Tom Holland Is the Best Spider-Man Ever, Period!

Today is August 1 and you know what that means–it’s Spider-Man day! Okay, odds are you didn’t know that, or you only remember that August 1 is Spider-Man day every single year on August 1, when people like me tell you today is Spider-Man day. But for real, today is Spider-Man day, probably because Marvel’s iconic web-slinger debuted in August 1962. Amazing Fantasy #15 was actually released on August 10 but… whatever! Any reason to celebrate Spidey! And I’m choosing to celebrate Spidey by celebrating the actor that has brought the character to life better than any other actor before him: Tom Holland, the current reigning Spider-Man of the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

That’s no shade intended at the other two big screen Spider-Men. Tobey Maguire, who starred in Sam Raimi’s Spider-trilogy from 2002-2007, was my first Peter Parker and I will forever have a soft spot for him. There’s plenty to love about Maguire’s take, specifically the fact that he really looked like a bookworm dweeb. He had the everyman charm that is key to playing Spidey; you want a guy you can root for, and Tobey’s take on the hero was super root-for-able. Except for that one emo dance number.

I’m also not trying to diss the second, slightly younger Spider-Man played by Andrew Garfield in the two Amazing Spider-Man films (2012-2014). Those weren’t particularly good films, but you can’t blame the cast, especially Garfield’s hipper take on the wall-crawler. He wasn’t as geeky, no, but he looked a lot more like the lanky Spider-Man artists have been drawing for decades. Plus, he actually brought the quips!


But the main thing Tom Holland has going for him is the one thing that neither Maguire nor Garfield had: youth. That’s Spider-Man’s whole thing, the reason his debut in 1962 was so revolutionary. Stan Lee and Steve Ditko created a teen hero that wasn’t a sidekick or tagalong. He was the hero, and he was a teen in the lead just as teenagers were starting to become major tastemakers in America. The Beatles and Spider-Man, ’60s kids loved bugs!

But as vital as his youth was in his early days, the Maguire and Garfield movies never kept the hero in high school for long. On top of that, Maguire was 27 when he suited up and Garfield was 29! No wonder directors Raimi and Marc Webb vacated high school ASAP. Tom Holland was 19 when he debuted as Peter Parker in 2016’s Captain America: Civil War, making him the first actual teenager to play comics’ most famous teen hero.

And not only does Tom Holland bring back the youthfulness that was a key component of Spider-Man at his creation, he also does everything that Maguire and Garfield does right better than they did. He’s got the affable, awkward charm of Maguire and can deliver quips with the efficiency of Garfield. He’s the total package, and the fact that his three appearances (Civil War, 2017’s Spider-Man: Homecoming, 2018’s Avengers: Infinity War) have all been top-notch superhero adventures only makes Holland’s streak more impressive. In just a short time, he’s rejuvenated a character that average moviegoers were sick of (how many jokes have you heard about rebooting Spider-Man?) and he stealthily stole Avengers: Infinity War from dozens of superhero actors that have been at this whole game since Holland was in middle school. Which moment in Infinity War made you cry the most? Be honest, you know which one, and it’s because of Holland and the adventurous, wide-eyed innocence and optimism he brought to the role.

Tom Holland is far from the only actor to play Spider-Man (he’s getting a lot more company later this year in the animated Into the Spider-Verse film). But it’s Spider-Man day, and as far as I’m concerned, that also means August 1 is Tom Holland day.

Source: decider

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