Can you believe Spider-Man will have debuted 55 years ago this summer in Amazing Fantasy issue #15? Me, either. In those 55 years, we have seen many incarnations of ol’ webhead: countless cartoons, a live-action Japanese TV show (where he used a tommy gun on criminals and fought giant monsters), a short-lived CGI show on MTV, and of course, three different movie series. And with those three different movie series, we saw different aspects of the Peter Parker/Spidey character explored. Was one better than the other? Did one stink? Let’s get our Jimmy Fallon on and weigh the pros and cons of each live-action, cinematic Spider-Man!
Tobey Maguire: (Spider-Man, Spider-Man 2, Spider-Man 3)
Pros: The original cinematic Spider-Man! Tobey Maguire, along with director Sam Raimi, brought your friendly neighborhood Spider-Man to the big screen in 2002 after a few false starts through other studios.
One of the strengths of Maguire’s portrayal was making the character of Peter Parker interesting. When Maguire was on screen as Parker, you actually cared about what was going on in Peter’s life. Also, his costume was on point!
Another big pro is that Maguire’s Spider-Man was an excellent fighter. Just look at this scene from Spider-Man 2…
And hands down, the best fight scene in all of the Spider-Man movies is from Spider-Man 3.
Cons: It seemed like Maguire’s Spider-Man cried a lot. Seriously. I won’t hold the moment when Uncle Ben died against him, but dude, hold it together! There were two, three moments in Spider-Man 3 where Parker just burst into tears faster than I did when Taco Bell ran out of the Fried Chicken Shell Taco.
Another huge con is the whole “evil” Peter Parker from Spider-Man 3. When Peter meshed with the symbiote, his aggression was supposed to amplify, not his dance skills. When I went to Spider-Man 3 in IMAX opening weekend, I came to see Spider-Man, not Fred Astaire.
Andrew Garfield: (The Amazing Spider-Man, The Amazing Spider-Man 2)
Pros: You know my feelings on this series as a whole, but Andrew Garfield’s version of Spider-Man had one indesputable strength: the costume was spectacular! It looked like it was taken right out of the comics. As great as the Tobey Maguire costumes were, it looked like long-time Spider-Man artist Mark Bagley designed a costume!
Cons: Everything else. In Garfield’s first outing as Spider-Man, instead of being grateful and cooperative when the police showed up to collect the car thief, he mouthed off.
Garfield’s Parker also did a horrible job hiding his powers. How the heck could people remain clueless after Peter shattered a backboard while slam dunking in gym class, and bent the field goal post after throwing a football over 100 yards? Not to mention the fact that he was on the ceiling of the subway car after being awoken unexpectedly.
Garfield’s version of Parker was also boring. Not one single aspect of him was all that interesting. At least Maguire’s rendition of Peter had personality.
Tom Holland (Captain America: Civil War, Spider-Man: Homecoming)
Pros: Granted, we’ve only seen him in one movie so far, but Holland is already miles ahead of Andrew Garfield in the Spider-Man department. Unlike the boring Garfield, Holland’s version of Spider-Man had personality.
In the first moment of the Spider-Man: Homecoming trailer, I was like, “OK, cool. We’ve got a Spider-Man who likes what he’s doing now.” Also, the suit looks sensational! Plus, Holland’s version of Spider-Man isn’t afraid to get in the thick of things, taking on the Falcon, Winter Soldier, and eventually Captian America in 2016’s Civil War
Cons: We don’t know a lot about Holland, but he gets a little too distracted in battle, as seen in Captain America: Civil War.
Those are my pros and cons for every cinematic Spider-Man so far. Agree? Think I’m as unfair as J. Jonah Jameson when talking about Spider-Man? Let me know in the comment section below!