In Review

Spider-Man Homecoming: The key questions from the reboot

What can Peter Parker's suit really do - and what is up with Tony and Pepper?

Warning: this article contains spoilers for the movie

Spider-Man: Homecoming is released in the UK this weekend and the buzz from early screenings suggests Marvel's latest reboot of the franchise will be a box-office hit.

Serious Spidey fans already know the film takes place after the events of Captain America: Civil War, with Peter Parker (Tom Holland) trying to return to life at high school while coming to terms with the limits of his alter ego, all under the watchful eye of Robert Downey Jr's Tony Stark. Meanwhile, Michael Keaton's Vulture lurks as an ever-growing threat.

In many ways, it's everything you'd expect from a standard-issue comic-book film, with a webslinger-vs-evil-tech-villain plot, spectacular action and zippy wisecracking. But there are a few things that newcomers to the franchise - and even some long-time fans - may be wondering. Here are a few key questions to ponder:

Is Spider-Man: Homecoming any good?

The critics seem to think so, generally giving the film a resounding thumbs-up. Empire calls it "a loose, cool, funny remix" that offers a "refreshing spin on the comic-book movie template", while The Guardian praises Holland's performance as " funny, awkward and believably vulnerable" and calls the film "joyously entertaining".

Meanwhile, The Verge says Homecoming brings the character "back to his basics" and after the large-scale conflicts of Civil War, it offers a more personal and "joyous celebration" of "a little guy’s ability to make a difference".

Is it different to the comics?

The biggest digression is that the Vulture is not Liz Allan’s father, although her stepbrother is the Molten Man. Liz marries Harry Osborn, making the original Green Goblin her stepfather.

Another change relates to Ned Leeds, Peter’s best friend in high school. In the comics, he is a reporter on the Daily Bugle who is later revealed to be the super-villain the Hobgoblin. But in the film, Ned seems to be modelled on Ganke Lee, the friend of Miles Morales, who in the comics takes on the mantle of Spider-Man after the supposed death of Peter Parker.  

What can Tony Stark's spider suit do?

Aside from offering 576 possible web variations, the Tony Stark-designed spider suit has an array of amazing gadgets on offer once the "Training Wheels" protocol is disabled. There are web grenades and automatic parachutes, of course, but fans are wondering what other cool weapons and abilities are hidden in the workings. 

Gizmodo says there is also an onboard artificial intelligence system, "kind of like Jarvis" complete with a holographic interface. Meanwhile, the spider logo on the breastplate can act as a surveillance drone. No doubt the capabilities will grow in the sequels.

What is 'Damage Control'?

In the comics and in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, "Damage Control" is an organisation designed to clean up the mess caused by superhero battles. It was created by Dwayne McDuffie and Ernie Colon in 1988 and originally co-owned by Tony Stark and Wilson Fisk and run by stern Anne Marie Hoag. Recently, producers considered a TV spin-off show based on Damage Control as a sitcom, but it has yet to amount to anything. 

Are Pepper and Tony getting married?

Spider-Man: Homecoming leaves everything up in the air with a "is it real or isn't it?" wedding announcement, supposedly to cover up another more embarrassing announcement for the Avengers. But Pepper Potts tells Tony Stark he could have thought up a better excuse to pop the question. Hehad the ring ready so he must have at least been considering it. 

Will Spidey's identity be revealed?

Homecoming ends with villain Adrian Toomes, aka the Vulture, knowing the true identity of Spider-Man. A post-credit scene shows him in prison, with one of the criminals Spidey previously thwarted saying there's a rumour that Toomes knows the masked hero's true identity. Toomes, however, replies: “If I knew who he was, he’d already be dead.” So is he trying to protect Peter, or simply save him for his own special revenge? 

When are they making the sequel?

We already know that Peter Parker is going to appear in the next two Avengers films and that Marvel has a Homecoming trilogy planned, but how developed is it? 

In an interview with Collider, Holland said that while film-makers are already getting ready for pre-production, he won't be back on set until 2018.

"I'll be on Spider-Man 2 about mid-July next year," he said.

He also gave a few clues about what to expect from the film.

"I think the most interesting thing about a young man's life is his journey from being a boy to a man, and imagine seeing that journey while having superpowers. 

"That's something I know I'm definitely excited to explore. I know Kevin [Feige] and the rest of the team are very excited to explore," he added.


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