As audiences finally get to relive the exciting events of Spider-Man: No Way Home in its newly released extended cut, fans are coming to appreciate Tom Holland’s Spider-Man all the more. At the end of his first trilogy set within the Marvel Cinematic Universe, the Avenger still has a bright future ahead of him.
Throughout the course of his journey in the MCU, Peter Parker has undergone quite a tremendous amount of character development. During his six appearances thus far, Peter has come upon several life-changing events that would help him grow into the hero he was always meant to be.
Being Bit By The Spider
Though the audience meets Tom Holland’s Peter Parker in Captain America: Civil War, six months after he developed his superpowers, the MCU has still implied on several occasions that the character’s origin story in which he is bitten by a radioactive spider remains the same, albeit unseen.
This moment was truly one of the most fateful events in Peter Parker’s life, endowing him with amazing abilities that would facilitate his future career as a superhero and an Avenger. Had he not been bitten by the spider, Peter would have remained a regular high schooler in Queens, never becoming the amazing Spider-Man.
Uncle Ben’s Death
As the third live-action iteration of Spider-Man within the span of 20 years, the MCU’s version of the character bypassed many parts of his origin story. One cut plotline is the well-known story of Uncle Ben’s death, which is indirectly Peter’s own fault. While neither Uncle Ben nor his death is ever depicted in the MCU, both are indirectly alluded to at various points in the franchise.
Ben’s death is a major event in the life of every Peter Parker variant, marking the moment he transitions into the superhero that fans have come to know and love over the years. The death of his uncle inevitably teaches Peter a lesson about power and responsibility, which would go on to affect his life for years to come.
Recruited By Tony Stark
When Peter Parker is finally introduced into the Marvel Cinematic Universe, it is through the wiles of Tony Stark, who recruits the fledgling superhero to join his offense against Captain America during the events of Civil War. With their partnership extending long beyond the Avengers’ scuffle, Peter would learn many lessons from Tony Stark during their time together.
In the wake of his uncle’s death, Peter looked at Tony as a new father figure and a mentor who, though brash and somewhat condescending, shepherded Peter toward becoming a better superhero. Tony facilitated the beginnings of Peter’s career as Spider-Man, helping him along until his death during the Battle of Earth.
Earning The Suit
The events of Spider-Man: Homecoming depict a young Spider-Man learning how to use the new high-tech suit that Tony Stark gives him. However, Tony takes the suit away after a botched mission, leaving Peter to earn the use of his suit by fighting the Vulture without it.
In order to truly be Spider-Man, Peter had to prove that he could be a hero without the fancy tricks of his new suit. His moment of self-actualization finally occurs after he is buried beneath a mound of rubble and lifts it off of himself, finally claiming the title of Spider-Man as his own.
Tony Stark’s Death
Tony Stark became the MCU’s greatest hero when during Avengers: Endgame when he used the completed Infinity Gauntlet to destroy Thanos and his armies once and for all. Unfortunately, the strain of doing so cost Tony his life, forever solidifying him as a character that Marvel fans would soon miss more than life itself.
Tony’s death hit many of his closest friends hard, but Peter Parker was impacted more than most. Tony had been his mentor and father figure for years, leaving a gap in Peter’s heart after his death. Peter’s grief would be explored throughout the events of Spider-Man: Far From Home, as the young superhero sought relief from the pain of Tony’s death.
Jake Gyllenhaal portrays the main villain of Spider-Man: Far From Home in Quentin Beck, the evil Mysterio. Beck quickly establishes himself as one of the MCU’s best villains, posing as a friendly superhero from another dimension, only to betray Peter in the end, attempting to kill him and seize his place among the Avengers.
In the wake of Tony Stark’s death, Peter was quick to fill the void in his heart with a new mentor figure. Once Beck betrayed him, however, Peter finally learned to trust in his own instincts, no longer requiring an older hero to shepherd him through superheroism. Instead, Peter finally accepted himself as Spider-Man, bolstering his career as an Avenger thereafter.
The World Finds Out
The shocking mid-credit scene of Spider-Man: Far From Home includes the return of J. Jonah Jameson, who reveals to the world that Mysterio had, in his final moments, revealed Spider-Man’s true identity as Peter Parker. Additionally, it is made to seem as though Spider-Man had murdered Mysterio, framing him as the real supervillain.
This unexpected revelation inexorably shifted the direction of Peter’s life, clouding his and his friends’ futures. The ramifications of Mysterio’s contingency plan eventually led Peter to seek Doctor Strange’s help in erasing the world’s memory of the event, which memorably ended in disaster.
Aunt May’s Death
Every great version of Spider-Man inevitably loses someone close to him early in his superhero career. While it is implied that the young Peter Parker also lost his Uncle Ben offscreen, it is the death of his Aunt May at the hands of the Green Goblin that truly breaks him during the events of Spider-Man: No Way Home.
The death of Aunt May has been labeled the MCU’s “Uncle Ben moment,” teaching Peter that “with great power must also come great responsibility.” Her death profoundly impacted Peter, pushing him into a downward spiral that nearly ended with his exacting revenge on the Green Goblin, only for Peter to be stopped at the last moment by his multiversal variant.
Meeting The Spider-Men
No Way Home is beloved by superhero fans for many reasons, not the least being that it united every live-action cinematic version of Spider-Man onscreen for the first time. Shortly after the death of Aunt May, Peter is sought out by his multiversal variants, who are portrayed by Spider-Man and The Amazing Spider-Man actors Tobey Maguire and Andrew Garfield.
Meeting his variants gave Peter a new kind of family in the wake of losing the only relative he had left. Forging a brotherly bond with the other Spider-Men, Peter surmounted the grief of his latest loss, eventually choosing to spare the life of Norman Osborn, despite the pain he had caused.
Fixing His Mistake
In No Way Home’s emotional conclusion, it becomes clear that the multiverse will cave in on itself as a result of Doctor Strange’s botched spell. In recompense for his mistakes, Peter offers a solution wherein the entire world has its memory wiped of Peter Parker. Hesitantly, Strange agrees, thereby erasing any trace of Peter in the minds of everyone on the planet.
Peter’s heroic sacrifice meant that his loved ones, including Ned and MJ, would forget him. Nevertheless, this was the moment in which he allowed his true heroism to shine, sacrificing himself so that the rest of the world would be safe. In the end, Peter emerges a new man, having finally reconciled the divide between himself and Spider-Man.
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