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SPIDER-MAN: HOMECOMING is fun, different and fully integrated into the Marvel Universe…

Posted on July 10th, 2017
Posted on July 10th, 2017

by Coop Cooper

“Spider-Man: Homecoming” (Now in theaters) – After helping Iron Man tip the scales in “Captain America: Civil War”, 15 year-old Peter Parker (Tom Holland) expects to be immediately thrust into service with The Avengers. Instead, he is sent back to his hometown of Queens, NY and instructed by Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.) to lay low, stay in high school and stick to dealing with street-level crime for the time being. Frustrated, he follows orders until he stops a gang of bank robbers using stolen alien weaponry left over from the first “Avengers” film. He decides to track down the technology on his own and discovers arms dealer Adrian Toomes (Michael Keaton) behind the operation who uses the alien tech to power a winged, metal ‘Vulture’ suit to hijack even more of the technology. As Peter attempts to take on Toomes, he soon realizes he might be too inexperienced for the job, especially when he has the upcoming homecoming dance to worry about.

This version of Spider-Man thankfully sidesteps the usual origin story and the other parts of the character that has already been done to death in the previous Sony Studios films. Instead, this adaptation focuses on Peter Parker as a good-hearted, yet impulsive kid who has growing up to worry about in addition to crime-fighting. He makes a lot of mistakes and although the public likes him, some of his screw-ups are too big to defend. Also, just like a kid, he is terrible at protecting his superhero identity. He is outed to no less than three additional characters, not counting Stark’s people or The Avengers. Pretty sloppy, but it makes for some funny moments.

The real joy in this film comes from the new connections between Spider-Man and the other long-standing Marvel properties. This film introduces us to Tony Stark’s ‘Department of Damage Control’ from the comics which oversees the cleanup from the mass destruction of superhero battles. Damage Control muscles Toomes out of his city contract to clean up after the Chitauri invasion, thus destroying his construction business. It also sets up the beginnings of the ‘Sinister Six’, some of Spider-Man’s most infamous villains, even introducing us to criminal Mac Gargan (Michael Mando) who is destined to become the super villain known as The Scorpion. In addition to these ‘Easter Eggs’, we also get a lot of Stark and ton of Avengers references happening in the background, including a hilarious running joke with Captain America doing informational videos for high school kids.

It is not perfect, but it is the most effective reboot for the character so far. Most people forget that Spider-Man isn’t really a ‘man’ yet and this film gets that right, even if he acts like an irritating kid now and then. Now that Sony is finally playing ball with Marvel and letting them use the Spider-Man character rights, we can look forward to seeing Spidey interact with a lot more Marvel characters in the future as he was always intended to do. He will appear again in “Avengers: Infinity War” in May of 2018.

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

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