Who is Spider-Man?
Spider-Man/Peter Parker was one of Stan Lee’s favorite creations. Many people claim that he is the most relatable comic book character, even for some of the more troubled audiences.
Peter Parker is a teenager living in Queens, New York, with his Aunt May after the death of both of his parents. He is frequently taunted by his classmates, so he throws himself into his love of science. After being bitten by a radioactive spider, Peter Parker gained super strength and agility, as well as a “spider sense” that brings awareness to impending danger.
Contrary to what may be popular belief to those who don’t know much about Spider-Man, he did not get the ability to shoot webs when he was bitten by the radioactive spider. He actually made the web shooters himself, along with the fluid that creates the webs.
There have been three movie series portrayals of Spider-Man: Tobey Maguire (2002-2007), Andrew Garfield (2012-2014) and Tom Holland (2016-present). This poses one obvious question: who portrays the beloved comic book character the best? In a video with Wired, Kevin Smith talked about every Spider-Man, including the animated series and movies.
Tobey Maguire played Spider-Man/Peter Parker from 2002 to 2007 in Spider-Man, Spider-Man 2 and Spider-Man 3. To put it plainly, Tobey Maguire looked old while he was playing Peter Parker. Kevin Smith said that he looked 40. Nobody in high school looks that old, especially if they’re 15 like Spider-Man is.
Overall, Tobey Maguire was a good Peter Parker, but wasn’t a super comic book-accurate Spider-Man. He had the plain face of Peter Parker. He played Peter Parker as the mild-mannered, awkward teenager that’s in the comics. However, his Spider-Man didn’t “crack wise” like in the comics.
Andrew Garfield played Spider-Man/Peter Parker from 2012-2014 in The Amazing Spider-Man and The Amazing Spider-Man 2. It’s no lie that Andrew Garfield is an attractive man. That’s all fine and dandy, but he’s too hot to be Peter Parker. His portrayal of Peter Parker was too much on his game.
However, Andrew Garfield’s portrayal of Spider-Man was accurate to the comic book version. He was quippy and funny, just like in the comics.
Tom Holland plays Spider-Man/Peter Parker as the newest hero in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Many have argued that his portrayal is the best of all time. He is the youngest person to play a super hero on screen, with the announcement of him receiving the part shortly after turning 19. That being said, he does actually look young, so it isn’t hard to believe that he’s playing a character that’s 15.
The part that separates Tom Holland the most from every other portrayal (not just against Maguire and Garfield) is the fact that he uses a Queens accent. Not only does he look young, he sounds like he is actually from New York. In reality, Tom Holland is from Southwest London.
So he looks the part, sounds the part and, finally, he acts the part. Tom Holland’s Peter Parker is awkward and dorky, and his Spider-Man is funny and has a quick wit. Most importantly, when you are watching him, you really believe that he is excited to be working with The Avengers. This comes from Tom Holland actually being a big fan of the Marvel Cinematic Universe way back before he started performing. That excitement isn’t just good acting, it’s actually him being excited.
Who do you think the best Spider-Man actor was?