Spider-fans all in one Spider-verse?

Spider-men through the ages


Photo from Flickr via Creative Commons

Nina Jean Buckley, Writer

The superhero Spider-man has been a household name since its first comic release in 1962.
Stan Lee and Steve Ditko, employed by Marvel Comics, created a superhero with spider-like powers
and a moral compass comparable to Captain America. Since then, there have been over 2,000
comics, 9 movies, and millions of fans. While the general Spider-man persona and powers have
remained consistent, there have been multiple Spider-men. Three separate Peter Parkers, Spiderman’s alter ego, have transfigured their way through the plots of movies released over 20 years of
intense fan fawning. Nevertheless, in the beginning there was only one Spider-man, and he
appeared, not on the silver screen, but in Amazing Fantasy issue #15.Stan Lee, comic writer and superhero creator for Marvel, needed a new superhero. He said
the most important aspect of superheroes is their powers. While trying to conceptualize his new
character, Lee spotted a fly walking on the wall and thought, “Gee. What if a person had the power
of just being able to walk on the wall or cling to a ceiling? And I guess that was the start of it.”
From there Lee developed the famed web-shooting, friendly neighborhood hero in the iconic red
suit. Spider-man was a new kind of superhero. He was an awkward teenage boy, who was only 15
years old when he got his powers. Of course, he was thrilled, but when he realized the scope and
potential of his powers, he was quickly humbled. Stan Lee created the iconic line, “With great
power comes great responsibility,” and with that, the nerdy kid from Queens became the nerdy,
friendly neighborhood spider-man.Spider-man had been a beloved comic book hero for four decades, when in 2002 the
swinging savior made it to theatres, Tobey Maguire brought the character to life. Maguire’s
rendition of Spider-man is classic. He portrayed Peter Parker as a loser with few friends, who takes
his powers with stride. “For me, the choice to lead an ordinary life is no longer an option.” –
Spiderman (2002). He masters his powers quickly, and before the audience can believe it, he is deftly
stopping muggers and keeping his neighborhood safe. The first Spider-man movie garnered great
box office success. So much so, that Columbia Pictures made two additional Spider-man movies
with Tobey Maguire as Peter Parker.Five years since the release of Spider-Man 3, a new movie emerges. The Amazing Spider-man
stars a new web slinger, Andrew Garfield. There was much love given to this movie as the web
heads of the world were craving more and more Spider-man. Garfield’s Spider-man differed the
most from the Spider-man of the comics. This Peter is more of a loner than a loser. He is sarcastic
and witty to his bullies and surprisingly good with his love interest, Gwen Stacy. Another huge
modification to this spider-man is his powers. While Garfield’s Peter was bitten by a radioactive
spider, his powers included the Spidey-sense, stickiness, and enhanced speed and strength. He is,
however, noticeably missing the web shooting powers of the comic and previous film spider-man.
Instead, he engineers electronic web shooters and attaches them to his suit.On May 6th, 2016, Captain America Civil War was released, and Marvel fans everywhere
went wild. Tony Stark, Iron Man, needs help during the troublesome break-up of the Avengers.
The audience cheered when a new, red-suited teenager swung on to the screen to help. Tom
Holland is the next, and most recent, Spider-man. Tom Holland’s spiderman is smart, geeky, and
kindhearted. “When you can do the things that I can, but you don’t, and then the bad things
happen, they happen because of you.” (Peter Parker in Captain America Civil War) The most
significant and most revered distinction between this Peter Parker and his predecessors is his
protégé status with Tony Stark. In this new plotline, Peter remains the friendly neighborhood
Spider-man he always was in his neighborhood of New York City. Spider-man ultimately catches
the attention of billionaire, playboy, philanthropist, and superhero, Iron Man. The parallels between
Stark and Parker are immediately apparent, and Stark takes the young Parker under his wing,
eventually christening him with the ultimate title of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, “Avenger.”When the newest movie in the trilogy of Tom Holland Spider-man movies came out, “No
Way Home,” worlds collided, and audiences all over were on the edge of their seats. Three spidermen, Tom Holland, Andrew Garfield, and Tobey Maguire were all together in the same universe,
fighting the same fight. The theatres exploded with cheers. For a couple of hours, the fans of the
beloved swinging savior, their preferred versions notwithstanding, were in total agreement over one
thing. “No way Home” was a cinematic masterpiece and an answer to all their Spider-fan prayers.
“The suit is what people love, and whatever body is in that suit, it doesn’t really matter. That’s what
I find so wonderful about this character,” said Andrew Garfield after filming his first Spider-man
movie. He had no idea how perfectly his words would encapsulate the feelings of fans nearly a
decade later.