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(Opinion) Here's our thoughts on how Sony can reboot Spider-Man

Image by Marvel Comics 

Well, as of the day this article has been written we can say that Spider-Man is out of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. This may change in the future, but right now Sony and Disney have failed to come to an agreement regarding how to split the revenue generated from the Spider-Man films, so Peter Parker will be out of the MCU in the coming years.

Now, there have been multiple articles regarding this situation, and I want to present you with my own opinion: given that, according to reports, Tom Holland has one film left in his contract and, for better or worse, his version of Spider-Man is very attached to the events of the MCU, I think the wisest choice for Sony in this situation is to terminate his contract and reboot the character to fit him in this shared universe that they are building with Tom Hardy’s Venom, Morbius and Kraven movies that are in the works.

Some may say “Spider-Man getting a fourth reboot is tiresome”. Superman and Batman, the only two superheroes bigger than the web-crawler, have also gone through the same process and their brands haven’t been hurt by that. But of course, it’s not only about rebooting, but also about doing it right. And how should Sony reboot Spider-Man? I’ll tell you right now:

Make him older and in his prime.
Image by Marvel Comics

We have already seen Spider-Man as a teenager in high school three times, which is a bit of shame considering that Peter was only a teenager for the first thirty issues of Stan Lee’s original run in
The Amazing Spider-Man comic. In fact, most movie fans will be surprised to know that Spider-Man was a relatively young adult for about thirty years or so in the comics, so that is a period of his character that has yet to be explored in the film adaptations (I don’t count the 90's animated series and the Into the Spider-Verse film because those are animation and it’s a whole different situation).
This has resulted in us spending a lot of time watching Spider-Man’s origin and development, but we are yet to see a seasoned Spidey in his prime, who has been in the superhero business for quite some time. This is the era where we enjoyed some of the character’s best stories (the Hobgoblin saga, the appearance of Venom, Kraven’s Last Hunt, Maximum Carnage, among others).

Once again, Spider-Man is like Superman and Batman: everybody knows who he is and his origin story, so I think it’s time we focus on seeing a fully developed character that can be put in more challenging situations.

Spider-Man is a serious character.
Image by Marvel Comics
One of the biggest misconceptions about the character of Spider-Man in recent years is that he is much more of a goofball and comedic superhero rather than a serious one, when it’s actually the other way around: he is a very serious character that goes through very complicated ordeals (both common and extraordinary) and he has to cope with often being portrayed as a menace to the public, mostly thanks to J. Jonah Jameson’s paper.

This is not to say that Spider-Man can’t have a few funny moments, but they are often the exception rather than the overall tone of the story, which is something that Homecoming and Far From Home failed at, in my personal opinion. Spider-Man has a lot of layers as a character and there is a lot of depth, complexity and moral lessons about human values in his stories, so I think that is an aspect that has been missed since Sam Raimi’s Spider-Man 2.

Emphasis on his moral and core values.
Image by Marvel Comics
As I said before, having an adult Spider-Man saves us a lot as far as his origin story and his upbringing as a superhero goes, but that doesn’t mean we have to ignore the influence of his uncle in his development as a human being because that is the basis of Peter Parker’s character: the type of person that he is and the type of man that he became throughout the years was a result of his uncle taking care of him, which is why there has been criticism about the lack of Uncle Ben in the MCU version (we can spare the scene of his death, though, I have no problem with that aspect).

His Aunt May is also paramount in that because she is the one that comforts him, provides words of wisdom and reminds him, in times of need, of the type of person he was raised to be, especially during moments where his spirit is weak and the stakes seem to be too challenging for everybody’s favorite web-crawler.

While some people have said that we have seen too much of his uncle, I would argue that ignoring him is ignoring the core and basis of Peter’s whole character and source of inspiration. Without that, there is no Peter and therefore no Spider-Man.

Mary Jane Watson.
Image by Marvel Comics
I think this is something that has been quite obvious over the years: Mary Jane Watson is the love of Peter Parker’s life. And yet, we have never seen her character in all her redheaded glory on the big screen. While the Sam Raimi films did grasp the Spider-Man mythos quite well, the character of Mary Jane suffered in terms of personality and in a possible fourth reboot that aspect has to be addressed.

Mary Jane not only works as Peter’s best romantic interest because of chemistry and her obvious good looks, but also because she is a very dynamic character: she has her own professional goals and desires, her own dramatic backstory that bonds her with Peter, a charming and yet confident personality (which often contrasts with Peter’s more humble and average Joe demeanor) and she is someone that is not afraid to show her affection and love for her man. I always say that the late 80's/early 90's period of their marriage in the comics is the best era of their relationship and it would be great to see that work on film.

Or… Felicia Hardy (Black Cat)
Image by Marvel Comics
Felicia Hardy is a character that is yet to appear in a Spider-Man live action adaptation and that is truly a shame because she can be a very compelling and appealing love interest/partner in superhero duties and even an adversary for the web-crawler. Considering my earlier suggestion of an older Spidey, the Black Cat would fit a lot better with our hero being a young adult.

This could make a very interesting dynamic between both characters because of Felicia’s sensuality, her confidence, the fact that she is actually attracted to the Spider-Man persona rather than Peter Parker, her own difficult backstory and someone whose moral compass is a lot more flexible than Peter’s, which could make for some really good drama.

Spider-Man faces A LOT of adversities.

Image by Marvel Comics
Spider-Man is the proverbial fighter and his life is a reflection of most of the common struggles that people go through every day. He is the every-man that was given the power to make a difference in the world while still having to overcome all of the different ordeals that we have to face–that, to me, is the essence of his character in a very primal and profound manner.

This is where I think the MCU iteration missed the mark the most: this Peter has very few struggles and that give us a character that has very little to face on a normal scale. He doesn’t have financial problems, he doesn’t have an older aunt to take care of, he doesn’t have to cope with student problems, he doesn’t have issues with his friends, and so on. Seeing a character that has defined humility in the superhero world asking for a private jet because he was lost in Europe as if it were a taxi is something quite perplexing, if you ask me.

Spider-Man (and Peter Parker) is defined by rising above all the adversities life throws at him and never giving up or betraying his moral code –he is a very human character and at the same time is very inspirational because of that very reason. Remember: strong characters have weaknesses and weak characters don’t.

What do you think about the Sony-Disney situation regarding Spider-Man? Do you want Tom Holland to continue with his version of the character? If so, please tell us why. And if you don’t, we would love to read your opinion.

Kevin Tanza

Kevin Tanza is a Venezuelan writer who fell in love with stories, music and soccer/football when he was a child and since then, he hasn’t stopped writing about them. He has been published in multiple websites in both Spanish and English. You'll find his work at MusikHolics, Good Comis to Read, Gemr, The Busby Babe, Chiesa di Totti, La Soledad del Nueve, Sail Away, Colgados por el Fútbol, Genre, United’s Red Rain, Mariskal Rock, Sugati Fashion, Indie Artists Go and Music Existence. He has also published a series of short stories. Feel free to use the links provided below to follow Kevin on social media. For business inquiries, please contact him via email.

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