Traditionally, Spider-Man is the most popular character in Marvel's roster of mighty heroes. Though characters such as Iron Man and Captain America may rival his popularity today, thanks to the Marvel Cinematic Universe series of films, Spider-Man is as synonymous with Marvel as Mickey Mouse is with Disney. Sam Raimi's original Spider-Man film in 2002 arguably kicked off the current superhero craze with each chapter setting new opening weekend records, until the rebooted Amazing Spider-Man films began to dilute the property through poorly received, and lower grossing entries.
Now that Spider-Man is allowed to play with the Avengers in the MCU -- thanks to a masterful deal with Sony -- and his next solo outing hits theaters in a month, Marvel Studios President Kevin Feige has some praise for the wall-crawler. Screenrant reports that in Disney Channel's A Fan's Guide to Spider-Man: Homecoming, Feige had this to say about the popular character on the eve of his return:
“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.”
Only the box office receipts of Spider-Man: Homecoming can quantify if Spidey is still the biggest Marvel character (I'm sure comic sales are a good indicator of this as well), but "jewel in the crown" and "icon" are certainly apt descriptors of the character's importance to Marvel. I realize that Spider-Man: Homecoming is the next film Feige needs to sell audiences on, but his willingness to commit to Spider-Man being Marvel's greatest hero, even though Sony still maintains big-screen ownership of the character, is saying something.
What does make Spider-Man more unique than any character brought to life in the MCU, or competing DC Extended Universe so far, is his age and related responsibilities. The MCU is currently full of adult characters with no secret identities, so Spider-Man is a rarity in today's Marvel movies, in that he must lead a double life. More importantly, Spider-Man: Homecoming is putting a greater emphasis on Spider-Man's most unique characteristic, which was glossed over in the previous iterations; he's a high school student with homework and dating issues. He has more "real life" problems than a Tony Stark, or Steve Rogers. This is what endeared me to Spider-Man when I was a child, and continues to make him one of my favorite superheros today.
Do you think Spider-Man is the greatest superhero of all time? Would you still consider him Marvel's biggest character in the age of the Avengers films? Let us know your thoughts in the comment section below!
Spider-Man: Homecoming swings into theaters on July 7, 2017.
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