As fans across the world wait impatiently for the release of Spider-Man: Homecoming, the man behind the Marvel machine has revealed why he believes Spider-Man is the greatest superhero of all-time.
Kevin Feige, the president of Marvel Studios and person responsible for popularizing the MCU, spoke about the web-slinger for the upcoming Disney channel special A Fan’s Guide to Spider-Man: Homecoming. Considering the insanely large slate of characters who call Marvel home, Feige seemingly does not have to think twice when it comes to choosing which hero he would label as the greatest.
He briefly touched on his adoration for Spider-Man and lovingly refers to him as “an amazing icon”:
“Spider-Man is the biggest Marvel character. He is the jewel in the crown. Such an amazing icon. He’s a very different kind of hero because he is, quite simply, the greatest superhero of all time.”
Audiences have seen two notable incarnations of Peter Parker throughout the past fifteen years including Tobey Maguire’s stint in the Sam Raimi trilogy and Andrew Garfield’s two film appearance in the Marc Webb films. When it was announced that a then-19 year old Tom Holland would inherit the iconic web shooters – Both Maguire and Garfield were in their late 20s when initially cast – hesitation set in as many wondered whether Holland could handle the immense pressures placed upon those that tackle the role of a Marvel superhero.
There was also the issue of whether audiences would tire of seeing a new incarnation of Spider-Man as there were only two years between Garfield’s final appearance in The Amazing Spider-Man 2 and last year’s Captain America: Civil War which briefly introduced audiences to Holland’s take. This hesitation remained present until virtually everyone praised his cameo in Civil War and the hype machine began churning in favor of more Spider-Man.
Spider-Man remains as beloved a character as ever because of the various traits inherently in him that transcends whatever incarnation he is in. Here are a few reasons why Feige’s declaration of the Web-Head is an accurate one.
1. No Other Superhero Has His Moves
Spider-Man doesn’t have a specialized web-cave where he can store all of his gadgets and knickknacks, nor does he run a multi-billion-dollar empire. As a young man with not nearly as many financial resources as his Avenger counterparts, Parker had to use his own ingenuity. He taught himself how to use his powers, and inexperience never deterred him from doing the right thing.
Even Spider-Man’s physical movements had an impact on the comic book world. Readers were accustomed to the straightforward brawler-type artwork featured in Superman and Captain America comics, but web-slinger introduced a leaner, contorted gymnastics style. The spidery movements — like his bent legs and chilling out while upside down — allowed readers to witness a character drawn in a way they had never really seen before.
2. He Gets Hurt And That’s Okay
Spider-Man can and does get his ass kicked… Hard. Although he is undeniably powerful, he’s not the Hulk – when he is beaten down by a seemingly superior opponent, you feel it. And you feel his endurance when he gets back up from being pummeled. Peter Parker is truly the superhero embodiment of “I could do this all day.”
3. “He’s Just A Kid”
Spider-Man’s relatablility is arguably his most important component as a character. He was the first major teenage superhero, not just a sidekick. Young fans had the opportunity to imagine themselves in a hero’s shoes, thanks to co-creators Stan Lee and Steve Ditko. The legendary duo wanted to stray away from creating a perfectly all-powerful adult; instead they created Peter as a normal teenager with flaws and everyday struggles like homework and romantic issues.
4. His Selfishness Embodies What A Superhero Should Be
Throughout the comics and film installments, audiences have grown to admire Spider-Man for placing aside his own well-being for the sake of others. Regardless of how many times he has experienced the lowest of lows (the loss of his beloved Uncle Ben and his love Gwen Stacy) or contemplated giving up his heroic identity (as seen in 2004’s Spider-Man 2), Peter Parker always finds himself putting others first.
Even in The Superior Spider-Man, when faced with losing everything and Doc Ock taking his place, Peter Parker chooses to use his final moments to tell Octavius everything he needs to know about being a hero. Peter wants to know that the people he vowed to protect are left in the safe hands of a capable Spider-Man — even if he is not the one to protect them anymore.
The comic book realm is filled with spectacular characters and rich universes that have entertained fans for decades. Certain superheroes manage to transcend generations by appealing to the very depths of the heart, and Spider-Man is one of the best examples. As film installments come and go, and another actor eventually takes the helm, the inner good of the Spidey character will remain…
And if we’re lucky, maybe we’ll receive another weird dance out of it!
You can catch Tom Holland appear alongside Michael Keaton, Zendaya and Robert Downey Jr. in Spider-Man: Homecoming, set to hit in theaters on July 7, 2017.