Captain America: Civil War

Everything we learned about the new Spider-Man from the new Marvel movie!

captain america civil war spider man
Marvel Studios

The big comic book movie of the year, starring a bunch of superheroes fighting each other, is here. No, the other one. Captain America: Civil War, as well as being the latest in that huge epic Marvel Cinematic Universe, also introduces the latest screen incarnation of that spandex-clad spider-person we're always talking about on here...

The Story

Captain America and Iron Man have a falling out, partly as a result of the events of Avengers: Age Of Ultron, partly because of an incident involving the former's long lost pal (and brainwashed super assassin) Bucky, aka The Winter Soldier. The conflict comes down to this: a guilt-ridden Iron Man wants to fall in line with UN plans to hold superheroes accountable, meaning they might screw up less and get civilians killed in the cross-fire of their big blockbuster battles. Captain America, meanwhile, is worried that such oversight might limit where they're allowed to go and help people. Plus he doesn't want Bucky to go to prison or something.

What's important is this: the scene is set for a knock-down, drag-out fight between superheroes who side with either Iron Man or Cap's line of thinking. And amongst those superheroes is a gawky, awkward teenager from Queens, who we're introduced to lugging back some electronic equipment he found out in the garbage. Apparently he makes a habit of it – he also has a very old-school computer he fixed up on his bedroom table and, oh yeah, a set of webshooters he invented himself and is using to fight crime. Some mysterious superpowers are helping him to that end, too.

He's also not been particularly secretive with his vigilante activities, getting caught on a YouTube video beating up a mugger whilst wearing a home-made set of pyjamas, a ski mask and swimming goggles which help him focus himself – his superpowers heighten his senses, making the world a little intense. The video doesn't escape the attention of one Tony Stark, the billionaire industrialist also known as Iron Man, who is chatting to the young man's Aunt May on the couch when he gets in with his trash haul.

Okay, enough: this kid is Peter Parker, a fifteen-year-old high schooler whom Tony Stark is visiting under the auspices of endowing one of the new science grants the businessman is handing out to promising scientific minds. Once the two get to speak alone, however, Stark reveals the real reason he's there. He figured out pretty easily that Peter is this new hero on the block and, having uncovered his “onesie” costume (ineffectually hidden in a crawl space above his bed), offers him a shot at the big time.<br/>
The next time we see Peter, he's in a more familiar – and professional – outfit. Joining Iron Man's side in the titular “Civil War”, he throws down with Bucky, Captain America sidekick The Falcon and Ant-Man during a scrap at an evacuated airport. With Stark's upgrade he's got a proper costume, complete with adjustable lenses, and some majorly upgraded webshooters. He flings himself around the place, characteristically chatty, and even manages to take Ant-Man when the hero reverses his existing shrinking powers and becomes a giant; instead of being swatted like a bug, Spidey takes a leaf out of “old movie” The Empire Strikes Back, slinging webs around the big guy's legs until he comes toppling down like an AT-AT walker.

Then he gets knocked down by one of the other opposing heroes and Iron Man, who has semi-affectionately being referring to him as “underoos”, tells him to stay down – he's done.

That's it for Peter for the rest of the movie – you can go watch it yourself and see what happens – but he does appear in the very last post-credits scene, as a tease for the upcoming Spider-Man: Homecoming. A bruised and beaten Peter returns home, trying to shrug off the injury as the result of a new kid from school – a big guy called Steve from Brooklyn (not trying all that hard to hide the real culprit, Steve “Captain America” Rogers). Once he's slinked away to his room, he plays about with a new gadget from Stark: a wristband that lets him project a Spider-Man logo, although there's a bunch of other functions apparent from the amount of buttons. Take that, Apple Watch!

The Cast

Whilst there are rumors that Robert Downey Jr. might again take a mentor role by reprising the part of Tony Stark for Spider-Man: Homecoming, the definite stars of that film who appear in Civil War are the ones we're interested in. 19-year-old Tom Holland – the youngest to play the character on screen so far – acquits himself charmingly as Peter Parker and Spider-Man, probably being the closest to the source material we've yet seen. As Parker, he is awkward but affable, and has an energy and jokiness bordering-on-irritating that is very true to the comic book Spidey. Plus his costume looks great, very much like the iconic red and blue.

Marisa Tomei appears only briefly as Aunt May, but she appears perfect for the role, despite superficial differences from her four-color inspiration (at 51, Tomei is pretty darn far from the doddering old maid May is often portrayed as). As in, she dotes on Peter, is doing the best she can in a bad situation, and also does bad baking which Tony Stark eats out of politeness and then flings out the window as soon as she's out of the room. The future bodes well for these two...

The Future

...Speaking of, Captain America: Civil War sets up a lot of what we can expect from the upcoming Spider-Man film, currently penciled in for release in summer of 2017. Tony Stark reappearing is interesting, as it provides a strong connection to the rest of the Marvel Cinematic Universe – which Peter Parker's only just joining, having previously been off in his own world with movies produced by Sony – and also because, well, the character's sort of all about missing father figures. Maybe Tony can fill that part. Or at least be a great science bro.

This also looks like the first screen incarnation to take seriously Spidey's money troubles, a constant source of conflict in the comic books where Peter struggles to support both himself and Aunt May whilst simultaneously keeping good grades and, y'know, fight crime. Their apartment in Queens still looks deceptively nice, but it's small, and a dumpster-diving Peter Parker is significantly more of a working class hero than the billionaire Stark.