The thing about Spider-Man is that he’s us. He’s any of us. I watched the new trailer for “Spider-Man: Homecoming” this morning and it’s more obvious in this version of the Marvel superhero than it’s been in any of the versions I’ve seen out there. Peter Parker is a hot mess. He’s not just the adorable kid from “Captain America: Civil War” with the cute face and the quippy lines. He’s me when I have no idea what I’m doing. He’s your little sister when she follows you around and tries to go to the same birthday party, knowing that no one wants her there. He’s your buddy who just doesn’t get why they’re supposed to turn a blind eye to the bad stuff in the world and maybe talks about it too much.
The thing about Spider-Man is that he sort of bumbles his way to greatness. You can see it in the new trailer. He asks Tony Stark for all the rules about joining the Avengers, even knowing that Tony sort of used him to win the battle. He knows “dad” doesn’t want him involved, but he just can’t help himself. It’s because he wants to help, the same way your little sister thinks she’s helping when she covers the kitchen with flour to help your dad bake cookies.
His friends think what he does is cool, but they just don’t understand. Peter feels misunderstood. He just knows he has to do what he does. He hides his new career as a webslinger from Aunt May the way you hid your search for the perfect supersoaker from your Aunt Gladys. It’s important for him to save people the way it was important for you to not step on that ant at the picnic.
I know. This sounds like a ramble. It’s just this crazy reaction I had to the trailer. I haven’t had one like it with other Spider-Man films — not since the first one, anyway. Spider-Man wears a mask, so I could totally be him. So could you. They’re not making him cool-but-dorky. He’s not really-hot-but-everyone-treats-him-like-he’s-a-nerd-because-movies, like the last one. This time around, he really feels like the kid next door. He feels like the guy in class who has been saving up his super cool joke all day and when he tells it, it falls flat.
He feels like us. it’s nice to see someone so ordinary do extraordinary things. It reminds us that we can, too.