhood spiderman. Although the comic series was created by Marvel, the rights and production of the movie were handled by Sony Studios. The same scenario goes for the next installation of Spiderman movies, starting in 2011, this time known as “The Amazing Spiderman” with Andrew Garfield. These movies were also produced by Sony, which essentially meant that, similar to the Hulk, Spiderman was not intertwined with the “main” set of Marvel movies associated with The Avengers. In 2016, “Captain America: Civil War” came to theaters, and the introduction of Tom Holland’s Spider Man occurred. This was significant because it essentially meant that Spideman could now officially be included in Avengers shenanigans, along with appearing in other major Marvel movies. With this news, the start of a brand new trilogy of Spiderman movies was released in association with Marvel, starring Tom Holland as the titular hero.
That brings us to where we are now currently in the Marvel timeline: Spiderman: No Way Home. A truly groundbreaking event happened in this movie due to the Multiverse breaking, meaning that all three Spider Men were present in the same room together and interacting with each other! Being able to experience this in theaters with friends was truly one of the best performances and highlights I have ever seen. This begs the question though: who was the best Spiderman?
First up, we have our original Spiderman, Tobey Maguire. Tobey was the Spiderman that most 2000’s kids grew up with, so it’s hard not to have a bit of an automatic bias surrounding him and his performance. Unlike the other two Spidermen, this version of Peter Parker has a genetic mutation that incorporated web-shooters and organic web compounds into his physiology. This means that even outside the suit, he could still have the powers of being Spiderman without the pressure of being a true hero. Additionally, this trilogy kept true to the original comics written by Stan Lee and ensured that his identity would always be kept from the public. Therefore, this version of Spiderman wins the award for being the most original and the best outside of the suit.
Second up, we have Andrew Garfield, who only completed two out of the three of the movies planned for his trilogy. This version of Peter Parker was an angst-ridden teenager who preferred to be a loner rather than indulge himself with friends. Most of his story was set in New York, and kept true to Spiderman’s mission of uncovering the secrets of Oscorp and its founders. Unlike the other two Spidermen, Andrew’s iteration created his own suit and self-designed mechanical web-shooters to help him in his pursuit for justice. This rendition of the suit really highlights Peter’s versatility and intellect, making him the best Spiderman in the suit.
Last but certainly not least, we have the newest addition to the Spider-Verse, Tom Holland. This version of Spiderman was created to appeal to the Avengers audience, and finally incorporate Spiderman into the bigger picture of the Marvel Universe. Prior to his success with the Avengers, this version also relies on mechanical web-shooters rather than organic compounds, and relies less on his spidey sense than spidermen of the past. His character directly collaborated with the legendary Tony Stark for his suit, and was officially introduced as a key member of the Avengers.
Therefore, this makes him the best Spiderman character, both in and out of the suit.
And there you have it, my definitive ranking of the Spidermen throughout the years. Let me know if you have any similar or different ideas regarding the Spider-Verse, and as always, look out for your friendly neighborhood Spiderman.