Spider-Man: Homecoming – a CBU Roundtable Discussion

Spider-Man-Homecoming++ by The Comic Book Underground Collective ++

It’s finally here, Marvel StudiosSpider-Man: Homecoming. featuring the third iteration of Spidey (a cinematic character on loan from Sony via a special arrangement between them and Disney). The movie’s been highly rated and reviewed rather positively across the board, including within the CBU’s clubhouse. It was almost unanimous acclaim. Almost. 

Here’s the group commentary that took place July 10, 11 &12, 2017.

John Razumich I loved it. Best Spider-Man movie to date.

Dimitrios Fragiskatos #notmyspiderman

James Lawrence Some people like anything that’s put in front of them, I’m not one of those people.

Brandon Rucker Yeah, James you said it! They put 5 other Spider-Man movies in front of me and I didn’t like any of them. I’m part of the rebellion with you! [sarcasm]

John, I gotta admit I wasn’t expecting that reaction from ya.

James Lawrence I definitely wasn’t either 

Brandon Rucker Yeah, but now that I think of it I know John is all about true essence and this Spider-Man carries the essence better than both the previous guys. Garfield was an improvement, but he was surrounded by darkness.

John Razumich I really enjoyed it. I thought that Tom Holland was the perfect Peter Parker. He reacted exactly like any of us would to the idea of being a superhero and to meeting our heroes. And I liked the interaction with his classmates about being a loser as a civilian and a hero once he puts on his union suit. I genuinely have ZERO complaints about the movie.

Brandon Rucker You pulling our leg?

John Razumich Nope. I genuinely enjoyed this movie more than anything I’ve seen in years.

Brandon Rucker Years??? That’s a lot of Marvel movies. The Thors. The Caps. Wow.

Steve Damm I agree with John. Might be my fave of all the Marvel movies.

James Lawrence I think they dumbed down Peter Parker for the sake of squeezing him in the MCU.

John Razumich Really? He was still creating his own variations on the web fluid. The suit was a bit of a crutch, but he still showed that he was a hero once it was taken away.

And it’s NICE to have a hero who ENJOYS being a hero for once.

Brandon Rucker Plus he’s too young and too early in the game for him to be even remotely jaded or burdened by the role. He’s green and eager.

James Lawrence This Peter IMO is nowhere near the essence of comic book Peter. This one is the complete opposite. He’s handsome, in perfect shape, he Aunt is young and beautiful, his tech is handed to him, the suit can do everything, the beautiful girl likes him immediately and he’s liked by his classmates. I fail to understand what part of this movie other than the name and costume is recognizable as Spider-man lore.

John Razumich The only reason early Peter Parker didn’t look perfectly in shape was Ditko’s pencils (sorry, Steve Damm). An early story even pointed out that he didn’t need glasses any more.

Joshua Hooten In my opinion, he’s actually a little mix of a more recent Peter Parker and Miles Morales. He even has the chubby Filipino buddy like Miles.

And yeah, Aunt May is beautiful, and I ain’t mad about that.

James Lawrence Oh yeah I forgot to mention the funny fat guy from every buddy comedy 

John Razumich Aw why you gotta hate on the fat man, skinny man routine? That’s been gold since the silent era.

Joshua Hooten Yeah, I truly feel like they were just trying to pull some of the Miles coolness over to this Peter Parker, I’m not 100% mad about that either, but it would be cool to see Miles get his own movie.

Steve Damm That chubby guy was Ned Leeds.

Brandon Rucker The humor was spread across all the characters, making the singling out of the funny fat guy trope a moot point of contention, IMO.

Michael Tennant The suit and tech should always be made by Peter that is the whole point.

James Lawrence Then they missed it. I was all for a technological upgrade but they completely missed the point and then they gave him a rag tag suit of his own making.

Brandon Rucker A 15 year-old building a tech suit? Nah, fam. As established in the first of these MCU movies, the advance tech comes from Stark, SHIELD (or HYDRA) or aliens. If you’re rejecting aspects of the MCU, which I think you do, then there’s no way this movie had a snowball’s chance in impressing you.

Michael Tennant We often forget that Peter is one of the smartest characters in Marvel. A child prodigy.

Brandon Rucker No one forgets, not even the makers of this movie because that’s exactly what he was. But let’s not get into highly unrealistic territory and have him designing stuff that’s on par with Tony Stark at 15 years old. Like John said, he designed his own webshooters and created the chemical compound to make his web fluid.

James Lawrence We passed “highly unrealistic” territory waaaay before having Peter design technology 

Brandon Rucker You’re right. The movie’s terrible 

John Razumich He made his early suit and webshooters. They just got improved by Iron Man. I’m not going to hate on that.

Steve Damm Finally a decent villain too. Vulture felt menacing and scary.

James Lawrence Did they even call him the Vulture?

Brandon Rucker Nope. How would they come to that name unless Keaton referred to himself that way and he was way too cool a villain to do that. So obvious it’d be overstating.

Michael Tennant They referred to him as the Vulture in Peter’s note at the end.

Brandon Rucker The Vulture was doing very vulture-like things — he was a scavenger. Clever or just an obvious aspect given the name?

James Lawrence When they take the same liberties with the Superman mythos you guys lose your mind, with Spider-man it’s ok.

I can’t wait for the Superman movie that doesn’t mention the Kents or Lois Lane. There would be a freaking riot in this group.

Steve Damm Spider-Man didn’t kill half a city or abandon his morals. You know that’s why I had trouble with Superman. It wasn’t because they changed him it was because they dragged him through the feces. Spider-Man was good and light and saved everyone he could see. No comparison to Man of Murder.

In fact at the end Peter again made the perfect Peter Parker choice.

James Lawrence Direct comparison, they changed the fundamentals of the character for shits and giggles. And guess what it worked, bravo Marvel. Completely undermine the essence of Peter Parker for the sake of comedy and laugh all the way to the bank. You can’t argue with success.

Brandon Rucker James with all due respect sir Grumpler, why are you taking the offensive and directing your ire at us? No one’s challenged or demeaned your opinion. Sure, you’re the outlier who’s outnumbered but I’m not sure what the issue is.

What are these great liberties taken on the Spider-Man character this time compared to all the other movies? As for Superman, liberties were already taken on him and you defended them, despite the fact that Man of Steel/Dawn of Justice took serious liberties on the character (which didn’t bother me in the context of the movie). The take on Peter and Spidey syncs up nicely with a modern vision incorporated in the universe they’ve built onscreen. You disagree, but I don’t know if you’ve clearly convinced us as to why within the context of the MCU, which you’re not the biggest fan of for whatever reasons (heh, at least they’re better than the comics  ).

Michael Tennant (after seeing it on the 11th): Spider Man was good. I wouldn’t say it was better than WonderWoman though. Keaton was fantastic as the Vulture. Holland fits as Peter.

Joshua Hooten Spider-Man is, and has always been the people’s hero, and whether he’s going back to Sony, or hanging out in Marvel Studios, it’s nice to have our neighborhood Spider-Man back.

Michael Tennant Michael Keaton was the villain that all of these superhero movies have needed. He was perfect.

Daryll Benjamin I gave it 8 out of 10. Even if they sniped a lot of Miles’ stuff to “freshen” up Peter, the fact remains that this is the Peter/Spidey combination that has been closest to the mark yet. My problems with this have more to do again with Peter’s intellect and its dumbing down. I can’t express how much the suit scene pissed me off with Ned. Felt like Garfield-Peter & Gwen all over again. And the dismissing of Peter by Happy? Wow just wow. But staying back in my happy place: Keaton was great even if it was DeFoe 2.0 and Woodbine was good as Shocker. Holland did both Peter and Spidey justice. The kid playing Ned/Ganke stole the show as that was right from the comics. And Zendaya as Michelle was great as the new Ally Sheedy. Now the gal as Liz was way too wooden but if you look at classic Spidey most of the hot gals he chased was like that.

So a good opening salvo with a few innovations to update him for the next generation (Hi Jennifer Connolly and welcome back to the MCU!) Knocking on wood that this continues.

Joe Gardner I loved the movie. I’m not familiar with Miles and his story, so I can’t speak on what they took from there, but I could feel aspects from classic, Ultimate, and current Spidey, albeit the tech coming from Stark and not Peter himself.
I am a tad torn on no origin. Glad we didn’t get another origin, but kind of curious how they would handle it in the MCU. But this felt like MY Peter Parker.
My biggest gripe would be the lack of Spider sense. You just can’t have Spidey without his Spider sense.

I almost flipped when they revealed Liz’s dad, but then they never said she was Liz Allan. Ned was fun, even if a little cliched. And I was sweating the warehouse scene, hoping that IM would NOT show up. Whew!
I could complain about Stark’s heavy involvement, but he’s long been established as the father of the MCU.

Vulture is one of the best MCU villains yet. And the setup for Scorpion. 🙂
And a possible setup for an MCU version of the Armor Wars?

Brandon Rucker Yeah I figured you’d love it Joe. IRT your minor issues. His origin was pretty much covered in CA: Civil War. Given this is the 6th movie in 15 years, I don’t think anyone really wanted to go down that long road again LOL. As for Spider-sense . . . sloooooow down. I think this leaves something for us to look forward to developing later rather than having Peter be a fully-formed hero right off the bat. I’ve heard a few opinions in different media asking for the inclusion of this or that, but then I’m like, well how long do you want this movie to be? Or, what do you remove to fit in whatever might be missing. Tony Stark really wasn’t featured as much as some feared, and none of his appearances seemed superfluous — he was Pete’s mentor and the anchor to the MCU and all his scenes served that purpose, plus the added humor. I think my only complaint is one I’ve seen shared in various places and that was the final battle being so damned dark and obscure (similar to how WW’s final battle with Aries was darkly lit). That said, I think overall I give it an A-.

Joe Gardner I wasn’t really upset at no origin, just sorta lamenting how it might’ve been handled. I agree on the final battle. The camera work was a little tough to follow. Almost muddled. I’d actually give a solid A. Close to A+. My personal opinion, of course.

The CBU loves Spidey, the People’s Hero.

The Comic Book Underground is a rather passionate and outspoken collective of fans-turned-Fifth Estate journalists who do not shrink at publicly expressing their unsolicited commentary and flagrant opinions on all things comics and popular culture. Join the conversation!

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