For me, the addition of Peter Parker/Spider-Man to the Marvel Cinematic Universe was a breath of fresh air. You had the heavies – Tony Stark/Iron Man, Thor, Steve Rogers/Captain America, Natasha Romanoff/Black Widow, T’Challa/Black Panther, and everyone else – but they’re all adults, fully aware of consequences and their place in the universe. Even the adults who don’t quite know – Doctor Stephen Strange, Carol Danvers/Captain America – were able to understand what they meant to the world. After a period of adjustment, of course.
But Tom Holland has been perfect as Peter Parker in his five MCU appearances, embodying the youthful confusion of not just the teenage years, but the upheaval which comes along with being both a teenager and a superhero. He’s the one who makes it okay to mention selfies and social media, bringing us closer to the superhero world than those who came before him. Peter’s not some industrialist with more money than God; speaking of gods, he’s not a lightning-wielding superhunk with a dad bod; he’s not an assassin or a super-soldier; he’s just a kid who’s got a long way toward figuring his life out, much like all of us.
He is our tie to the MCU, and it’s fitting that he helps kick off and end Phase 3, his first film in the series being the Phase 3-opener Captain America: Civil War. Seeing him grow into his roles as both a young adult and a superhero makes for completely engaging viewing. We can identify with him much more, and his spritely, enthusiastic performances power these films with more energy than Stark’s Arc reactors.
Click here to read my review of Spider-Man: Far From Home at Gunaxin!