Note: Spoilers for the Civil War comic event within. If you haven't read it and still want to, avert your eyes from the bold/italicized paragraph.
Peter Parker is a pretty normal guy. Sure, he's got a tragic back story, radioactive arachnid powers, and genius level scientific mind, but that's beside the point. Most of us can’t relate to winning back our mind from an evil cephalopodic scientist, but we understand his earlier hardships all too well: struggling to pay rent, working a job that mocks your full talents, and juggling a love life (and probably dropping it, too).
Now, we have (yet) another Spider-Man/Peter Parker in Tom Holland. I personally haven’t seen him in anything, so I can’t pass judgment, but his front flips aren’t terrible.
Spider-Man is my favorite superhero. His powers, his struggles, and his humor keep him in my pull list every week. I’m excited that Marvel is taking over for the next Spider-Man movie, and even more so that he’ll appear in Captain America: Civil War - albeit anxiously.
Because, unfortunately, the Spider-Man we’re getting in Civil War can’t, and probably won’t, be the Spider-Man we’re hoping for.
Quick summary for those who don’t know: the Civil War occurred after a horrific accident took place in the comic universe. In the aftermath, citizens began demanding that heroes register their personal information, including identities and home addresses. Iron Man agreed with this idea, while Captain America saw it as infringing upon the freedom of Americans. While both of these characters, and many other heroes and heroines, have already gone public, far more, especially Spider-Man, remain masked.
Why is Spider-Man so important? If you haven’t caught on, there is a *SPOILER* for the Civil War event.
In order to sway the public and other superheroes, Spider-Man unmasks himself on live TV, as a show of support for Tony Stark’s registration act. He later sides with Steve Rogers after he learns that heroes who disagree with the act would be indefinitely imprisoned in the Negative Zone. The reveal results in the attempted assassination of Peter Parker, the death of Aunt May, and the dissolution of his marriage with Mary Jane, by way of a literal deal with the devil. Yeah, I know. This deal was the basis of the One More Day storyline by Dan Slott, and is pretty damn ridiculous.
Because the identity of nearly everyone in the MCU is known, this doesn’t pose much of a problem. Yet even if they choose to do it, and somehow pull it off, this moment can't possibly have the gravitas it should. Because Spider-Man will be new, relationships won’t be established, and worst of all, we probably won’t get the Iron Spider suit. I mean, look at it!
Tobey Maguire was a great Peter Parker, but he lacked the kind of playful humor I expected - Spidey sans sass. Andrew Garfield had the superhero spirit, but nobody would mistake him for a nerdy pariah. If Sony had gotten both aspects right from the beginning, or if the deal had allowed for the continued use of Garfield, there might have been real weight to the choice in Civil War. Since we won’t be getting any of this, the question must be asked: what’s the use of another Peter Parker?
The answer is, there isn’t. Like I said, I don’t give a shit about Peter anymore. But I do give a shit about Miles Morales.
The African-American and Puerto Rican teenager would be a fresh start for the character. If we can’t get any of the Peter Parkers we want, why not go with the other Spider-Man? It certainly couldn’t hurt considering the dearth of diversity in the MCU, and if cast right we would be able to have that much-needed character journey that Spider-Man deserves.
Naysayers out there want Spider-Man to be Peter Parker, and only Peter Parker. Sony is pretty clear on whom they want Peter Parker to be, but that doesn’t necessarily mean the Spider-Man mantle cannot be worn by someone else. Peter had his chance, but maybe he needs a charming third time. Either way, I’m sure we’ll see Miles on the silver screen eventually, even if people will still be crying lack of comic faithfulness. To them I say: hey, it could be worse. We could be getting Anya Corazon (which I would FULLY endorse.)