‘Spider-Man: Homecoming’ Is This Year’s ‘Man of Steel’

The headline may sound crazy, and it’s very hard to even read because of the implications tied to it, but… ‘Spider-Man: Homecoming’ is this year’s ‘Man of Steel.’

‘Man of Steel’ is a good action movie, but a very bad Superman film. The further I’m removed from ‘Spider-Man: Homecoming’ the more it becomes a very good Marvel Cinematic Universe film, it serves the machine well, but it is not a Spider-Man movie.

There will be spoilers ahead, so tread carefully moving forward.

‘Spider-Man: Homecoming’ is a fun film with a great cast, a decent plot, and an amazing performance by Tom Holland as Peter Parker. That being said, the film is missing everything that makes Peter, Spider-Man. It could have just as easily been called ‘The Adventures of Young Iron Man.’

The Spider-Suit is what makes this an Iron Man film. It talks, and it has a million features and gadgets. The suit is named Karen once it starts talking and as funny as the dialogue might have been, it strips Peter of the character. He is no longer on his own and his Spider-Sense was essentially replaced with Karen. Every Spider-Man comic book you read has a panel where Peter’s Spider-Sense goes off. If it works for every comic, why isn’t it good enough for this film? Spider-Man doesn’t need a Jarvis. Tony Stark is the rich playboy with all the tech; Spider-Man is the everyman hero that’s broke.

Marvel Studios President, Kevin Feige, jump-started the Spider-Man franchise in the MCU by skipping the origin and diving straight into the action. This sounds like a great plan since there have been five stand-alone films with a reboot in the middle. Everyone should know the story by now, but by completely taking Uncle Ben out of the film you lose the moral of the franchise and Peter’s central motivation for becoming a hero. So then, when you reach a climactic point in ‘Spider-Man: Homecoming’ and Peter needs to dig deep and find inner strength to survive, rather than being motivated by his family or a girl, the film gets a voice over by Tony Stark. It’s a father-son moment that has never been part of the mythos. Peter has always idolized Tony as a role model in the scientific community, but definitely not as a father because he had Uncle Ben.

With Uncle Ben missing or removed from the origin, Peter’s reasoning for becoming a hero is reduced to idolizing the Avengers. This does a major injustice to the character and viewer. It may be tired and old, but that doesn’t make it any less important. When Brian Michael Bendis launched Ultimate Spider-Man in 2000, he updated the character for the times but didn’t change the root or motivations of the character because that wouldn’t be Spider-Man anymore.

The MCU is going to get extremely boring if every piece of new tech comes from ‘The Event’ that took place in the first Avengers film. This is a sign of lazy writing and must be reconsidered to avoid monotony. There are other people in the world that can invent technology besides Tony Stark and aliens. If a writer hands you a lazy script, you hand right back to him or her and you tell them to work harder. If they can’t work harder, find another writer who can. With the amount of money being spent on these films, there should be no excuse for lazy writing, especially when you had six writers on ‘Spider-Man: Homecoming.’ Kevin Feige, that is on you.

What makes Clark Kent Superman is that he was raised by Ma and Pa Kent. That family unit provided a strong moral compass and gave Clark his Boy Scout mentality. The Boy Scouts might not be cool, but they are taught to do the right thing. In 2013, David S. Goyer and Zack Snyder re-invent Superman with ‘Man of Steel.’ They also create a more cynical Pa Kent, one that scolds Clark for rescuing a school bus of classmates. Should Clark let his friend drown to protect his identity? These deviations from the character culminates when Superman is forced to kill Zod to save Earth. The death of Zod at the hands of Superman has fans polarized; I am of the camp that he should have found a better way because he’s Superman. Heroes can’t save everyone, but superheroes can. Superman is supposed to be better than all of us, and inspire us all, and that element is missing in ‘Man of Steel,’ the very ideology on which the character was founded. That’s the same problem with ‘Homecoming.’

‘Spider-Man: Homecoming’ is a fun film that will make you laugh, but won’t inspire you to help your fellow man. That is why ‘Homecoming is this year’s ‘Man of Steel.’

Matthew Sardo
Matthew Sardo
As the founder of Monkeys Fighting Robots, I'm currently training for my next job as an astronaut cowboy. Reformed hockey goon, comic book store owner, video store clerk, an extra in 'Transformers: Dark of the Moon,' 'Welcome Back Freshman,' and for one special day, I was a Ghostbuster.