Listen up, nerds. If you ever want to be an Avenger, there’s one rule: Never make Mr. Stark mad. In the new trailer for Spider-Man: Homecoming, Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.) gets pretty steamed at the neighborhood web-slinger for breaking the rules and endangering the lives of hundreds. As punishment, Stark takes away Spidey’s fancy suit with wings and drone spiders, forcing Peter Parker (Tom Holland) to wear his old budget duds from Civil War again — and there’s a lot of history in those ragged threads.
Among the many surprises (Captain America cameo!) in the trailer for Spider-Man: Homecoming is Spider-Man’s dependency on his slick, new costume. As fans recall, Spidey briefly used a budget costume made out of sneakers and a department store hoodie before Stark gave him a new costume in Captain America: Civil War. It was a gesture that signaled Stark taking Peter under his wing. But in Homecoming, an over-eager Spider-Man disobeys direct orders, and people get hurt. While Stark can’t ground Peter like his Aunt May could, he takes away his suit.
“But I’m nothing without this suit!” Peter pleads in the trailer. Stark fires back: “If you’re nothing without this suit, then you shouldn’t have it.”
Stark has a point, and their dialogue speaks to what really makes a superhero worthy of the title. Iron Man might wear a cutting-edge power suit, but it’s not the costume that makes him a hero; it’s Tony Stark. Leave Stark stranded on an island, and he’ll make a power suit out of tree leaves and coconuts. The new trailer for Homecoming reveals that it’s a story about Spidey learning to be a hero on his own merits, without relying on gadgets. (But gadgets are still pretty cool.)
Still, without his new suit, Peter Parker wears his old outfit again so he can battle the Vulture (Michael Keaton), alone — and there’s lots of history and potential Easter eggs woven into that suit.
The low-grade suit is a major homage to Spider-Man’s past. Before wearing the iconic red and blue outfit, Peter tried to make money off of his new powers and worked as a pro wrestler. In the Amazing Spider-Man comics, his costume was cobbled together with a fishnet for a mask, but in the alternate Ultimate Spider-Man continuity, he wore athletic sweats. The 2002 Spider-Man movie mimicked this look with Tobey Maguire wearing a similar costume emblazoned with a spray-painted spidey logo.
The Homecoming suit takes after the wrestler costume with elements from Ben Reilly’s Scarlet Spider costume. Fans know Ben Reilly, a popular character from ‘90s Spidey comics, as a major player in the second Clone Saga, a multi-title arc where Peter Parker learns he may not be a real human being and that his “clone” Ben Reilly is the real Peter Parker. The story is much more complicated than that, so it’s not a bad thing that Homecoming isn’t adapting anything from Clone Saga.
A history of hooded Spider costumes. Far left: Ben Reilly’s Scarlet Spider. Middle left: Spidey’s wrestler outfit in ‘Ultimate Spider-Man.’ Middle right: Spidey’s wrestler outfit in ‘Spider-Man’ (2002). Far right: Peter’s budget outfit in ‘Spider-Man: Homecoming’ (2017).
Spider-Man: Homecoming, from director Jon Watts (Cop Car), is set for a July 7 release date.
Photos via Vudu, Marvel Comics, YouTube.com/Sony Pictures Entertainment