‘Spider-Man: Homecoming’ Is A Terrible, Terrible Title

Spider-Man is making waves again thanks to the upcoming film, Captain America Civil War. Early reviews are stating that the character’s return is welcome and invigorating, Tom Holland has breathed new life into the performance. So much so, that the people at Marvel were kind enough to push back Black Panther and Captain Marvel for ANOTHER Spider-Man movie. Thanks Marvel, we definitely needed to see Spidey get another solo film again. I’m kidding of course, but I was looking forward to seeing T’Challa’s and Carol Danvers’ respective solo outings, before seeing good old Peter Parker again. That being said, I am looking forward to the upcoming Spider-Man movie. I’m sure Marvel will put out a good film like they usually do.

But, did they have to pick such a crappy title? Spider-Man: Homecoming may be the worst title for a superhero movie ever. Worse than Fan4stic. Worse than Thor: The Dark World. Even worse than Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice. Yeah. I just said that, get ready to send me all the hate mail you can, because I ain’t stopping there. Because, at the very least, Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice sounds big. Melodramatic? Absolutely. But, it has a sense of epicness to it that features two titans about to fight. Spider-Man: Homecoming sounds lame.

“But, Peter, You can’t bring your webshooters to the school dance!”

Now, I know what you’re all thinking, “How can you judge this movie based on a title? That’s really obnoxious ya jerk.” Well you are right, I am a jerk, but I swear on all that is holy I am not judging the movie based on the title. The movie could be called “Arahcnid Puking Teenager Number One Super Happy Time” and I would be first in line to see it. Marvel has turned out enough good films that I’m always going to see whatever movie they churn out. Even the bad ones. And this could be the worst, or greatest Spider-Man movie ever. I have no idea, I will wait and see it before I make a judgement on the movie.

I am judging this movie’s title. It’s a really bad title. And this matters, because contrary to what we all learned in kindergarten, everyone judges a book by its cover. Presentation is key for any artistic medium. Titles are the epitome of presentation; a great title should resonate a certain mood with its potential audience. Think of some of your favorite movies, comics, books, and stories, and think of what they were called. I’ll list some of mine as an example: The Judas Contract, Fahrenheit 451, Mad Max Fury Road, The Killing Joke, The Last Unicorn, Rocky, A Farewell To Arms, Ghostbusters, Monty Python and the Holy Grail, Devil in the White City, and of course, Snakes on a Plane.

Admit it, when you saw this title, you wanted to see this movie.

All of those stories, regardless of quality, have objectively great titles. Each one creates a mood that the audience can latch on to. Some are goofy and over the top, some are intriguing and mysterious, and some are dramatic. They give you so much about what the tone of the product. The established mood it portrays make me want to read/see it. So, based on what we’ve discussed about tone, what can we establish based off of the title Spider-Man: Homecoming?

Well, let’s look at the first word. What do you think of when you think of”Spider-Man?” Funny, over the top, crime fighting, fan favorite superhero. Peter Parker, the man who everyone can relate to. The average Joe who got super powers and kept all of the problems. One of the most enduring protagonists ever created. Now what do you think of when you think of the word, “homecoming?” High school, dances, prom, bullies, geeks, cheerleaders, tests, teachers, and the forever infamous lunch room. In other words, it’s something we’ve all endured, are about to endure, or at the very least have heard about. This title implies a setting. A boring setting. One that contains petty conflicts, dull personal drama, and usually is full of bad memories for most people.

Why would anyone market a superhero adventure film by reminding the audience of their high school experience? Even if it was a great time, people moved on from their high school life.

The title is forcing something from the fantastical with the mundane. And I’m not saying that high school student superheroes are a bad concept (any fan of Jaime Reyes Blue Beetle can disprove that theory), but Spider-Man: Homecoming has a title that’s reminiscent of a generic high school comedy. I think American Pie when I hear this title. I can’t help but think one of the main plot threads will be about Peter trying to make it to the prom in time after battling Doc Ock.

It is, for lack of a better term, insistently juvenile in its context.

Now some have pointed out that the name has a double meaning. Spider-Man is coming home to Marvel. “Homecoming” implies a return, which is why homecoming dances are usually at the beginning of the year. The students are back to the school year. But, in this context it doesn’t really make any sense. Spider-Man’s film rights were never owned by Marvel, so wouldn’t a more accurate title be “Spider-Man: Arrival?” Or “Spider-Man: Finally.” Or “Spider-Man: Look This Is The Best We Can Do Right Now, But Until We Get The Full Rights Back From Sony We’re Going To Have To Do This Weird Joint Ownership Thing. Just Be Glad Iron Man And Spider-Man Finally Get To Interact.”

Will I see this movie? Of course. Will this title deter anyone from seeing this movie? Probably not. Will it be good or bad? I have no idea, I’m going to have to wait until it’s out to make a judgement. But, the title of a movie is usually the first interaction the audience¬† has with it. So, a lot of thought needs to be put into it, so that being said, it feels like the writers and creators picked a lazy, uninteresting title for a movie. This is Spider-Man’s first real solo introduction into the Marvel Universe. They could keep the high school setting, but they should have implied a sense of epicness with what they called it.

“The Spectacular Spider-Man,” “Spider-Man: Kraven’s Last Hunt,” “Ultimate Spider-Man,” “Spider-Man: Power and Responsibility,” “Web of the Spider-Man,” any of these would have been better titles for the upcoming movie. You can try and justify this title all you want, but it still sounds terrible.

But, hey Michael Keaton might be in it, so that means it could be pretty coo- oh God, he’s going to play the principal isn’t he?!

Nick Enquist
Nick Enquisthttp://whiskeywryproductions.com
Nick Enquist writes opinion pieces and reviews of comic books, movies, and TV shows for Monkeys Fighting Robots.